I have fond childhood memories of those little instant oatmeal packets. My parents would buy a huge box of them from Price Club (Vintage Costco!) load them up in our Bronco along with our tent, sleeping bags, marshmallows, kites, chairs and everything else it seemed but the kitchen sink. Camping for us was family unifying. A time to be still, to be quiet, to play, laugh, run and explore. As I look back I am so thankful my parents took the time and the energy (planning! packing! entertaining!) to spend with my brother, sister & I.

I vividly remember camp mornings; my dad making the fire, placing his old percolator over top, boiling water for coffee and of course our oatmeal. I remember dumping the contents of my little packet into a Styrofoam bowl, my dad pouring in the water and stirring it up with my plastic spoon. I can still smell the cinnamon and the campfire as I sat in my chair cupping my bowl for warmth on those cool summer mornings.

This morning as I was making breakfast for my tissue laden Sudafed filled husband, I added a little extra special touch to the normal boring ho-um oatmeal. And the smell of the apples and cinnamon brought me back to those wonderful camp mornings.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup dried apple rings, diced
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1-2 T maple syrup (or brown sugar)

In a saucepan pour 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Slowly stir in steel oats and continue to boil for about 5 minutes until oatmeal begins to thicken. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Once water is almost absorbed stir in diced apple to soften up before serving. Remove from heat, stir in cinnamon and maple syrup (or brown sugar).

Images: sammyw