At the top of the the Canyon Road art gallery climb in Santa Fe is a tea house. There are many kinds of tea. It is a great place to stop and rest, or to sit and write. There are many kinds of tea, a whole lot of tea, some of it very good. None of this matters.
What matters is the oatmeal. I know what you are thinking, "Oatmeal, something which brown sugar and butter makes barely palatable, how could that matter?" You speak from ignorance of the heavenlies, and so I forgive you. This is a food to make you weep for the beauty of life which you could never see until you ate the oatmeal and now love and joy are possible in ways previously unimagined.
I have been making this for family and friends for a couple of years, and it is mindblowingly good. Whenever I need to make it, I just go the tea house web site and there is the recipe and I cook it and we are all happy. Except it appears that the tea house is under new ownership and they no longer have the recipe on their web site.
No problem, everything on the internet is archived forever at the Internet Wayback Machine, right? Wrong! Apparently sometimes important things, like the recipe for the breakfast of the gods, are not archived. Fortunately google still had the old page cached, and so I am re-posting it here because this is the kind of thing which cannot be allowed to be forgotten. There is some work involved, if you are lazy or in a hurry, some shortcuts can be taken and it sitll turns out great. The black rice and wheat berries can be hard to find but Whole Foods seems to always have them.
Dionne’s Grandmother’s Now Famous Oatmeal
- 3 cups of Chinese Black Sticky Rice (or Forbidden Rice)
- 2 cups Steel Cut Oats
- 1 cup winter wheat berries
Rinse all grains (separately) under cold water, and drain. Soak the rice and wheat berries overnight (they can soak together). Be sure the water level is a few inches above the grains so they remain covered. The oats need to soak two hours before cooking.
Be sure to soak all of the grains regardless of what elevation you live at.
Place the soaked rice and wheat berries in a pot and add enough water to cover the grains by about 2 inches. Cook at a low simmer for 45-60 minutes. At the same time in a separate pot cook the oats again adding water to cover the grains by about 2 inches. Cook on a low simmer for 30 minutes.
After everything is cooked and it’s still warm, add the oats to the rice and wheat berries. If you want you can let it cool at this point and even freeze it.
If eating now, then you add ... The Whatnot
- 2 cups Heavy Cream
- 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
- Whatever fresh berries are available
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup Butter
Mix brown sugar and butter into the warm grains (or adjust the amount to desired sweetness).
Add maple syrup to 1 cup heavy cream (you can also use a non-dairy substitute for the cream), mix well.
When the oatmeal is served pour sweetened cream some over the warm cereal. Don't skimp, you will just come back and pour more if you do.
At the tea house, this is served with bananas and berries, but you can top with any available fresh fruits, or as Dionne grew up eating it, you can top it with lardons for a sweet and savory combination.
Beat the rest of the heavy cream until firm and top each bowl with a dollop.
Makes 6 servings
... and here is apparently Dionne herself at the Santa Fe farmer's market, showing you how it is done.