savoury porridge with asparagus, sprouts and bacon

Oh I know, haven’t I gone all posh with the savoury porridge with asparagus, sprouts and bacon? We even chuck an egg on there. That’s a wee bit below.

Apologies that I forgot to post the last couple of days but well, I’ve been busy with work. For the first time in so long I’m actually learning something new and it’s great fun. If you knew what it was I was learning you’d probably think it was deathly dull but honestly, it’s nice to use my mind for something other than fart-gags and thinking about Paul’s willy what to cook for dinner (not Paul’s willy).

I’ve never been the best learner mind. I did very well at school despite my very best efforts not to and although I didn’t go to university (a decision I don’t regret), my grades have steered me where I want to go. I always wanted to be one of those people who could make snappy little flash cards and a schedule for revisions but my exam preparation happened to coincide with the arrival of broadband in our sleepy village, and let’s just say it wasn’t the books I was bashing. It’s lucky I only use my left hand for writing otherwise I’d have really been fucked in my English literature exam.

I’ve just asked Paul what his favourite lesson was and he replied ‘science’, which seems like a bit of a catch-all. Personally, I never had much truck with science – my physics teacher had a voice like a dying bee and made everything sound dull and our biology teacher made us watch a video of a baby being born which I think may have at least strengthened, if not concreted, my homosexuality. Chemistry was fun only because we had a teacher who looked like Professor Weetos and who you could genuinely imagine blowing a crater into the Earth. He once set the ceiling on fire during an experiment and given it was a) a bit of a run-down school and b) just before health and safety kicked in, the resulting toxic plastic smoke was rather spectacular. If I cough hard enough now I still get polystyrene flecks.

No, my favourite lesson was English (hence all the writing I do now, I suppose) but that’s mainly due to the succession of genuinely excellent teachers I had. My AS level teacher was also a friend of Dorothy and I used to try and shoehorn in as many references to me being gay in an unproductive attempt to be ‘asked to stay behind’. He was ever the professional. All those hormones. He could have split my complex sentence at any time. 

I’ve already talked about the time I ran out of the PE changing rooms shouting ‘I’VE GOT DIARRHOEA’ thinking it would get me out of cross-country only for the sadist midget (and mind, he was both) to order me back and tell me ‘IT’LL MAKE YOU RUN FASTER’. He wasn’t wrong. Nothing gets you around the back of Newcastle Airport like the threat of filling your Diadora Borgs with yesterday’s school dinner. He once threw a blackboard eraser at someone so hard that it cracked a chunk of plaster (probably asbestos, actually) out of the wall behind. How he kept his job I do not know, although I’m sure the same school’s headteacher got fired for putting the naughty children UNDER THE STAGE when Ofsted came around, so I’m sure there’s a reason there.

I, rather disappointedly, only remember getting four detentions. One was for carrying a knife around school, which of course makes me sound all hard and dangerous until you realise it wasn’t a knife, it was a tiny gouging tool used to make a pattern in cork tiles during art class, and I only had that with me because I snapped the blade and didn’t want to get wrong off the teacher because he used to whistle through his teeth when he talked and it made it difficult not to laugh in his face. Well fuck me, you’d think I was walking round the school like the Zodiac Killer the way I was yelled at and threatened with permanent expulsion. It’s a bit hard to shank someone with a tool you could barely use to clean behind your nails with. 

Another detention – very unjust – was for suggesting a condom was a sensible thing to take on a survival course. My reasoning (which I learned from my little SAS Survival Book) was that it can carry up to two litres of water. Why, incidentally? Unless you’re rolling it onto a bull, why does it need to hold that much? Anyway, the home economics teacher (who I might add was the wife of the PE teacher, and clearly used the same razor he did to shave her top lip) threw me out for being vulgar. It wasn’t like I offered to put one on to demonstrate.

Detention number three was another injustice – I dropped a three-tier, full size wooden xylophone down two flights of stairs in a genuine accident. Of course Mrs Jinks didn’t believe me, put me in detention and didn’t even get me a credit for the fabulous melody it made as it clattered down the stairs and turned to matchsticks. Of course nowaways I’d be given a badge for displaying artistic integrity, which is certainly more than the xylophone did.

Finally, detention number four was a doozy – we used to have big jugs of fresh water on the table during lunch see, to help take away the taste of the horse arseholes they put in the stew. Anyway, someone stole my Pogs and put them in the water jug. My measured reaction was to turn around and punch him on the jaw, shaking a tooth loose. I wouldn’t care, but they were my duplicate Pogs and a shit slammer to boot, so really I suppose that detention was fair enough. Still, never disturb a fat man when he’s eating, it’s like poking a sleeping dog. Funny what writing this blog does – for years I’ve been confidently saying I’ve only ever been in one fight (and even that was over nothing – someone stood deliberately on my ankle during rugby, so I stood deliberately on his head) but now I can add this one to the mix. What larks.

Here, how the hell did we get to 1000 words just writing about school? I can’t even remember how I got onto the subject. Shall we get to the recipe?

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to make savoury porridge with asparagus, sprouts and bacon, you’ll need:

to make savoury porridge with asparagus, sprouts and bacon, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 220 degrees
  • spray a large pan with a few squirts of spray olive oil, add the onions and cook until softened
  • add the porridge oats and stir
  • add the stock and bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for about twenty minutes, adding salt and pepper to however you like it
  • while the porridge is cooking, spray another pan with a few squirts of oil and add the sliced brussels sprouts and cook for about five minutes over a medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until softened and slightly browned
  • add the garlic and stir through, then keep warm and set aside
  • in another pan, fry the bacon pieces over a high heat until crispy and yes, set aside
  • in a large, shallow bowl beat TWO of the eggs
  • dip the asparagus spears into the egg mixture and then roll in the panko – they just need a little bit – don’t go mad, you’re not covering up a murder
  • place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes
  • towards the end, cook an egg for each plate however you like it – we dry fry ours, but then we do have good pans
  • once everything is complete, serve and enjoy.

Of course, you can make this vegetarian friendly by omitting the bacon and replacing it with a giant mushroom and a faint smell of foist.

EASY. 

J