Monday, March 16, 2009

slow cooker porridge

Okay, for all you gourmands out there, skip this one and check back soon. But for you parents who feel that school mornings might just make you start to scream hysterically one of these days, I've got a secret.
Do you have a slow cooker? Is it dusty? If you don't have one, buy one today. If you happen to be tag-saling soon, you'll be sure to find one, or you can by one new for next to nothing. And trust me, the thing is worth its weight in gold.
This is what you do. Before you go to sleep, pull out the slow cooker. Put grains in cooker. Put water in cooker. Don't forget to turn it on. I've forgotten, and it's very sad. In the morning, breakfast is sitting on your counter, hot and ready. And you are free to panic over the fact that you need to make lunches for picky children, or that you can't find the hairbrush and your daughter looks like like she has a bird's nest on her head, or even that your child might accept the ultimatum that "If you don't get dressed right now young lady, you're going to school in your pajamas!" (I have to say this one doesn't usually work. My kids view this option with glee). Anyway, take your pick on the subject of panic. It just doesn't have to be making breakfast. Here are the details:
Basically, go for 1 1/2 cups of grain to 6 cups of water. It's important to fill your slow cooker more that half way so that the porridge won't burn. The above measurements will feel 4 to 6 hungry people. If you have a smaller family, get a smaller slow cooker, or save some for reheating tomorrow. The most basic foolproof porridge is steel cut oats, which will be creamy and fabulous in the slow cooker. But you can experiment and mix any of the following grains.

brown rice
white rice
arborio rice (super creamy)

Go wild. Have a ball, and if you have any suggestions for dealing with the other morning panic topics, I would be so grateful.

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