Make-Ahead Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Maple-Stewed Berries

This past week offered the opportunity to actually get outside and tromp around the homestead a bit. Hello Spring!

Among my discoveries, I noticed that the snow melted from the raised beds and small scarlet nubs of rhubarb are pushing through the mulch. The oregano patch is starting to show some green underneath the tangle of brambles and the raspberry canes are finally free of ice. Life is returning.

We’ve ordered our pullet hens from the farm and next weekend we’ll make repairs on the coop. Small brown eggs are synonymous with spring around here and in a few weeks production will start.

Say, if you haven’t toured our homestead yet, why not take a peek? And of course, find the expanded version, with recipes, stories and urban homesteading tips in my recent cookbook.

I’m holding out for local berries and our homegrown raspberries and (so far) have not been tempted by the imports from Mexico. Thankfully I still have a stash of Quebec strawberries and blueberries in the freezer from last summer. Gently stewed with some of this-season’s maple syrup, they make a delicious topping for nutty oatmeal.

Speaking of oatmeal, my favourite variety just became a lot more easily available, thanks to a new do-ahead method that I have been playing with for weeks.
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Savoury Steel-Cut Oats with Ramps, Parmesan and Tamari

As a child, I can remember my dad occasionally stirring a spoonful of Marmite and a splash of Tamari soy sauce into his morning bowl of oatmeal. At the time, such a combination was of no interest to me, so content was I with a drizzle of honey and a pour of goats milk in mine.

However, I now see the appeal, after a recent success – nay, revelation – with a bowl of savoury steel-cut oats. My dad was onto something, with his decidedly bold umami flavourings first thing in the morning. A man ahead of his time, as savoury oats, kasha, and all sorts of breakfast bowls are trendy right now.

Our family has always been a champion of oatmeal (cookies, muffins, bread, breakfast, cake, scones, baked, instant…) and we are continuing the obsession with today’s Savoury Steel-Cut Oats with Ramps, Parmesan and Tamari.

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Spinach Crepes with Maple-Stewed Blueberries

The evening I prepped this recipe was just like any other. I puttered barefoot in the kitchen to the tunes of Buena Vista Social Club, music I am revisiting and finding as just moving as the first time I heard ‘Chan Chan‘.

I cracked eggs and beat them with flour, melted butter and sauteed spinach into a crepe batter that would chill while we slept, or supposedly slept. There was no way I could have known what the night held, although little Clara had been nursing a cough during the day and was reaching for me to cuddle more than usual.

The last of my prep finished, the table set for the morning, and the final email sent, I headed upstairs to wind down for the night. It was close to eleven, and it had been a long day. A long week. A leisurely Saturday morning breakfast and the whole weekend stretched out before us, full of projects and plans, among them an autumn hike in the fall foliage of the Laurentians.

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Homemade Instant Maple Oatmeal with Chia Seed

Some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it in the pot, nine days old. And so goes the ditty about porridge.

Our family happens to like our oatmeal hot, especially when we’ve just crawled out of a tent in the middle of the forest. Sometimes I like to go all out with my campfire breakfast, but most days we’re looking for something quick and comforting.

Instant maple oatmeal is a simple breakfast my children beg for both at home and at the campsite – and I’m not talking about the packaged variety. This homemade version of a grocery staple is a recipe to keep in your back pocket year round. It yields a tasty breakfast that is easy to prepare and replaces a popular supermarket item with something much more nourishing.

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Skillet Amaranth Cornbread (gluten free recipe)

Sometimes a recipe crosses my path and makes it onto my table that is so good, I feel a moral responsibility to share it with the world.

A few weeks ago, my mom showed up to Sunday dinner with this Skillet Amaranth Cornbread and I knew, I really knew, that this recipe needed to be made again and again and shared as widely as possible. It is just that good.

This whole grain bread is a far cry from the spongy yellow cafeteria impostor that posed as cornbread on my childhood school lunch tray. For years, as a result of said sponge bread, I thought I didn’t even like cornbread.

This delicious gluten free bread, however, stole the Sunday dinner show and over shadowed even my favorite chili recipe.

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