I love oatmeal. We eat it almost every morning. I'm usually the first one up in my house, and so, I'm the oatmeal maker.
I've refined my technique over the years. What I will freely admit was formerly described as "gluey" has evolved into delicate grains of deliciousness. I attribute most of my success to a recent discovery.
After boiling the (slightly salted) water, I add the oats, a handful of raisins and a bit of cinnamon. I give it one quick stir, then leave it to simmer on low.
The discovery -- which I'm sure took most people less than a decade to figure out -- is to not touch it from this point on. No further stirring required. The next time you touch the spoon (or spurtle), you should be scooping it into bowls.
The result is perfect oatmeal. Swollen, fluffy, unbroken oats. Perfect vessels for brown sugar and milk.
Erin commented recently on how much nicer her morning porridge tastes, but she attributed it to what must be an extra-good batch of oats.
She got up a bit earlier this morning than usual. She entered the kitchen while the oats were still cooking. Before I could catch her, she grabbed a long spoon and gave the pot a good stir.
"Stop!" I shouted. "You're bruising the oats!"
Sure enough, gluey again.