Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Good Taste: Oatmeal, Lloyd Style

My oatmeal recipe comes from Joy of Cooking and this blog may just turn into me typing out recipes from Joy of Cooking, but, hey, what can I say? Really, my other cookbooks on the shelf are for show, and if I tried to use any others besides Joy, not only would this other cookbook plummet to the floor, but bring down the entire shelf of books and nice picture of Shane and I which is also precariously balanced on this same shelf. Yes, poor planning on my part, but, I'm moving in 8 months, so there is absolutely no motivation on my part to change anything about my current house configurations.

Alrighty, moving on to the Oatmeal!
My sister is very vocal about the great benefits of oatmeal, and she's got a point. If you've ever watched an episode of Oprah with her doctor consultant, Dr. Oz, I swear he says the word "oatmeal" at least 50 times in his digestive-health diatribes. Oatmeal is full of fiber and gives us a nice, substantial start to the day, so, true, we should all be getting some in consistently. But, really, it has taken me 3 years to finally find a way to include oatmeal in my life (unless you count oatmeal cookies.) I can't stand watery oats, and I've had quite the time figuring out how to make them without a massive overflow of steaming, goopy, burning oat-water all over my poor microwave turntable. But, friends, all I had to do was consult my best cooking resource and instantly, I was in oatmeal heaven! So creamy, so flavorful, and so doable! We are oatmeal people, finally!

Here's the recipe from Joy (altered to make a bit more-- 3 big bowls, rather than 2. And yes, Pete eats as much as I do. And yes, he is not yet two years old.)

Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats with Raisins and Spices:

Bring to a boil in a medium saucepan:
3 cups water
Stir in until blended:
2 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins
heaping pinch of salt (I know, what's a heaping pinch....just a really, really big one)
Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the water is mostly absorbed
Stir in until blended:
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Top each serving with:
1 to 2 (to 3, if you are me) tablespoons brown sugar or maple syrup.

And, there are a million variations on this, of course. I like to slice in a banana and half a peach, when peaches are in season. I had some incredible oatmeal at our neighborhood coffee shop, Lulus, and they made Steel Cut Oats, topped with whole milk, homemade granola, maple syrup, bananas, and peaches, and that was a treat to be sure; maybe not an everyday thing, but perfect for a lazy Saturday morning meal (meaning for those out there who don't have a little two-year-old son, yelling "MAMA!!! OATS!!!) My sister loves cooking her banana right in with her oats in the microwave, and throwing a handful of walnuts in after. Tasty, for sure.

And, just for my own future reference, I was able to sell oatmeal as a meal to my little boy Peter by way of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. In my version of telling the story, the bears ate oatmeal rather than porridge, and Pete naturally wanted to eat up the "just right" oatmeal, just like Goldilocks.


Robyn said...

I for sure need to try this, because I always know my kids and I should eat it, but just like you, I never really found the right way! I can't wait. Thanks Bec. I love the whole entire blog. You'll have a big following of "the good (or BEST) stuff".

Eva said...

I sometimes toss in pumpkin pie spice. Now back to work eva!

Marlo said...

We rotate between oatmeal and cream of wheat for breakfast each day. I know, I am totally boring and unimaginative, but I'm stuck in an oatmeal rut. I usually add plain yogurt and frozen raspberries to Noelle's, but I am going to have to try some of your variations. Yummy!