09 January 2016

National Oatmeal Month

A pretty little bowl of oatmeal, sprinkled with cinnamon.
I love oatmeal!
January is National Oatmeal Month. Or so the internet tells me.

It is also Bread Machine Baking Month, Egg Month, Hot Tea Month, Meat Month, Soup Month, Wheat Bread Month, and Prune Breakfast Month. But this is a story about oatmeal.

You see, for me every month is Oatmeal Month because oatmeal is my breakfast of choice. This has been true since my childhood. I spent a lot of time at my Grandma and Grandpa Dixon's house as a child. When Gram made me breakfast, it was often oatmeal.

Allow me to share my childhood recipe for oatmeal.

Take one bowl of hot oatmeal, preferably made by your Grandma. With your spoon, carefully smooth the surface of the oats until it is nice and level. Next, take a spoonful of sugar from the sugar bowl (Not with your oatmeal spoon, please.) Very carefully sprinkle a layer of sugar over the top of the oatmeal. Allow the sugar to melt a little. Then, take some chocolate jimmies (if you are from NJ you know what those are, if you're not, you might know them as sprinkles) and spread them in an even layer over the top of your oatmeal. Let them melt a little. Now, carefully using your spoon, scoop up a spoonful of oats, sugar, and jimmies.

Oh. Yum.

At some point in the proceedings this careful scooping will become boring to you. That's when you use your spoon to vigorously mix the whole mess together into one chocolaty bowl of oat goodness.

Please note that if you only have multicolored jimmies at your house, this last step is not recommended. The colors mix in a rather unappetizing way.

Sophie (Karvoius) Dixon and her granddaughter washing dishes, c. 1965.
Me and my Grandma, Sophie (Karvoius) Dixon
washing the dishes in her kitchen, c. 1965.

My grown-up oatmeal recipe

The nice thing about being a grown-up is that you can eat what you want for breakfast and no one can stop you. I still choose oatmeal most mornings, but without the sugar and jimmies.

I generally make our morning oats with milk as 1/3 of the liquid. I've been known to throw in a tablespoon of chia seeds, 2-3 tablespoons of sunflower seeds, and/or 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut. Top with  a little cinnamon, and if you're feeling decadent, some honey or maple syrup.

Sometimes I cut loose and make Apple Cider Oatmeal. You'll find the recipe for that on my TeaShanty Blog. (much neglected, I'm afraid).

You can also find a bunch of mighty good looking recipes over at TasteSpotting.

What about you?

Do you have any favorite childhood breakfast memories or foods?


  1. Baked oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts. You can add mix-ins just as with porridge-style. But I'd never heard of the baked version before moving to Pennsylvania Dutch country.

    1. That sounds delicious Marty! I'm off to hunt up a recipe :-)

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  3. I positively love oatmeal but never thought of chocolate sprinkles. As a child I used to smooth mine out too, but then sprinkle on a layer of brown sugar that would melt over it like caramel. My mom reminiscences about my grandfather making a big pot of porridge for the whole family of seven kids. Must have been a really big pot!

    1. I can't imagine cooking that much oatmeal at one time! Wow.

      Thanks for stopping by Barbara! I really appreciate it.