PREPARATION AND COOKING.—Oatmeal requires much cooking in order to break its starch cells; and the coarser the meal, the longer it should be allowed to cook. A common fault in the use of oatmeal is that it is served in an underdone state, which makes a coarse, indigestible dish of what, with more lengthy preparation, would be an agreeable and nutritious food. Like most of the grains, it is best put into boiling soft water, and allowed to cook continuously and slowly. It is greatly injured by stirring, and it is therefore preferably cooked in a double boiler or closed steamer. If it is necessary to use an ordinary kettle, place it on some part of the range where the contents will only simmer; or a hot brick may be placed under it to keep it from cooking too fast. It may be cooked the day previous, and warmed for use the same as other grains.
OATMEAL MUSH.—Heat a quart of water to boiling in the inner dish of a double boiler, sift into it one cup of coarse oatmeal, and boil rapidly, stirring continuously until it sets; then place in the outer boiler, the water in which should be boiling, and cook three hours or longer. Serve with cream.
OATMEAL FRUIT MUSH.—Prepare the oatmeal as directed above, and stir in lightly, when dishing for the table, some sliced mellow and juicy raw sweet apples. Strawberry apples and other slightly tart apples are likewise excellent for the purpose. Well-ripened peaches and bananas may also be used, if care is taken to preserve the slices whole, so as to present an appetizing appearance. Both this and the plain oatmeal mush are best eaten with toasted whole-wheat wafers or some other hard food.
OATMEAL BLANCMANGE NO. 1.—Soak a cupful of coarse oatmeal over night in a pint and a half of water. In the morning, beat the oatmeal well with a spoon, and afterwards pass all the soluble portion through a fine strainer. Place the liquid in the inner dish of a double boiler, and cook for half an hour. Turn into cups, cool fifteen or twenty minutes, and serve warm with cream and sugar, or a dressing of fruit juice. A lemon sauce prepared as directed on page 354 likewise makes an excellent dressing.
OATMEAL BLANCMANGE NO. 2.—Take a pint of well-cooked oatmeal, add to it a pint of milk, part cream if obtainable. Beat well together, and strain through a fine wire sieve. Turn the liquid into a saucepan, and boil for a few moments, until it is thick enough to drop from the point of a spoon; then turn into cups previously wet in cold water, and mold. Serve with a dressing of fruit juice or whipped cream slightly sweetened and flavored with lemon.
JELLIED OATMEAL.—Cook oatmeal or rolled oats with an additional cup or cup and a half of water, and when done, turned into cups and mold. Serve cold with hot cream.
MIXED MUSH.—A cup and a half of rolled wheat, mixed with one-half cup of coarse oatmeal, and cooked the same as oatmeal, forms a mush preferred by some to oatmeal alone.