I bet you thought since I am now in North Carolina, you wouldn’t see any more posts from me.  I’m sorry to say, you are not that lucky!  My propensity to talk at length can never be dampened by a cross country holiday trip!

Today, I am going to talk about something I have been eating all the time lately, for reasons unknown.  The week before I left, I got the biggest craving for oatmeal, which is very weird because I thought that I adamantly hated oatmeal.  I will eat it mixed in with other kinds of cereal or in cookies, but only grudgingly.  Yet last week, I saw a picture of some delicious fruit-topped steel cut oatmeal and something in me just wanted it.

So I made it.

And I kind of expected to hate it, but I loved it.  I ate it every day before leaving and then when I got to North Carolina, I bought more so I could 1/  eat it while here, naturally and 2/  introduce my parents to the joy that is steel-cut oats.  I think what I like best about them is the texture … it doesn’t taste as mushy as rolled oats.

Making it is really easy, but it does take longer than rolled oats, so I know I’m going to have to make sure it tastes super delicious to entice my parents away from their quick-cooking oatmeals.  Reading online, many places state 1 cup steel-cut oats to 3 cups water.  I tried that the first time and definitely had to add more water to get the consistency I wanted, which is more on the thin side than thick side.  But if you like oatmeal that can hold its shape when you scoop it up with a spoon, definitely start out with 3 cups!

Using 1 cup of oats will make a LOT of oatmeal, but it ended up working out really well.  Steel-cut oats take awhile to cook initially, so after I’d made a big batch, I covered any leftovers (in the same saucepan, gasp!) and put it in the fridge.  Then the next morning, I took it out, added a little bit more water and heated it all back up again in a matter of minutes.  I think one cup of it lasted me 2 – 3 days (but I had many more servings, I just ate a lot of it, like a little glutton!).

Now that I know what I like, my method is a bit more haphazard – no measuring for me!  Whatever would oso precise Brian say about this?  I can still remember how severely he lectured me on the importance of how one measures flour!

So my method:  I toss in some oats, cover with water and let the water simmer and the mixture thicken.  Then I taste it:  if the oats aren’t as soft as I want, I add more water and keep simmering until it gets to be the consistency and softness that I want.   Then I stir in a generous splash of cream and scoop into a bowl, where I’ll add my sweeteners, spices and garnishes.  For some reason, I prefer it that way instead of seasoning the whole batch … I tried to write down why and couldn’t even give a reasonable explanation!  Because I’m picky and OCD and I want to garnish afterwards, that’s why, darnit!

My current favorite way to eat it is with a generous heaping of vanilla sugar and cinnamon.  I think I’d like to add some sliced bananas or raisins too, but haven’t gotten around to it.  It’s yummy filling warmth, so important now that it is so cold outside!