Friday, March 05, 2010

More Food

When I made my last post, I knew I was leaving out something I'd meant to add, but I couldn't remember what it was until several hours after I'd posted. It was mustard. I found a delicious new mustard. Zatarain's Creole Mustard. It is coarse and grainy in texture and has a strong mustard taste with a vinegar tang to it. So yummy I lick the knife I spread it with. (Hey, it's my kitchen.) We have never gone through mustard so quickly. I don't know why I never noticed it on the grocery shelves before, but I hope Zatarain's keeps making it for a long time.

As long as I'm on food, how about some more? I first learned how to turn old-fashioned oatmeal into microwave oatmeal from the Tightwad Gazette newsletter. Basically you just put oatmeal in a bowl with milk and sweetener overnight, although you can jazz it up some (not to mention leaving out the sweetener.) But Kayla's Thrifty Ways wrote about a variation in which she used flavored yogurt instead of milk, and I tried that this week--the yogurt part, that is. And I loved it. I think you get a better texture than with the milk method, and I liked the slight tanginess of the yogurt. The husband, who's no fan of porridge in the first place, prefers the milk method.

Here's my version:

1/2 Cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 Cup plain yogurt (I use Dannon All Natural because it's so creamy.)
approx. 1/4 Cup unsweetened applesauce
splash or two of vanilla flavoring
dash of apple pie spice
one packet of Splenda

Mix all ingredients in bowl and let sit in refrigerator overnight. In the morning, put it in the microwave for one minute. (In contrast, the milk method generally takes a minue and a half for me; not sure what the difference is.) Stir it up and Bob's your uncle. Serves one. Uncle Pookie added honey to his, but this is plenty sweet to me.

The only way to have a quicker breakfast would be to eat it cold. Okay, the old grab-a-piece-of-fruit-on-the-way-out-the-door method is faster, but this is the fastest thing I know of that lets you sit down to eat like a civilized person.

Oh, and since I mentioned the Tightwad Gazette, if any non-vegetarian Catholics reading this are looking for a different sort of fish dish, check out the Tightwad Gazette's Tuna-Cheddar Chowder recipe. (It's collected in The Tightwad Gazette II and The Complete Tightwad Gazette.) The name may sound kinda yucky, but it's actually so yummy I recommend serving it with a piece of French bread to wipe your bowl with afterward. The recipe claims it serves 4, but Uncle Pookie and I always polish it off in one sitting. (Probably why we have such big, comfy bottoms to sit upon.) It's not particulary Lenten, I guess, but it is different.

And yes, I will unashamedly wipe my bowl with a piece of French (or Italian or homeade) bread if I've been eating something creamy, at least at home. I've been willing to do so ever since I read the description of that amazing French farm meal Peter Mayle was invited to in A Year in Provence--the one where he and his wife ended up "eating for England". Read it, if you haven't.

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