BELLY WARMERS FOR A CHILLY MORNING
Here are two hot-cereal recipes adapted from Marion Cunningham's ``The Breakfast Book.'' BROWN BARLEY (Hulled Barley) Cooked whole kernel barley has a chewy texture and the compelling taste of field, sun, and rain. The marvels of this grain have escaped me all these years because I always have cooked pearl barley, which is pallid in comparison. 3 cups water Salt to taste 1 cup whole grain barley Optional: a dot of butter, a sprinkle of brown sugar, a dash of cream
Bring the water to a boil and add salt. Stir in barley, turn heat to low, and cover pot. Cook over low heat for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking for doneness. It should be tender, but chewy. Add optional ingredients. Serve hot. Makes three cups.
STEEL-CUT OATS Steel-cut oats are oats that have been through a machine that cuts the whole oat kernels into cream-colored tiny bits. Steel-cut oats (sometimes labeled Scotch or Irish oatmeal) are chewy and capture more of the good oat taste than rolled oats. They take longer to cook, but if you are an oat lover PLEASE try these. 21/2 cups water 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup steel-cut oats Optional sweetner or cream
Mix the water, salt, and oats together in the top of a double boiler. Cook covered over simmering water, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Remove from heat and serve.
A delicious way of cooking steel-cut oat porridge is to combine water, salt, and oats, and put overnight in a Crock-Pot or in a covered pot in a 225 degree oven. In the morning remove the cover. Do not stir, or the oatmeal will lose some of its delicate, translucent creaminess. Carefully spoon the servings into bowls.
Another way of cooking oats is to shake 1 cup of oats into 3 cups of boiling water without stirring, boil for 5 minutes, and remove from heat. Let the oats sit all night, covered, in a double boiler or in another larger pan in very hot water. In the morning heat the water in the bottom of the double boiler or larger pot, and let the oatmeal get hot for about 15 minutes.