The joys of a simple oatmeal breakfast
Though hard to find on local menus, it’s a favorite with
Three-year-old Ella Grablewski loves a bowl of homemade oatmeal topped
with pure maple syrup and fresh cut-up apples for breakfast.
Her father Jerome, owner of Jerome’s Catering in Londonderry, says he
never acquired a taste for the stuff, but happily makes it for his
bowl of hot oatmeal is just one of those things — people seem to either
love it or hate it and few are indifferent to it. You will be hard
pressed to find a restaurant in southern New Hampshire that serves
oatmeal for breakfast.
Odd, because the statistics in favor of eating oatmeal are there.
Oatmeal is plain and simple good for you. A single bowl of oatmeal every
day can lower your cholesterol as soluble fiber pulls harmful
cholesterol out of your arteries.
that isn’t enough of an argument in favor of eating it, here is another
one. Oatmeal is inexpensive and easy to prepare. Not the individual
packaged kind loaded with sugar, sodium and artificial flavorings, but
the plain old rolled oats that require simply a wooden spoon and a pan.
Richard Vareschi, owner of the upscale Richard’s Bistro, has eaten a
bowl of oatmeal a couple times a week for the past 40 years.
boil water, add oats, a tad bit of salt, and slowly stir. I top it with
a little brown sugar,” he explained. He skips the slice of butter
because of the fat it would bring to the meal.
like it the old-fashioned way. I never use any instant oats,” he added.
a novice, the variety on the supermarket shelf might seem daunting, but
knowledge is power, and with oatmeal, it is all about knowing your oat.
For many people, rolled oats are the thing for weekdays and steel cut
oats for the weekends.
Rolled oats are presteamed and flattened and thin and take five minutes
to cook. Steel cut oats, sold in the US as Scottish or Irish oatmeal,
are whole and unsteamed and manage to be both chewy and creamy at the
same time. Steel cut oats take 15 minutes to cook if you soak them
overnight or 30 minutes to cook straight into the water. Quick oats are
presteamed, rolled and cut and take one minute to cook. While you will
save on time, you lose in flavor and texture.
the Ash Street Inn, a bed and breakfast in Manchester, owner Darlene
Johnston serves oatmeal to lodgers and she herself eats it with brown
and golden raisins several times a week.
Julia Child said that her favorite meal to eat at home was a breakfast
of bacon, eggs, toast with marmalade and a bowl of oatmeal.
Popular and readily available brands of oatmeal include McCann’s Quick
Cooking Irish Oatmeal, New Hampshire importer Old Wessex Ltd Scottish
Porridge Oats and Christine and Rob’s (503-769-2993,
Think of oatmeal as a blank canvas. The beauty of it is that almost any
fruit, sweetener or works with it.
Plus, as the popular children’s book character Eloise says “You have to
eat oatmeal or you will dry up. Anybody knows that.”