Weather: 32 degrees, stars twinkling before sunrise
What I’m listening to: Homebird, Foy Vance
I’m all about starting this new year off right beginning with breakfast each morning. There was a brief season of my childhood when I consistently ate breakfast before encountering the day, and it was my very favorite season. While my mother was more the kind of woman to skip breakfast or pour a bowl of cold cereal, my grandmother insisted on a hot breakfast each morning. As I’ve mentioned before, this is one of the many reasons I loved life at my grandma’s house. A soft-boiled egg on buttered whole wheat toast or a steaming bowl of hot cereal such as Cream of Wheat or old fashioned oats were her standbys. I used to love the way the raisins would plump up after simmering in the pot with the oats and the way the brown sugar would melt when it was sprinkled on top. There was no chance I was walking out the door and down the back alley to head for school until my belly was full of something homemade if I was on Grandma’s watch.
I have come to love baked oatmeal because you can make a large batch for the whole family or for guests. I enjoy customizing it using different kinds of fruit and nuts. I have a blueberry banana version with walnuts and a pumpkin version with maple syrup and pecans. This Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal has all the comfort of tart granny smith apples tossed in brown sugar and cinnamon and baked right into the oats. I topped it with milk, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and a drizzle of honey.
You can also find this recipe in my weekly column in Alaska Dispatch News.