Hay Box Oats and Other Ramblings

I had planned to post this last week, but my writing was interrupted by an unexpected journey to Vermont. A good friend of my husband’s died while serving his country in Afghanistan.

My husband took a week of vacation (they don’t offer bereavement leave for your brother in law’s brother) to be with his family and the family of the deceased. We had a whirlwind of week watching the motorcade conduct the body home, attending the viewing and funeral, and remembering the life that ended.

Throughout the events I was humbled by the sacrifice and risk our armed service members and their families face so that we and others can live normal lives.

Two weeks ago, Afghanistan had sounded like a place out of a fairy tale — frightening but far far away. Today it seems next door. Our warriors fighting in that land were faceless, nameless to our family. Now they have become people and the battle seems real.

I don’t know if the current war we wage is right or completely win-able, but I do know that our military members are doing their utmost to serve their country. They bear the brunt of the battle so that Afghanistan and terrorist organizations can sound like fairy tale monsters to people like me. To the members of our military: Thank you!

Now to your regularly scheduled post: Hay Box Oats

I love steel-cut oatmeal. It’s nutty and has a more toothsome texture than rolled oats. However, I often wake from a night of nursing hungry and cannot wait 45 minutes to cook steel-cut oatmeal. I want to scarf down any piece of a food in sight — bread crumbs, granola out of the bin.

Our daily breakfast bowl is usually filled with quick oats, rounded out with a little granola, milk and butter. It’s easy and nutritious, but it lacks the depth of steel cut oatmeal.

The other day, I read about thermos cooking on the Deliberate Agarian‘s site and decided to try something similar using our cooler. While making dinner, I boiled a pot of steel cut oats and water for 5 minutes. Then I swaddled the pot in towels and transferred it to the cooler. The next morning, my oats had cooled but were completely cooked. All I needed to do was return the pot to the stove and reheat it for a minute.

This method not only saved me time, but it also reduced the amount of energy needed to cook the oats the conventional method. It used less gas from the stove or electricity from a crock pot and the results were just a yummy. Some would say that oats prepared this way are more healthy because it removes phytates, which inhibit the body’s absorption of nutrients.


About beewhisper

Christian, Mama, Wife, Gardener, Beekeeper
This entry was posted in Bee in the Kitchen, Bee-ing Frugal, Bee-Musings, Buzzing Family. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hay Box Oats and Other Ramblings

  1. mama hutch says:

    Have you read Nourishing Traditions? (Based on some of your other posts, you’d probably enjoy reading it 😉 It mostly focuses on the Weston A. Price nutrition tradition…anyway, there is a section on soaking grains. We’ve had great success with soaking our steel cut oats overnight with a little water and kefir. By morning, all we have to do is bring it to a boil for a few minutes and breakfast is served!

  2. beewhisper says:


    Yes, I have read and enjoyed Nourishing Traditions! At first, I was quite skeptical, but then I found other sources, some more mainstream, that supported the Weston A. Price recommendations. I’m far from perfect in following her recommendations, but we are getting progressively better. As far as soaking grains and beans, I discovered that I need to add baking soda to mine because my water is so hard. Yogurt, whey, and vinegar don’t help at all.

    P.S. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. It rarely fails to make me laugh and think “I’ve been there” or “There go I!” Thanks for writing it!

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