Create • Inspire • Journey
by Rachelle Eason
Lessons Learned From Slow-Cooked Oatmeal.
Many know that I do not cook. Like really…do not. For the 29 plus years we have been married, Chris has done the majority of the cooking. If he didn’t cook, one of the kids usually did. After all, we homeschooled and cooking was a great way to learn multiple skills. 😜
Every once in a while, I would get a great wave of motivation and decide I was going to cook there by contributing my solution to the great cooking dilemma of our family…what shall we eat.
Instant Pot Love…and Loss
A couple of years ago, I purchased an Instant Pot and I stuck with cooking a bit. Then I got distracted by life and my husband started to use the Instant Pot more and more. I regressed back into oatmeal being my one contribution to our eating regime; and that was even a rare occasion.
In September, our Instant Pot broke and my cooking days went back to nil. However, December came and an undeniable desire for a traditional holiday season swept over me. Cooking was going to have to happen.
Without the help of the Instant Pot, I had to stay in the kitchen and actually monitor what was cooking. The strangest thing happened…
Cooking Up Joy
I enjoyed it! I get bored with the everyday kind of cooking and fancy myself as more of a creative cook. Being vegan, recipes that have interesting ingredients intrigue me and it is fun to alter traditional cuisine with foods like jackfruit, agave, and nut cheeses.
As much as I have been enjoying cooking, especially with the fabulous purple cookware Santa brought us, it wasn’t until yesterday and today that I realized there is a bigger lesson to take away from stirring something at the stove; stirring steel cut oats to be exact.
My signature (Lol) dish of strawberry oatmeal was put on hiatus since our Instant Pot broke. Of course, there has been the instant oatmeal in a pack that our children seem to enjoy, but I have never been a fan of that stuff. Yesterday, I discovered the neglected canister of steel cut oats in the pantry and decided it would be the perfect base for the cranberry peach sauce I wanted to make.
Everything Cooks Better in Purple
Do you happen to share this habit I have? I tend to not fully read the directions for anything before I start; even the three line directions on the back of an oatmeal container. Once I had the water boiling and the oats stirred in, I finally read that it would take 25 to 30 minutes to make. Definitely not instant; not even quick. It was to cook uncovered with occasional stirring. With my kitchen wisdom that I have recently discovered at my ripe age of fifty, I realized that if I left the kitchen, this oatmeal would sure to burn and my new purple pot would be scorched forever.
You could probably say I really stayed to prevent the purple pot from an early demise. So, in essence, everything does cook better in purple since I won’t leave the kitchen and take the chance of burning something in my purple pot!
During the 25-30 minute span of stirring occasionally, I reflected a lot and learned a few things…
- Embracing moments is as simple as sharing love with our (four!) dogs in between stirs. (Milo thought he could get a taste. Picture above.)
- Nurturing myself in mind and spirit can be done by occasionally stirring while writing in my journal.
- Fresh cooked food puts healthy eating on a different level than grabbing prepackaged items even if they are geared to be healthy like packaged vegan yogurt.
- Our current culture of “being busy all the time” has skewed our perception and fed the notion that convenience foods are necessities.
- It is refreshing to take the time to do something so simple yet so satisfying.
- It is energizing to live slowly.
My epiphany came when the words I have been trying to vocalize about my art and the inspiration I hope to relay through my plant-stained papers and pottery were realized during those moments of stirring, petting, writing, and pouring my delectable yum into one of my favorite purple pottery bowls…
Slow down. Connect with moments. Savor each day.
And the oatmeal with homemade sauce made of fresh cranberries and jarred peaches, was so absolutely delicious, I made it again today.