Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Oatmeal in the rice cooker

I was told I should stop eating the highly processed, instant oatmeal and switch to real, steel cut oatmeal (such as McCann’s which you can get at Trader Joes). Not wanting to wake up to a complicated/lengthy cooking task, I recalled hearing something about rice makers being able to cook oatmeal. So, I dug out the rice maker and made a batch. I loaded the water and the oatmeal, changed to the “porridge” setting and about an hour later, a decent serving of oatmeal was ready.

The next day I thought I’d try the quick cook option to see how much faster it would be. Apparently that setting is only for rice as after a short while the oatmeal started bubbling out the steam vent, down the back of the rice maker and all over the counter. What a mess. Won’t try that setting again.

A few days pass and I give it another go. This time I either forget to choose porridge or I intentially tried one of the regular rice settings. Again, oatmeal out the vent and all over the place. I decide to stick to the instant oatmeal for a bit longer - I certainly purchased enough of it.

A few weeks passed and I’m finally starting to run low on the huge supply of instant oatmeal so I figure its time to start adding the real stuff back into the rotation. With the timer on the rice cooker, I can get everything ready to go before I jump in bed and wake up and have the oatmeal hot and ready to eat. The first night, everything went perfectly! I added some honey and cinnamon and enjoyed my breakfast. But, last night the machine ended up back on its default setting for rice (yes, I forget to double-check) and I woke up this morning to another wonderful mess. I’m hoping that writing this down will help me remember to check the setting every time!

So - if you are looking to use your rice cooker for oatmeal, it can and will work great - so long as you put it on the proper setting! Otherwise, look out...

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