Oatmeal Worth The Trouble 4 to 6 Servings
This recipe is a variation on one our most cherished childhood breakfast delights. Made with old fashioned rolled oats toasted with chopped nuts, then steamed with cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg and dried fruit. The result brings the humble bowl of oatmeal to the top of the breakfast menu favorites in our house and will at yours, too. It takes a little extra fussing but once you’ve done it, you’ll be reluctant to have oatmeal any other way.
While Grandma’s chicken simmered away to the exact doneness for her perfect dumplings, she shelled fresh peas for her chicken dish, and stirred oatmeal toasting in a heavy skillet on her old wood stove. The oatmeal was put in her heaviest preheated skillet, dry, and toasted until it was lightly browned and fragrant. Then she added fresh grated cinnamon, a grate or two of nutmeg and a few hand’s full of nuts, whatever kind she had on hand, and let it all toast until she could smell the aroma of crispy nuts. To do this, she chose a lower heat spot on her old cookstove to allow things to happen slowly, stirring the mixture occasionally, allowing the gentle toasting to happen while she tended to other things. She added the dried fruits when she cooked the oatmeal for porridge.
Since we don’t have Grandma’s low-and-slow timing available to us these busy days, we use another method… a preheated cast iron or other heavy skillet over the lowest heat, stovetop, or in a 350°F oven (watch carefully not to burn), to toast up enough of the oatmeal recipe to last a couple/three meals, once you get the hang of it.
It really doesn’t take long. Double the recipe (We’ve tripled/even quadrupled it).
Later, to cook the porridge, measure out the servings you need – ♦½ cups Oatmeal Mix before cooking,♦ ⅔ cups boiling water ♦ a pinch of salt ♦ a teaspoons of butter – for each serving. Store the uncooked oatmeal air-tight in the fridge for up to 3 weeks/In the freezer for up to 3 months. The dried fruits are added at porridge cooking time.
Ingredients 4 t0 6 Servings
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- ¼ cups each chopped walnuts & chopped pecans
- ½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground quality cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- ¼ cups each dried cranberries & dried blueberries (Or your choice of dried fruit, chopped into bite sized pieces. Apples and Cranberries are especially good together.)
- 3-½ cups of water brought to a rolling boil
- ½ tsp. Sea Salt (added after water boils)
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- ¼ cup local organic honey
- Milk or Cream (Optional)
- Spread dry oats in a thin layer over the surface of a heavy, dry, preheated skillet over a low heat. For this volume, I use my large cast iron frying pan, when I double the recipe, I use my large cast iron dutch oven without the lid. Toast, stirring every 5 minutes or so (watch carefully at first to make sure you know your stove) for 15 minutes. Add the spices and nuts and continue to toast until nuts are aromatic and lightly toasted and oats are golden.
- Remove from heat to a cool container.
- Add flax seeds after removal from heat.
- ♦If cooking right away continue to step No. 4
- ♦If storing: Place totally cooled oatmeal in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for 3 months.
- Add dried fruits (just before cooking)
- Heat water to boiling, add salt and butter. Stir.
- Add oatmeal mix, stirring briefly to stir down the boil. Reduce heat to lowest possible, cover/slightly vent, and allow mixture to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Serve steaming hot with honey drizzled over (and a splash of milk or cream if desired).
Serves 4 (but they’ll want more!).
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