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Oatmeal: A Good Winter Breakfast

Nine-plus inches of snow fell in here Tuesday into Wednesday, and suddenly, with Santa Maria out of town, taking care of my little ones became a lot more complicated. Snow pants, mittens, and hats were required in the morning, but some things were hard to find. There wasn’t sufficient time to bundle everyone up and wash the frying pan, tea cups, and plates from our morning meal. They would have to wait. We had to get out the door—Nina needed to be in school by 8:40, and I needed to get Pinta to daycare, and myself to work.

Coming home at the end of the day, I found myself revising my dinner menu. The other evening, I shook off laziness and lethargy by cooking asparagus. By last night, though, I was singing a different tune. I had planned to serve some Bolognese that I had in the freezer, but it was 6 p.m. by the time I picked up Nina.

A half-an-hour to defrost the sauce, boil the water, and cook the pasta seemed risky—the kids melt down when they're hungry. And besides, it’s hard to make dinner when the breakfast dishes are still in the sink. I punted and suggested that we all go out for pizza. Nina and Pinta loved that idea.

Walking to the pizzeria Pinta looked at the wintry sidewalk and said “The snow looks like oatmeal.”

“How,” I said.

 “It’s lumpy,” she replied, adding, “Will you make me oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow?”

 “Of course,” I said. “How do you like it?”

 “With butter, and brown sugar, and cinnamon,” she declared.

Personally, I prefer it with milk, almonds, raisins, and cinnamon, but with oatmeal you really can't go wrong.

Oatmeal: A Good Winter Breakfast

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 cups water
  • a pinch of salt

Combine the ingredients in a sauce pan, cover, and bring to a boil on a high heat.

Reduce heat and simmer until soft and creamy (can also be made with milk); about twenty minutes.

This amount serves four. Keep the leftovers in the refrigerator and heat the next day in the microwave or on the stove top with a little water in the pan. Serve the ceral with milk or butter. Cinnamon, walnuts, almons apples, and raisins are nice additions.

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