Breakfast of champions

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I’m the kind of person who likes things just so. I like my bed made before I go to work. I like my towels folded in thirds. I like my oatmeal a certain way, or it’s not worth eating. And that way is cooked with raisins and cinamon, and then topped with honey, sliced banana, toasted nuts, and milk. Some people call this particular, or even inflexible. I call it knowing what I like.

Coming back from vacation, The Littlest Kitchen is not as well stocked as it should be. My house/cat sitter left me some disparate elements – an apple, some milk, cooked oatmeal. Depressing. Reheated oatmeal without plump, rehydrated raisins and spices is akin to lumpy library paste. Apple is wan in comparison to a silky, sweet banana. I can’t start the new year like this.

What I like about my oatmeal is the added sweetness and texture. Sauteeing sliced apple would bring out the right amount of flavor with the help of some butter and cinnamon. Once they were carmelized, they could be set aside, and the same pan, now laced with goodness, can be used for bringing the oatmeal back to life. A little more butter before adding the clump of oatmeal, greases the pan, the goal is to break it down back into a semi-solid, not rigormortised form. Most of it can be broken down into smaller chunks, a small dousing of water melts it down further to its former self. When it’s warm and looks like oatmeal again, it’s ready to be layered with maple syrup (an acceptable substitute to honey which I had none), the apples, nuts, and milk. My sitter had added stone ground oatmeal to the mix, which gave a nice chewiness. I might have to add this to my repetoire.

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