our oatmeal

We eat a fair amount of oatmeal around here. Not boring, plain oatmeal, but the kind with lots of our so-called 'buried treasure' in it. (The kid eats an entire bowl trying to get all the dried fruit and berries.)

We keep a large jar in the cupboard with the base mix, to which we add frozen berries (hence my freezing 40 pounds of blueberries this summer!) and water when we're half-awake. Trouble is, there's an extreme lack of precision when we mix up the base and make up the oatmeal and honestly, I've been sitting on these pictures for a couple of months already because I can't be bothered to measure all the stuff.

I'm hoping that if you're interested, you'll start experimenting with your own batch, using what you like from ours. An adventure in the kitchen!

To make the base, we fill up almost 1/2 the jar with the additions -- a couple of wooden spoons full of brown sugar, a couple pinches of salt, 2-3 handfuls of dried fruit (Raisins and dried cranberries almost always. Golden raisins, currents, or cherries sometimes), several spoonfuls of wheat bran, a few spoonfuls of flax seed or ground flax, and several shakes of the ground cinnamon.

Then we fill the jar up with quick rolled oats, shake it and roll it around until it's all mixed together, and put away in the airtight jar until needed.

In the morning, we put 1/2 cup per big person, 1/4 cup per little person into a frying pan (as opposed to a saucepan -- more surface area works better, I find), add a couple handfuls of frozen berries, and add water from the tap.

How much water you ask? "More water than last time, but less than that time that it was too watery." That's about how it goes -- I kind of shake the pan as I'm adding the water and I only add the water until everything is nicely covered. If there's too much, the oatmeal gets gooey and bland, if not enough, it's kind of gluey and thick. What's the difference between gooey and gluey, you ask? Try it and you'll see!

What a lot of words and explanation for a little pan of oatmeal, eh?! But wait, there's more! I have to tell you what happens next.

Bring it up to a simmer and let it bubble for a few (maybe five?) minutes, until it's the consistency you want and the berries have had a chance to stew and bubble their juices into the pan. To serve, we mix in a couple big spoonfuls of flavoured yogurt and voila -- a delicious, quick and warm breakfast.

And since oatmeal does not 'stick to my ribs' as it's apparently supposed to, I recommend eating it with a piece of toast n' jam or a hard-boiled egg.


Clay Hilman said...

Oatmeal is complicated, I know. Now I just take one cup water, add half cup oatmeal, and put it in the microwave for 2:22, not because that's the perfect time, but because it works and it's easy to push three two's when you're half asleep. Add some peanut butter (for the kids, I'm not a fan) and some brown sugar(I'm a fan), a little mild, and breakfast is served!

Clay Hilman said...

Milk, not mild.

mellon said...

Our new way to eat oatmeal around here is to take a handful of dry oats (which is usually a 5 grain blend that I get), put it in bowl, poor milk over it, add a dribble of honey and brown sugar. That's it! No stove or microwave required. An the extra added bonus is that my nine year old who has always turned his nose up at oatmeal will eat it.

Tiffany said...

Hilarious, Clay. I'll try your 2:22 Oatmeal. Although I think I may go 2:34 to jazz things up a bit.

And Mellon (is that you, Mary Ellen?!) I'm tickled to hear that a mother of seven can still find ways to streamline breakfast. You're a pro!