Now here's something you probably don't expect to find when you drop by . . . Oatmeal? Old fashioned Quaker Oats to be exact. And in the place of my regularly scheduled mythology post no less. I'm afraid my reading this weekend took me other places than the House of Atreus, so more about that next weekend.
I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but I have never made oatmeal. I love oatmeal, but I buy those instant packets that you just add hot water to and voila, ready to go. Now I realize those are not as nutritious as the real thing, but they are quick and reasonably filling. I only have about ten minutes to eat in the morning before I dash off to the bus stop, so it works in a pinch. However, I am trying hard to be more healthy and cut out as much sugar and salt and processed food as I can from my diet.
In the last year and a half I've lost all the weight and then some that I gained from high school on--you know how it can creep up on you over the years? When my jeans became too tight and I couldn't fit into the size I had been wearing, I was sufficiently freaked out to make serious changes to my eating habits and now wear jeans two sizes smaller. Of course losing the weight is only half the battle and now I am in maintenance mode, which is still quite a lot work.
So this weekend when I spotted this ultra large container of oatmeal on sale I thought it seemed not only economical but also much healthier to eat my oatmeal the natural way. Okay, I made a bowl yesterday and have to say it was a disaster. I am not very proficient in the kitchen--I have a set repertoire of things I can cook and stick to them, but now that I've made dietary changes I need to branch out. I followed the instructions on the box, mixed the oatmeal with water in a microwave-safe bowl, set the timer and let it cook. Opened the microwave, and oops, the bowl overflowed and made a sticky mess. Second go--put it all in a larger bowl and watched it so it wouldn't overflow. Tasted it and discovered it was quite tasteless and a very different texture than what I am used to. I really shouldn't reveal this about myself, should I? But it's better to laugh at these little failings and try and correct them right?
So my question is (to those of you who are oatmeal-fans)--what is your recipe to make a perfect bowl of oatmeal. I keep a food diary of sorts and try and track my calories keeping a tight rein on it all. This doesn't mean I don't splurge occasionally, but I just try and be careful to keep portion sizes normal. I do like to add fruit and nuts to my oatmeal, but I am not a fan of milk in general. So any hints on how to make a good, healthy and satisfying bowl of oatmeal would be much appreciated. Otherwise I'm going to have to make an awful lot of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to use up all these oats! I'd invite you all over to share them, but you probably don't trust my culinary skills now (sadly I am very good at baking--probably what got me into this weight mess to begin with).
By the way I spent part of my weekend reading-time with these magazines--see, I'm trying to educate myself along the way, too. I think no one tells you how to make a good bowl of oatmeal as it's assumed everyone knows how and besides, the instructions are so simple on the canister (but they don't warn you about choosing a big bowl to avoid volcano-like eruptions!).