July 13, 2012

new favorite things

Oatmeal has always been one of my favorite breakfasts. I think I could live happily for the rest of my life eating only oatmeal or Greek yogurt (with honey) every morning. Except with bacon now and then. But it's always been my thing. No one else in our family would touch it. I could load it up with berries and honey or mix it with an equivalent amount of brown sugar and both kids would turn their noses up at it. "I don't like oatmeal!" Will will occasionally eat some to please me. Because I keep telling him that it's so much better for him than the Frosted Mini Wheats he eats every. single. day.

And then one day, everyone woke up and asked for "some of that you're eating mom."
The difference was that this time, it was steel cut oats. I only discovered steel cut oatmeal myself this spring, having avoided it at all costs for years because I thought it would feel like grits, and I don't like grits. Except then I remembered that I do, actually, like grits. So I gave it a try and low and behold, my new favorite thing! And surprisingly, everyone else likes it too. Even Evelyn, miss picky, will gobble up a bowl. At least on alternating days (because she doesn't consistently like anything except fruit and "Chicken Wings" at the moment).

Since the mornings here are nice and cool, I've been making up a big pot of it when I first get up, giving it a stir now and then while I'm making the coffee, and generally, it's perfectly done by the time the rest of the crowd drags themselves to the table. Curiously, I've found that the Bob's Red Mill Farm brand cooks much faster than the classic tin of Irish Oats. They don't taste different, so I'm not sure why, but in this case the faster cooking time tips the scales in Bob's favor when I go shopping. Because it does take time. Not a horrible amount of time. Like I said, I can get a pot of oatmeal simmering away first thing and it's ready about the same time the coffee is. But it's not as fast as, say, instant oatmeal (gag - sorry, I love oatmeal but I can't stand the instant stuff). At the moment our crock pot is in storage, but I'm eager to give the overnight cooking method a try once we are moved and unpacked.

At the moment our favorite mix ins are dried cranberries and brown sugar (for the kids) and blueberries and granola and a teeny bit of brown sugar (for me) Will flips back and forth on which he likes better. I'm curious though, if anyone else is a big steel cut oats fan? How do you eat it? How do you cook it?