Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tastes like Okemo - The C-Building to be exact.

I swear the title of this post makes sense. Really, it does.
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).
(See? Proper adult dinner).

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.
Serves 2

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.
I like to let the butter pool a little and then stir it in. 
Swirl in a Hershey Kiss if you feel like a chocolatey start to your day.


  1. Good gracious. Now I HAVE to have some. Pretty sure my mouth is watering. I think I'll pick up some farina at the store today!

  2. ahhhh, but Lisa...just to keep the record straight, I cooked it in whole milk water! Luv ya sweetie...Mom

  3. I know but I think 100% milk would be too heavy for me now. I would eat breakfast and be ready for a nap haha

  4. In our family, you were either a sweet hot cereal eater or a salty..... I've always been a butter (no margarine or yogurt butter will do.....) and salt cream of wheat girl, myself. True comfort food! And, ps, I've been known to intentionally create lumps too!

  5. Ahhhh! Cream Of Wheat A Pat Of Butter and Vermont Maple Syrup Drizzled over the top!!!

  6. I've heard from a lot of people that they put maple syrup in their cream of wheat. To me, that's blasphemy. I could never THINK of putting anything but white or MAYBE raw sugar in mine yet oatmeal could easily have maple syrup (most often), honey, or raw sugar and never ever white sugar. hmm funny, I've never really thought about it before.

  7. What's the "C" Building got to do with it?? I Iike the "C" Building so I hope it's not a slur against it.

  8. The C Building has everything to do with it. It's completely tied to my memory of eating cream of wheat as a kid and it's the location of all the good memories I have from Vermont when I was little. It was where we stayed weekend after weekend and it felt like my home in Vermont. Maybe it's even the reason I like skiing so much today. I still can't go to Okemo without remembering how I used to gather my speed at the bottom of the last run and loop around the trees to ski right up to the condo's sliding glass doors.


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