This morning I’m at a Starbucks in Calgary, Alberta, enjoying an Americano which I forgot to order decaf…. Oops! I confess I had a difficult time understanding my barista through her accent, and she had a hard time understanding me, initially mistaking my “16 ounce” for “six shot,” but we got that cleared up. Joe & I made it into Canada yesterday morning, with a much easier than expected border crossing, and today we head towards Banff & Jasper. Exciting!
A week ago, last Tuesday afternoon (around 4:00 actually, it was a bit later than intended), Joe & I started our drive to Alaska. Thankfully, the four hours we drove that day were the most intense hours of the trip so far, with a huge thunderstorm, lightning all around us, and a tornado warning which made us stop at a roadside pizza place to wait out the storm for an hour or so. We ordered a vegan pizza (veggies, no cheese), and after we waited for a while, the waitress let us know that the cook had dropped our pizza on the floor, that she was making us a new one, and that we would get it for free. All of these things were great news for us, as it meant we could wait there even longer without feeling awkward, and we didn’t have to pay for the emergency pizza stop! By the time we finished our pizza, the storm had passed, and we could keep going.
So far on the road, we haven’t cooked much beyond reheating foods we’d prepared before setting out. We’ve been eating a lot of trail mix, granola, hummus, pb&j sandwiches for Joe, and hardboiled eggs for me. Easter dinner consisted of boiled potatoes & our last can of Alaskan salmon, enjoyed next to Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park. Wonderful, but not entirely blog post material!
But I have been wanting to post something, and not leave my blog unattended for the full two weeks of traveling! Saturday’s lunch proved to be the inspiration for this simple post. We were in Yellowstone National Park, having just observed two ‘eruptions’ of Old Faithful between which we wandered around the various other hot springs & geysers in the area, and were both super hungry. It was about 3:00 by the time we were ready for lunch, and, having just snacked on trail mix & granola for breakfast, we both agreed that oatmeal sounded like a wonderful idea.
So Joe got the cookstove going, while I ran to the Visitor Center to fill our water bottles, and we cooked a monstrous amount of oats in the sunshine filled parking lot for Old Faithful (I can’t tell you how many strange looks we may have received, because I wasn’t paying any attention to them!). I honestly don’t think I’ve ever eaten such a big bowl of oatmeal! It was exactly what was needed though, filling us both up and getting us through the rest of the day and on to Bozeman, Montana, where we spent the night.
So, I won’t call this a recipe, as it’s really just a basic formula. I’ve never really understood recipes for oatmeal, because for me it’s always a thrown together meal with whatever additions and proportions I’m feeling like that day. This formula includes all of the add-ins needed for a very hearty and filling bowl of oats .
(This is Joe with his bowl of oats and “old faithful,” which is the name he gave our old cookstove, given to us by his parents. We had a bit of trouble getting it going the first couple days, but the past few days it’s been burning strong – hurrah!)
serves however many you want it to!
Oats & water, in a 1:2 ratio.
Joe never measures these things; I usually do when I’m cooking for myself, but on this trip I’m just letting him ‘eyeball’ it out.
Raisins, and/or any other dried fruit you have on hand. I love the combo of chopped dried apples & raisins, but don’t have any apples right now.
Nuts – right now we have almonds & pecans. They’re great chopped or whole.
Peanut butter – yes, peanut butter. This’ll for sure give you the extra calories for a real energy boost!
Cinnamon – yum!
Flax seeds – ground or whole works!
A bit of salt – Joe doesn’t understand this, but I insist that it helps the flavor!
(This is Joe’s simple method for making oatmeal. We’re currently using oats from Whole Foods, which are heartier than Quaker oats, but not as hearty as my favorite 7-Grain oats from my mom. This cooking method works great for the WF oats.)
Bring your water to a boil. Add the oats to the water, cover and return to a boil. Once the oatmeal is boiling again, remove from the heat. Let the oatmeal sit until the water is absorbed and you have the right consistency. In the meantime, put all your ‘extras’ in your bowl, then when the oats are ready, serve ’em up!