So, this morning, I was craving super comfort morning food. I just wanted to be a little kid today. To be excited to go to school (not really, but knew I had to to prepare for the future when I would have to work every day), know I’d be seeing and gossiping with all of my friends (I was the outcast who only go the cards from the kids whose parents told the kids they had to give one to each person so nobody would feel left out), being able to have someone else cook and keep my clothes clean (even though the fights about eating every night could be annoying and I always lost). But, the winter breakfast growing up was to get two packets of Quaker’s Maple and Brown Sugar instant oatmeal with a Lipton’s hot tea.It was two packets because one packet apparently wasn’t enough for my mother to fill up on. That was the only one I would eat to my mother’s chagrin and, for a long time, wasn’t an individual box most of the year. So, she’d have to buy the one with the original and the apple and cinnamon and either make something else with them (I think a lot went into meatloaf since I don’t really remember buying tubs of oatmeal growing up) or waiting for Fridays where she’d dump them on a family friend whose kids would eat them. Yes, I know it’s a horribly sugary version. I tried eating it recently and almost gagged over the sugariness. For a while, as an adult I bought some lower sugar versions. But, they weren’t the same as what I had growing up. Or at least not like what my memory wants to claim. So, I gave up.
But, I wanted some today. My tastes have changed a lot and what I will eat has changed too. So, I knew I wouldn’t be happy having my exact childhood oatmeal. Plus, I didn’t want to go looking for a box of it anyway to sit there indefinitely while waiting for the next time I was having a craving for it. This required me to sit and figure out exactly what sounded perfect for my oatmeal. Instant oatmeal flakes are out of my diet anymore. I know they can be bought in a tub no less. But, rolled oats look so much closer to the instant oats I had growing up. I wonder if the processing of the instant packs have been done even more so. And the taste is there for me. Along with that, I always add chia seeds to my oatmeal because I can and like having my bag go down slowly. Then, we get to flavor.
I knew I really wanted maple and brown sugar. I’d bought a bear of maple syrup from the store over the weekend and have already made a dent. But, it took me a while to find my brown sugar. I didn’t put it back where it belonged. So, I started thinking about what went well with maple syrup. I ended up grabbing cinnamon and ginger. Then, my brain went add nutmeg. As I was starting to put the stuff down to mix my oatmeal, I stubbed my toe on my brown sugar. I guess it wanted in after all.
For the tea, I don’t keep plain Lipton’s tea anymore. And I don’t think that would have been right for a grownup play on my childhood comfort meal. I considered my dirty chai for a moment, but decided it would be too much stay on spice, which would make it a grown up breakfast only. then, I played with a simple coffee, but realised it would be too heavy of a drink for this meal. That left me with tea or hot chocolate. I seriously considered hot chocolate, seeing as it’s Valentine’s Day and all, but ended up settling with tea. Finally, I went down to what tea and ended up choosing my favorite right now: Stash’s Breakfast in Paris tea. It was light and I added the honey with it. It didn’t overpower my tea and my tea didn’t overpower my oatmeal. The perfect mix. And I ate every drop and willingly washed my dish when I was done! Not something I would have done growing up.
Spiced Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal
1/2 C Rolled Oats (Could use Steel cut oats too, but don’t ask me the amount)
2 Tbs chia seeds
1 C Water
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbs grade A dark maple syrup (other grades will have more of a maple flavor, so if you want more of that flavor use that instead)
2 tsp brown sugar
Mix the oats and chia seeds together in your bowl. Add your water. Microwave for between 2 and 3 minutes. (A 700 watt microwave works well at 2 minutes and 45 seconds.) Stir lightly. Add remaining ingredients. Mix in well. Enjoy it.