Tuesday, May 18, 2010


In Praise of Oats

See the freshly plowed field behind my dog, Jesse? This year, Hubby planted oats in it! We eat a lot of oats in our house, and feel the healthier for it, I must say. Already, the field is covered in grass that looks like it should be mowed. But this year, we will not be mowing that field, as the grass covering it is now oats. It's a new experience, and I'm hopeful it will turn out well. At the end of the growing season, we will harvest it and thresh it, use it in the kitchen, and save some for seed.

This is my oldest son completing one of his daily chores, namely, flaking oats. You place the whole oat groats in the hopper, turn the handle, and out come flaked, or rolled, oats. Kids love flaking and grinding grain, for some reason. It's the chore my boys never mind doing. They plug into their CD players, listen to their favorite music (Smoke on the Water, or Coming Undone, or Age of Aquarius, or Vivaldi -- we have diverse tastes in this house!) and crank the volume AND the handle. Sometimes they even compete to see who can roll the most! This works out quite well for me, because I use a lot of rolled oats in any given week.

Here's a picture of the flaker, not in action. It flakes any whole grain you might want to try. In fact, it's kind of fun experimenting with different grains. Wheat, spelt, barley, rice, oats, and more can be flaked into a variety of mixes to cook for morning cereal or add to your favorite recipes.

Here's something that gets a lot of use, as well. It's the grinder. You can buy a lot heftier and more expensive grinders than this one, but it serves our purposes well for the moment. I use it to grind the varieties of grain we use in our baked goods.

This week, after getting several requests for some of my recipes using oats, I decided to devote a week of posts to them. So stop by later and look for entries devoted to three of my favorite recipes using oats. Energy Bars, Waffles, and Granola. They get rave reviews in my house, and I can barely keep them in stock.

Energy Bars



By the way, I have decided to drop the habit of closing every post with getting back to my tasks at hand. I liked the idea in the beginning, but it seems rather tired at this point. After all, I'm pretty much always getting back to my tasks at hand! How redundant.

So! On that note, I invite you to celebrate oats with me this week! I hope you'll tune in on Thursday for my first recipe, which will be presented with lots of photos. See you then! Now go and eat some oats.. or, sow some wild ones, whatever floats your boat!

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