I’ve gotten really into oatmeal over the past months. It is a wonderful and delicious way to start the day, though unfortunately I don’t make it on weekdays. (On weekdays, getting out of bed and to school/work more or less on time is a huge enough accomplishment without adding “cook food on stove.”) This is a pretty recent thing for me! When I was growing up, my mom was really into oatmeal with crushed bananas, and I found that simultaneously insufficiently, and way too, sweet. (The oat part = insufficient; cooked banana = way too.) So she would sometimes feed me those Quaker Oats instant packets we all ate growing up, and like all right-thinking people, I was a nut for Peaches & Cream. This brings me to a somewhat mortifying discovery I made. Over the summer, I would add whatever fruit we had laying around to my morning oatmeal, and one day that was a peach. Imagine my shock upon taking a bite of homemade from-scratch oatmeal, made with milk and a chopped peach, and realizing with joy that it tasted *exactly* like Quaker Oats Peaches & Cream from the packet.
I’m just saying, aren’t those associations supposed to go the other way?
Anyway, through many attempts I have my formula down cold, and it is the best. Here’s how I make enough for one.
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup oats
2 tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut (You can use sweetened if that’s what you have, but if you do, leave out the brown sugar.)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch brown sugar
Any fruit you want to mix in
Add your cup of milk and half-cup of oats to a pot over medium-high heat. Watch it, stirring occasionally. It’ll start to bubble. Stir it. When it’s thickening to a point you’d start to consider eating it at, add your mix-ins, including some chopped fruit if you have some handy and think it would be nice. As soon as it thickens to the point you wish to eat, remove it from the heat and consume.
Tips for doing this well:
– Once it starts to thicken, it thickens very fast. I have learned from experience to always have my mix-ins prepped before I start cooking, else I’m scrambling frantically and hoping the oatmeal doesn’t burn. This is the only dish for which I consistently do a mise en place.
– Do not make oatmeal with cream. It will not be nicer. It will be disgusting.
– If you mix in peaches, it will taste exactly like the powdered shit you loved as a kid.