This morning, I awoke with that startling, total wakefulness at 5:40 – the kind when you realize you'll be staring at the ceiling until your alarm goes off, or you might as well just get up.
I tried staring for a while, but then realized I'd rather spend my time making hot breakfast. (This is an anomaly and a treat – I usually rush around like crazy in the mornings, just trying to make it out the door with everything I need.)
I love oatmeal cooked the real way, not just warmed up in the microwave. I've blogged before about slow-cooked oatmeal,  but this time, my spur-of-the-moment decision meant I'd have to cook it on the stovetop.
I decided to go with a recipe for Apple Oatmeal from the old faithful “More-With-Less Cookbook. ” It was delicious, and I liked that it didn't call for sugar or much salt. I also like that it cooks by itself for about 10 minutes. This was the perfect chance for me to make coffee and my lunch.
(Somewhat related tangent: I'm researching a story about low-sodium diets. If you've had success with one and would be willing to be quoted, would you e-mail me  or call me at 351-5217?)
Just a warning, though, by the time this oatmeal was done cooking the recommended time, it was already sticking to my non-stick saucepan. This is not a dirty dish you're going to want to let sit all day. But none of you ever leave dirty dishes in your sink, do you? Me either.
Serves 4-6 (Rob and I both ate double-servings.)
Combine in saucepan:
1 cup rolled oats
2 cups cold water
½ teaspoon of salt (remembering that low-sodium research, I just used a pinch)
Cook 10 minutes on low heat.
2 chopped apples
(I also added a dash of cinnamon)
Cook five minutes more or until apples are done to desired consistency.
Serve with milk or yogurt and honey, brown sugar or cinnamon-sugar. (We skipped this part, mostly because I didn't read the directions to the end.)
Option: Use raisins or dates in place of apples. (Raisins would also be a good addition to the apples.)
Re-using this photo from The News-Gazette's Darrell Hoemann. It's actually loaded oatmeal, featuring ice cream and strawberries. You can add those things, too, if it strikes your fancy.