Archive for August 1st, 2012

Prompt for the day:  “Name something sweet you ate today.”

To be honest, I find this a little, umm, “desperate,” somewhat in the category of scraping the bottom of the barrel.  Is that all they could come up with?!  A one-word sentence would suffice for an answer!  On the other hand, I’m using prompts generated by a writer’s group – how desperate is that?!  So I will just shut up and write to prompt.

Fortunately, this one is easy for me:  Breakfast.  In my old age, my breakfast rarely varies.  I’ve found a formula that works for me, something I can throw together in my sleep, at this point, which I think most folks would agree has its charms at oh-dark-thirty in the morning.  (It’s not that bad.  With no kids and a retired husband, I’m usually up by 6:30.  That’s still too early for many folks I know.)

Breakfast, when I prepare it at home, consists of the same basic ingredient:  oatmeal.  It’s how you prepare the oatmeal that makes all the difference.  When I lived in Germany, I learned that most people I knew didn’t cook their rolled oats; they ate them uncooked, with fruit, nuts, and milk.  Sounds gross?  Try it sometime.  In the summertime, that’s how I always eat my oatmeal:  1/2 cup of Old-Fashioned Quaker Oats, uncooked.  Add to this 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries (frozen is very important), 2 tablespoons of mixed chopped almonds and hazelnuts, 2 tablespoons of raisins.  Mix everything together in the bowl, and add enough milk to cover it all.  The frozen blueberries put a real chill on a hot summer morning, and set you up to face the dog days.

Once the weather cools down, the recipe changes slightly.  I heat the milk first (a full cup of milk), and add the oats and blueberries to that, once it gets hot.  I don’t add nuts, but I do put in a tablespoon or so of maple syrup.  It has to be the real stuff, if you can get it; where I live, fake maple syrup is considered an act of treason.  Cook the oatmeal according to package directions, and eat when it’s done.  (Oh, OK, I do add a tablespoon of coffee creamer both to cool it down a bit and to add a little extra “kick” to the taste.)

One other thing.  For reasons I won’t go into – my friends know what they are – I do eat vegan for about half the year, and because of that, I’ve gotten away from cow’s milk.  I use almond milk, which adds to the overall sweetness of this dish and has the added benefit of being lower both in calories and carbs than cow’s milk.  It also has at least as much calcium as cow’s milk; a couple of name brands have more calcium than cow’s milk.  Give it a shot!  I also add a cut-up banana, summer or winter; the potassium is good for you on several levels.

Life is bitter enough at times; I feel we owe it to ourselves to sweeten it up as much as we can.  And there’s no better time than breakfast.

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