Well, with winter now finally upon us it’s the time for heart-warming food.

And I ask you, what could be more heart-warming and delicious than that traditional breakfast, porridge? I believe your answer is, “Che, nothing could be more heart-warming or extremely delicious.” To which I say, “And right you are.”

The thing about porridge is that not only it is delicious and incredibly simple, it’s also very, very inexpensive. And seen as every media outlet in the country seems to have finally caught up with the “How To” series of cheap food posts, I thought I’d go for the cheapest of them all.

And that’s because all you need to make porridge is oats, salt, and water.

And wouldn’t that just be the worse damn thing you ever ate? “Yes Che,” I hear you say, “That would be boring beyond imagination.”

If anyone has terrible childhood memories of porridge, then you probably had unimaginative parents. And, if your kids won’t eat it, then you’re probably a bad parent you might just need to spruce the meal up a little to gather their interest.

Which is why you need some of things shown after the jump.

What we have here is an assortment of porridge-uplifters. There’s the obvious one, brown sugar. But you can also mix a little raw sugar into the mix when it’s cooking as well.

Milk is very good to add. Cream is better, but we don’t want to be supporting either childhood obesity or adult heart-disease, so no advocating that from Object Dart.

A surprisingly oft-neglected ingredient is dried fruits like sultanas or raisins, as is runny honey instead of sugar (once again I buy my honey cheap from the farmers market.)

But also on the board there is home-made yoghurt (which I’m still promising to explain at some stage), and home-stewed apples (I turned 3kg of apples into a boat-load of sauce).

So, we’re off! I’ve really got to get more light onto my sink area, but put roughly 1/2 cup of oats into a pot per person. Then 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of milk per 1/2 cup of oats.

Next, place the pot on a low-medium heat. Not too hot, because you want the oats to soak up the liquids very slowly. Add a little sugar, then add the dried fruits (I went for sultanas on this occasion).

Next, add a good pinch of salt, then stir the mixture as it heats. This bit isn’t rocket science. Just stir the porridge enough to stop it sticking to the bottom of the pot. When it starts to “bubble”, meaning little bits of steam popping through from the bottom, it’s done. It should be a good thick consistency.

Once it’s thickened up, put it in a bowl. Add some stewed apples, a little brown sugar (a childhood favourite of mine), and a little, but not too much milk.

And there you go. Not the flashest picture of a food ever shown to you, but it’s something you can enjoy for next to nothing.

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