My Morning Oatmeal with Cayenne, Ginger, and Cinnamon

Posted on: February 1st, 2022 by

I have strong feelings about the spicy oatmeal recipe I’ve deployed every morning for at least the past two years. The makings of this habit started when I was a contractor at Google’s Chelsea (NYC) office in the old Port Authority Building. I eventually found my way (not easy at first in this enormous building…) to, and settled on, one spot for breakfast featuring a hot oatmeal (and congee) station with numerous accouterments.

Alicia Kennedy (subscribe to her newsletter) dedicated a missive to oatmeal: “On Routine.” It was “an ode to oatmeal, to remembering and forgetting its power.” She says:

Everything gets done when I have these oats. The oats are my tether to reality, to routine, but now I’m calling them ritual. I’m an evangelist for oatmeal right now; it’s like falling in love all over again.

I’ve become mildly maniacal about my oatmeal, home and away. I have everything I need, waiting for me, to make it at my mother’s Eastern WA house when I visit. On my last trip outside of the state, a first-morning Instacart delivery contained its vital building blocks. I cannot, will not go without. Withoat.

Here’s how to make it.

Spicy Oatmeal Recipe

bowl of spicy oatmeal with beries
The fruit (and oats) of my labor.

Makes 1 serving because I live alone…but I’m not lonely!

Spicy Brown Sugar

  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 t cayenne
  • 1 t ginger
  • 1 t cinnamon

Spicy Oatmeal

  • 1/2 C old-fashioned oats
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 t spicy brown sugar
  • 1 T wheat germ
  • 1 C plus 1 T water
  • 1/2 C frozen berries
  • 1/2 t honey

Make the spicy brown sugar: Mix the sugar and spices (they are everything, nice!) in a bowl. Use a whisk. Store in a jar with a lid and put proudly on your counter for quick access.

Make the oatmeal: Dump all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

Add the water, berries, and honey to a pot. (Not a honey pot). Bring to a boil. Add the upgraded oatmeal, lower the heat a lot (you want it to go from a rockin’ boil down to infrequent bubbles down to a strong steam) and let it cook for like 5 minutes tops. Check it and stir. Employ the lid to keep the oatmeal going if the activity slows down too much. Don’t walk away. Enjoy this quiet morning moment.

I like my spicy oatmeal on the runny side; it thickens as it cools. And overcooked oatmeal (devoid of any liquid) can get a little pasty and also start sticking/scorching in the bottom of the pan. Serve immediately. Enjoy leisurely with a book.

vintage pyrex bowl for my spicy oatmeal
Butterprint pattern, one of the Cinderella nesting bowls. Most likely 1963-7.

Pyrex Praise

One thing, though, that doesn’t travel with me that’s a crucial part of my ritual is the bowl I use to eat said oatmeal. It’s a Pyrex dish graciously given to me by an ex who bought it off the street in Manhattan, somewhere in the west 180s I think, and noted my enamoredness.

I love the way it looks and it’s a perfect size. (1 1/2 pints)

My rudimentary Pyrex research results:

It’s the Butterprint pattern, one of the nesting Cinderella bowls (#472 1.5 pints). Butterprint was from 1957-68 but I think the turquoise on white debuted in 1963. I don’t have the clear glass lid. (Bottom says 472 | 19)

Read more about it:

Corning Museum of Glass

Pyrex Love

So how does my spicy oatmeal recipe stack up with your preferred take on morning oats? Let me know your secrets, your add-ins/ons, how you cook it. Tell me everything about your oatmeal.

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