Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lots of Promises, Few Results

Starting a budget, like starting a diet, is something best done in any month other than December.

Translation, I'm not doing great on my promise from last post.  I'm going to call December a practice month, and start my food budgeting logs in January.  There are just too many parties, and food days, and St. Nick...  Oh, and St. Nick is totally local.  Regardless what he brings, it's local.  Because he's from everywhere!  Yay for citrus!

St. Nick brought a bit of an extra surprise this year - a box of organic lemons.  Watch for my future upcoming post: Put Up or Shut Up Episode 8: Limoncello.  I'm pretty excited.

One thing that I have started doing, as a part of increasing my local eating, cutting out Genetically Modified Foods, and saving money (it's the trifecta!), is making oatmeal.  I purchased a large bag of organic steel cut oats for not very much money (I think less than $6 for a five pound bag) and have been making oatmeal in the slow cooker on Sunday nights/Monday mornings.  For those of you who are not making slow cook oatmeal, I would recommend it.  I do not generally like oatmeal - but find it's much better out of a slow cooker.

I use Alton Brown's general recipe: 1 cup of steel cut oats, 4.5 cups of liquid (I use a combination of water and milk, depending on how creamy I want it to be), and whatever else I want to throw in.  Cook on low in a slow cooker for 8-9 hours.  This makes enough for about 10 normal sized bowls.  It lasts well in the fridge, and I've read online that you can freeze it too, although I have never given this a try.

Sadly, I have not taken any pictures, because I am eating it far too early in the morning to think about taking a picture, and Oatmeal is not especially pretty.  So far my "add-ins" have been:

1. Fresh cranberries and apples, and cinnamon.  I topped this one with a little bit of honey when I went to eat it.

2. Dried cherries, candied ginger (okay, not local), and molasses (also not local).  This was probably my favorite.  I also like that it got a really dark color.  Sometimes I think that the least appetizing thing about oatmeal is the weird, lumpy shade of light brown.

3. Maple syrup and bacon.  Hells yeah!  I cooked the bacon first and then toasted the oats in about a tablespoon of the bacon fat.  I did not add the bacon to the slow cooker overnight, but stirred it back in when I woke up.  It heated up well in the microwave.

The one thing I will say about the bacon oatmeal is that I talked myself into adding all water and no milk.  "Milk and Bacon" I thought to myself, "yuck!"  Also we didn't have any milk.  But I think I was wrong.  While it's good, the texture is just a little off and I think that might be a lack of creamy milk thing.  I tried pouring a little milk over when I heated some up later, and that seemed to help.

I am thinking banana next?  Or maybe taking a break from oatmeal and switching over to breakfast polenta for a while.  Any suggestions on flavors?  I will try to take pictures next time!

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