Years from now, when we’re 30-something grownups with real(er) jobs, our own house and a hopping household, I envision our mornings going something like this:
6 a.m.: The alarm clock rings. Jared and I awaken, alert and well rested after eight (yes, eight!) consecutive hours of sleep.
6-7 a.m.: I go for a run, Jared makes a good dent in the New York Times (and completes nearly half of the crossword), and we both get ready and coffee-d up for the day ahead.
7 a.m.: Sweet Beany and her future younger sibling(s) join us in the kitchen. They’re walking sleepily and yawning mightily, still wearing footie pajamas (as all children should) over tummies ready for a hearty meal.
7-8 a.m.: Our little family sits around the kitchen table and enjoys a homemade, not-from-the-box breakfast (Jared says we might need fresh-squeezed orange juice, too). The menu changes from day to day, but the sentiment is always the same: We’re a smiley group of well-rested and well-fed morning people, ready and eager to take on the day.
Man oh man, future life is good.
Truth be told, present life is pretty great, too. Amidst deadlines and sleepless nights, we usually manage to squeeze in a good amount of family time in the mornings. It might not be New York Times crossword puzzle kind of time, but it is coffee and toast before school/work time. Sometimes it’s even super special oatmeal time, and when it is, this is our go-to recipe. Our pumpkin oatmeal, loosely based on this recipe that we started making a while back, has evolved quite a bit over the past year to land on the exact flavor combination we love (which, it so happens, tastes like autumn in a bowl). It’s a great, warm, fills-you-up-and-makes-you-happy breakfast that either Jared or I can whip up in about 20 minutes, and you just can’t beat a tag team meal like that.
Mornings might not be as calm and productive as our “someday” says they will be, but we really can’t complain. Oh, and our baby girl does always wear her footie pajamas to breakfast, so dream life and real life might be closer than we think.
Cinnamon Pumpkin Oatmeal
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon ginger
• ¼ teaspoon cloves
• 2-3 tablespoons light brown sugar
• ½ cup pumpkin puree
• 2 ½ cups water
• 1 cup old-fashioned oats
• ½ teaspoon salt
Heat cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until they become fragrant, about 1 minute (Note: We always tend to lean toward using lots of spices, so if you’re a little hesitant about these measurements, start with half the amount of cinnamon, ginger and cloves, and adjust to suit your tastes). Add the brown sugar and pumpkin, and stir until combined. Add the water, turn up the heat and bring to a boil.
Once the water is boiling, stir in the oats. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low, and continue to cook at a simmer for about 15 minutes, until the oatmeal has thickened up to your desired consistency. Top with chopped apples, dried cranberries or both. Enjoy!
What’s the morning routine like at your house? Are you homemade breakfast fans? Grab-it-and-go breakfasters? What’s your favorite morning meal?