Luxurious Oatmeal – Vermont Kitchen Style

December 28th, 2011 / Comments 0

Today marks the middle of a week framed by holiday feasting. For our family it began with tea, mince pies topped with whipped cream, shortbread and citrus cookies before a Christmas Eve service that was followed by Christmas Eve dinner. The next day began with a rich Christmas breakfast, followed by a mid-afternoon visit with friends over more tea and sweets, and then there was Christmas dinner complete with an extravagant dessert of banoffee pie.

B Porridge Pot c egbert Luxurious Oatmeal   Vermont Kitchen Style

Next weekend will be a variation on last weekend with what may seem like an unending parade of buttery sweets, rich cheeses, roasted turkeys, sublime wines, New Year’s Eve buffets and football feasts. The abundance of rich, artery clogging food that inspired my daughter-in-law, Alison, to suggest that we start each day with a bowl of oatmeal. … read more

Adding Grace and Quick Breakfasts

May 18th, 2011 / comments 6

My placid, morning routine of brewing a pot of tea, enjoying a cup of yogurt and a fresh scone while reading the newspaper changed last Thursday when Gracie came to live with us.

Gracie w rocks Adding Grace and Quick Breakfasts

Busy, busy.

Gracie, a nine-week old golden retriever puppy, is many things, but placid in the morning is not one of them. … read more

Steel Cut & Quick Cook Oatmeal

February 2nd, 2011 / comments 4

To ease our entry into the white winter world of snow and ice we began a new tradition of starting the day with steaming bowls of oatmeal.

winter bloom c egbert Steel Cut & Quick Cook Oatmeal

Charles is the oatmeal chef. He wakes before I do, retrieves the newspaper, shovels the walk, sprinkles sawdust on the icy patches and refreshes the fire in the woodstove. When I appear from our bedroom, he asks “Is this an oatmeal morning?”

“Sure,” I mumble, (I’m not very talkative until I’ve had a cup of tea), and he sets to work. Here’s how he does it:

Oatmeal by Charles

He uses a small glass tumbler from Tunisia that holds about four ounces of water as a measure for both rolled oats and water to make two modest servings. He puts one glassful of non-instant rolled oats, a pinch of salt and two glassfuls of water into a one quart Pyrex measuring cup. He zaps the oatmeal on high for three minutes and then lets it sit for two minutes before serving it. He tops my bowl of oatmeal with a teaspoon of brown sugar and a large glug of whole milk, zaps it for thirty seconds to heat the milk and serves it with my favorite thin antique silver spoon from my Nana. Charles tops his bowl of oatmeal with a spoonful of brown sugar and a generous glug of soymilk. Charles reads the weather forecast in the paper and I check my email and the weather in Sicily as we make our way into the new day.

Oatmeal called porridge or brose appeared frequently in a series of books set in Scotland in late 1700’s that I read when we were in Sicily last year. Oats are better suited than wheat as a crop in

Scotland because of the short wet growing season. Brose is actually uncooked oatmeal that has been heated in a dry pot to toast it and impart a nutty fragrance. It is served topped with butter or cream. Unlike the rolled oats that Charles microwaves in minutes, the porridge made in the 18th century was made from oats that were steamed and ground and then cooked for at least ten minutes.

I offered to help with food for a breakfast meeting last Saturday and decided that rather than making modern, rolled oats I would make a pot of oatmeal with steel cut oats from the coop. Steel cut oats are the whole oat grains that have been cut into two or three pieces after the outer hard husks have been removed. Since the meeting began at eight and I didn’t want to be cooking and stirring at seven I used a slow cooker and the oats cooked for ten hours while I slept. Here’s how I did it: … read more

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