Oatmeal is ground in different grades of coarseness, and some brands are partly cooked before they are put up for sale; therefore the time for cooking varies, and it is better to observe the directions given on the packages. Oatmeal requires to be cooked until very soft, but should not be mushy. The ordinary rule is to put a cupful of meal into a quart of salted boiling water (a teaspoonful of salt), and let it cook in double boiler the required time. It is well to keep the pan covered until the oatmeal is cooked, then remove the cover and let the moisture evaporate until the oatmeal is of the right consistency. It should be moist enough to drop but not run from the spoon. It should be lightly stirred occasionally to prevent its sticking to the pan, but carefully so as not to break the grains.
If carefully cooked, the sides of the pan will not be covered with burned oatmeal, and so wasted.
Oatmeal is very good cold, and in summer is better served in that way. It can be turned into fancy molds or into small cups to cool, and will then hold the form and make an ornamental dish.
Add to three cupfuls of water a half teaspoonful of salt; when it boils add a half cupful of cracked wheat, and let it cook uncovered until the water is nearly evaporated; then add three cupfuls of hot milk; cover and cook until the wheat is soft; then uncover and cook to the right consistency. It should be quite moist. Stir it carefully from time to time while it is cooking, but with care not to break the grains.
Sprinkle with the hand a pint of cornmeal into rapidly boiling salted water, stirring all the time. Cook for half an hour; or mix the cornmeal with a pint of milk and teaspoonful of salt and turn it slowly into a quart of boiling water; cook for half an hour, stirring constantly. This may be eaten cold or hot, with milk, with butter and sugar, or with syrup. When cold it can be cut into slices and browned on both sides in a saute-pan, and used as a vegetable dish, or as a breakfast dish, and may be eaten with syrup.