It’s not Cornmeal Porridge without Nutmeg!

It’s not cornmeal porridge without nutmeg, and that’s a fact! Funny thing is: I have a serious prejudice against nutmeg. I prefer the subtle sweetness and floral scents of cinnamon and vanilla over the assertive and distinct flavor of nutmeg in my recipes. If nutmeg had a personality, it would be the narcissist of the spice world. Honestly, my nutmeg phobia stems from a love/hate affair with hot porridge. I lived with my grandmother for many years, and the smell of nutmeg-spiced cornmeal permeating the house always meant two things. Two things any normal Jamaican boy would rather not deal with: a school day and cornmeal porridge for breakfast. Irrevocably etched in my psyche, the smell of nutmeg dredges up memories of khaki uniforms – and my grandmother’s implacable belief in the powers of porridge. Nutmeg, as I’ve grown to discover, is a spice that must be used judiciously. Apparently, my grandmother never got that memo. In her kitchen, she always had a knob of nutmeg ensconced in its own miniature grater, just waiting to be dusted into a bubbling pot of cornmeal porridge. To complement the floral bouquet of nutmeg, she added condensed milk for sweetness and a bit of dried orange peel for a hint of citrus.  Jamaicans love to use condensed milk to sweeten everything – in fact, no true Jamaican larder is complete without a can or two of condensed milk.   Jamaicans also have a special fondness for hot breakfast cereals, a tradition we owe […]