Breakfast really ought to be easier than it is. It's the first meal of the day. The kitchen is clean. Just about anything sounds good. And yet ...
Around here, it's usually the one meal of the day that makes me want to run and hide.
First off, we've got the ravenous littles factor. What is it about children under the age of 6 and their inability to be nice or say something without a whine until they've had something to eat? I've got three in that season right now and boy, it's no fun at all. It requires something quick, something that can be prepared by one of the older kids if I am called away to deal with a mini-emergency ("Momma! Seven unrolled the whole roll of toilet paper! Silly baby!"), and something that will make them want to actually, you know ... eat it.
Second is the "real meal" requirement. Mr. Blandings often pushes lunch until quite late in the day so that he can use his lunch break to work out. That means any breakfast I serve needs to be substantial enough to carry him through a morning that stretches into early afternoon.
And finally, there's the allergy issue. Oli is allergic to wheat, gluten, dairy related to cows, and chicken eggs. Seven breaks out in a rash when she has cow cheese or milk. Usually, this means two separate breakfasts. Some days, though, I just can't pull it off. After whipping up a half dozen omelets made to order, the last thing I want to do is pull on another hat and play allergy short-order cook.
Which is why I thank the Lord above for oatmeal. We eat a lot of oatmeal. It's cheap. It's filling. It can be tweaked to make just about everyone happy. And no one in our house is allergic to it! Woot!
With that in mind, I thought I'd share the easiest, yummiest oatmeal recipe I have. It's a tinkered version of one that I picked up a while back. Try it. Adapt it. Make it your own. And enjoy a morning made that much easier by a breakfast that almost makes itself!
Oatmeal and Peaches
1 quart peaches canned in light syrup (or 1 29 oz. can of peaches)
2 c. Old Fashioned oats
.5 c. brown sugar
Spray a 9x13 glass dish, and dump entire contents of peach jar in the bottom. Mix oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Pour on top of peaches. Gently stir until most oats are wet. Bake in oven at 425 degrees for about 12 minutes or until oats are softened and appear done.
A couple of notes: I have tried backing off on the brown sugar, but my kiddos don't like it without plenty of sweetness. Also, I double this recipe, but find that it turns out better if I make two separate pans rather than simply doubling the amounts and baking them together. Go figure.