Classic Irish Oatmeal Recipe

I distinctly recall being in Kindergarden and having my teacher, Mrs. Fitzgerald, tell us to have oatmeal on cold winter mornings because it would “stick to your guts.”

I was horrified.

Since then, I haven’t been as big on oatmeal as other people have.  For one thing, I have this horrible mental image of oatmeal thanks to that seemingly harmless phrase uttered by Mrs. Fitzgerald.  Also: it doesn’t actually keep me full for that long.

Perhaps that’s because I’ve often relied on the powdered-in-a-packet form of oatmeal.  The stuff filled to the brim with who knows what, which maaagically cooks in 60 to 90 seconds.

A few weeks ago, David bought a tin of Irish rolled oats; I urged him to because I really liked the can, and wanted to use it in a craft project.  But every now and then, I take an hour to make a batch because it really is delightfully nutty in flavor, thick and gooey in texture, and is quiet pleasant to eat.

Also, on a literary slant, I’m a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge fan of the big-name Irish writers– Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, the like– and I like thinking that I sit down to a hot bowl of something they also ate.

(If you happen to like Irish writers and beer, search on Netflix to see if you can find the documentary The Historic Pubs of Dublin, which is hosted by Frank McCourt.  Quite interesting.)

Irish rolled oat porridge is really easy to make, it’s just unbelievably time consuming.  It does take about an hour, start to finish.

Irish Oatmeal Recipe

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup Irish rolled oats
  1. Begin by getting your water to a rapid boil.
  2. When boiling, stir in your cup of oats.  Stir frequently until the porridge begins to appear very thick; sort of with a puddle of water on top.
  3. Cut the heat down to low (the lowest your stovetop will go, actually, to try to lessen the amount of oatmeal that will inevitably get cooked to the bottom of your pot), and simmer your oats, stirring occasionally, for half an hour.
  4. Dish and serve
I ate mine with honey; I will often do a splash of milk, honey, and peanut butter, too.  According to the packaging, it’s traditionally served with a splash of buttermilk, or even a pat of butter.  But I wanted to keep things a bit on the healthier side, so organic honey sounded peachy.
I, of course, drank a piping hot mug of tea alongside.
This will have to be my Irish experience until David and I make it to Dublin.  It’s actually our ideal honeymoon locale!



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  1. I’m always *starving* about two hours after eating a bowl of oatmeal. That said, I love Irish oatmeal. Yum, yum.

  2. YUM!! I love oatmeal and I love DUBLIN!! I like to put walnuts and raisins in my oatmeal…my hubby will dump just about anything he can find into it, so I have to watch him. I hope you do go to Dublin on your honeymoon…it’s fabulous!! We’re thinking about going again this summer – I’m going to have to watch that documentary as I’m sure we’ll be hitting lots of pubs while we’re there!!

  3. i haven’t *really* travelled abroad, and i hope we can save up enough cash to see some of the cozy happiness of ireland soon. maybe within two years….

    if you go again, i can’t wait to see the photos!

  4. today, my leftover lunch of oatmeal, peanut butter, and bananas lasted about three hours before i wanted to eat my office chair… getting better!

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