There's a holiday for every food, it seems! There's a whole month devoted to oatmeal (January) but today is actually National Oatmeal Day. (Not to be confused with National Oatmeal Cookie Day, or Oatmeal Muffin Day.) This is one we'll gladly celebrate, especially now that the weather is chillier.
We will also take any opportunity to promote steel-cut oats, which we love to distraction. Steel-cut oats are not the flat flakes of instant and rolled oats. They are the chopped groats themselves, with a nutty flavor and chewy texture.
Steel-cut oats take about half an hour to cook, which makes them less convenient than 2-minute microwave oatmeal. (You can also leave it in a slow cooker all night.) But we think the nutty taste and more robust texture are worth it.
Sometimes we are traditionalists about our oatmeal: a little butter, a little brown sugar, milk and cinnamon. Other times we spice it up with a tiny pinch of saffron, jaggery, white raisins, ginger and cashews for a special treat.
You can buy steel-cut oats in the bulk bins at Whole Foods or a health food store. You can also buy directly from these suppliers:
• McCann's Irish Oats
• Bob's Red Mill
• Anson Mills
How do you like your oatmeal?
• Recipe: Golden Oat Pancakes
• Good Question: What's the Deal With Oatmeal?
• Survey: What Do You Eat for Breakfast?
• Seasonal Recipe Spotlight: Oats