You see, it all started yesterday afternoon when I got a CRAZY craving for cream of wheat. I say crazy partly because it turned me into a crazy person and partly because I was sitting at work in the sun in 95 degrees - how could I possibly want hot cereal? But I did.
By the time I got home I had somewhat forgotten about it and went about making a normal adult dinner. You know, the kind with meat and vegetables that doesn't resemble baby food and have sugar in it. After all it's still summer and I should take advantage of the barbecue while I can (...that sounds like foreshadowing for an announcement...not yet though - not until it's definite).
Anyway, I forgot all about that bowl of hot mush until I woke up this morning. All. I. Wanted. Was. Cream. of. Wheat. And not the lighter-made-with-mostly-water kind that I make in recent years. I wanted the the mostly-milk-and-a-chunk-of-butter kind. The kind I used to eat before skiing when I was a little. Back when I hated skiing. I remember it being so much work just to get dressed in the morning; It took forever and I hated the whole process. I loved Vermont though. We almost always went to Okemo and for many years we rented a condo in the "C" Building. I'll never forget that pullout couch with the ugly blue sheets, or the kitchen with the off-white and brown cabinets and dishes to match. Breakfast was always Cream of Wheat with white sugar (gasp!), sometimes with a hershey kiss or two slowly melting and swirled around the bowl and always with a piece of butter melted in last minute. The best part was when my Mom would forget to stir it for a few minutes and the little lumps would form. Sometimes when I make it now I intentionally don't stir it as often as I should. I know, that's gross, but clumpy carbohydrates are the best.
So back to this morning. Milky, cream of wheat with white sugar and a touch of salt to balance it out. And the butter. I wasn't giving that up. Every bite tasted like morning in the "C"-Building and If I closed my eyes and didn't think about the wall of heat outside my cold air conditioned kitchen - it almost felt like Vermont.
Okemo Morning Cream-of-Wheat
Best eaten immediately, especially before wrestling with your ski boots.
1/3 cup Farina (not the instant or the two minute kind)
1 cup milk (any fat percentage you prefer)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon white sugar (you could use another kind of sugar but this is traditional for me)
pinch of salt
salted butter to serve (optional)
Hershey Kisses to serve (only if it's a chocolate-for-breakfast kind of day)
Bring water and milk to simmer over medium high heat (don't let it boil because it will boil up and out of the pot). Add farina and stir. If it's not boiling over you can leave the heat on medium high, if its threatening to explode all over your stove, turn the heat down a bit.
Cook until thickened, about 5-7minutes stirring frequently (less if you like clumps like me...just be careful to not let it burn on the bottom).
When farina is thick stir in 1 tablespoon of white sugar and divide into two bowls.
sprinkle each with a hefty pinch of kosher salt and top with a thing pat of salted (or unsalted) butter.