Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Fried oatmeal as sausage

Do you cook oatmeal and sometimes end up with a small amount of leftovers?  Leftover oatmeal can be used in lots and lots of ways by adding them to other recipes.  I get oatmeal from the USDA senior commodity program.

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One way I use the leftovers is to have fried sausage flavored oatmeal patties.  Grandma Mama taught me this long, long ago. Grandma Mama was the most frugal person I’ve ever known.

For each cup of cold oatmeal add one egg, a dash of parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.  I prefer to use the powder (ground) versions rather than the leaf.  If you are on a salt restricted diet you can leave that out but the taste isn’t quite right.

How much is a dash?  Say about 1/4 teaspoon per cup of oatmeal for the first try.  The taste test will let you know whether to add or subtract for the next time.  Sometimes Grandma Mama would spice the patties up with some crushed red peppers.  I can’t eat really hot food so I leave the peppers out.

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Mix it well.  The egg is the binder but if your oatmeal is very moist you can add a bit of crackers or stale bread to absorb some of the liquid.  I drop it from a heaping teaspoon then gently flatten with the back of the spoon to about the size of a regular sausage patty.  They should be rather thin to cook right.  I cook in a very small amount of bacon or sausage lard.  Just enough to keep it from sticking to the pan and give it more flavor.

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Resist the urge to “peek” to see if its brown on the underside. Peeking before its brown will result in the patty breaking apart. Leave it for what will seem like a very long time on low heat.  You want to brown it slowly.

Now for the taste test from a picky eater.  Hey Ladybug, come taste this for Na Na.

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She likes them!  She asked for seconds.  Oatmeal is very filling so don’t over eat these.  It doesn’t matter whether you use long cook, quick cook, or steal cut oats.  Depending on what spices or flavors you add to the cold oatmeal you could maybe make oatmeal balls for spaghetti or crumble it for pizza topping.  Or add it to a biscuit with a little maple syrup.  Use your imagination.

4 comments on “Fried oatmeal as sausage

    August 30, 2015

    I cook up 3-4 servings of oatmeal on the first day. Then the leftovers go in the fridge. Later, I put a serving in a microwaveable bowl with some water, cover & heat about 1 minute. Pour off any extra water, then add milk, toppings & fruits as usual.
    My own version of 1 minute oatmeal, plus no extra pans to wash on the second or third days!

  2. Faye
    August 7, 2015

    I make these but I do not use egg and I bake versus fry them….yum yum!

  3. Sarah S
    June 23, 2015

    I have a friend who grew up poor in Scotland. His mother would prepare a large pot of oatmeal, then pour it into the kitchen dresser drawer, they would cut out slices of the congealed oatmeal and fry it up for meals through out the week.

    I’ll have to try your “sausage” recipe as we often have a bit of leftover oatmeal in the colder months, and this sounds like frugal fun to try.

    Thanks so much for your blog. Wish I could send you some of my home grown herbs to use in your patties.


    • Na Na
      June 25, 2015

      I remember Grandma Mama would sometimes put hers into a tin pan then cut into slices but I can’t imagine a whole drawer full. That must have been a very large family.

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