Oatmeal has always been big in my family, and like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, each of us has a distinct way of personalizing his or her bowl.
My mom always adds fruit to her oatmeal; sliced bananas, frozen blueberries, chopped apples and dried apricots are all fair game. Dad prefers steel-cut Irish oats and takes an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to breakfast. He mixes in protein powder for extra nutrition, granola and toasted walnuts for additional texture, and then he’ll add golden raisins as well as whatever leftover fresh fruit Mom has cut up for hers. As kids, my brother and I used our oatmeal as a vehicle for heaping spoonfuls of brown sugar, as that was the one of the few times our nutritionally-conscious mother allowed us to add sugar to our food. I loved the soft consistency of the brown sugar, reminiscent of slightly wet sand on the beach only to melt into dark rivers once it came into contact with the hot steaming porridge in our bowls. My brother is now more of an eggs-and-potatoes man at breakfast so I don’t know how he doctors his oatmeal these days. However, I definitely have something totally new to bring to the table, for I have just discovered the joys of Savory Oatmeal with Parmesan and Olive Oil. Say whaaat?