"My granddad used to make the best porridge (oatmeal to you in the States). Whenever he did, I’d think about Goldilocks: Granddad’s porridge was never too runny or too thick—it was always just right. He’d simmer rolled oats in milk, had it always smelled so sweet and inviting." (excerpt from A Girl and Her Pig, published by Ecco 2012)


  • 1 1/2 Cup whole milk, plus a few generous splashes
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Maldon or other flakey sea salt
  • 1/2 Cup rolled oats (not "quick cooking" or "instant")
  • About 2 Tablespoons of sugar ( maple, brown, or white) or maple syrup


Step 1:

Combine the 11/2 cups milk, 11/2 cups water, and the salt in a medium pot (a 2-quart pot should do it) and set over high heat. As soon as the liquid comes to a gentle simmer, add both kinds of oats and lower the heat to medium.

Step 2:

Cook the oats at a steady simmer, stirring frequently and lowering the heat as necessary to maintain the simmer. After

Step 3:

After about 20 minutes at the simmer, the rolled oats will have turned a bit mushy, while the steel-cut oats will be just tender and pop when you bite them.

Step 4:

Have a taste. It’s good and salty, isn’t it? Now you want to add some sugar or syrup. I like my porridge to taste a little salty at first, then fade into sweet. Spoon the porridge into warm bowls and let it sit for a minute. Then carefully pour a little cold milk around the edges of each bowl, so it pools all the way round. Sprinkle a five-fingered pinch of sugar or drizzle the syrup in the center of each and let it melt, then serve right away.