I am, by nature, not a morning person. I am a creature of the night, or so Mr. H lovingly calls me. The jive of the stars, the occasional sonata of the moon, the aria of the darkness swelling with mysteries and discoveries make me such a creature. I am captivated by wonder and comfortable in the unknown – this is where I thrive and my imagination gorges itself on all possibilities and impossibilities.
Unfortunately for me, we live in a sunrise-to-sunset society. This is my bane.
Mr. H works a 9-to-5, or later, grind and the Little Man is up with the sun. And when I say “up with the sun” I mean “sprinting with the sun” until he falls in a heap at some undetermined time in the evening. What is unnatural for me is only natural for them. What is also very natural for me is to be reticent and aloof before 10 AM. While I am usually boasting that embracing one’s nature is healthy, I began hating how much I loathed the morning. The blurred rush of covers tossed, feet on the ground, diapers changed, coffee made, poured, and drunk did little more than put me in a foul mood for the rest of the day. Not to mention feeding people. It appears that morning people like to eat at odd hours. The morning may not be my favorite but the start of one’s day shouldn’t be detested. This much I know. And so I decided to take on the Herculean task of making my mornings beautiful.
I began by rising a little earlier and beginning my day in personal solace – orienting myself in these foreign hours. As my amicable attempt at a relationship with the morning continues, I am finding there is indeed beauty in it, unique to itself. The light filling the sky and breaking the barriers of our place, casting its golden life onto every surface is a constant intrigue. I smile at waking sighs of my loves: heavy and stalling groans from the taller one and high-pitch coos and laughter from the smaller one. Even the singing of the birds, which once grated, gnawed, and drilled against my ears, can, on occasion, transform itself into a melodious sunrise concert.
As I find beauty in these first moments, breakfast has also become a pleasurable moment as opposed to a necessary chore. On most occasions we stick to toast or yogurt. However, the need for variety has me looking for simple, fast, and energizing starts, such as our new favorite: Oatmeal Pudding.
It is actually Baked Oatmeal but we found it to be of similar consistency to Bread Pudding, and so have named it thus. (Yes, pudding for breakfast! I wonder how long the Little Man will believe this one.) The best part is that it is made the night before, kept in the fridge overnight, and baked the following morning. As the kitchen fills with the delicious aroma of the false notion that I have been up before dawn preparing a scrumptious breakfast, I can sip coffee, read BBC, and feel particularily awesome about myself. The second best part is that this pudding is a blank canvas and easily adaptable to a variety of tastes and preferences. The boys love Peanut Butter, Bananas, and Maple Syrup while I love Yogurt and Fruit. There also the classic standby of Raisins, Milk, and Brown Sugar. Butter, Jam, Honey, Toasted Coconut or Hazelnuts… the possibilities are yours for the making.
Enjoy! And may you have a beautiful morning.
Overnight Oatmeal Pudding (or, Baked Oatmeal)
¼ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons Honey
1 ½ cups Whole Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3 ¼ cups Old Fashioned Oats
½ teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
Grease a 9 x 9” pan with a little extra olive oil or cooking spray. Sift together the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, eggs, honey, milk, and vanilla. Add the baking powder-spice mixture and oats, and stirring to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and using a spoon or spatula press the top to even out. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and keep in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the covered dish in the hot oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes until the top is golden. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes before cutting into nine slices. Serve warm with desired accompaniments.
Store remaining oatmeal in the refrigerator, reheating individual pieces for future breakfasts.
– Adapted from various recipes
See more of my daybreak inspirations HERE, on my Good Morning Pinterest Board.