We are big on warming foods in winter, and porridge is one of the most fundamental. This porridge is slightly sweet, with a velvety texture and kick of ginger. We roll the fresh grains by hand with our oat roller, and then we sour them overnight before cooking. I don't think we'll ever get sick of rolling the grains by hand; there is such a simple joy in doing it.

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Porridge is something we have tried in so many different combinations, but this recipe is up there with the best. Freshly rolled oats, brown rice, quinoa, millet, and buckwheat cooked with chia and milk, and topped with preserved wild plums, quinces, and cherries from freshly opened jars from the past growing season. Then come the edible flowers. There aren't many cut flowers around in winter, but there is actually a large range of edible flowers. This is food as it used to be. This porridge will keep for at least a week in the fridge, so we just make a big batch and heat it on the stove each morning with a bit of extra milk or water.

½ cup brown rice
½ cup millet
½ cup buckwheat
½ cup quinoa, washed
½ cup groats (whole oat kernels)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons chia seeds
2 dried persimmons or pitted dates, finely sliced
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unprocessed honey
4 cups milk of your choice

  1. Day 1: Run all the grains through an oat roller. (If you don’t have an oat roller, simply keep the grains whole and replace the groats with rolled oats.) Place the grains in a large bowl with the vinegar and 4 cups of water. Cover and stand at room temperature for 12–24 hours.
  2. Day 2: Transfer the soured grains and soaking liquid to a large heavy-based saucepan along with 2 cups of water.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients except for 1 cup of milk and bring to a boil over a high heat, stirring constantly to prevent it from sticking.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 30 minutes with the lid on, stirring every 10 minutes or so, while gradually adding the remaining milk. If after 30 minutes it’s still a bit thick, stir in a little more water or milk.
  5. Serve in bowls with whatever toppings your heart desires. We used preserved cherries, quinces, wild plums, violas, and unprocessed honey.


If you are using whole grains (not rolled) expect a longer cooking time. If some of these grains aren’t grown locally to you, just replace them with any other whole grains that are.

Photography by Shantanu Starick

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