As the days stay short and the weather turns from unseasonably warm to mid-winter cold I am in constant search for something to fuel my internal fire. It was cold this morning. Cold enough to make me think of hot cereal and grits. This morning, Aki made a base of oatmeal with two different cuts in order to make a distinctive texture. She used a touch of skim milk, some water and a pinch of salt and let the oatmeal simmer and come together on a low heat. I was then faced with the task of figuring out how the heck we were going to integrate the oatmeal into several dishes. The first dish we made involved black truffle puree, Mil Ovejas cheese, truffle oil and a scattering of herbs. If we had fresh truffles on hand I most likely would have shaved them over the top, but the dish is delicious as is. The second dish we assembled involved our five hour ribs. In order to compliment the broiled ribs we made chorizo oatmeal with a drop of walnut oil. We charred some fresh gooseberries for acidity and bitterness and capped the dish with savory leaves and goat cheese milk. This dish definitely takes the cold out of your bones. The final dish we assembled began with the oatmeal to which we added banana-tamarind puree. From there, we looked towards the grass roots lamb as the central element for the dish. We actually had three parts of the lamb, not something we normally do though it works well in this dish. We have the griddled belly, the slow cooked loin and a slice of the lamb tenderloin. To compliment the dish we added some kombu marinated rhubarb topped with smoked cashews. Finally, a few leaves of sage spiked the dish. It surely was a lot of fun working with oatmeal and scratching the surface of its possibilities.