Before I lived in a state that actually has four seasons, I never understood the purpose of oatmeal. I mean, why would you bother to take the time to heat oats up when you could have cold cereal and milk in a heartbeat? In fact, I don’t eat any of the same breakfast foods here that I did in Florida. There’s just something wrong about eating something cold first thing in the morning when you’ve already been forced from your warm cocoon of a bed and thrust into the harsh realities of the frigid morning. That may sound overly dramatic, but at 5am when it’s in the teens, I feel very “woe is me.”
So, I decided to make oatmeal. Great. But I didn’t have a clue what to top it with. I had already decided against the sugar laden pre-sweetened varieties and settled on the Irish Steel-Cut Oatmeal (fast cooking of course), so I went out looking for inspiration and went no further than the local Starbucks. Since I almost never buy anything other than beverages there, I’d never had the occasion to look at the toppings they served with their “Perfect Oatmeal.” So last time I was there, I took a peek at it.
It included brown sugar, cranberries, raisins, pecans and walnuts. Sounded good to me and since I had just bought a bunch of dried fruits and nuts for my super salads, I gave it a whirl. It was warm, it was filling and it had a stick to your ribs quality that kept me satiated all morning. Thank you, Starbucks, for your inspiration and your holiday peppermint mocha.