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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A bowl full of Mush and an Old Lady Whispering Hush...

Consider this a gift that will keep on giving.  I'm calling this entry, along with others to come, my 12 Days of Christmas Home-Made or Found Foods Gift Giving Guide.  Gift Idea #1 - Home-made Hot Breakfast Cereal Blend.  This one was given to me by my bicycle buddy, Susan Hill.  She's a very crafty, creative and clever woman, who often makes her holiday gifts.  She's shared with me many great recipes and ideas over the past 8 years.  This gift and its recipe deserves it's own special posting as I loved it so much that I'm thinking I may have to make batches of the mush to give as gifts.  I have a bunch of things that I"m making this year for gifts; jams, salsas, spice blends, infused oils and spirits, salt and sugar scrubs.  I'll be posting those ideas in the coming days.  

Susan called her cereal blend, CROWDY SUPAWN, which is a mash up of synonyms for Mush, Porridge, Farina.  It's a blend of oats, wheat flakes, yellow corn grits, couscous, soy nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and slivered almonds.  I love hot cereals and I especially love to mix grains and nuts.  I'll often toast my oatmeal before cooking it so that it's a dark nutty brown, deepening the flavors. I love to make cous cous as a hot cereal.  I've even made quinoa as a porridge and did a guest post about it on BicyclingHub.com's Blog last year.  It's safe to say that I'm a huge fan of breakfast cereals. 

This isn't a recipe per se, it's the start of ingredients for the recipe.  Buy your ingredients in the bulk aisle at supermarkets such as Wegman's or Wholefoods.  Trader Joe's also has these ingredients available, pre-packaged, but at reasonably good prices.  Spice shops, like Penzey's, Spice Corner or other spice shops in Philadelphia; Coops, like Weaver's Way or a natural foods store like Essene, all will have oats, wheat flakes, flax seed or flax meal, in addition to the other ingredients.  You'll spend a bit on all the ingredients, but you'll be able to make pounds of the mixture, enabling you to make a lot of gifts.  For a container, Susan re-purposed a coffee can and wrapped it in a bit of cloth.  She made an ingredient and directions label and taped it to the outside of the container.  If you want to jazz up this gift a bit more, add in a pretty bowl and spoon; some fancy sweetener, sugars or cinnamon.  If you can't find all of the ingredients I'm listing, improvise.  Add in other nuts and seeds.  It's essential to include the oatmeal flakes, the rest can be changed.

Crowdy Supawn Ingredients/Directions - to Make 4 to 6 12 ounce containers (give or take!):

  • 1 Pound of Rolled Oats (not quick cook)
  • 1 Cup Yellow or White Corn Grits
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat or Regular Cous Cous
  • 1 Cup Roasted and UNSALTED Soy Nuts
  • 1 Cup Roasted and UNSALTED Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 Cup Roasted/Toasted UNSALTED Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 Cup UNSALTED Slivered or Sliced Almonds

Directions:

  1. Use  large mixing bowl and blend together all the ingredients.  
  2. Package into clean containers and label.

To cook: Serves 1

  1. 1/3 cup of the mixture to 1 cup of water or milk.
  2. Add the cereal to a sauce pot and pour in the water or milk and a pinch of salt.
  3. Bring the mixture to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat, cover pot and let sit for 5 minutes more.
  5. Stir, serve and add sweetener and milk and or butter of choice.

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