Yesterday was the first day the knee high leather boots had to come out because not only was it chilly but the rain just seemed never ending. I guess that’s London for you, Summer is hit or in this year’s case a complete miss (minus the 5 days we all enjoyed), and the bleak weather can often leave me feeling homesick. When the temperatures drop and the clouds take over it is a clear indication that the season for comfort foods is fast approaching if not already here. Comfort foods are very personal. If we were all to make a list of our favourite ones the dishes would be very different but what we feel when we eat them would be very similar. In short the dishes that make us feel warm and cuddly inside, or brighten up a dreadful day, or transport us to our favourite places and make us relive our finest memories; those are comfort foods. I have many but one would have to be Cornmeal Porridge.
Jamaica is big on porridge, we have so many different types: Plantain Porridge, Peanut Porridge, Hominy Corn Porridge, Oats Porridge, Banana Porridge and of course Cornmeal Porridge, which is hands down my favourite. Porridge is a great way to start the day because it is filling and so easy and quick to make. Aside from the practical benefits, the truth is I love cornmeal porridge because of the spices and ultimately the sweetness just makes me happy. I will go through periods where every day I am craving porridge and then I will leave it alone for weeks before the addiction returns and I am up early in the morning convincing friends to come with me for a drive to Juici Patties before the 7am traffic hits to go and buy some cornmeal porridge.
My helper, “Little Miss” used to make a wicked Cornmeal Porridge and I remember begging her to pour some of the condensed milk in the palm of my hand, which I would lick until breakfast was ready. It’s crazy how our taste buds change, when I taste raw condensed milk now it is almost unbearably sweet to the point where I swear I can feel my teeth tingle. Having said that, inside my cornmeal porridge there is nothing better; if condensed milk isn’t the main sweetener in cornmeal porridge as far as I am concerned is just can’t be perfect.
Nine ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your cupboard, 35 minutes of your time and a few stirs. That’s all it takes to take you and your taste buds on an incredible journey to Jamaica and away from the cold with my Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge. Eat slowly, for you’ll never want to leave paradise.
Live, Love, Eat!
- 4 cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Milk
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Bring water and salt to boil.
- In a bowl mix flour and cornmeal before slowly adding cold milk while stirring to ensure there are no lumps.
- Add cornmeal mixture to the pot and turn down the heat to low.
- Add all the spices and continue to stir occasionally for 15 minutes.
- Add condensed milk and sugar and stir occasionally for a further 15 minutes.
- Serve hot with a swirl of condensed milk and a sprinkle of nutmeg.