Cream of wheat is a hit-or-miss breakfast. In our family, cold Saturday mornings were for pancakes or cream of wheat. For the latter, Mom made the cream of wheat in one huge batch, then poured it quickly into eight cereal bowls. I would yell upstairs to my brothers, “Breakfast!” not telling them what it was for they would come regardless, as long as it was hot and ready.
Mom had learned the science of cream of wheat. At the time, we all loved getting the lumps in our hot cereal, and fought for the bowls with the most lumps. Mom sweetened the cream of wheat with brown sugar while it was cooking on the stove, but after it was poured into bowls, we individualized our bowls by adding milk and maple syrup.
The only other alterations on Mom’s part came from distractions. A phone call from her sister. Slightly burned cream of wheat. Poring over the newspaper classifieds for neighborhood yard sales. Very lumpy cream of wheat. Forgetting we had no milk in the house, then remembering we had powdered milk. Watery cream of wheat.
These distractions did not happen all the time, or else we would not have come to the table so quickly on Saturday mornings to “get it while it’s hot.” But knowing something could have gone awry always made us appreciate the delicious sweet hot cereal more in its perfect form.
A couple weeks ago, I mentioned making some cream of wheat in a really cool way. Since I cannot make cream of wheat the way it’s supposed to be made (it just doesn’t taste right!), I really took to this recipe that allows for some culinary enrichments that alter the flavor and consistency enough to be completely worth trying.
Originally, this recipe is from Apartment Therapy’s Kitchn website. I tweaked it, of course, for a fuller fall flavor. Try it out one of these chilly mornings because, as Mom always said, it’s a breakfast that “sticks to your bones.” Enjoy.
Pumpkin Enriched Cream of Wheat for Two
Ingredients1/2 c. milk 1/2 c. pumpkin spice creamer 1/2 c. water 1/4 tsp. salt 1/3 c. farina 1 Tbs. brown sugar 1/2 c. pumpkin puree 1 egg yolk, beaten 1/2 tsp. vanilla Ground nutmeg, to taste
1. In a medium saucepan, bring milk, cream, water, and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Slowly whisk in farina bit by bit. Keep the heat low to let the ingredients simmer together and thicken for two minutes.
2. While the cream of wheat is cooking on the stovetop, beat the sugar, pumpkin, and egg together in a small bowl. At the end of the two minutes, stir a couple tablespoons of thickened cream of wheat into the egg mixture. This step tempers the egg so it does not cook into solid form in the cream of wheat.
3. Whisk all the egg and farina mixture back into the saucepan. Let cook on low for another two minutes without letting the mixture boil.
4. When ready, stir in the vanilla and nutmeg. Serve warm with milk and blueberries, bananas, or apples for more enrichment!