Sunday 5 December 2010


Today we awoke to the sort of morning when the mind turns to porridge - a gusting wind whirling out of the southwest, hurling massive raindrops at the windows. At least the snow was starting to melt. The cats took one look and went back to bed - tempting to do the same. And what better breakfast for such a morning than a bowl of hot porridge oats, sweetened in Pauline's case and salty for Tim, but in both cases made with unpasteurised milk (lait cru fermier) from GAEC Lait Grand Cru at La Borde, a farm enterprise in le Grand Pressigny. This milk is the real thing - it comes in plastic pouches (ideal for freezing) which sit in a little plastic jug for pouring, but the cream rises to the top, just as it used to when I was a kid. We separate it into "entier" for coffee - and porridge - and "demi" for tea, and woe betide anyone who doesn't shake before using.

My childhood memory of 'top of the milk' was that largely the cat got it. Our family didn't even have a cat. It was just a neighbour's cat, visiting, and knowing a soft touch when it found one. We now know that cow's milk is bad for cats (sorry guys) so all the more for us!

At La Borde they also prepare crème crue, a natural cream so thick it grabs hold of the spoon, which keeps for ages. And delicious live natural yoghurt. And butter, stamped with designs. And soft cheese with garlic and herbs. And don't get me on to the rice pudding! Oh all right then. This is 1 euro 30 a jar, but the jars are identical with those supplied by Lakeland at 1 euro 20 each, and are ideal for home-made preserves - fruit jellies, lemon curd etc. One jar makes a rich dessert for two people or one gannet. You can buy La Borde products from the farm, or from the stall at Le Grand Pressigny market every thursday. The Spar in GP sells an increasing volume of La Borde milk at 80 cents a litre, and you can also find it in local supermarkets. The only way we could drink milk with a smaller burden of food miles is to have our own cow!

These are some of the La Borde products in our fridge.
The jug was bought from Waitrose in Swaffham.
Easy microwave porridge for one
Weigh out 30g porridge oats in a polythene rice pudding pot. This is transparent, so you can mark the 30g level on the side, for next time. Put in a cereal bowl with 180ml milk. If you are Tim, add a pinch of salt. If you are a Scot, I apologise now. I set the microwave to medium (450 watts), cook the porridge for 2 minutes, stir it, then another 2 minutes at medium. Serve sprinkled with your sweetener of choice, or not as the case may be, and maybe a bit more milk if you like.

1 comment:

Ken Broadhurst said...

The phrase "when the mind turns to porridge" made me laugh! My mind is porridge most of the time these days.

That milk sounds awfully good and you are lucky to be able to get it close by.