One of my pet peeves is how recipes on the internet are usually preceded by an autobiography and timeline progression of how the recipe came to exist. I will give you the recipe and then if you decide to continue reading that is your choice.
Daily Oatmeal: Serves a family of 9
What you will need:
- 3-1/2 Qt pot
- 2 cups whole oats (or 3 cups steel-cut oats)
- 1/2 cup powdered milk (or 1 quart milk)
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
- pinch of salt
- 3 quarts water
- Crack 2 cups whole oats in mill – as coarsely as possible without letting any whole grains make it through unbroken (2 cups whole oats should make approximately 3 cups “steel-cut” oats)
- Combine all ingredients in pot. Pour the water in last and fill to within a comfortable distance of the top of the pot. You will be stirring frequently and sometimes vigorously to stop any burning and sticking, keep this in mind.
- Cook over medium-low heat for 3 hours total, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. If you feel any residue build-up on the bottom of the pot, use the wooden spoon to stir it back off the bottom. As long as you stir within 15 minute intervals you should not have a problem.
- After 1 hour the liquid should be up to almost boiling temperature you will notice the oatmeal forms a dense bottom and you can hear it boiling underneath this. It is very important to stir until all grains are scattered evenly through the liquid every 15 minutes.
- After 2 hours you will notice the oats swelling and the liquid will begin to thicken noticeably.
- After 3 hours if desired add 1/4 stick of butter, remove from heat and stir until fully homogenized.
- Let cool 10-15 minutes then serve!
If faster cooking time is desired:
- Begin cooking on high heat but staying with it at the stove and stirring constantly for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to medium-low and stir for 5 additional minutes.
- Resume recipe as if there is 1 hour left.
We have this oatmeal 4 days a week and we have never heard any complaints about lack of variety. As the children filter into the kitchen in the morning I can hear more than one say “Yay, oatmeal! Hey guys we’re having oatmeal today!” Sometimes we have plain oatmeal without the cranberries, sometimes we have dates, a can of fruit, frozen berries, or anything else we feel like putting in.
This entire recipe costs less than $1.50 and feeds our family of 9 comfortably so that we are all full for 3-4 hours even when working outside. If you don’t have a mill substitute 3 cups steel-cut oats and the rest stays the same. I added information about shortening the cooking time, but in my opinion this should not be done – the longer and lower temperature it cooks the better the quality of the finished meal.
If there is any oatmeal left (never at our house) it can be put in the fridge and is good if not better after a day or a few days in the fridge. If it is sufficiently thickened you can even fry it in some oil for a breakfast treat or bake it and slice it up as a bread.