Hello! And happy early September…. behold. A photo of our apple tree abundance.
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Our basement is cold and dampish and littered with rubber dinosaurs and plastic tools and fish and perhaps a true reflection of my life nowadays.
The strange thing for me about being a stay-at-home mom after being a working-mom for the past 3 years is that my mind kind of emptied of everything that once held priority and flooded with new ones. While I was working, for example, laundry was not such an important task. I usually felt a sort of peace over the fact that I would eventually get it done. And I did. And why would I need to wash our kitchen windows? Vacuum every week? Balancing our budget was regrettably also an after-thought.
But now every morning the routine begins at home. The house is our island, a place where we move around yet solely survive in. There is no bustling out the door like a mad person before the sun. No exchange of my children to someone I hesitate to trust. There is breakfast and coffee and orange juice and oatmeal everywhere. Everywhere.
And then the laundry stares at me with a menacing grin. It demands my attention. And suddenly I find myself agonizing over all that for the past three years didn’t seem so important.
So maybe you can hear the conflict in my current writing voice. I feel lucky, blessed even, to be with my boys on our island. And I sometimes feel strained to know what should be a priority anymore.
But I am glad for moments like this – to be amongst the rubber dinosaurs and plastic fish while a 1-year-old naps in his crib and a social and smart 4-year-old busies himself at preschool. And I am glad for time without a screen in my face, a warm cup of tea in my hand and memories of the day floating through my mind. Memories of a 4-year-old’s ambition to draw a mountain goat. Of his shifting preference for markers over crayons and vice versa. His most earnest of efforts to make his own sandwiches at lunch. And memories of a little 1-year-old Buddha belly bouncing about the yard, scooping up apples that have fallen from the tree and clenching them in his small, round hands while he climbs a ladder to throw himself down the slide.
And their every day ability to teach me something new, so long as I can hold still enough to listen and watch.
Lucky. Blessed. Whatever you want to call it. I am so glad I am here for it all. Wrestling my new priorities and metaphorically running this very hard, very good route of motherhood.
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So we HAVE been cooking a lot lately. But I am feeling the urge to share a very basic recipe with you that starts our day, everyday – our everyday oatmeal recipe. I know, I know! I can just see my friends and family who read this blog rolling their eyes because, in their minds, only I would think oatmeal is special enough to share with everyone. But seriously! All you need for a perfect breakfast every morning is rolled oats, your milk of choice and water. We love cooking our oats with coconut milk and cinnamon. And this time of year, we finish it off with a generous drizzle of honey and fresh peach slices. In the fall, we litter our oatmeal with apples from our tree and maple syrup.
It is the particular cooking method that makes this oatmeal unique. This cooking process maintains the grain’s individual shape and prevents the whole pot from turning to mush. Once your oatmeal is done, add any toppings you like. Most mornings, I am perfectly content with a simple drizzle of honey.
Our Everyday Oatmeal
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ½ cup milk of choice
- 1 ½ cups water
- generous pinch of sea salt
- dash of cinnamon
Pour the milk and water into a soup kettle. Add in salt and cinnamon.
Bring to a simmer. Pour in oats. Swirl to combine. Cover and remove from heat. Allow to steam for 8 minutes. Resist the urge to peek!
Meanwhile prep your toppings. Make coffee. Read the news. Pretend you are fishing with your 1 and 4-year-old.
Uncover and allow to cool for just a bit. Add oats to serving bowl. Add desired toppings. You could add cream, plain yogurt, brown sugar, maple syrup or honey. Granola, coconut or any nut makes for good texture. My boys like it with plain honey or slices of fresh fruit.
Refrigerate leftovers in airtight container for up to 5 days.