View Full Version : Oatmeal

05-15-2005, 06:47 AM
I need advice. For the past six years, I've had a hunting partnership with a guy who is almost the perfect hunting buddy. We hunt the early big game season here in Colorado. My partner is younger than me, so he can carry heavier loads, always nice when packing in. He enjoys good food and libations, packs those in and shares freely. He never complains, doesn't snore, and always tries to do more than his fair share of camp chores. He always volunteers to help me pack my elk quarters, and since he uses a long bow half the time, I don't have to reciprocate nearly as often.

There's only one problem. He can't abide rasins in his oatmeal. I know this seems like a minor issue, but with as much oatmeal as we eat on a trip, this has the potential to break up the partnership.

I need advice on how to spice up the oatmeal without raisins. I've tried all the old standbys, brown sugar and cream (he packs in the cream) butter, dried apples and cinnamon, but it's just not the same without raisins. And don't tell me to use the instant stuff, that just won't do.

I'm thinking that there must be a lot of you oatmeal eaters out there who have had the same problem and come up with your own ways of spicing up the oatmeal.

Is it too late to save this partnership?

05-15-2005, 06:55 AM
I hate oatmeal. I got the flu in 1988 turkey hunting, and all I ate was those damned oatmeal packets. Now, I associate oatmeal with being miserable.

that being said, try this recipe with cranberries.


05-15-2005, 06:59 AM
here's another one with currant berries


05-15-2005, 07:03 AM
Well. Add the raisins separately to your portion.Not too hard to deal with and both are happy.

05-15-2005, 07:06 AM
My real advice is throw the oatmeal on the ground and fix some bacon and eggs. But I'm trying to be nice this morning.

05-15-2005, 07:32 AM
Have you considered couples counseling? I'd gladly give up raisins for a partner who carries the beer.

05-15-2005, 08:07 AM
I'll trade you 2 cases of raisins for your partner.

Woodland Girl
05-15-2005, 08:42 AM
Smokepole, you do have quite a dilema, not the partnership part, just the part about trying to replace the raisins. The only things that have not been mentioned that I thought of to "sweeten" the oats, is honey and or a packet of jam or jellies in a flavor that suits you. Someone said adding the raisins in your portion only, but I'm guessing there is a reason that's not an option.

Then there is the burning question... what comes first the partnership or the raisen? :-) Good Luck!

weekend warrior
05-15-2005, 08:49 AM
Look like these are all good suggestions (different fruits, separate portions, etc). I have to second Kevin's bacon and eggs advice. I'm getting ready to head out on a weeklong canoe trip. I've just finished drying three dozen eggs for myself and my canoeing partner. You can't do over easy or sunny side up but they make way better scrambled eggs than the powdered stuff. I can't get bacon to last too long without refrigeration so we're doing some other kind of sausage (probably some dried chorizo or something similar).
If you're going to stick with the oatmeal here's my suggestion. Go with the separate portions but soak your raisins overnight in some water. It sounds like you throw the raisins in during the cook stage so they kind of get stewed in the process. Just "stew" them separately in some warm water and toss them in with your portion at the end. You're happy and your partner is happy. You might also try the white raisins (made from white instead of red grapes). They taste quite a bit milder so maybe your partner won't dislike these as much.... /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

Rusty Hook
05-15-2005, 11:18 AM
Smokepole: On the rasin thing, white rasins are made out of the same kind of grapes as the standard kind - usually Thompsen Seedless grapes unless other wise stated on the packaging - they are just run through a bleaching process to make them white(greenish yellow)instead of brown.

Have you tried dates as a possible sweetener? If you can find them, raw dates are far superior to the cooked variety commonly sold. They provide a lot of energy and are not sticky in their natural state...Rusty.

05-15-2005, 11:35 AM
Rusty, why do white raisens taste so much better than brown raisens? They are bigger, sweeter, juicier, and dont look/taste like mini prunes! Hard to beleive even more processing makes them come out tasting better. (BTW, I HATE regular raisens, but white raisens, I think, are pretty good)

Lets see... other options for dried fruits added to oatmeal:

Cranberries (craisens)

If you MUST have raisens, and its the taste your after, try chopping them up really fine in a food processor. They will rehydrate faster, and you can either throw them in seperately, or maybe your partner will tolerate them if they arnt big brown lumps o' nasty

05-15-2005, 12:10 PM
Throw in a couple tablespoons of chopped walnuts. Gives you a different texture and flavor and supplies you with some Omega-3 so you can indulge in those bacon and egg breakfasts once in a while and still keep the ole cholesterol in check:)

05-15-2005, 04:44 PM
Finding genuinely cured bacon that keeps is difficult and expensive. Try using the pre-cooked bacon. You can carry a tin of bacon fat from home (filter out the solids and it keeps fine) if you like using the bacon fat for other things. The pre-cooked keeps much longer and heats up in a flash. It's also less expenive by the slice than regular bacon. Tastes okay, too.

05-15-2005, 04:52 PM
Smokepole, you're right on the money not using that instant pap. Quaker old fashioned rolled oats cooked with half the water called for and of course heavy cream from a real dairy. I think the soaked raisins is the best solution. I rather enjoy raisins in my oatmeal but I'm thinking I could forego them for a partner like you've described.

Rusty Hook
05-15-2005, 05:00 PM
I believe the process white rasins are run through partially rehydrates them. As to whether they taste better, I think that that is a matter of individual taste. They may also be cured in a sulpher medium, some have a supher character to them, which do not care for. To each his own. The white rasins are used primarily in baking, where a dark fruit look is undesirable...Rusty.

Ed T
05-15-2005, 06:27 PM
Here is an explanition of white or golden rasins.


Ed T

05-15-2005, 06:55 PM
Smokepole - Others have suggested dried fruits other raisins, but I haven't seen my favorite mentioned yet: BLUEBERRIES! I get mine at Costco, but I don't know if you have Costco in Colorado. If not, the company that distributes them is SkylarHaley in Pleasentville, CA. They have a Website - <a href="http://www.skylarhaley.com." target="_blank">http://www.skylarhaley.com (http://www.skylarhaley.com.).</a> YUM! Blueberries are BETTER THAN BEER!


05-15-2005, 06:59 PM

If blueberries are better than beer, then you've been drinking the wrong beer! /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

May I suggest a fine weizen with a slice of lemon?

05-15-2005, 08:13 PM
All: Thanks for the ideas.


If you can pack in bacon and eggs, I guess I'll just have to get my partner to do that too.He can surely carry some more. We usually save the heavy stuff for dinner. Believe it or not, we pack in a few filets, pork chops, portabellos, and other good stuff plus we're usually in a hurry in the morning so we tend to economize on breakfast.

I like weekend warrior's suggestion about soaking the raisins, I believe I'll give that a try. I've tried throwing them in at the last minute, but that just won't do, not plump enough. And WW, how do you dry eggs? Are the "home-dried" eggs worth the trouble?

Plus, Randy's idea on walnuts is good, they will provide some long-burning fat calories as well as the Omega 3's.

DJ and rijrunner: Hands off my partner--notice I didn't give the name, eh? Plus, I would never ask my partner to carry beer--I much prefer red wine.

Montana Mike, we do have Costco here, great idea on the blueberries. If Costco has 'em, I just might be able to afford a few.

05-16-2005, 06:56 AM
MT Mike / Sawtooth-

Yellowstone Valley brews a Huckle-Weizen that should please you both... a blueberry wheat beer (the Montana Huckleberry is not a true huckleberry but a variety of blueberry). But if you want the ultimate in fruit &amp; grain, try the Montana Brewing Co's Raspberry Rye--sissy name, tasty brew.

And don't put raisins in the oatmeal.

05-16-2005, 07:05 AM
Smokepole, hope you're going to be at the Rondy this weekend. No, I don't pack bacon and eggs in my back, except for like the first morning. But you can put it in your partner's backpack......


05-16-2005, 07:12 AM

Pure genius... /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

Ed T
05-16-2005, 07:16 AM
I don't know guys, a good weisen is OK especially on a hot day, but give me an IPA and I am a happy camper.

Ed T

05-16-2005, 07:29 AM
We may have to have a "favorite beer" thread!

05-16-2005, 09:57 AM
The weizens, like pilsners, tend to go down easier on those hot days but a Hefe has enough body to drink year round. I like an IPA too, or an English Bitter, or I could go on... but my favorites are the stouts--Rogue makes a decent one, and there is always Guinness (best on tap but the pressurized cans do an admirable job), but the best I ever had was fresh from the tanks at a little, now defunct, brewery in Atlanta--now that was even better than blueberries...(?)

Stout - not just for breakfast anymore!

05-16-2005, 10:01 AM
And just so you know this is not a thread hijack, what could be better for breakfast than a chewy oatmeal stout with a good bit of coffee to it?

Ed T
05-16-2005, 10:34 AM

Good point on the Stout. Have you ever had Beamish on tap? Hard to find but even better than Guiness IMO. The Beamish in the pressurized cans just isn't the same. The Irish make some fine beer, fine wiskey and not to get too far off track some awesome oatmeal! I never put rasins in my Stout though. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Ed T

weekend warrior
05-16-2005, 10:43 AM
I posted some instructions on the hunting list back in November Dried Eggs Link (http://forums.kifaru.net/cgi-local/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=001748)

I was posting under another name but that's me. When the bulletin board moved servers I couldn't remember my password so I had to re-register. Oh well.

Anyway, the batch I just did took me maybe half an hour of prep and cleanup. The dehydrator does all the work. I had to do them a dozen at a time since I only have three of the trays for my dehydrator. It's a little bit of work but I'd rather work a little more at home and take it easy on the trail. Packing in pork chops and fresh veggies sounds great. I'll be sure to put them in my partner's pack though.

I hadn't done a batch in quite a while so my numbers were a little off. The numbers are more like 4 to 1 on the weight (6 eggs about 12 oz wet = 3 oz dry). I've got them bagged up in 3 oz bags. I just add about 9 oz warm water and let them sit for a while to rehydrate. I just use a kitchen scale to weigh the wet and dry eggs to figure it out each time.

I don't think the drying process kills off the nasties. I still cook them thoroughly just in case. I think they will go bad eventually but I store the dried ones in the fridge or freezer until I'm ready to use them.

Ground beef or venison works great this way too. Just brown it and dry it (looks like dogfood when you're done). You can toss this into a stew, rehydrate for tacos or maybe a shepherds pie.

Mmmm...I'm getting hungry....Better go get a snack... /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

05-16-2005, 10:46 AM
We did a blind taste test one evening with Beamish, Murphys and Guinness. Bear in mind, I love Guinness...

My order: Beamish, Murphys and Guinness. Everyone was amazed at how good that stuff was.

I have a recipe for guinness ice cream, just waiting for summer.

Ed T
05-16-2005, 11:47 AM
Hey Kevin,

Want to bring your ice cream freezer and come to the Montana Rondy?

Ed T

05-16-2005, 11:55 AM
Alas, not this year, Ed, but click on the link.

http://www.emerils.com/recipes/by_name/guinness_ice_cream_with_dark_chocolate_honey_sauce .html

Kevin B
05-16-2005, 05:05 PM

Beg forgiveness. What kind of complete savage, a man of so little civilized qulaity would, unto an enemy none the less, serve raisins in oatmeal?

I think you're the same kind of #$%(*# that puts them in chocolate cookies and god help the dirty #)(*$&amp;% who put them in otherwise perfect cinimon roles.

I'll never understand "you people". If you've evaded punishment to this point, thank your stars and swear by the straight and narrow never glancing back.

05-16-2005, 06:57 PM
Sawtooth -

Bluberries really are better than beer on a pack trip. You see, I ferment the blueberries in camp. Saves weight!


05-17-2005, 05:08 AM
You guys were too fast on this one for me. I was going to suggest dates also. They taste great, have great nutritional value and are sweeter. I quit taking oatmeal a few years ago and switched to grits. You can get packets, plain and flavored and they just seem to go down easier than the oatmeal. You could also try cream of wheat or rice also. Health food stores occasionally carry cream of buckwheat which is really nice but hard to find. If you're on a hunting or canoeing trip then I agree on taking something more substantial like meat and eggs. Lots of ways to do it and you've already got some good advice there. For really quick breakfasts there always Carnation Instant Breakfast packets. Now if you happen to catch some fish and keep them cool all night ... wait, that's a thread for the fishing forum :rolleyes:

05-17-2005, 05:53 AM
Kevin B: Zounds!!! You slander my good name and I demand an apology. I would never put raisins in chocolate chip cookies. Oatmeal is different though. Any man of proper breeding would understand this.

Kevin, I will be at the Rondy, no oatmeal, raisins, or walnuts; but with filets, portabellos, and gorgonzola at the ready.

There is usually not much room in my partner's pack for the eggs and bacon, what with all the other stuff I sneak in there....

And although I am flabbergasted at the hijacking of my thread here (such knavishness is not to be countenanced on a civilized forum), some good has come of it--I will search for some Beamish to bring to the Rondy. Also, this hijacking has got me to thinking on another subject near and dear to my heart, and eminently more packable than beer, namely single malt Scotch...

And WW, thanks for the tips on drying eggs.

Vern, its' usually no problem to keep the fish cool overnight. Do you fry your fish up with the eggs in the morning?

05-17-2005, 07:34 AM

It's been a while since we caught fish but I believe we just fried them up plain - didn't have any eggs with us as it was a backpacking trip but they sure were good. Now to the thread of packing in libations. As a homebrewer of some years I've been pondering how to do this for some time and just came up with what may be a solution. While returning from a hiking/fishing trip up in the mountains of WV about a month ago a friend and I took a side trip to a scenic area with virgin spruce trees. Wedged in the roots of a tree there was an aluminum beer bottle that used crown caps. I hastily commandeered the bottle and took it home. It was an Iron City Beer bottle and their website details the new bottles. Big Sky Brewing (I believe) in Montana has used them also but they're regional and not available in my neck of the woods. So, I now have an aluminum beer bottle that is lighter than glass and nearly indestructible (this stuff isn't thin-walled like cans) that I can fill with my homebrew and pack on the trail. Life is about to get even better. Now I've just got to get my new brewing area finished and crank out an all-grain dortmunder or maibock or ... /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

05-17-2005, 08:02 AM
Ed, I don't believe I have had the pleasure of a Beamish--we don't get a lot of the finer things here in the hinterlands... I now have a "quest" for my next trip to the city.

05-17-2005, 09:06 AM
Kevin, its close enough to summer for me, want to share that ice cream recipe?

05-17-2005, 09:09 AM
nevermind, I didnt look hard enough. Sorry about that.

05-17-2005, 11:11 AM
Wyoelk, no problem. Enjoy.

05-17-2005, 02:58 PM
I like raisins in my oatmeal. Put raisins in pot of cold water as if cooking pasta (plenty of water), bring to boil. Put in oatmeal let boil 3 minutes. Pour into strainer. Easy as pasta-perfect texture-raisins tender, oats firm.

Cook separately. You're just boiling water, correct?

05-18-2005, 05:35 AM
DP: I normally just throw everything in at the beginning, cold water, oats, and raisins, except when my wanker of a partner complains too much about the raisins. Then I just cook plain oatmeal and suffer through it. I think I'll try weekend warrior's suggestion and soak the raisins overnight so they're plumped up, and just add them to my portion separately. Along with a good handful of walnuts (thanks Randy) for some additional calories. I usually don't have a strainer on hand, and I've learned not to try and strain stuff using the pot lid.

05-18-2005, 06:14 AM
For some folks, not me mind you, eating raisins keeps them regular. So I can fully image how you must feel after a few days. However, I expect your partner, one way or another, has sensed your problem. Only one solution: ditch the partner (we'll set up a raffle to see who gets him) or ditch the raisens and eat prunes. Sure enough, I bet you eating prunes will put that smile back on your partners face. As a further consideration start letting your partner lead when you hunt.

05-18-2005, 03:32 PM
SP, I didn't read the whole thread (still trying to get through that whole sleeping bag thread in my available time ... sheesh!) so forgive me if I am repeating someone ....

Ever consider separate pots? Or take turns? Each cooking your own the way you like it? If so, what's the issue there?

05-18-2005, 03:59 PM
K: The issue is the principle of the thing--my partner just won't see things my way, so he needs to shape up. Carrying in most of the gear and doing more than his fair share of the camp chores just won't cut it. Plus, he flatly refuses to eat oatmeal with raisins. Some sort of childhood phobia or something. Separate pots wouldn't work because we'd need another stove since we normally use one for the oatmeal, one for the coffee pot. Also, we're usually in a big hurry in the morning to wolf down breakfast and hit the trail so no one wants to wait. Which is why I like some flavor with the oatmeal, along about the fourth day it starts to get old.

MikeM, as long as I have my oatmeal, I don't need anything else for regularity. It's strictly a flavor thing. And if I catch your drift (ha) and I think I do, it's not a problem. If my partner had an issue with me breaking wind we'd have split up long ago. He doesn't mind at all, another reason he's almost the ideal partner. But he can't stand raisins in his oatmeal. Go figure. I say the boy has some growing up to do.

05-19-2005, 06:47 AM

I was thinking, maybe the problem is not with your oatmeal, but with your coffee.

If you could find a way to free up that other stove so you could each make your own oatmeal at the same time you'd be good to go.

When I go on trips with a partner we are usually on our own for meals. Granted we do instant coffee (single serving tea bag style in hot water. It's not perked, but it's pretty good!) and instant oatmeal, but it's really quick.

If you each heated some water real quick for coffee (1 cup takes no time at all), then each cook your own oatmeal… ? Just a thought.

05-19-2005, 07:11 AM
45 posts on Oatmeal, and we wonder why our wives give us grief! Too funny.

Ed T
05-19-2005, 07:15 AM

Yeah, but almost half of them had something to do with beer. Oh, wait a minute maybe thats worse!

Ed T

05-19-2005, 07:20 AM
Nah, that's what keeps it interesting. Of course we could get this together right and have an oatmeal stout. Made one once, mighty good beer. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

05-19-2005, 07:29 AM
OOPs! MY bad boys. Beer is worthy of far more than 45 posts, don't care what the wife says about that (don't tell her pleeeeezzze).

As far as hunting food to me it's this simple, if you're not willing to eat the south end out of a north bound chicken while hunting, you just ain't hunting hard enough. Long as it makes c/o I'll eat about anything. Outfitter I worked for once decided to take a lunch break while we were moving gear as we were all hungry. Handed us each a couple of instant oatmeal packages, we looked at him, he ripped his open and started pouring it down his gullet. True story, the boy was an animal, but I loved him for it.

It's all about the beer, sorry guys carry on.

05-19-2005, 08:10 AM
I'm very offended by the guys who have disrespected oats. I think they're disrespecting my culture. :-)

Dave R.
05-19-2005, 09:13 AM
Sounds like we need sensitivity training here. I like oat meal too /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/frown.gif


Dale Lindsley
05-19-2005, 09:23 AM
Smoke: I don't see your partner here on the board looking for advice on how to save the relationship. Is it possible he's not quite as committed to this relationship as you are? Maybe it's time to back off a little and give him some space. I think the rasins are just a surrogate for some deeper problems here.

05-19-2005, 09:27 AM
Oats are horse feed...

At least thats what the British told my Scottish forefathers.

05-19-2005, 11:58 AM
Dale, you may be right. I think my partner's pissed because last year, he had to help me pack out my elk (we have a deal like that) and then a mouse chewed through his bow string (long bow) and he didn't have a spare so he struck out. Then when I had the nerve to ask him what a spare string costs, he really got pissed. $8. As a matter of fact, the mouse did its dirty work the night after he spent the evening between two bugling bulls, so he was really pissed. The mouse also chewed on his Moss tent pretty good, so maybe that's it--he equates raisins with mouse turds. They look kind of similar. And to top it off, we hit the Gunnison on the way out and I outfished him. By a wide margin. So I'm sure he has issues to iron out. He's going back to the muzzleloader for this season.

And Randy, I would be willing to eat the south end of a northbound anything if I had to, but I'd rather not. That's where my partner comes in--he likes to pack in a lot of good food.

K, I would just as soon drink horse piss than instant!!!! It has a lot of electrolytes and stuff. I've got to have a good stiff jolt of java in the morning, the stronger the better and instant just won't do. There's not much difference in packing good coffee vs. instant, and I just use a Melitta cone with a filter that sits on top of the cup, very compact and light. Plus, you guys will like this, my partner always packs in a half liter of heavy cream, and it would be lost on instant coffee.

05-19-2005, 12:18 PM
"heavy cream"?!? Gee-zus Krise!

05-19-2005, 12:20 PM
I meant the tea bag kind, it's ground coffee.

05-19-2005, 02:18 PM
Tea bag coffee (Folgers) is what I use. Pretty handy, and better than instant. I'm starting to wonder how big this partner of yours is, Smokepole, as he's packing in some pretty hefty groceries. In my camp, living high on the hog means I take a little (I mean tiny) spice dispenser, and my freeze dried gets jazzed up a little. Now that's fancy! /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

Maybe you two need to do what the fellow did in "Never Cry Wolf", and start eating the mice! /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif

Dale Lindsley
05-19-2005, 02:37 PM
So, you rubbed rasins on his bowstring. Sly dog.

05-19-2005, 04:44 PM
OK, Shu and Sawtooth, I guess I need to explain about the weight, the heavy cream and such. For the last couple of years, we've had a really good area to hunt--we can pack in less than 4 miles on a trail that's not too steep, set up camp, and not have to move. We can go in several directions from camp and find good hunting. So we're not rambling with camp on our backs, and don't need to go light. Once we hump our stuff in, we're done, at least for a few days. Except when we hike out for more steaks.

Anyway, I get there a day or two before the season and make two trips and bring in a lot of the camp gear, so my partner, who arrives a day or two later, can load up on food. And boy, does he load up. He probably carries in as much in one trip as I do in two. Fresh meat, veggies, cheese, salami, etc. Brings a little cooler to keep it fresh even.

Heavy cream is just the icing on the cake.

And no, I didn't rub raisins on the bowstring. But that's not a bad idea...

I will have to give those coffe bags a try some day.

05-19-2005, 05:56 PM
Well guys, this thread has taken an interesting twist. We start out with oatmeal and someone's psychological aversion to raisins. Then we move on to beer (a natural progression it seems when we start talking about food) and now we've crossed the boundary to coffee. I'm more a tea guy myself but there's nothing like a good coffee (with the emphasis on good). I don't know if was mentioned here before but has anyone tried the cold brewing method from Toddy (http://www.toddycafe.com/) ? Sounds pretty sweet, especially if your pard packs in the concentrate. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif