Sunday, 31 January 2016

Ever had a good idea?




Yesterday, early in the morning . . .  I got to thinking.  That's when I do most of my thinking.  Early in the morning when I am all on my own with no distractions except a furry tum tum to scratch.  

Todd is always wanting me to save money when I do my grocery shopping, and I was thinking about how I could do that . . .  seeing as how I was going to be going grocery shopping later on.

We go through a lot of instant oats packets.  Quaker.  Golden Syrup.  Two of them every morning, except I have the plain one, not the Golden Syrup one.   I remembered having read  in a slow cooker cookbook about cooking your oatmeal in the slow cooker overnight.  It sounded like the perfect solution to buying all those instant packets of oats . . .  and it has to be better for you, right?  Regular oats instead of instant. 

This was genius, and just think of all the money I could save on those instant packets of oats.  I could just buy a big bag of old fashioned rolled oats.  I was practically rubbing my hands together with glee.

 

So . . .  when Todd got up,  I told him about my colossal fantabulous idea of how to save some money on the groceries.  Just one problem however  . . .  we have a huge slow cooker, which is far too big to cook a couple of servings of oats in.  What to do . . .  what to do  . . .

And then I had a second great idea.   When we were grocery shopping, I would keep an eye out for a much smaller slow cooker.  We used to have one a long time ago, but we gave it up in favour of a larger one.  But this would come in handy because we would use it every night so that we would have hot oats waiting our rise in the morning . . . Todd had his misgivings, but . . . like most things . . .  he went along with my brilliantly stupendous idea.  I think he was hoping and thinking there would be no small slow cookers in the grocery store and that would be the end of that.

Off we went to the grocery store.



Todd hates grocery shopping.  Todd hates it with a passion.  I hate having him with me when I am shopping.  We always shop where he can go, have a sit down, a drink and a read while I do the shopping.  It's what works for us.  We went to Asda, which is the British version of Walmart.  He did come with me to see if they had any small slow cookers. I think he was kind of hoping that they didn't, but  . . .  BINGO!  They did.  And they were on special! Only £12, marked down from £16.99.  RESULT!

One went into the cart,  and he toddled off to the cafe to have a leisurely read and a drink, while I went downstairs to do the remainder of the shopping.

 

The gods were certainly with me because not only did I find a small slow cooker . . .  but Scott's Porage Oats were also on special.  A 1KG box was only £1.85 . . . .  but   . . .  wait for it  . . . wait  . . . Ta da!!  You could get TWO for only £3, a saving of 70 pence!  (I hope I did the math right.)

I had to buy them.   I was saving us money.

The rest of the shop was pretty uneventful.  But I was pumped.   I had managed to save us some money and this new idea of cooking our oats in the slow cooker overnight every night was totally going to rock.



So last night,  before we went to bed, I carefully measured a cup of oats into the cute little mini slow cooker.   Threw in some water.  Added some cinnamon because cinnamon is good for you.  Threw in some raisins and chopped apple, also good for you.  Tasty.  Tasty. I could hardly wait.  Todd could hardly wait.  This was going to be soooo good.  We would be waking up in the morning to the smell of toasting oats . . . .  cinnamony, toasty appley oats!

  

The thought alone was enough to make me want to dance.  Tasty oats in the morning and saving money.  A brilliant combination.

Except for one thing . . . .

Not toasty.   Not tasty.  Wallpaper paste . . .  studded with raisins that have no texture and hard chunks of apple.

But it does taste of cinnamon.    Cinnamon flavoured glue.

And to think  . . . . it only cost us £15.


 

I just can't wait until Todd gets up and tells me what he thinks of my brilliant money saving idea.

The End.

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Baking in The English Kitchen today  . . . Chocolate Buttermilk Cake.

May your Sabbath Day be richly blessed.   Wherever you go and whatever you get up to, don't forget  . . .


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And I do too!  


18 comments:

Suze said...

Oh Marie I am so sorry. I would have put a smaller dish in the cooker and used water to make a baine marie. I am so sorry that it didn't work for you but have an idea. I have heard of some cooking a larger batch of oats. These are left to cool. When it is solid scoop out a serving and freeze the serving on a plastic covered tray. In the morning your friend the microwave can be used to reheat the oats. Perhaps a muffin tray would provide a great guide. That smaller cooker may well prove useful when you plan to have a meal for two at the end of the day. Oats don't really go off and you can make ANZAC biscuits and granola etc.

I have had a bad time with all things technical this weekend and now my bank account has been suspended...it was their fault too. Just as well there is rarely no food, tp etc in the house and I try to keep some money on me. Because I can't get that site to work after they reset things.

Enjoy your Sunday and God bless.

Marie Rayner said...

Some great ideas there Suzan. I did read a recipe for Granola in the slow cooker. I might give that a go! We will see! You sure have more than your fair share of troubles Suzan! I hope and pray you can get it all sorted! xoxo

Suze said...

I have managed to sort the banking and start the BSL machine app on my phone so this evening is improving. So things are looking up.

cindy said...

steel-cut oats may work better...also, try "cooking" it on the warm setting instead of low. do you use the large flake old fashioned type of oats? xxoo

Sybil said...

Marie I'm sorry about the porridge but I have only ever used Quaker Oats but I make my porridge in the micro I'm not sure you have one..it only takes about 3/4 mins in the micro,..no pots to wash etc. Hope you have better success tomorrow trial and error....I'm feeling a bit poorly this morning so havnt gone to church hope I I will be better later xx

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It could be that they cooked a little too long. I have done oats in the slow cooker much like you and enjoyed them. I never buy packets anymore I make a bowl of oats in the microwave when I want one. I just mix 1/2 cup oats to 1 cup water and a pinch of salt, mix well, cook 1 min,stir and cook another minute. Quick and easy. Sorry yours didn't go as well. Have a blessed Sunday

Marie Rayner said...

Glad you were able to sort it out Suzan! Your persistance paid off! xo

I think Todd would have a fit if I tried to buy more oats Sis! haha I will use what I have, just in a different way. xoxo

Sorry you are feeling poorly Sybil. ((((hugs)))) I hope you feel better after a day of rest. I had wanted to get away from the instant oats in the microwave, but I may just have to go back to that. xoxo

Thanks for your advice Pam! It said in the recipe I looked at 8 or 9 hours on low. They had about 7, way too glue like. Blah. I will try what you say about doing it in the microwave. I wonder can you use the old fashioned oats that way? Happy Sunday! xoxo

La Table De Nana said...

I have a 100lb bag of steel cut oats..Jacques thought he would love thatso at Costco we bought that monstrous bag..we tried..stovetop..overnight slow cooker..have not touched the bag in months..I don't know anyone who like it..that kills me.. throwing food away.
he likes plain oats..stove top..period.adds brown sugar and cream.
Poor you..but you do know the smaller CP is good for just the 2 of you.

Linda Metcalf said...

Marie...I have a small crockpot I bought when they first came out. I get the steelcut Scottish oats and use 1 cup with 4 cups water. I put a bit of brown sugar, some cinnamon and a good splash of vanilla. Put it on low over night. I put this in a plastic container in the fridge and heat it up in the microwave for breakfast. If I were using apples or raisins I'd throw them in the bowl in the microwave in the morning.

Marie Rayner said...

You're so right Monique. I don't fancy taking a chance and buying more oats of a different kind to end up with more glue. The cp will come in handy for other things for sure! xoxo

I just don't want to take the chance of ending up with more pasty gruel Linda,so I think I will give cooking oats in the crockpot a miss from now on! Blecch! Thanks for your help however! xoxo

Bunny said...

I live alone, and make myself a little instant porridge in the morning. However I do find it's not plain sailing. It's picky about the milk you use (almond in my case), and the time you microwave it. Very easy to get wallpaper paste.
As for granola...well I snapped a tooth off in November. In January I had a letter from my dentist announcing his forthcoming retirement. Come to think of it, my treatment didn't come cheap!

Barb said...

Hi Marie~

So sorry . . . boy I could of saved you some trouble. I've tried it, and it's not good, not good at all. I've thought about trying the soaking method, where you put your oats in a jar and soak them overnight with a little lemon juice, I saw the idea here - http://www.rosierambles.com/2016/01/overnight-oats-in-jar.html. I'm going to give this one a try.

I don't like grocery shopping, and I only go when it's absolutely necessary. I avoid, Wal*mart like the plague, it's not my favorite store. I really need to figure out how to make it a better experience. If I plan ahead it seems to go pretty smooth, but it's still not my idea of a good time.

Have a very blessed Sunday!

Hugs,
Barb

Sylviadh said...

Hi Marie - I use a recipe from the Fix-it and Forget-it Cookbook. It makes 4-5 servings but I find I can refrigerate it in bowls and then reheat in the microwave on day two or three. Anyway the recipe uses 2 c milk, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 c dry old-fashion (large flake) oats, 1 c chopped apple 1/2 c chopped walnuts and 2 tbsp. brown sugar. Mix together in greased crock pot and cook on low for 5-6 hours (although I have left it 8 hrs most times). I find this very pleasant with warm milk and no need to add more sugar. Give it another try because it certainly is much cheaper than the packets and no additives. Your basic idea is great because there is nothing nicer than waking up to a warm prepared breakfast.
All the best
Sylvia

Susan Rogers said...

Hello,
I enjoyed your story about trying to save money, I think we have all spent money to save money. I must admit I am a bit puzzled about your difficulty with porridge. I have never used the instant packets because I don't think it takes that long to make porridge. I use regular whole oats (not instant) heat water and oats on the stove, cook it for 5 mins, stir it and then add milk and cook it a few more minutes. It's not paste, you can taste the oats still but they are cooked. If I want softer oats, I would soak them in cold water overnight and then cook the same way. I have loved your recipes, I think you are so talented.

Noelle Perry-Earle said...

As others have said here Marie, try using steel cut oats. I used to make this all the time for my co-workers at the refinery. Who knew three grown adults could get so excited about oatmeal? It is a big saving though and so warm, welcoming and filling on cold winter mornings.

Marie Rayner said...

haha Bunny, I had to read that a few times before I got the joke! I do love granola best of all. I would eat that over porrage any day, but Todd he loves his daily dose of porrage snd normally cooks it in the microwave. I wanted him to have something special. xoxo

I will have to try the oats in a jar method Barb! I think Walmart over there is probably a lot different than Walmart here in the UK. I have seen photos! You get the wierdest people at Walmart! xoxo

I have that Fix it and Forget it Book Sylvia. The one I used was te Not Your Mama's Slow Cooker Recipe Book. It used water or apple juice. Maybe that made a huge difference in the taste and the texture was definitely like glue. It was quite disgusting. I like
oats, but not glue! haha xoxo

You are right, it doesn't take that long to make porrage from scratch Susan, but it doesn't wait very long without getting clumpy. I am up about 3 hours before Todd. I thought if I could do it in the slow cooker I could keep it warm for him without it getting all clumpy. thanks so much for your kind words Susan! xoxo

Another voice for Steel Cut Oats Noelle! I will have to check that idea out obviously! Hope you are staying warm. Mom says you've got a lot of snow and it's cold! brrr . . . xoxo

MichiganMuffin said...

If you can't find a slow cooker recipe that you like, just make your own "instant" oatmeal. Old fashioned/large flake oatmeal in the blender or food processor for a couple of pulses and voila! You can also make flavored oatmeal or add-ins.

There are tons of recipes and ideas on the internet such as : http://ohmyveggies.com/diy-instant-oatmeal-packets-8-flavor-combinations-youll-love/

The secret to "creamy" oatmeal like you get in the packet is to blend a portion of your oats into oat flour, add this to your partially blended oats and you will achieve a similar texture to the expensive packets. From their, your imagination is your guide...chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, etc.

Hope this helps!! Enjoy!

PS. I add another vote for overnight steel cut oats - amazing!! We like it with cinnamon and apple cooked in. When serving, add brown sugar and cream. Yum!

Marie Rayner said...

Thanks for the link Michigan! I think I will have to splurge on some steel cut oats! Sounds delicious th way you have described! xoxo