Tuesday, 9 November 2010


Me, I love porridge. My children do too. But I am so lousy in the morning. If it's a choice between an extra ten minutes in bed and my kids going hungry, well, I know what I choose. Always, every day, I choose the extra time coasting (I think I first came across the term coasting in Peanuts. Lucy, or Linus perhaps, also made a habit of it).

But yesterday I figured out a way to get warm oatmeal into my children and still not have to get up. Baked oatmeal! And you know what, it's nicer than porridge. It's sweet and buttery, a bit like a hodgepodge of a pancake. And it couldn't be more straightforward to make.

1 1/2 cups oats (any kind will do, I should think, but I used rolled rather than porridge and it did make for a nice texture)
1/4 cup dark soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 tbs linseeds and/or wheatgerm (both of these are optional but a good way of sneaking nutritious things into your children first thing in the morning)
1/4 melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the butter, milk, egg and vanilla extract and mix well.

Spread out in a baking dish of appropriate size. It will puff up a bit when it bakes.

Refrigerate overnight.

Choose a helpful child. Explain to him or her how to turn the oven on to 175 C.

The next morning instruct Helpful Child to put the dish of oatmeal in the oven for 25 minutes, by which time you should have got out of bed. Scoop it into bowls and serve adorned with nothing more than a splash of milk.

Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave the next day - and the day after that, if you make enough. Instant goodness!

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