“He receives comfort like cold porridge.” – The Tempest, William Shakespeare
I’ve noticed a disturbing trend, and I don’t mean the return of tapered jeans. I mean, taking a perfectly steamy bowl of oatmeal and – shiver – stirring in c-c-cold yogurt.
Maybe it’s because my office (where I eat breakfast on weekdays while I catch up on email) is always freezing. Or maybe it’s because the ice rink (where I eat breakfast on Saturdays while my daughter skates) is always freezing. Or maybe it’s because my house (where I eat breakfast on Sundays, like an actual normal person) is always freezing. Or maybe it’s because, let’s face it, I’M always freezing. Whatever the reason, I don’t care if it’s in the pot nine days old, I just want my porridge HOT!
And, to further ensure that my breakfast bowlful is super soulful, I want my porridge pumpkin-y.
Thankfully, we’ve survived The Great Pumpkin Shortage of ’09, and supermarkets are fully stocked.
Please note that the following recipe uses steel-cut oats, not rolled oats. Steel-cut oats take longer to cook, but they’re worth it. And, you can cook up a big batch ahead of time.
makes 6 servings
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
 Dump all of the following into a big glass baking dish:
1-1/4 c. steel-cut oats (like McCann’s or Bob’s Red Mill)
1 can (15-oz.) pumpkin puree
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
2 c. boiling water
2 c. steaming almond milk (or milk of your choice)
 Stir it all up. Then pop it in the oven till it’s the consistency you like, about 35-45 minutes. It’ll be thick and creamy and the oats should be a little bit chewy. Stir frequently towards the end of cooking so it doesn’t stick to the dish.
 Here’s how I eat it: When it cools a bit, I divide it up into 6 little containers and put them in the fridge. Every morning, I take one out and dump it in a bowl. I add 1/4 c. almond milk, microwave for a minute, stir it all up, then microwave for another minute. Then I stir in 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed and 1 tbsp. sliced almonds (or chopped pecans or walnuts). If it’s not sweet enough, I add a little more maple syrup, or some brown sugar, to taste.
 Dig in while it’s HOT!
p.s. Okay, it’s working … I think I can feel my toes again …