My wife reminded me this morning of another somewhat unique food that I like*, so I thought I’d add this post as sort of a continuation of last night’s “And now, some lighter fare…”

* And I’m sure that I’ll remember more foods.  So hey – more blog posts.  Not that anyone really cares what I like to eat (except maybe my mom, and she already knows).  There’s really nothing of value in these posts, except maybe you find out more about my eccentricities.  But it’s my blog, so I’ll blog what I want to.  Nobody’s making you read this babble anyway.

So let’s talk oatmeal.  (I can hear all the enthusiasm!)  Actually, it’s a bit of an understatement to say that I like oatmeal.  It’s all I’ve had for breakfast for probably a year now (except when we’re travelling).  But it’s not just any oatmeal.  It’s my own personal homemade mix of oatmeal.  Here’s what you’ve got to do:

First, find yourself a good bulk food store.  I personally like an Amish store in Shipshewana, Indiana – E&S Sales.  I’d give you a link to their website, but… well, it’s an Amish store.  So first you buy some rolled grain.  This is going to make up about half of your final volume.  It could be oats – after all, we’re making oatmeal.  But if you’re feeling adventurous, you could get a mix!  (This is getting exciting, isn’t it?)  My current choice is a combination of oats, rye, barley, and three kinds of wheat.

Then, put together smaller quantities of whatever grain derivatives you can find.  Right now, I have some steel-cut oat groats**, quinoa***, two varieties of flax meal, flax seeds, pearl barley, oat bran, and wheat bran.  Oh – and add some unsweetened coconut flakes for a nice touch.  All of this mixed together should be about the same volume as your rolled grain.

** How many of you knew what “groats” were?  See, this blog does serve a useful purpose.

*** Ha!  There’s another food that you didn’t know about!  Well, maybe you knew about it.  Vegetarians eat it.  But I bet all you Menno meat and potatoes people haven’t tried it yet.  On the other hand, if you’re a Menno in some college town (I’m looking at you Ann Arbor and Madison) or in some urban area, quinoa may be all you had at your last church potluck.  There is a deep longing amongst certain members of certain suburban Mennonite churches to light up their grills at potluck time.

Ok – now that you’ve got all of that mixed well, you can cook it in a traditional oatmeal way.  Use maybe 1/3 C of this mix to 2/3 C (or more) of water.  Bring to a boil and keep boiling until it suits you.  I personally like my oatmeal chewy.  The groats and pearl barley help with that.

But we’re not done yet!  Oh, not at all.  Sweeten your oatmeal a bit (add some raw sugar or honey).  Throw in some walnuts or pecans or almonds (get some of the healthy fatty acids, especially if your ingredients didn’t include flax).  Add some dried fruit or cut in some bananas.  Then, you need some of my “odd spice”…

Odd spice?  What is odd spice?

I’m glad you asked.  It is my unique mixture of equal amounts of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and ground clove.  The name sounds vaguely like “allspice”, which oddly enough, has never made it into my odd spice mix.  That might change.  There have been no medical studies on the health benefits of odd spice.  But I haven’t had any major colds in over a year.  Just sayin’.

Ok – so mix it all up, add a little milk, and pour your self a small glass of orange juice.

Voila!  The best breakfast in the world.

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