I woke up bright and early Saturday morning with visions of shopping bags and crossed off holiday lists dancing in my head. Industriously, I made coffee and jumped in the shower. I immerged to find we were sadly out of milk. Now, I am a New Yorker, I must have my coffee light. So I quickly grabbed my coat to trot down to our local deli to pick up a gallon. Wowza McGowza, it was frigid out there. Colder than body parts of witches that will remain nameless.
After sprinting home with my milk, I sat warming myself with my coffee, cuddled in an afghan, desperately trying to summon the courage to go forth on my mission of commerce. Just as I was about to leap up, grab my purse, head for the door and not look back, Ian (my boyfriend) awoke, yawning and asking, “What’s for breakfast?” Hmmm, interesting, breakfast. “Can you make oatmeal?” he poked. Indignantly I replied, “Of course I can, I’m in culinary school for goodness sake. Just sit down, I’ll hook you up.”
Of course all of the bravado was to hide the fact that, truthfully, I couldn’t recall ever having actually made oatmeal. I have always been a cream of wheat girl myself. But to keep up my rouse, I would have to make, pretty much, the best oatmeal ever made. With only what was rattling around in my fairly barren kitchen, I pounded it out. If I have to say so myself (although, actually Ian said so as well, and the cat sniffed happily at it too) it certainly turned out to be pretty scrumptious.
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Wow, how productive she is, making a warm and tasty breakfast to fortify her on her valiant journey through the crowded New York City tundra to single-handedly finish all her holiday shopping in a single bound!” I must admit. I never went shopping. While certainly the oatmeal had warming, sticking to your ribs qualities, somehow after my steaming bowl on the couch with Ian, a nap and a pay-per-view movie seemed more in order than elbowing tourists to get at the last periwinkle cashmere scarf marked down to $29.54 at Century 21.
Maybe this weekend. . .although we do have some overripe bananas on the counter, they may do well in a little oatmeal themselves. . .perhaps a little maple syrup. . .
2 cups whole milk
1 ¼ cups Old Fashioned Oats
Pinch of Salt (VERY IMPORTANT, salt brings out the sweetness, don’t skip, one pinch of salt won’t kill you)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 Granny Smith apple (or other tart, firm apple) pealed and cut in a small dice (cubes)
½ c pecans, chopped
1 t cinnamon
½ t nutmeg
½ T vanilla extract (real, imitation is a waste of money)
Combine milk, salt, and oats. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. When simmering stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Simmer stirring constantly about 5 minutes until thick and creamy. When the proper consistency, add the vanilla and ¼ cup of the brown sugar and stir to incorporate and dissolve the sugar. Pour the oatmeal into warm bowls and top with the chopped apple, pecans, and the rest of the brown sugar (split between the two bowls). Do not stir in the apples, pecans, and sugar. It’s more fun to do so as you’re eating!