07 January 2011

An Ode to Oatmeal

Oatmeal, oatmeal, steaming bowl,
Fill me up and off I'll go.
Steamy, creamy, toothsome, sweet,
You are a morning's special treat.

Cool Guy has requested oatmeal for two days running, so today's the day.  I've been under the weather for three days now, and with my achy joints and scratchy throat, a bowl of oatmeal sounds pretty good to me, too.

I've never been that fond of oatmeal.  Burt, another oatmeal lover, requested very early in the marriage that I only buy old-fashioned oats, so I don't have anything at all to say about instant or quick.  But even old-fashioned are quick.  Once the water boils, it takes about 5 minutes with only an occassional stirring.

Last month, I bought some steel-cut, or Irish, oats and tried those out.  They take quite a bit longer to cook, about 25 minutes, following the directions on the package.  But for the first time, I really enjoyed my bowl.  They were indeed "Steamy, creamy, toothsome."  Burt still prefers the regular old-fashioned, but we can work around that.  Sometimes one way, sometimes another.

One thing about being a parent is that regardless how you feel, you still have mouths to feed, children to get ready for school, little souls to minister to.  And the way I look at it, my throat is going to hurt whether I'm lying in bed or stirring oatmeal, so we may as well get something good in our bellies (with minimal effort), and rest later in the morning.

Today's bowl of oats was the steel-cut, topped with my special oatmeal topping, and served with some fried ham slices and mandarin oranges. I wanted to try my friend Jessi's idea of serving it with Nutella and banana slices, but we're all out of Nutella.  Next time, next time.  I'm sure another bowl is on the near horizon.

Steel Cut Oats
This makes 3 generous servings or 4 measly servings

1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan.

2. Add 1 cup of steel-cut oats, and turn the heat to medium.  Set the timer for 20 minutes, and give a stir every now and then.

3. During the first 10 minutes, you'll have time to cook your breakfast meat, pour juice, set the table, and set out the oatmeal toppings.

4. After about 10 minutes, you're going to need to be with the oatmeal.  Turn the heat down further, and stir pretty regularly, to keep it from sticking to the pan.

5. After the 20 minutes, turn off the heat, and let the oatmeal sit for a minute or two.

6. Pour into bowls, top with your toppings and cream or milk.  All we had in the house was 2% milk, and it was fine.

If you had a "measly serving," (1/4 of the oatmeal), you will have consumed, not counting the toppings,
170 calories
3 grams of fat (that surprised me)
5 grams of fiber
7 grams of protein

That should get you through the morning.

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