The Perfect Oatmeal

I've always had a weird relationship with oatmeal. For a while, I truly loved it, and ate it on a regular basis. You know, the strawberries n' cream packets, the maple brown sugar, ooo and the dinosaur eggs that hatched with the heat! Later on, I discovered that the instant oatmeal packets I'd become accustomed to didn't speak for the whole of oatmeal at all. Rolled oats may harken back to them some, but steel cut oats are another beast entirely, and a really delicious one at that! And so here is the recipe Jaime and I have developed for the perfect oatmeal.

1 cup steel cut oats (I recommend McCann's Irish Oatmeal)
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups water
Fruit, milk, brown sugar, etc. as desired

In a non-stick pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in the oats and toast for five minutes, stirring constantly. Once the five minutes are up, add in the water and let it come to a boil uncovered. It should boil nicely, not simmering, not violently - if not, adjust the heat accordingly. Let it boil uncovered for twenty minutes, checking on it regularly to prevent boiling over but not stirring it. Just let it be. After twenty minutes, stir up the oatmeal with a silicone spatula, scraping the bottom to get all the oats free and in the mix. Cook for another five to ten minutes, or until most of the water has been absorbed but the oatmeal still flows a bit.

There are a lot of variations you can do with this, such as using slightly less water and adding milk at the very end. Fruit also works well - try throwing in some blueberries when you add the water or layering sliced fruit in your bowl and scooping the oatmeal over it. My personal favorite way to go is just sprinkling a spoonful of brown sugar over top. Oatmeal's very forgiving, so don't be afraid to play with it until you find something that tastes just right to you. Enjoy!