Saturday, November 27, 2004



One of the nice things about writing a blog is that I can wander in any direction. Today I wander over to oatmeal.

When I was a kid, my mother fed all four of us boys oatmeal in the fall and winter. "It's good for you" was the standard refrain. But I never enjoyed the taste of it compared to the other meals that came from my mother's kitchen. It was bland, but I dutifully ate it while looking forward to lunch.

Some time ago, I came across an idea to dress up oatmeal: use apple juice instead of water. What a great idea. It's got great taste. From there, I've modified it to form

Al Hedstrom's World Phamous Morning Oatmeal (WPMO)

In a small saucepan, put a handful to two cups of either cracked or whole wheat with twice as much water. The exact amount is determined by personal preference and the total amount of WPMO you intend to produce. Heat to boil. Remove from heat, let stand for 5 minutes. The idea is to let the wheat absorb the water with no remaining liquid at the end.

In a large saucepan or stock pot, add:

Two parts apple sauce
Two parts apple juice (fresh cider is so much better)
Heat to boil.

One part granola (either maple or apple flavored)
One-half part raisins
The boiled wheat
Two to three parts uncut rolled oats

Cover, remove heat, let stand for 5 minutes.

I usually cook this in a ten-quart stockpot, let it cool, and then divide to small containers for the freezer.

I buy my apples by the bushel box in the fall, either gala or golden delicious. Gravensteins and granny smiths are better suited to pies, braeburns are the best as-is. I try to catch oatmeal on sale and buy a 25-pound bag. Granola keeps well in a sealed container, so I buy several pounds whenever it's on sale. We've usually got several large boxes of raisins on hand for general munching and I use whole or cracked wheat in bread as well as oatmeal.

On a side note, my daughter got for me a can of John McCann Steel Cut Oatmeal as a birthday gift last June. I was skeptical, but I tried it. Following the directions, I fixed myself a very pleasing bowl of oatmeal porridge. A completely different taste than that of rolled oats. The next time I tried it I used apple juice juice instead of water. And the water-based oatmeal is better! Try it with a light dose of brown sugar or real maple syrup. Highly recommended.

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