Easy steel cut oatmeal, kissed with cardamom and cream and full of the season’s finest pears. This is one breakfast worth getting up for.
The world is silent, and I, in my house, stare out at the leaves, blowing in the cool wind. It’s a wind that can ever so craftily find the seams of your coat, inviting itself through layers of wool sweater and cotton undershirt until it chills your skin.
Yet the sun shines as the leaves blow, and sometimes a few golden rays are all that is needed for the air to feel warmer and the outlook of life to seem brighter. The gray days have not yet arrived, and the shining sun still imparts a relative level of warmth should you turn your face to it, close your eyes and drink it in.
Here in the midst of life, I’m holed up with deadlines enjoying that soft sunshine from the window and then from the backyard as I pack up the last of the summer toys, rip dried tomatoes from the garden and turn the compost pile once more before the snow comes and the gray days of winter begin.
I’ll take what little bits I can get these days, sending my kids out to rake the crisp and colorful leaves into a pile, a pile they can then jump in before they turn again to run the prongs through the same leaves.
Warm and hearty breakfasts become things of necessity as the sun fades, keeping the chill away. This particular one has three cooking methods to help you choose the easiest and most convenient one for you. If you look closely, you can see the bits of cardamom singing sweetly and reminding you that the sun will shine again soon.
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1 cup steel cut oats
3 tablespoons muscovado sugar, dark brown sugar or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup half and half or whole milk
2 pears, diced
Overnight Stove-top Directions:
In the evening, bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add in oatmeal, stir to moisten all the oats. Cover and remove from heat, allowing to cool slightly. Store the pot in the refrigerator until morning.
The next morning, stir in brown sugar, ginger, cardamom, salt, half and half and pear pieces. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes until thick and creamy. Serve immediately.
Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in the oatmeal and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until oatmeal begins to thicken. Reduce heat to medium-low. Mix in brown sugar, ginger, cardarmom, salt, half and half and pears. Continue to simmer uncovered for 30-35 minutes until oatmeal is thick and creamy. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Umami Rice Cooker Directions:
Mix together all the ingredients in the bowl of the rice cooker. Stir with the paddle to combine. Place the bowl into the rice cooker and close. Choose the porridge setting and press start. When the cycle is finished, stir the oatmeal well. Allow to continue warming until you are ready to eat, up to 3 hours, or serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
NOTE: I’m sure you could also make this with a slow cooker. However, our beloved Crock Pot broke five years ago. We have yet to replace it. I’ve heard that different slow cookers have different temperatures, so know your appliance and give it an approximation. My advice would be low and slow. Good luck, and please let me know if you attempt it with any success!
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