Monday, October 12, 2009

Beginning the Day with Pretty (aka 3 cheers for oats!)

Back in the days when my socks were longer than my skirts and my heroes were ElectraWoman & DynaGirl, early morning happiness came in a tan & green colored pouch. Unlike most kids who were kookoo for cocoa puffs, I was all about the oatmeal. It was probably because my mom wouldn’t buy me Coco Puffs but we won’t tell my seven-year old self that. Seriously though, I adored my apples and cinnamon instant oats and for decades I gobbled up those wee packs of instant goodness while doing my happy dance. Sadly, it never occurred to me that homemade oatmeal was almost as easy and even tastier than what came in those packs. Lucky for me, I figured it all out…and then some.

You may be thinking I’m a bit nutty for writing an ode to oatmeal but have you ever tried it a-la-jek? From the way you cook it to how you sweeten or even top it, oatmeal has an infinite amount of possibilities. Stick with me and you’ll see.

I enjoy my oatmeal a tiny bit on the chewy side so it is rolled oats for me. When the mister and I whip up a batch, we add a sprinkle or two of black pepper and cinnamon. The tiny hint of spice is delightful, plus it’s pretty to look at. Even prettier is the ½ teaspoon of turmeric we add to the mix. Turmeric is a wonder spice. Not only is its color bee-yoo-tee-ful, it’s heart happy as well. Really, you should try it!

Once the oats are all simmery-cooked and in my bowl, I add a squeeze of honey and mix it all in. Next comes a dash of milk (or if I am feeling decadent, half and half) and the toppers. If there is fresh fruit such as blueberries or tangerines (once I even added the remains of an apple pie), I add that, if not, I go for the dried cherries or cranberries. Next, I add nuts. The type of nut is determined by the color of the fruit. This is about creating the prettiest (and tastiest) bowl of oatmeal ever. From sunflower seeds to pine nuts to spiced pecans…I’m not very picky, I add a few that I know will taste well together. Once my bowl is assembled I take a step back and assess its prettiness.

Now, don’t you think that is one pretty bowl of happy?


Shirley said...

Looks pretty but it's too much effort. I'm all about the instant - maple and brown sugar and the "fruit" ones. Course it has to go in those fun, color-changing bowls that Quaker had a few years ago. LOL!

Paul Baxendale said...

Brilliant! I love the turmeric idea!!! I'd like the turmeric oatmeal with T.J.'s sweet and spicy pecans, some dried cherries and a goodly drizzle of agave syrup (oh, and half and half... totally!).

jek-a-go-go said...

shirley...the apple and cinnamon was my all time fave but really, it takes the same effort and this way your wrist won;t get tweaked shaking the packet up! :)

paul...thank you! i make a mean spicy pecan. agave syrup sounds yummers!


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