Thursday, October 6, 2016

How to cook a perfect bowl of oatmeal

The tests are done, the verdict is in - I've at last discovered how to cook the perfect bowl of steel-cut oats in the microwave.  Let's me honest, it wasn't because of me - it was because of YOU!

And yes - there is quilt stuff in a minute!

I started with an ordinary bowl from the kitchen.  That's the one on the left. A huge mess as the oatmeal boiled over.  I were searching for another vessel to cook the oatmeal in and purchased the red cup.  It comes with a heat vent lid and it's deep.  But same problem - a huge mess in the microwave - I had NOT used the lid. I have visions of exploding oatmeal which would be bad.

Two different vessels for the oatmeal

Then someone mentioned cooking the oatmeal at a reduced power in the microwave. That was a Eureka moment.  I lowered the power and very tentively cooked the oatmeal.  AHA - that is perfect - why didn't I think of that?  60% seems to be good.

When I use the red cup (which I haven't had a chance to try in my microwave), that oatmeal stays hot, hot, hot.  That must be the cup used by Papa Bear. If you're in a  hurry, well, you can't be as that ceramic bowl keeps the heat in for a long, long time.

Then I got this bowl from Lynn.   Hmmm - it also has a lid with a steam vent.  I'm very suspicious of that.  Does it really work???  I'm not a confident cook!  Even for something as simple as oatmeal.

Plastic cup with a steam vent lid
Let's just say that it cooked the oatmeal beautifully.  With the lid on, steam vent OPEN.  Now here's the difference between the red cup and the green cup.  The oatmeal cooled quickly in the green cup.  The plastic doesn't retain the heat.  That is Momma Bear's cup.

Now I have options, I can keep one cup at work and one cup at home. Since I'm likely to have more time at home, I'll keep the ceramic one here and the plastic one at work.  And now to buy a package of oats for both places as I did forget to take it to work one day and no breakfast!

I also learned something about my microwave and that was how to set the time and the power in one swoop!  I know that sounds so silly and well - uncookish-like, but I seriously NEVER cook.  I don't think of those things.  My brain is full of quilt stuff and quilt stuff ONLY.

Oh, the other thing, I love about the green cup and the red cup is the fact that they have handles.  It's less easy to drop the silly bowl, which would be a HUGE mess.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions on the perfect bowl of oatmeal.  I'm a very happy camper!

And now for some pictures from the retreat.   Oh shoot, not before I show you this other mug that I bought when I was in the US.  I have a couple of green ones like this - well, those can go now as I found an orange one!!!!  And I have to try cooking soup or even taking my lunch in those other cups - they would be much better than the one that I currently have for lunch!

New orange cup

The place we stayed at for the retreat was amazing.  I can't say enough about how fabulous it was.  This is the room where we sewed and ate. It was HUGE, it was bright and it was a pleasure to work there. There were cutting stations and ironing stations along the far wall and part way along the side wall.  We each had a decent sized space to sew - two to an eight foot table which is plenty. The table in the foreground was the eating table, the table to the right was the snack table - it was empty when the picture was taken and there was a large table (above the snack table in the photo) that was perfect for laying out blocks.

Our sewing room at the retreat
It was truly an amazing space.  And if we wanted, we could go through the patio doors and out into a gazebo or relax on the beautiful chairs on the back patio.  What more could you want????

The ladies took turns cooking the food and here's a shot of them lining up for dinner. I bought supplies so no cooking for me.

Lining up for dinner

There were two design walls and it was protocol to put the finished projects on the walls so we could all ooh and aahh over them.  I didn't realize that and so my first two projects didn't make the wall.  No worries, you can't see either of them anyway as they are slated to be revealed at a later time so you have to wait for that.

The first project I took was a pre-cut kit from Shabby Fabrics.  It was completed by Mary Beth.  I believe she said the corners were missing (on the white border) in case you think it looks a bit weird.  It was the cutest thing ever!!!   It's called Christmas Keepsakes 2015.   Check out the link - it's NOT cheap and the quilt is only 36" by 36", but the embellishments, backing and binding are also included in the kit.

Christmas quilt

Which brings me to the thought - do you like the pre-cut laser kits???  It's a huge trend at the moment.  Costs you a bit more to buy all the shapes, pre-cut and pre-fused, but no more tracing, no more fussy cutting????  I'm not 100% sold on the idea.  That takes away part of the fun or does it???

That's it for me today.  I've got a date all day with my sewing machine and I'd better not be late.

Have a great day!!!


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