Not your mama’s oatmeal

Hard rain and blustery winds pounded at the house when I woke up this morning. Fortunately we didn’t need the flashlight I’d set beside the bed with the very real possibility of losing power before morning.

The world was dark outside but with the electricity intact it didn’t take long to perk the coffee (yes, we use a coffee percolator) and settle into our early morning routines.

My almost daily go-to breakfast is oatmeal. Growing up we had hot cereal served with brown sugar and milk just about every morning of the year. My mom mixed it up between several types: oatmeal, Cream of Wheat and Roman Meal were the most common in our house.

Along the way she learned to make  oatmeal extra-ordinary. (Does that mean it’s more ordinary than ordinary?)

Put a couple handfuls of rolled oats, per person, into a pan along with a pinch of salt. Toast the oats over medium heat, occasionally stirring – don’t let them burn, until you can smell the toasty warm aroma.
DSC00988While they’re toasting add whatever else you may have on hand for a tasty addition: sunflower seeds, cranberries, chopped nuts, etc. I almost always add dried cranberries, or apricots, or dates. Usually cranberries. Cause I like them.  And chopped hazelnuts.

When the oats are slightly browned turn the heat down to the lowest setting. Add all the other stuff that you’d like such as seeds and spices.

I toast up a skillet of sesame seeds about once a week to have on hand. After they’re toasted they’re ground with a coffee grinder and kept in a jar. Flax and Chia seeds are also ground, jarred and stored in a cool place. Here’s a jar of toasted sesame, flax and chia coarse flours all combined into one jar for easy access. Scoop out a generous spoonful and put it in with the toasted oats. Don’t over cook the chia or flax since too much heat seems to make them bitter.DSC00989

Sprinkle in cinnamon if you like, and a spoonful of brown sugar for a slightly caramelized flavor. Definitely stir if you add brown sugar. It can burn at an alarming rate.

Meanwhile, bring a cup of water –more if cooking for several people — to a boil. Take the oatmeal pan off the heat and hold it over the sink while pouring in the hot water. It will sputter and sizzle then settle down. Add only enough water to barely cover the oats. Stir and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid.DSC00992

Place the back onto the burner and turn off the burner. Let it set until the water is all absorbed and the oats are soft but not mushy. Never mushy! Unless you like mushy, gluey oatmeal – then you’ll want to add more water.

Take the pan off the burner, dish up the oatmeal – unless it’s just you, then you can eat it straight out of the pan. 🙂 Add a dollop of good yogurt and enjoy.

Hot and delicious! The kind that grandchildren ask for, “Grandma’s oatmeal”.

Oh, if you happen to make more than you can eat?

Cookies! Recipe next Tuesday.


Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle used in weaving Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing a fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays are set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

6 thoughts on “Not your mama’s oatmeal”

    1. Please do! Ed couldn’t stand oatmeal growing up, and he still doesn’t like it… except for this method. Which he doesn’t consider “oatmeal”. 🙂

      On Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 1:47 AM, Fiberjoy wrote:


  1. Sounds yummy! We did not have much oatmeal growning up, because my Mum did not like it much. But we did eat the Cream of Wheat. The other thing we had a lot, and I still do, is Grits. I am going to have to try this one day soon!

    1. Mmmm, Grits! Ed introduced me to his favorite hot cereal shortly after we were married. We often eat them for Sunday supper.

      On Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 7:06 AM, Fiberjoy wrote:


  2. Brian and I have oatmeal often. I make mine with vanilla soy milk or almond milk, a little stevia, and add frozen (soon to thaw) blueberries. I like it with frozen raspberries but Brian doesn’t.

    1. Thanks for your additions; excellent for those needing to avoid milk products & sugar. Mmmm, frozen berries! Thanks for the reminder; I have a bunch of blueberries in the freezer from last summer. I tend to go through cycles of what I add to the cereal and this year my focus has been cranberries.

      On Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 9:55 PM, Fiberjoy wrote:


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