Wee Cook Wednesday: Bethany Baked Oatmeal

baked-oatmealRecently I’ve been thinking about the fact that each decade of my life has had a particular theme and/or formative experience. My twenties (the 80s) were the “Bethany Days,” when I attended Bethany College of Missions, an Evangelical missionary training center in Bloomington, MN. (I became Catholic when I was thirty … as it turns out, so did at least five other classmates. Four of us appeared on “The Abundant Life” late in the 90s.)

Bethany Fellowship International, which was also the center for Bethany House Publishers and Bethany Campers and Lefse Grills,  has evolved significantly since I graduated  in 1987 (I left in 1989 after a two-year internshp at BHP). And yet it remains a faith-filled Christian community that takes seriously the Lord’s call to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

The communal dining room at Bethany is the site of some of my favorite memories of the place. So recently, when I developed a hankering for some Baked Oatmeal, I hopped on Facebook and begged the recipe from a couple of friends who used to work there … thanks, Laurie and Diane!

This great stick-to-the-ribs brunch recipe is great for Lent. A hunk of the stuff (with maybe a handful of pecans or walnuts, and a drizzle of half-and-half) should keep you going most of the day!  And as you can see, this recipe will feed even the largest family. (I’ve cut the recipe down to manageable size in parenthesis, enough to feed 6-8.)

Bethany Baked Oatmeal (for a crowd of 50 or so)
applesauce – 3 C (1/2 C)
honey – 4 C (2/3 C)
eggs – 20 (3)
oats – 2 gallons (5-1/2 C)
baking powder – 6 Tbls (1 Tbls)
salt – 4 tsp (3/4 tsp)
milk – 10 C (1-2/3 C)
vanilla – 1 Tbls (1 tsp)
cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Spray 2 large, shallow baking pans (1 9×13) with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients and stir 4 minutes. Bake 300 degrees for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. (Should spring back when pressed gently in the center.) Serve with nuts and milk or half and half.

Photo credit: http://Gingerlemongirl.blogspot.com   (Hers is much prettier than mine!)

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