How to make rye and beer porridge – and why?

Our dear friend Klaus Bondam is reporting on his ‘cold weather’ remedy:

It is winter and freezing cold.

Not only here in Brussels, but also in my home country Denmark. It is snowing, people are struggling to stay upright on the icy and slippery streets, and dressing up to keep warm. Everything is like it usually isn’t. In political terms it is a little bit the same.

The economy in Europe is under tremendous pressure and many places in Europe see a growing mistrust in the European project. Right now Denmark has the presidency in the EU. Not necessarily an easy task these days.

But on the other hand; the presidency is also our chance to present a large cultural program here in Brussels. Last week a major exhibition of Per Kirkebys – the grand old man of Danish contemporary art – paintings opened at BOZAR. Dogme-films  – and documentaries – will also be shown and a large classical concert with internationally renowned Concerto Copenhagen. And do not miss the young super-star architect Bjarke Ingels (BIG) talk ‘Yes is More’ on BOZAR on March 20. Check out the full program at – and see background info on

I would like to present a very traditional dish for you – rye and beer porridge. It suits the times. I remember it from my childhood on a farm at the countryside as ‘january-and-february-food’. We’d spent to much money during the holiday seasons, and now is the time to spend a little less. I remember my mother doing it with almost to old – left over – rye bread. It is cheap, but it is great. And should work here in Belgium; the land of beers! PS. You can find German rye bread in most supermarkets here in Brussels.

Here is what it takes;

300g rye bread that is a couple of days old, 1 tsp grated lemon zest, 200ml light or alcohol-free beer, 100g brown sugar

1. The day before, place the bread in a bowl, cover with 800ml water, and leave overnight.
2. Next day, place the contents of the bowl in a pan and slowly bring to the boil. Stir well, add the lemon zest, beer and sugar, boil, and keep stirring for 5 minutes.
3. Serve warm with cold skimmed milk.

Tip: You can serve this as a dessert with whipped cream.

I have borrowed the recipe from my good friend Trina Hahnemanns ‘The Nordic Diet – eat you way to health and happiness’

Klaus Bondam
February 12. 2012.

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