Some mornings just start out well, and lead on into good days. You get up, and your world seems alright. Usually, for me, these are days when I don’t have to work early; it might be a week-end or day off work, or just a late start day. This gives me time to make a nice breakfast including some good coffee or tea, sit down by the window, notice the sun is shining, and that “it’s already a good day. ”
I put quotes around that last phrase because I was thinking of the movie Cloverfield. I love that part where he gets up early in the morning and video tapes and narrates a little as he looks around the apartment. We see his girlfriend quietly sleeping, the dim quiet apartment, the view over the grey city just beginning to be touched by pink and yellow light as the sun comes up. He says “It’s 6:42am. Beth’s dad’s place. He’s out of town. And it’s already a good day.” He says that last sentence with such a contented, sincere sound to his voice…I love that line. I think that’s the same kind of morning I’m trying to describe.
On one such recent morning, I made Spiced Peach Oatmeal. It is inspired by Mollie Katzen’s basic oatmeal and chai oatmeal in her book Sunlight Cafe. I use the same ratios she does, and spices sort of like in her chai oatmeal. But, I do only one serving at a time, and I cook it in the microwave with the addition of a sliced fresh peach. It was heavenly! And just the thing for a morning that’s off to a good start. In fact, it might be good enough to improve a morning that isn’t quite as great as those ones I’ve been talking about.
Here’s the recipe for what I made:
- 6 tablespoons old fashioned rolled oats (this is 1/4 plus 2 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon oat bran
- 3/4 cup water
- a pinch each: salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and turmeric
- 1 ripe peach, sliced (okay if a little firm)
- sweetener, if desired (white or brown sugar, honey, or even Splenda would be fine)
- Milk, if desired
Put all ingredients, except sweetener and milk, in a medium-large microwavable bowl, stir. (If you are not sure if your bowl is big enough, put a plate under it. It’s much easier to clean up a plate than the inside of your microwave…believe me I know this). Microwave on high for about 3 minutes (with my microwave, I use the setting for 1/2 cup of oatmeal. This cooks it for 3 minutes and 10 seconds, and it comes out great). What you want is for it to get hot and then boil for about the last 10 to 15 seconds. This is when you will find out if your bowl is the right size or not. When it’s done, it will be very hot and steamy (use hot pads to take it out of the microwave). Let it sit until it is cool enough to eat (it might seem a little thin at first, but it will thicken as it stands). Add sweetener and milk to taste, if desired.
By the way, in case you couldn’t guess, I really liked Cloverfield, and I would definitely recommend it if you are into monster movies. Even if you’re not normally into monster movies, it might be worth a try, since it is pretty unique and good. I loved how real it seemed: one minute everyone is going about their lives, the next, they are trying to understand what big scary thing is tearing apart their city. (There’s a moment when Beth sees the monster and asks “What is that?” Hud responds “It’s a terrible thing.” Then, they see something else, and she says “Oh my God! What is that?” Hud says “I don’t know! Something else! Also terrible.” I always enjoy that line, and have to giggle at it. That’s one thing I like about Cloverfield: it’s pretty scary and a little gory, but it also has some fun and humorous moments. It’s probably not for everyone, but, if you like scary or adventure movies, it might be worth giving it a try.