I got this recipe from my online friend, Colleen, and modified it somewhat to suit my family's tastes, and I have to say that this is the BEST OATMEAL I have ever eaten, and many's the porridge bowl I've scraped in my day.
The first thing that makes this oatmeal so good is that it is anything but instant: You can bake it (tightly covered with foil) in the oven for an hour, or you can simmer it for three hours on low heat in your slow-cooker. The results will be something like what your great-great-grandmother had when she put the oats in a covered pot and moved them to the back of her big cast-iron stove to slowly transform in to pudding-y goodness all night long.
The second thing that makes this oatmeal so fabulous is the PUMPKIN. Could anything be more autumny than SLOW-COOKED PUMPKIN OATMEAL? The confluence of those three words together almost makes me need to go lie down. Combine the fall of the year with the Crock-Pot and the spices and the delicious smell wafting through the house and a halo of corn shocks and chrysanthemums will suddenly encircle your head: this oatmeal is autumn magic. True story.
So! Without any further hyperbole, I give you the recipe for Pumpkin Brunch Oatmeal. Serve it with those little tiny link sausages and some hot, milky coffee. Mmmmm....
PUMPKIN BRUNCH OATMEAL
6 scant cups old-fashioned oats
1 large can pumpkin
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Splenda®
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups milk
1 cup hot water
1 teaspoon baking powder
Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine thoroughly. Place into a buttered slow cooker or Dutch oven. If slow-cooking, set heat to Low and cook for three hours. If using Dutch oven, set oven to 375 degrees; bake oatmeal, covered, for one hour.
Prepare to swoon at the hearth-and-home aroma wending its way through the house.
When cooked, add more sugar/sweetener and milk as desired to individual bowls. Give it a drizzle of maple syrup and sprinkle on some pecans. Serve with little sausages, as mentioned. Particularly enjoyable when it is cold and rainy outside.
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