Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Slow-Cooked Breakfast

I'm an early bird, the daughter of early birds. Ta creeps out of the house between 5:30 and 5:45 for Shacharis; Ma and I are up and about soon after.

We are very excited for breakfast. 

For many years Ma cooked up oat bran for Ta and herself, divvying it between two bowls. She would place the pot lid atop Ta's, but it would often be cool by the time he returned home from shul. 

I don't recall what triggered the idea, but when I came across the Double Oval Crock-Pot, which is meant for "entertaining," it occurred somehow that this could be used for his-and-hers breakfasts. (It was under $30 when I bought it; in the interim, it nearly doubled in price. Hmm.)
It took some experimentation, but the current method is: 

In each crock goes: 14 cup oat bran + 2 tablespoons teff + 1 tablespoon chia seeds + sprinkling of goji berries + sprinkling of goat milk powder + approximately 6 oz. water. 

The slow cooker is connected to a timer, which is set to go on at 3 a.m. It is clicked on to "low." 

This new method pleases them both. If Ta has to leave earlier or later, his breakfast is always ready and hot. Ma is greeted by a cheerful bowl, ready-made, each morning. The portions are consistent, instead of guessing. There are many sighs of contentment. (Ma adds a slug of maple syrup to hers.)

For myself, I'm not a stickler for breakfast protocol; sometimes fruit, sometimes veg. Yet there is something pleasant about a warm, nourishing, slow-simmered breakfast. The above crocks are 1 qt. each; I couldn't find an individual slow cooker smaller than 1.5 qts., but there are many options available. (I'm not particularly loyal to my model.)
I chuck in various raw ingredients, like grains (quinoa, oat bran, oat groats, millet), chia seeds, vegetables, and seasoning, and set the outlet timer for however long I think is needed (this one by GE is more accurate than the red/green pin versions, and easier to set).

For those with a brood, you can get any sized slow cooker and prepare the night before a vat of oatmeal or oat bran for the whole family, saving precious minutes in the rushed mornings.  

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