Thursday, January 9, 2014
Get It While It's Hot!
The past few years, Joyce and I have slowly developed a new habit on cold winter evenings--specifically, Saturday evenings--more specifically, Saturday suppertimes. Steel-cut oats. We often buy them in bulk at Mustard Seed Market, filling a plastic bag from one of those dispensers that work with such efficiency that you can have a bag of oats as heavy as a bowling ball if you're not careful. Bob's Red Mill also produces it in cellophane bags. We can--and do--get them at our local grocery store.
On Saturdays, about noon, I put two cups of steel-cut oats and six cups of water (and a pinch of salt) in the CrockPot, set the device on Warm (not High, not Low), and by supper time (5-ish), the oats are perfect. In our bowls we mix in some other things. I like some walnuts and raisins and honey; Joyce prefers maple syrup to the honey--but likes the other additives. Hot, filling, nutritious ... all those good things. And we get to feel so virtuous afterwards--the way you feel after you work out--or read a classic novel--or see a Shakespeare play.
The other night we were talking about oats (why?), and we started reminiscing about the hot cereals we ate as kids. Joyce remembered eating Quaker Oats (Akron had been home to the mill--her ancestors had worked there), and I remembered a far more complicated story in our house. Each of the five of us (Mom-Dad-Dickie-Danny-Davi) had a different preference for hot cereal, which my dad would fix for us on cold mornings. But there was no way he was going to prepare four or five different breakfast cereals. So we alternated--at least until we got old enough to fix an alternative ourselves. I--lazy soul--did not really do this often, but Dickie did.
Dickie preferred Instant Ralston, a whole-wheat cereal that I didn't care for. To me, it tasted ... dusty? Like eating grass? And besides, if older brother Dickie liked it, then it had to suck, right? He would also stir in some wheat germ, which to me sounded as if he were inviting a infection of some sort. I mean, germs are bad, aren't they?
Davi liked (I think I remember?) both oatmeal and Cream of Wheat--though I don't think he cared for Instant Ralston, either.
There were other cereals that we tried. Maypo, for example, a maple-flavored oatmeal that was popular back in the mid-1950s. I loved their TV commercials. Here's one via YouTube: "I Want My Maypo!"
Oh, by the way, Joyce and I never eat all the steel-cut oats in one sitting. I usually have the leftovers at a supper later in the week--so I get to feel virtuous twice during the week. And who can set a price on that?