I’ve been battling a cold since the weekend, and last night was the worst of it (I hope)! I slept poorly (if at all), so I was feeling exceptionally miserable this morning. This calls for the ultimate “comfort food” breakfast–oatmeal!

I foraged in the pantry for a while, looking for the familiar cylindrical container but couldn’t find it. Barb took pity on me and pointed my bloodshot eyes in the right direction before she left for work. I forgot we’ve been buying oatmeal in the bulk section lately, so it was in a plastic bag–with no recipe. Ack! To the Internet, Batman!

A quick search for “oatmeal recipe” returned about a zillion pages for all kinds of recipes, none of which were simply oatmeal. Searching for “how to cook oatmeal” was more effective, but none of the recipes I found sounded just right. By this time, I had finished my first cup of coffee so I was feeling a bit better–well enough, in fact, to do a little creative cooking.

I had just read about a dozen different oatmeal recipes, and one of them included cinnamon and nutmeg. That sounded particularly good, but we don’t have nutmeg in our spice drawer. (It’s probably in one of the many boxes we still haven’t unpacked.) I *did* find pumpkin pie spice, which contains cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. What the heck, here goes!


* 2¼ c milk
* ¼ tsp (less?) salt
* 1 c rolled oats
* ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
* ½ tsp vanilla
* maple syrup to taste

Mix the pumpkin pie spice with the oatmeal, or the spice will clump up when you add it to the milk. Heat the milk over medium heat until just boiling. (Careful! Milk can burn. You can use water instead and add some milk later.) Turn the heat to low and add the salt, oatmeal/spice mixture, and vanilla. Cook until the liquid is mostly absorbed and the oatmeal is done to your liking. (Depending on your stove, pan, and which oatmeal you use, this can be anywhere from 1-10 minutes.) Sweeten with maple syrup.

Reactions: This is a *lot* of oatmeal, probably two full servings. The cooking aroma of the spice and vanilla made an immediate improvement in my mood. 🙂 The ginger added a nice little zing, but I don’t think I would like it if I wasn’t sick. Next time I’ll try this with cinnamon and nutmeg, perhaps ½ tsp of each.

About Jim Vanderveen

I'm a bit of a Renaissance man, with far too many hobbies for my free time! But more important than any hobby is my family. My proudest accomplishment has been raising some great kids! And somehow convincing my wife to put up with me since 1988. ;)
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