These days we awake to a cold dark world. The kitchen floor is cold under our slippers, but the coffee is warm and bracing and a cup or two we are almost ready to face the world.
The dark days of November call for a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs-style breakfast. My father believed oatmeal was the best choice on these mornings, and he often made it for me when I was a small child, lacing it with cinnamon and dotting it with raisins.
When I saw this baked oatmeal in the October issue of Midwest Living Magazine ("Wisconsin-style," said the headline), I thought I'd give it a try.
1 and 3/4 cups water
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2/3 cup 2 percent or skim milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I used half Splenda)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a medium-sized baking. In medium saucepan, bring water to boil, slowly adding oats. Stir. Return to boiling and reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for about 6 minutes for regular oats, or until most water is absorbed and the oats are tender.
Whisk milk and eggs in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. salt; stir into oatmeal. Fold in milk and egg mix. Pour oatmeal mixture into baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, in 350 degree oven 30-40 minutes, or until center is just set and sugar crust forms on top. Cool 30 minutes.
A bit bland, I thought, but reminiscent of those wonderful windmill cookies I loved as a kid. I'd add roasted walnuts and raisins next time. But hey, it stuck to my ribs.
And the taste really took me back. Not a bad way to start a new day.