A friend of mine was mentioning learning to make what her family calls monk’s gruel in preparation for the hard time ahead. I said to myself, self, that’s an interesting idea. Imagine my surprise when I found out it was simply oatmeal or a malt-o-meal kind of thang.
Gruel is a thin porridge made by boiling groats (the crushed grain of various cereals) in water or milk. It was commonly eaten in the Middle Ages. In more recent times gruel has often been recommended as a food for invalids, frequently with the addition of lemon peel, nutmeg, wine, port or spirits. This is a typical medieval gruel recipe.
! tablespoon of groats or oatmeal
2 tablespoons of cold water
1 pint of boiling water
First put the oats, together with the cold water, into a saucepan and mix together until smooth. Then, over this, stirring all the time, pour one pint of boiling water. Now stirring frequently boil for 10 minutes. Serve.