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Please porridge hot Please porridge cold

But just give it up if it's nine days old

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Try corn meal for porridge. Or buckwheat. Or classic Sunny Boy, with all its (organic) rye and flax (sorry, I’m an Albertan, so Sunny Boy rules, not Manitoba’s Red River Cereal.)

Any of these porridges provide you with that steady-Eddy power base that only happens when you eat a lot of good fibre. But oats, as any good Scot will attest, have an edge in the slippery world of porridge, with their superior protein and hearty taste.

Whatever you use, stay away from that expensive, wimpy instant stuff with all the artificial crap. Come on, it doesn’t take that much longer to boil up the real thing, rolled, steel cut or otherwise.

But if you are in a big hurry in the morning, or it’s summer and you don’t like the idea of hot cereal, take a tip from Jan. Soak your oatmeal the night before in apple juice or any liquid you like. After all, that’s what Dr. Bircher-Benner intended his mushy invention, m üe sli, to be: 2 to 3 tablespoons of oatmeal soaked in cold water for 12 hours. Drain it, and mix it with condensed milk, was his original suggestion, adding grated apples or carrots and top it with lemon and honey.

If you buy your porridge cereals in bulk you can mix your own combos. The cooking basics are always the same — bring your water to a boil, add a pinch of salt if you like, add your cereal in a steady rain as you stir, and turn the heat down so you don’t make a mud volcano.

As you experiment you’ll learn how thick you like it, but a ratio of three parts water to one part cereal is usually a good starting point. If it’s too thick, add more liquid, if it’s too thin, let the water boil off — it’s rocket fuel, not rocket science.

Once you get into it, you might start toasting your own coconut or nuts to add, or figuring out your own tasty way — tabasco, anyone? You might even grab a pocketful to munch on your way down the slopes this winter.

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