PARTY LAST NIGHT in the Starlight Social Club, Oakland — a big upstairs ballroom in a vintage saloon building, part of the new (to me) hipster Oakland. I guess. At eighty, what do I know about hipsters.
The food was catered by Oakland's Ramen Shop, a very well-regarded noodle restaurant that I'm ashamed we have yet to visit. I didn't have everything, warned about the presence of crustacea: but the pickles were delicious, the smoked tamarind pork ribs marvelous, the fried duck wings excellent, the tuna donburi first-rate. And there was an open bar:
BREAKFAST THIS MORNING: my bogman cereal instead of toast, as we're out of bread, and anyway we want something substantial to get us through to tonight's late dinner, which will be complex and delightful.
Bogman is simply a kind of gruel, or pilaf. Generally I use equal proportions of hard (red) wheat, soft (white) wheat, and barley, with a smaller amount of rye. These are all whole grains, not milled or rolled. Recently, though, I've been using a delicious local red wheat from Preston of Dry Creek, apparently with a few miscellaneous seeds included. Preferably not millet!
I simply cover the grains with water (in my favorite heavy copper "fait-tout" and bring it to a boil at night, before retiring, and cover it and let it stand overnight; then bring it back to a boil in the morning, adding any necessary water. Often I include dried fruit in the mix: in this case, chopped dried apricots.
We eat it with milk, of course; the Contessa likes to add cinnamon, and why not? Though I do not think the original Danish bogman, whose last meal had included something of this sort, had any cinnamon available…