Not Your Cardamom’s Oatmeal


For Labor Day weekend last year, we headed to the Olympic Peninsula for some good ol’ fashioned beach camping. It had been almost ten years since I’d gone camping at this spot and a lot of things had changed. For one, we sadly brought an iPad loaded with movies so we wouldn’t have to stare at the stars all night. For another, we traded cheap beer for actual sustenance and hiked in enough food to last us a week.


Since oatmeal is my standard at home, I threw in a few packets for a quick and easy breakfast. Imagine my surprise when Elliott revealed a bottle of vanilla extract, fresh vanilla bean, and a bag of cinnamon. Like a camping magician he threw these spices into the pot along with some fresh and dried apple. Topped with almonds from our gorp bag, it was by camping standards, as gourmet as you can get.


We also can’t seem to help ourselves when we’re making a quick breakfast at home. Here is an easy variation made with pear and cardamom that adds a whole layer of complexity to your typical oatmeal.

Steel cut oats
Ripe pear, cubed
Toasted almonds
Vanilla extract
Fresh vanilla bean

Once the oats have finished cooking, add a few tablespoons of butter and a dollop of honey. Stir in a little vanilla extract, fresh vanilla, and about a pinch of cardamom to taste. Top with the toasted almonds and a pinch of salt.


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