I used to hate oatmeal. Despise it. Unfortunately for me (or perhaps fortunately for the building of my character) my family went through a period when oatmeal was about the only thing we could afford for breakfast. I fought it tooth and nail. But my mother was just as stubborn. We had a rule that if you didn't eat a meal, you'd get the same food, cold, for the next meal, and the next, until it was eaten. So I would pick at my oatmeal at breakfast... stare gloomily at the same bowl (now cold) at lunch, and poke at the dismal mess with a spoon at dinner. Sometimes it would make a fourth appearance at breakfast the next morning. I think it took me close to a year to learn to eat it the first time, and I still didn't like it.
But recently I've started actually craving oatmeal. Some mornings it just seems like the right thing to do. I don't understand this, but I don't fight it!
I like it a little dressed up, though. It's fantastic with dried cranberries and chopped nuts, drizzled with maple syrup... but that's a little expensive for an ordinary weekday breakfast. So this is what I do instead:
1 cup water
1 cup milk*
cinnamon to taste (about 1/2 tsp? I just shake it in until it lightly covers the surface of the milk)
pinch of nutmeg
1 apple, chopped (don't bother to peel)
1-1.5 cups rolled oats
Put the milk, water, and spices in a pot and bring almost to the boil. Add apple and oats; cook, stirring every so often, until the liquid is absorbed. Dish out, sprinkle with raisins or other dried fruit, and top with pancake syrup or a sprinkle of brown sugar.
This makes one really large serving or two more reasonable ones, and can easily be doubled or halved. And of course you can make it plainer or add more trimmings!
* You can use all milk or all water, also. I like the slight creaminess that half milk gives :)