Thursday, December 10, 2009

Irish Oatmeal

Irish Oatmeal, porridge, pin head oats, steel cut oats -- so many names for such a wonderful way to start your day. For most of us in the US, McCann's is the brand we see in our local grocery store. The first time I bought a can of oats and cooked it up according to the directions, my oatmeal turned out chewy and the oats had a bit of a bite to them. I did everything that the directions suggested and couldn't understand what I did wrong.

In the Fall of 1999, I went to Ireland for the first time. We stayed in B&Bs and enjoyed Irish oatmeal at each location. One morning, I decided to ask the host her secret to the porridge. It was so creamy and wonderful that it had to contain heavy cream, half and half or at a minimum whole milk. I was surprised to learn that there was no dairy in there at all. She said that she always uses Odlums Oats. And she cooks them the night before. In the morning, she reconstitutes and cooks down a second time. It was such a simple answer. We hustled over to the local Tesco and bought a few bags of Odlums Oats to bring back home with us. I've since run out of Odlums and am back to the McCann's, but with the new technique in hand, my oatmeal turns out great every time. And since I do the majority of the cooking the night before, its easy to send my family off with a wonderful porridge breakfast on a weekday.

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