When we got married I registered for a rice cooker – one of the nice ones with all sorts of fancy settings. I got it for oatmeal. We eat rice, of course, but nothing beats freshly-cooked steel-cut oats on Sunday morning. If I remember, I can load it up the night before and set the timer to be done when we get up. Or, more likely, Hero can set it to run when he gets up, and then he takes Beauty for a few hours so I can sleep in, and then we eat together.
Oatmeal from steel-cut oats has more texture and depth than the instant stuff, and I eat it with butter and brown sugar and heavy cream and it’s just perfect. It reminds me of lazy Sunday mornings when we were first married and had nothing to do but curl up in bed and eat breakfast.
It also reminds me of childhood Sukkot breakfasts. Sukkot, of course, is the Jewish harvest festival, and we celebrate by building little huts outside, with leafy branches instead of a roof, and living in them for a week. (Well, living in them is traditional. It’s a bit cold during Sukkot, so most people around here just eat meals in theirs.) Mom would wake us up at six in the morning, and we’d pile on jeans and sweaters and socks and hats, and sit down in the pale morning light around the table, huddling close to keep warm. Mom would have hot oatmeal and tea and hot chocolate, and we’d eat quietly at first, sleepily listening to the birds wake up. Then as we got warm and full we’d talk, and Mom or Dad would lead a short bible study, and sometimes we’d sing together under the leaves. Then we’d have to leave for school, but that early morning breakfast would be my favorite part of the day.
All that in a bowl of oats and a glass of milk.
Today, life is good.