Tag Archives: oatmeal

Oatober

Make that #Oatober….someone at Quaker Oats is pretty genius.

Could it be this guy??

quaker-1877

This is the first Quaker for Oats – trademarked in 1877. They’ve been working the genius marketing for a while.

And in 1891, Quaker put the first recipe on the back of the box – for Oatmeal Bread…A few years later Fannie Farmer had a Quaker Oats Bread in the Boston Cooking School Cookbook. Coincidence? I think not!

QUAKER OATS BREAD (1896)

Ingredients
2 cups boiling water.
1/2 cup molasses.
1/2 tablespoon salt.
1/2 yeast cake dissolved in
1/2 cup lukewarm water.
1 cup Quaker Rolled Oats.
4 3/4 cups flour.

Directions
Add boiling water to oats and let stand one hour; add molasses, salt, dissolved yeast cake, and flour; let rise, beat thoroughly, turn into buttered bread pans, let rise again, and bake.

By using one-half cup less flour, the dough is better suited for biscuits, but, being soft, is difficult to handle.

To make shaping of biscuits easy, take up mixture by spoonfuls, drop into plate of flour, and have palms of hands well covered with flour before attempting to shape.

The Boston Cooking School Cookbook
By Fannie Merritt Farmer (1896)pp.59-60.

This makes a pretty dense loaf…and pretty is the wrong word, too. But it makes great toast. Maryetta’s Oatmeal Bread is a lighter brighter oatmeal bread option.

My other oat adventure today was thanks to Martha Stewart.

martha_stewart_2011_shankbone

Martha Stewart, probably kicking herself for not coming up with Oatober.

In the September issue of Martha Stewart Living she had a tip and recipe for quick cooking steel cut oats.

mslsept2016

I eat oatmeal for breakfast pretty much every morning and have for years. I believe that oats truly brought my cholesterol levels down, down and fast, and frankly eating breakfast is pretty easy, pretty inexpensive and has far fewer side effects then most of those little pills…. not to mention more pleasant and easier to remember in the fog of morning. Oats are the base, the only choices I have to make are what to put in them. That choice I usually make at the market, and do the same breakie all week. Ah, blueberries and cinnamon! Oh, Parmesan and pepper!  Dropt egg and rooster sauce; cranberries and honey….The Gracious Pantry has some pretty inspired oatmeal toppings. Back to oats –

Steel cut out are nubbly and more textured then rolled outs.

rolled_oats

Extreme closeup of rolled oats – the roller goes over them and they get very very thin

 

bowl_of_dry_steel-cut_oats_with_full_spoon

Steel cut oats – are chopped – chunky – chewy

Steel cut oats take longer to cook and are not zippy quick or mindless in the morning. I do not want to spend my dawn’s early light time at the stove stirring porridge.There’s always a slow cooker option, but then I’d be making lots, and have to repack to re-heat…not easier.

BUT

soak them the night before, and then 5-10 minutes in the pan – easy peasy! I made enough for one – so 1/4 cup of steel cut oats, 1 cup water and a pinch of salt in my littlest sauce pan and pop the lid on. It sat on the stove overnight, so was there to greet me when I put the coffee on, and after the first cup I remembered why it was there….

lecreuset-pot

This look very much like my little yellow pot, which pretty much lives on top of my stove.It’s that kind of workhorse.

After the second cup, awake and ready to rejoin the world, I brought the oats and water and the pinch of salt to a boil. I then lowered the heat to a fairly active simmer and stirred it from time to time until the water was gone and it was just oaty goodness and no longer liquid. A tooth test – firm, some give, but not hard, not little pebbles. Done. Under 10 minutes, maybe 7 or 8.

Rolled oats take 5 minutes at 50% power in the microwave. The new directions on the box say 3 minutes at 100%, but this just make them pasty. Take the 2 extra minutes!

Martha eats her oatmeal with golden raisins and currants and a slash of low fat milk. Sweet and milky are not my cup of tea. I had some butter and a little cheddar cheese.

There is a really great oatmeal muffin recipe lurking in one of my cookbooks…apples or was it apple sauce? Fortunately, I have all of Oatober ahead of me to find it.

bowl_of_oatmeal_cover_art

My Bowl of Oatmeal was not a movie…and I not on speaking terms with my breakie.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Autumn, Breakfast/Brunch, Pantry, Recipe

Expiration Dates

Expiration dates

… Christmas rather peters out at Twelfth Night or Epiphany,   even for those of us who have managed  to keep it going THIS long.

Although, technically, you might continue the Christmas Season until February 2nd – Candlemas – The Presentation of Jesus to the Temple –

candlemas

Candlemas  is  also 40 days after Christmas.and the official official end of the Christmas season. So, my  door wreath is staying up as long as it doesn’t look shabby or it’s February, whichever comes first.

***

I bought new toothpaste and there was an expiration date on the box… toothpaste has an expiration date?????? Best by Au 17….I’ll be sure to use it up by then. It’s marked on the the end of the tube, so  I’ve been missing this for quite some time.

toothpaste barcode

See how subtle it is – and once you turn that end under…

toothpaste-used

barcode – hidden from view

***

Shrimp was on sale and it was too cheap to leave behind – the post-holiday good news!

shrimp ring

I ate  ½ as shrimp cocktail (is it true that fruit and shrimp cocktails are Prohibition stories????) as a starter for my supper. I then has some spaghettini  with olive oil and the rest of the cocktail sauce as the dressing for the pasta, and then a salad  of arugula dressed with  blood orange olive oil  and honey ginger balsamic vinegar. The rest of the shrimp (and the leftover spaghettini) will be my fritteta supper for tonight.

Hot chocolate with marshmallows as my dessert.

The shrimp Penaeus vannamie was farmed  in Viet Nam.

Shrimp also has an expiration date, which seems right…Shrimp(frozen) best by 03-11-2018. Beat it.

***

Mac & cheese – the store brand natural style (that means I bought it in the Natural Foods aisle, implying as it does that most of what they offer is neither natural nor food)  was on sale, so another semi impulse purchase.   I checked those boxes every which way, and could not find an expiration date.

mac-cheese box

I wanted to use up the last of the plain yoghurt, which was close to the end AND had been open several days, as well as the beginning to be a little too limpish to want to eat salad-wise salad greens, spinach and kale. This time of year probably  as many greens get tossed into soup and other hot foods as actual salads, maybe more.

Cooked the pasta, added the yoghurt, cheese powder and the greens – popped it into a baking pan (no-stick, saving the trouble of having to grease it up), and sprinkled the top with same grated cheese (I also had had the very dregs of a bag of sweet potato chip to use as a crunchy topping. I even remembered them – and noshed them down as I was waiting for the water to boil…..so close…..then I put the pan in a 350° oven for a little while just to finish cooking the greens and to brown the top.

I made a double batch, so not only did I have both supper and lunch, I also have freezer treasure.

***

Life hacks – sounds like something you’d wish the cat didn’t do….but there’s been  a workplace wave of microwave egg in a coffee cup. I haven’t tried this at home because most of my coffee cups are not the standard up and down, but hand crafter pottery and narrower at the top the bottom which leads to….. extraction issues

coffee mug handmade

Many of my mugs are more like this, and no 2 alike.

micri eggstep-by-step.xxxlarge_2x

This is how to make an omelet in a coffee mug

BUT – I was looking for something new for my morning oatmeal.So I added the egg to my oatmeal, instead of in a coffee cup. Like putting a poached egg on top of your hash….

I microwave it …so – I microwave ½ c regular rolled oats w/ 1 cup water for 4 minutes (instead of 5) on 50per cent power. Take it out and  make a little basin in the middle of the bowl – there’s often one there naturally – crack the egg and drop it on top of a pat of butter and then back in the microwave for another minute on high (sometimes a minute 30) and then sprinkle liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

A nice warm way to start a cold day.

Hacked

You’ve been hacked – but the good hack, not the evil hack,

 

2 Comments

Filed under Christmas, Eating

10th day of Christmas

There’s a little flexibility, shall we say, on what the tenth day of Christmas is  all about.

There are10 red

pipers piping

or

lords a leaping

or

ships a sailing

MAYFLOWER-II_Photo-courtesy-Plimoth-Plantation1

Mayflower II.

or

 

drummers drumming

or

cocks a crowing

rooster crowing

But enough about the music…..time to review the FOOD.

New Year’s Day had a food change of plans….so I still haven’t made the Overnight Baked Crunchy French Toast, but since the ingredients are in my fridge, I’ll be making that tonight for tomorrow’s  breakfast. And lunches and suppers and Freezer Treasures.

Usually

I have oatmeal for breakfast, which I started doing a few years ago. One month of oatmeal for breakfast  – and I swear no other deliberate or conscious changes –  it really did lower my cholesterol, just like the ads said it would. Still working.

I put different things in it, but not on a day to day sort of change – I just don’t have enough brain before coffee to make those sorts of choices – but more of a week to week thing. The Gracious Pantry  had a whole run of oatmeal add-in suggestions that I still haven’t run through.

I don’t like mushy oatmeal and I’d rather have salt and pepper then sugar and cream. First, coffee, though. No oatmeal before coffee.

Darth Coffee Roz Cummins

Roz Cummins posted this picture today and asked if the coffee maker  looked like Darth Vader, to which I replied, “I like my coffee on the Dark Side..” Enough Star Wars.

Back to New Year’s Day.

Since there were more then enough leftovers from the New Year’s Eve Chinese Food Feast at the ancestral home, making MORE food was uncalled for.

Redundant.

Just plain silly.

Wasteful, even.

No need for French Toast or Waffles or any other food.

take out carton

Carton, carton, what’s in the carton? And there were the things already moved to Tupperware….

There were egg rolls

Eggroll

There were 2 left, so Mum and I each took one. One carton down and out.

Egg foo young (Chinese: 芙蓉蛋; Jyutping: fu4 jung4 daan6*2, also spelled egg fooyung, egg foo yong, or egg fu yung)  – thank you Wikipedia

Egg_foo_young

Again, just one, so we each took half. Another carton down.

Chinese_Chickenfingers

Chicken fingers and Shrimp fingers. We each took a shrimp – which were pretty dang NOT SMALL, downright JUMBO Shrimp shrimp -and then there were NONE.

I’m starting to get groggy…food coma by association …..there was more ….spare me, spare RIBS – boneless spareribs and VERY tasty.

Spare_ribs_with_Chinese_barbecue_sauce

Between the Jumbo Shrimp and Boneless Ribs, these seeming oxymora are beginning to sound  like the opening of a George Carlin routine…

george_carlin_0203

George Carlin 1937-2008

OF course, there were both fried rice AND noodles

Chinese_fried_rice_

Our version had considerably more soy sauce in it creation

 

Chinese noodles

These are more chop suey-ish then the noodles on the table…no flowers in our batch

Keep in mind, there are the leftovers.….

There was also some Beef Teriyaki, but that was put aside for my little brother to eat later, which he did.

Chicken Wings – Chinese Chicken Wings. We took one each.

And we heated the plates in the microwave and sat down and ate.

And ate.

and ATE.

We did not have seconds.

We did have some fruit later, and coffee and charmellas later then that.

While I was there and not stuffing my face, I packed up more of my things to take back to the shiny brand new  place. Which included various jars of beans as well as a jar of lentils that I was going to cook for supper.

mason jar storage

This looks like my cupboards. I have lived in houses with moths (do not store bird seed in the house, that’s why we have garages and steel cans, people!) and mice and I got tired of feeding both.

Perhaps, because of the Michael Pollan ‘In Defense of Food” that aired in December,

defense of food tv

it seems that the internet is full of New Year’s Resolutions

to cook.

At home.

As if you could go out and cook in other peoples house without their invitation or out on the street or ….where else would you be cooking? Because people who go out and cook in  kitchens other then their own do it to make a living, not their own meals. Life is not a cooking show.

And I do cook. At home. Sometimes at work, because that’s my job, too.  But even my recent spate of ‘not cooking’ still include coffee and oatmeal each morning; supper each night, although a few of them have been tea and toast.

(FLASHBACK: Ma and Pa Flynn used to have tea and toast each afternoon as they watched Merv. I’m becoming my great-grandparents. Without the Merv. )

mervgriffin

Merv Griffin . He sang, he danced, he played the piano, he  hosted, he created Jeopardy and he married Zsa-Zsa….

But not all of them.  I cooked down a 15 pound pumpkin and have had pumpkin and potato frittata as well as just plain pumpkin and potato ‘dish’; I made rice the other  night, but that dish also isn’t named, and it wasn’t a recipe per se.

Here’s the directions:

I open the fridge and said to myself,  “What’s a deep breath away from compost? What’s a day or two from talking back to me? What’s about to start walking around under it’s own power tonight?? What is that thing behind the egg nog?”

Then,  I  cooked the things that I had. I started with plain ole white rice cooked in the leftover carrot juice (if you cook carrots in carrot juice they are carroty X ∞ (that’s ‘carrot times infinity’), thank you Kevin from Solstice in Kingston. Cooking veg in veg broth or veg juice incredibly improves them!)

I also had some a deep breath away from perky pea-shoots that we great in salad earlier in the week, but were not quite up to salading again, so I added them in half way through. Topped the whole thing off with a little grated cheese. A lovely contrast of golden/orange  rice and greeny greens.If I had to name it, it would be:

Risi e Bisi : Variation for the Autumnal New England Kitchen.

That’s a name that could be twenty bucks a plate.

Or, as I called it : Supper. Actually, I called it, “hmm hm hmmm yum yummm yea” as part of a happy food hum. There was another veg and fruit and pear cider to drink. Hot chocolate with marshmallows later as both the coffee and dessert course.

Not the flashy production values of a new FoodNetwork Show, but pretty tasty and quick and note to myself to try veg juice with rice again.

I did not cook the lentils because….I ate enough food for 2 days. Seriously, I wasn’t very interested in breakfast the day after.

But I don’t have a dainty appetite, and I’ve since recovered.

Now, to make that Egg Nog French Toast…..

1 Comment

Filed under Eating, Holiday

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

And sometimes, especially with 4 brothers, you just need quick and easy cheap eats from what you have on hand. Hence, the traditional inclusion of Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  I’m pretty sure that this recipe came from the box…if not the oatmeal box, then the raisin box.

By the way, why are oatmeal boxes ROUND???Quaker oats boxalthough the round box is good for crafts….

an organizer....if I used this for my loose recipes...first, eat lots of oatmeal

an organizer….if I used this for my loose recipes…first, eat lots of oatmeal

oatmeal box drum

The ever popular drum – for a little drummer boy, no doubt

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

3 C flour

1 C gran sugar

2 C brown sugar

2 C butter

2 tsp vanilla

6 C old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick, not instant, not steel cut or Irish)

2 tsp baking soda

2 C raisins

4 eggs

Have been using this since sometime in the ‘80’s – that’s the whole thing. I’m pretty sure that this is a double batch, at least. It make a TON of cookies. You know what to do from here. 350 or 375 for 7-12 minutes. Less time for a softer cookies, a little longer for a crisper cookie.

Did they put recipes on the back of the oatmeal box? We didn’t search for it, was out there.

oatmeal raisin' cookies Scott Metzger

 

1 Comment

Filed under Christmas, The 1980's

The Mason Fixin’ Line

Mason-Dixon Line divides the North from the South

Mason-dixon-line

The Mason Fixin’ Line has been drawn in recent years by the trend to prepare and serve food in Mason Jars.

The Mason Fixin’ Line has officially been crossed.

Not too long ago (sometime in April, actually) I reached my limit to food served in Mason Jars , especially food served in Mason Jars for no good reason except twee, I mean fashionable hipster cred.

The thing is, there is nothing fashionable nor hip nor credible  about a jar per se , especially one that is not used honestly.

Pickles in a jar? Honest.home-made-pickles-jar-12003596

The lid of said pickle jar nailed to a board over the workbench to hold little nails? Total honesty.

nails in a jar

Dessert served in a mason jar? If it’s not jelly……not so honest.

Special jar lids with straws poking through them to sip Cardamon/Thai Basil /organically grown Green Tea sweetened with Fair Trade Agave? Not so honest. mason jars - twee

So when I saw oatmeal to go packed  in mason jars at the food section of Marshall’s….huge sigh. Where does the insanity end????????

But the name of the company that was packaging oats to go?

Haulin’ Oats…..which would be a great name for a rock band….haulin oats banner…..wait a minute….

Hall& Oates

Hall & Oates

They're still around...

They’re still around…

But it was this:

 

Haulin' Oats oatmeal

Haulin’ Oats oatmeal

 

I have to admit, the name is great. But $4 for a little jar of oatmeal? As the Mark Down Price??? No thank you.

A box of Old fashioned oats  - under $3 - multiple servings

A box of Old fashioned oats – under $3 – multiple servings

But a week later it was marked down to $2…..and the flavor was “Chai a Little Tenderness”…..the other flavors are Cinnamon Girl, Date in the Life,  and Lavender Blue. I must have been hungry –  I bought it.

The directions are uber-simple – add hot water, put the lid back on and wait 5 minutes.

Besides rolled oats, the little jar also had almond butter and coconut oil (it had a very rich and creamy texture), brown sugar, ground flaxseed, pecans, raisins, crystallized ginger, vanilla extract and cinnamon, ginger, cardomnon and nutmeg.

One taste and I realize I’d been under-seasoning my oats – these were fantastic! The almond butter was also a nice touch. BUT… the little pint jar contains 2 servings. Two spoons? Half for now and half for tomorrow? Of course, I hadn’t read the label until I had eaten it all……

SO – lessons learned:

  1. $4 is too much for a serving of oatmeal.
  2. 548 is too many calories for breakfast.
  3. You can prepare oatmeal in a mason jar, just by pouring boiling water over the oats and putting the lid on.
  4. Hall & Oates should record Cinnamon Girl

 

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under Eating, Perception ways