720ml (1 pint 6 fl oz) water
10 allspice berries
1/2 cinnamon stick
good grating of nutmeg
1 bay leaf
400ml can coconut milk
large pinch of salt
175g (6oz) rolled porridge oats
milk or cream
50g (1 3/4 oz) read-to-eat mixed tropical fruits, chopped, or 2 bananas
50g (1 3/4 oz) pecans, roughly chopped
Muscovado or demerara sugar, to taste
allspice berries, to serve
1. Put the water in the pan in which you want to cook the porridge. Add the spices and bay leaf. Put a lid on and simmer for 5 minutes. Now you can fish out the allspice berries and cloves with a slotted spoon if you don't want them in the final porridge. Stir in the coconut milk.
2. Add the porridge oats to the fragrant spiced liquid. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. I don't like porridge too stiff, so I make sure it can still move around the pan, adding milk or more water if necessary.
3. Put the porridge into 4 bowls. Top is with whatever delights you like. Milk is good, cream is great. Chopped tropical dried fruits are colourful, or try bananas. I like some pecans for crunch and extra nourishment. Then you can add some sugar, if needs be, remembering your ready-to-eat fruits may be sweetened already. Eat up and get going!