The mush, described by Brian Brett in the “Breakfasts Forever” chapter of Trauma Farm: a Rebel History of Rural Life is indeed ridiculous.
It contains no less than: rolled and quarter-cut oats, cracked wheat, barley, bulgur or kasha, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, cracked flax and millet, sunflower seeds, amaranth and is garnished with raisins and chunks of apple.
This is Brett’s “show-off breakfast cereal”.
I can readily understand why. Who wouldn’t boast of such a well-stocked pantry? Mine is meagre by comparison. As a direct result of making this recipe my cupboards are bare, save for a package of Arborio rice, two cans of cream of mushroom soup and a jar of anchovies. The anchovies are for another round of Carmine Starnino’s pasta con alice because yes, many of the recipes we’ve tested out here at Canadian Literary Fare now make regular appearances at my table: cheese and chutney sandwiches from “Wilderness Tips” are a picnic favourite while Hiromi Goto’s pork tonkatsu and Dede Crane’s kale apple soup are now in regular rotation come autumn.
Brett’s recipe might as well join in – albeit with a few alterations. I am perfectly content to use just three different grains/seeds. I am resigned to the fact that in doing so I have reduced this cereal’s caché from show-off to merely smug. I would happily substitute raisins and apples with peaches and blueberries, given the season. I also recommend the addition of a tablespoon of buckwheat honey per serving.
Do make this. It will undo any prejudices you may still harbour about breakfast cereals.
Brett, Brian. Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life. Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2009. Print.
Photos and Text by Alexia Moyer