Winter mornings and breakfasts

Snow covered trees and ground in Eastern Ontario

That was the view outside my window this morning when I woke up. A white world. It wasn’t a lot of snow that we got last night, but enough to dust everything just so. That purple exercise ball is the only pop of colour in the whole picture – everything else is shades of white or grey.

The house was holding steady at 20 degrees (celsius), so we decided there was no need to light the fire, but I must admit that we’ve become spoiled by our wonderful Ironheart woodstove. Later in the day I confessed to feeling a bit chilled to my husband and we had to admit that we’ve become too used to the extra warmth put out by our woodstove.

Tonight I’m writing next to the Ironheart, as it’s just too inviting. We can justify the fire tonight, as even our concrete house would lose some warmth overnight without the addition of any more heat.

But back to breakfast. I’m not what I’d call a creature of habit, but I do tend to repeat favourite things or meals again and again for a period of time before moving on. I do get bored and need variety, especially in what I eat, but I do like to stick in a groove with favourite flavours or combinations for a time. It’s the closest I get to being predictable in that way.

At the moment, it’s muesli, a wonderfully simple homemade muesli recipe introduced to us by a good friend a few years back when we stayed at her family’s cottage.

Homemade muesli with large flake oats, dried apricot, raisins, pumpkin seeds and walnuts

It really is just whole oat flakes, dried apricots, raisins, pumpkin seeds and walnuts. No specific measurements, I just eyeball it as I throw everything into a large stainless steel bowl and mix it up. The resulting muesli is poured into several sealable containers, ready for a quick morning meal. I add milk to the bowl, just enough to wet things nicely, but no real submersion takes place. No added sugar or sweetening, but I can imagine that a drizzle of honey wouldn’t go amiss for some people; I’m usually one of those people, but I find I like this just as it is.

A number of years ago if you’d suggested that I might like chewing on dry oats without, say, the benefit of first baking them with honey and oil as when preparing granola, I’d have thought you were a bit cuckoo. Dry oats brings to mind horses and other barn animals. But I love it and I guess it’s a good thing it’s so good for me. Come to think of it, I did have a thing for Alpen, that dry muesli in cereal boxes, years and years ago, so this isn’t as surprising as I thought it was. There go more memory cells.

My usual companion to this breakfast, or indeed any breakfast, alternates between chai tea, English Breakfast tea and coffee, the most frequent of these being coffee.

Antique coffee grinder, bodum coffee pot and ceramic cup

I love a good latte, but since getting access to real milk from Cochrane’s a few years ago (and which I can only get sporadically now that we live so far from The Piggy Market and other reliable sources in Ottawa), I find I can’t enjoy one unless it’s with really good milk. Mainstream milk just ruins a cup of coffee for me now. So I’ve taken to drinking it black, something I thought I’d never do, much less enjoy.

Looks like we’re getting rain tomorrow, so it won’t be so pretty outside, but at least I know what I’m having for breakfast.

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