serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided I don’t actually think you need the first amount of butter to toast the oats. Next time I’d leave that off)
1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
1 cup pumpkin or squash puree I used canned pumpkin. Next time I’d use the whole can of pumpkin (14 floz)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg I used pumpkin pie spice because I’m lazy. Put a lot in!
2 cups milk Apparently you can do this with any type of dairy or non dairy milk. I bet almond milk would be good!
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla I scraped out half a vanilla bean and also cooked the pod in the oats.
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat the oven to 375°F. In a 3-quart (or larger) saucepan or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. (Your burner shouldn’t be on at full blast, but the butter should melt quickly.) When the butter foams up, stir in the oats and fry them, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until they smell toasted.
Push the oats up against the side of the pan, (I took them out entirely because the pan I was using was too small) and drop the second tablespoon of butter in the now clear center of the pan. Dump in the pumpkin puree. Fry it in the butter, only stirring after about a minute. Stir in the sugar and spices and continue frying the puree for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until the color darkens slightly and the raw smell disappears. It’s OK if a few dark brown spots appear as the puree sticks to the pan.
Pour in the milk and whisk everything to combine. Whisk in the water, vanilla and salt. Put a lid on the pan and put it in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven, and carefully lift the lid (be cautious as steam will billow out). Stir the oatmeal. It will look quite loose still, but the oats should be al dente and tender. The oatmeal will thicken rapidly as it cools.
Eat immediately with a drizzle of cream or milk and maple syrup, or let cool and then refrigerate. Heat up bowls in the microwave or on the stovetop. This is actually very good cold straight from the fridge. It’s a bit custardy and the oats are perfectly cooked. Tastes like dessert for breakfast. I don’t put anything else on it (no need for added sugar or dairy!)
Yesterday I felt calm…
Today I feel free…
I’m not going to say there aren’t going to be difficult times and there aren’t going to be any more memory bombs that come at me out of nowhere, but today is the first day that I can look at the last nine months and see that I’ve walked through and closed the door on that chapter.
I know on the other side of that door is turmoil and pain and that will have played a part in creating a new and different me… a little less trusting, a litte more cautious…
But I feel like I’m finally not a prisoner in my own mind anymore!
I woke up the other night with the following words blaring on repeat in my mind…