April 28th, 2010

Tea

This post brought to you by breakfast

Ever since I was a kid, I've disliked the thick, sticky texture of boiled oatmeal. As I sit here narfing my bowl of oatmeal made just the way *I* like it, I got to wondering if there are a lot of people out there, like me, who thought they hated oatmeal and later realized that they only hated it the way the instructions on the box say to make it.

This is how I make oatmeal:

1. Boil a couple cups of water in a small saucepan
2. Add regular rolled oats (for me, two large handfuls is about right for a me-sized bowl); stir briefly
3. Let the water return to a boil - it will start to foam - and then immediately turn it off
4. Let oats sit for a minute or two to absorb water (I usually leave them alone for the time it takes me to get out my bowl and milk and honey and other stuff like nuts and so forth)
5. Drain. Sweeten. Eat.

They're fully cooked, and it produces a light flaky oatmeal that's more akin to granola in texture. The key thing for me is that if you boil oatmeal *at all*, it starts to thicken up and turn into something that's more gluey than I like. And all the instructions on cooking oatmeal everywhere say you're supposed to boil it, which was what my parents always did. But you don't have to boil oats to eat them. Granola is just toasted oats, after all.

I'm not sure how minute oats behave because I don't like them, so I don't buy them. Occasionally I'll aim for the same effect with "instant" oats in those single-serving packets by microwaving them in not much milk and then adding the rest of the milk after taking them out, but the results are kind of meh.