Saturday, November 1, 2008

Rolled Oats

We have had slightly cooler weather here in central Florida - and the boxed cereal is long gone (see the Oct. Challenge posts). In order to accomodate #3 son's leaving time for work, I have had to get up early to cook up the oatmeal (oops, rolled oats). That is a good thing - 1.) I am up early and 2) Ds gets a good hot breakfast. My definition of early is 6 AM, so don't feel sorry for me - I should be up then, but had gotten lazy and was sleeping in until 7. I like being up and getting everyone breakfast, so horray for the October Challenge!
I buy my rolled oats in a 6 gallon pail from BreadBeckers. We have a local co-op group here that orders 4 times a year. I don't order every time, but usually at least twice a year. In fact the next order is due in a week or so, so I will need to check my stock of rolled oats, rice, and wheat berries. The 6 gallon pail of the rolled oats lasts me about 4 winter months (I use them for cookies, and other recipes too) and I generally go through a second bucket for the rest of the 8 months of the year.
Cooking details - Plain rolled oats take a looooong time to cook, and that is not a good morning for me. I have found that if I soak the oats overnight, then in the morning they cook up fast and creamy. For our family I put 4 to 4 1/2 cups of rolled oats in a pan and sprinkle with a little bit of salt. Cover them with water so that the water is about a 1/2 inch or more above the oats. No exact measurments needed. Put the lid on the pan and leave on the counter to soak overnight. In the morning I add a bit more water (I don't measure water, just add as needed - so that it looks right) and turn the burner on to medium heat. At this time I also add some pure maple syrup and brown sugar to the pan. Sometimes I will add cinnamon too. I stir it every so often. In about 10 minutes it is creamy and hot - Done! Most of the family likes to eat their oatmeal plain; I like a little milk on mine. The picture looks like a lot of milk, but it is really just a bit - there is a full bowl of oatmeal in there.
Everyone likes this and I make it about 4-5 times a week during the winter months. On the other days of the week we will have pancakes or homemade coffee cake, and occasionally eggs and all the fixings. I still haven't made the granola - that is also good to have on hand, though not everyone here likes it. Everyone here does agree that the oatmeal sticks with you until lunch time. A great start to the day.

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