Monday, February 7, 2011

I Am Not Lazy #5: Slow Cooker Oatmeal

I don't want to spoil this post by showing the final result right off the bat, so instead I will show you a picture of my family's Christmas turkey from this year, complete with a bottle of wine. Now, onward!

OM snap, it's National Oatmeal Month! (Or at least it was when I started this post. Now it's well into Low Vision Awareness Month, which I would heartily laugh at were I not virtually blind myself.) Before you start throwing things at me and set me on fire with your rage, please understand that I only found this out myself a few days ago when alert reader RN sent me an email. Negative 15 points for the rest of you for keeping this secret from me. Well goodness, apparently this is a month of many important commemorances, second and secondmost being National Bath Safety run out and get your bathtub bar today, you grouchy old codger. I'm not picking you up when you slip.

Anyway, one of the many benefits of my new roommate is that she has every kitchen gadget imaginable (she also has bad sinuses, and since it is also National Sinus Pain Awareness Month, we apparently were destined), which has opened up entire new worlds, no, GALAXIES of cooking options for me. So when my sister sent me this recipe for slow cooker oatmeal, I obviously jumped at the chance. Unfortunately, that recipe was pretty disgusting, and I will waste no one's time with it. I will only post a picture of the final product, which will probably do a lot to convince you that I'm not a liar.

Mega gross.

So, per usual, I decided to edit the recipe to suit my own preferences, namely that it contain an absurd amount of cinnamon. So here are the ingredients:

1. Steel-cut oats. Rolled oats won't work because they cook too fast (as they are actually already cooked). I used McCanns, which is universally regarded* as the best. It did, after all, win "A Certificate of Award for Uniformity of Granulation**" (say that loudly at a party, and you'll meet your future spouse in mere seconds) in 1893 at the World's Fair in CHICAGO, and this certificate was approved by N.B. Crutchfield, so challenge it if you dare, you impudent miscreant (you won't). (OMG BONUS INFO: Quaker Oats were ALSO introduced at the 1893 World's Fair! Rivals from the start! As was oatmeal's incompetent and clumsy inbred cousin, Cream of Wheat. But we don't care about that. Survival of the fittest will take care of that any day now.) When I started eating oatmeal, I had no idea what the difference was between rolled and steel cut oats. Now I do, so I am allowed to call you an idiot for not knowing. Basically, it's exactly what they sound like. Steel-cut oats involve cutting the oat kernel into a few bits, probably with a pizza cutter. (Google image search for "pizza cutters" reveals that some people take pizza cutting Very Seriously. I prefer to just rip it apart with my bare hands.) Rolled oats involve rolling the oat flat under HEAVY ROLLERS. (Oh, look what someone helpfully did for us.) I prefer the steel-cut oats. I feel like they have better texture and more flavor. However, they take much longer to cook, and I am impatient. They're also more expensive: I think a can of the steel-cut is around $5, and it doesn't make as many servings. However, it is also a symbol of the bourgeoisie and denotes a person of high status, and therefore is necessary to own, like a large television. Anyway, a lovely can of McCanns just opened under terrible lighting looks like so:

Yum yum yum. It's like it's your mouth's birthday every time. Oh, p.s., you need one cup.

*My sister told me so, anyway.
**The first sentence of that post made my toes curl. But what else can you expect from someone "blogging" about something that happened 120 YEARS AGO?!?! Isn't that kind of defeating the purpose of blogging? I mean...I could wait for your next scintillating post on the Ferris Wheel that you'll do in a year when you get around to it, or I could read the Wikipedia article NOW.


3. Half and half. You need (this will be easy to remember) a half cup. I got mine from The Place of Wonder Known as Trader Joe's, so obviously it is the Best Ever.

4. Cinnamon--See previous post, "My Oatmeal". Use a lot.

5. Brown sugar--Please see item 4, "Cinnamon". Use a little.

You also need one of THESE:


OK, even if you aren't a good cook, this one is easy, I promise.

A) Dump ingredients into cooker.
B) Stir. (Optional.)

After completing step a (definitely) and step b (maybe), it'll look somesuch like so:

C) Turn slow cooker on low and leave for 8 to 9 hours. During this time, read something marvelous until you fall asleep and dream about oatmeal.

After said time period, it will look like this:

Do not be alarmed! It's just the cinnamon rising to the top and cooking up full of goodness and great-smelling wonderfulness! Stir it a bit (This is the one downfall--the oats tend to settle around the edges of the pot, and unless you want to wake up every couple of hours to stir it, they don't cook completely evenly and will need to be stirred some. Small price, in my mind.), spoon it into a bowl from Wal-Mart, and it will look like THIS:

There's a party in my tummy! So yummy, so yummy! (Those little brown blobs are Cinnamon Bursts of Delightfiality and should not alarm you.)

So that's that. You will probably also be happy to know that I survived my second blizzard of the winter incident-free, but a fellow Chicagoan still made sure that none of us were bored.


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