Morning Comforts

September 28, 2011

Gracious Living Day by DayOn weekday mornings, our house starts stirring at 6 am.

In Michigan, at the end of September, it’s dark at 6 am.

It’s dark when I leave for work at 7 am.

It’s dark now during my entire half hour drive, although on clear mornings I might see a sliver of blindingly dazzling sunlight brightening the eastern horizon.

Joe programs the coffee machine in the evening, so when people start meandering downstairs, there is a strong aroma of freshly brewed coffee trying to bring some cheer to our silent assembly.

Last night, I remembered to start a pot of oatmeal. It cooked slowly, through the night.

Here is how: I poured a cup of steel cut oats into a pot; added 3 cups water and covered it tightly; placed it in the oven and let it cook overnight at 225 degrees.

We were greeted this morning by the smell of fresh coffee and a delicious aroma of slowly cooked oatmeal.

Oatmeal on dark mornings

Oatmeal on dark mornings

I scoped some oatmeal into a bowl, then poured a bit of almond milk to make it thinner. I added a swirl of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

It helped, it really helped.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue September 29, 2011 at 6:15 pm

That sounds like a good way to start the morning Liliana!
My current method for morning oatmeal; rolled oats, almonds, raisins, covered with some kind of milk, placed in the fridge & soaked overnight. I eat it cold right now.
I have used the slow cooker method but the oats stick to the side & it is hard to clean. There is another method for using the slow cooker where water is put in the bottom & a bowl containing the oats is propped up so that it doesn’t touch the edges or bottom but it is kind of a hassle. It is like a double boiler but in a slow cooker.
Love your writing!

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Liliana September 30, 2011 at 6:43 am

Thanks for your good suggestions, Sue.
I’ve never tried soaking oats, etc. overnight. I’ll have to try that.
Best to you!

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Jeff September 28, 2011 at 11:36 am

It hasn’t quite gotten cold enough here in the northeast for oatmeal. But – I have moved the container to the countertop. Thought about it this morning – but I now that having it would just bring summer to an emotional close. Funny how food works that way…

I confess I don’t slow cook – for one thing, my wife would never let me leave the oven on all nite. And just not enough time in the morning for Bob’s Red Mill – although I have made it on an occasional weekend.

Plain oats, cooked up in almond ilk – and with a splash of 100% real maple syrup.

A winter’s day just doesn’t go right unless I start it this way…

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Liliana September 28, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Enjoy these Indian summer days, Jeff.

I’ve used your cooking method and it’s is just as good.

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Jelena September 28, 2011 at 11:01 am

One question, though: doesn’t it waste a lot of energy to slow-cook oatmeal all night in the oven (versus cooking it more quickly on the stovetop)? Does anyone know?

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Liliana September 28, 2011 at 12:15 pm

You are right, Jelena, it’s probably not as energy efficient as using a slow cooker. In fact, that’s what I’ll do next time.

I just don’t have enough time in the mornings to cook it on stove-top.

I got this recipe (and the cooking method) from Mark Bittman, but he doesn’t know everything, does he?

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Joseph Tomczyk September 28, 2011 at 10:19 am

‘Wonder whether y’all have tried vanilla ice cream in your OMmmmm.

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Liliana September 28, 2011 at 10:23 am

I have not.

But now that you mention it, I definitely will!

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Carol Brock September 28, 2011 at 9:40 am

Do you use the McCanns (?) or Bob’s Red Mill or some other brand? Sorry if that is a snoopy question.

Thanks!

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Liliana September 28, 2011 at 9:56 am

Carol, I usually try to buy oats in bulk from our health food store. If I don’t have time, I get Bob’s Red Mill from our supermarket.
Best to you!

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Jelena September 28, 2011 at 8:17 am

Love it. And it’s SO good for us. I like to add some slivered raw almonds and let them cook with the oatmeal–makes the texture more interesting. Then some honey, before serving. Every little bit helps on cold, dark mornings!

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Liliana September 28, 2011 at 9:02 am

MMMMM, almonds, I’m going to try that.

I also like to add fruit when I have some – berries, peaches, etc. And walnuts.

Plain oatmeal is just the beginning.

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Dave Harrison September 28, 2011 at 7:05 am

The oatmeal sounds great.

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Liliana September 28, 2011 at 8:02 am

I love oatmeal, Dave. Some of my family members complain that it tastes like cardboard, but I disagree.

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