Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hearty Thanksgiving Breakfast: Apple Pie Oatmeal

On Thanksgiving Day, some people watch the parade. Some watch football. Some play football. Some hunt. A common denominator is food, and serving something that stands for the bounty with which we are blessed. Either we raised it or we earned the money to purchase it. When we're serving the food, we want to please our loved ones -- we serve family recipes or, at least, family favorites. We're nourishing them and we're nurturing them.

When my hunter went to the woods this morning, he had a belly full of hot oatmeal that tasted like apple pie -- his favorite dessert. He also carried pepperoni rolls, trail mix and apples.

I've been working on this hot apple pie oatmeal recipe since September. I have it almost right. I'm using bits and pieces of other recipes I've found all over the web, trying one, keeping what I like, discarding what doesn't work.

One thing that didn't work for me was using a full-size Crock-Pot. The oatmeal spreads out and cooks too fast. You want to put this on and have it be ready when you wake in 6, 7,  or, if you're lucky, 8 hours. It's going to burn in a full-size Crock-Pot. So I use my smaller slow cooker. But this is a sticky recipe that will start to cement itself around the edges of the smaller pot. A slow cooker liner is too big. Greasing the pot doesn't seem to help much.

My solution is to get a Christmas light timer ('tis the season after all). My slow cookers are older and don't have built-in timers. Turn your slow cooker to Low, plug it into the timer and set it to turn on the pot 5-6 hours before you want to eat.

If you don't have a small Crock-Pot, double the recipe and use a slow cooker liner. I got 5 servings out of this recipe so if you're serving more than 4-6 people, you might want to double it anyway.

Here's the version I'm going to make next time, only slightly altered from how I made it this time:


APPLE PIE OATMEAL
1 1/4 cups steel-cut oats (also called Irish oats)
3 cups water and 1 cup apple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar

1 packet spiced cider (optional but it gives it extra apple flavor, sold near hot cocoa and tea)
3 apples, cored, peeled, and diced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Place the steel-cut oats in a 2-quart Crock-Pot. Add water and spiced cider. stir. Top with apples and cinnamon. Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours by setting a timer at bedtime.
Top with walnuts or milk but it's delicious served as-is.

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