[IMPORTANT UPDATE: For step-by-step instructions with photos on how to fix overnight crockpot oatmeal using the double-boiler/bain-marie method, please click to the how-to post I created exclusively about that (if you read this post, and you’re welcome to, you will first read a long story–a pleasant one that you might enjoy–before arriving at the crockpot oatmeal instructions you’re looking for; and this set of instructions has no photos).]Two days ago a snowstorm loomed, an inevitable event. Snow and sleet were inching toward us on the weather radar; there was no escape. Neither The Belgian Wonder nor I have careers that require us to endanger our lives for the good of mankind, like nurses, snowplow drivers, and Blockbuster employees, so we simply stocked up on milk and toilet paper, drove home, and watched for our kids’ school to scroll across the screen under “closings and cancellations.”Earlier in the day, before the storm hit, I selected several movies from the library. I imagined our little family in jammies, cozy by the fire, listening to music, reading, watching a movie or two, or three. I actually liked the idea of slowing. Relaxing. A forced rest.We don’t rest much anymore, not as much as I want to, as a family or as a culture. This year we have had to take care not to get swept up in activities that would have us rushing–speeding–through life. Being snowbound sounded like the perfect excuse to simply stop.The day of the storm, I stood at the window sipping hot tea, watching snow and sleet slam against the sides of our house, weigh the branches of the fir trees and coat the slides. The kids went out before the temperatures plummeted and stomped around towing sleds and throwing snowballs. Within hours their footsteps were filled again. The Belgian Wonder worked hard shoveling, but the wind undid much of his work by teasing drifts across the cleared path in eerie white mists, shifting, like spirits dancing along the edges of his efforts. We were being forced inside.Inside again today, we prepare for our Family LoveFest, our day to celebrate us. School’s canceled, so we anticipate games and popcorn, hand-drawn love notes scrawled on pink construction paper, a special dinner with angelfood cake for dessert–dressed with pink icing–and lots of M&Ms.The weather outside is frightful, but I think we’ll just light the fire. And since we’ve nowhere to go, let it snow. Let it snow, and let us slow.With that, let me share with you instructions for making crockpot steel-cut oatmeal, perfect for a blizzardy, slow-motion Valentine’s Day morning when you crave something warm for breakfast. Plus, the fiber helps balance out the excessive amounts of chocolate to be consumed throughout the day.To avoid scorching the oatmeal or wasting some as it forms a crusty ring around the crock, create a bain-marie.Put the oats, salt and water used to make the oatmeal into a bowl that fits within the crockpot. Fill the crockpot itself with water and set the oats-bowl inside so that the “bath” water comes about halfway up the side. Set the crockpot on low and it cooks overnight.Slow food for a slow snow day.Happy Valentine’s Day.Please visit Rocks in My Dryer for more great ideas!