I’m a late convert to oatmeal. Chalk it up to my aging, no wait, maturing, taste buds.
When I was a kid, I couldn’t stand the stuff. My mom tried to compromise, still trying to get me to eat a hot breakfast, by buying chocolate-flavored Malt-O-Meal. After a bit of begging and complaining that that stuff didn’t taste very good either, she’d allow me to put in 1 Hershey Kiss. I always sneaked two or three and sunk them into the bottom. It was far more like dessert that way.
In some ways, that’s still how I eat my hot cereal — as a dessert — though a little less heavy on the sugary goodness.
In the past couple years, I’ve been playing around with how I eat it, only occasionally plain. A couple times, I’ve tried overnight versions in the crockpot, like one from Alton Brown with figs, cranberries and steel cut oats (steel cut has more fiber, just had to throw that in there), but haven’t had a lot of success. It comes out kind of gloppy and/or burned on the bottom. I think the problem primarly is with my crockpot, less with the recipes I’m trying.
I generally cook it with half water/half milk. I’m also a fan of cooking it with water and adding a tablespoon of cream.
I also have a few go-to variations for dressing it up (both are for two servings):