The mornings are getting cooler here. We woke up to a chilly 5˚C on Sunday. Lovely and fresh, tickling our eagerness for our first arctic winter. Chilly mornings foster one’s delight in a warm breakfast, don’t they? They sure do for us – as we anticipate the winter to come, bringing plenty’a bowls of porridge for breakfast, endless pots of tea and a good novel or two to read while curled up under the crocheted afghan – which I plan to have finished before the first snowfall.
Despite our anticipation for winter, we are consciously making the most of these weeks before the snow. Sunday, being our day for adventure (and the first day at home together in about three weeks!) we booked ourselves in for quite an excursion.
It started, as most good weekend-days do, in the kitchen. While Jesse enjoyed a bit of a sleep in, I played around with some grains, creating, what one might call, a tri-grain porridge of barley, buckwheat and rolled oats. Topped with pan roasted peaches, toasted coconut and walnuts it was the perfect start to a chilly morning and a day of adventure.
An hour of cycling (uphill!) to the top of the ridge, a quick hike down and across the canyon, followed by a good couple hours of hiking up the dry river bed and we were at the highest point in town – Mt Hamar.
On the summit we found ourselves in thick cloud. We donned our wollens and nestled up to the Inukshuk (an Inuit rock sculpture, not very ‘nestly’ but sheltering from the wind!) to enjoy a hearty lunch of tossed vege quinoa, black bean sandwiches and carrot protein bars (oh you just wait, they are one killer of an energy bar!).
On the descent we were treated to some stunning scenery, a wee bit of wildlife and plenty of quality time. We arrived home shattered, yet rejuvenated; stoked to have had the chance for what will probably be the final hike of summer, excited for the adventures and warm breakfasts that the approaching winter holds.
Buckwheat & Barley Porridge with Toasted Peaches, Walnuts & Coconut
1/2 cup pearl barley (aka pot barley)
1/4 cup buckwheat groats
1/4 cup rolled oats
Cook pearl barley as per instructions (1 cup barley to 2 cups salted water). Five minutes before barley is cooked (while still nutty), add buckwheat groats and mix through. While it bubbles away add enough water to keep pot from drying out. Oats can be added toward the end of cooking time along with hot water. Continue to stir porridge until creamy.
1 peach, sliced
1 tsp honey
3 tbsp unsweetened coconut
3 tbsp walnuts
Lay peach slices on frying pan over moderate heat. Add honey and a dash of water and cook until peaches are soft and lightly browned. Remove from pan (or push to the side of pan to keep warm). Toss coconut and walnuts in pan and cook over moderate heat until lightly toasted. Coconut will brown quickly so keep an eye on it.
Dish up porridge into warmed bowls, pour over a little milk or cream and top with fruit, nuts and coconut, and plan your next adventure!