this month, allrecipes.com has asked me to share a memory that ties me to my favorite recipe site. the timing is fitting, since this has been a busy week that resulted in ZERO cooking for me. because my kiddos were in the school play and theatre-major mom came out this week, we spent every waking moment at the school prepping costumes, sets, and character development. we are in the midst of turning our whole house upside-down to make better use of space, so literally every room in the house holds mis-matched furniture and paint rollers wrapped in plastic (i HATE to re-wash paint rollers!).
our kids have been amazing at building beds, organizing closets, and painting walls to make home -well, "homey-er" for everyone. then at the culmination of an exhausting week, we were blessed to have grandparents (three sets!) visit to watch the play. poor hubs was left to manage the chaos as best possible with the three non-acting siblings. when everyone arrived for the play, i found myself lamenting that i couldn't host everyone properly. i wanted to have visitors for a home-cooked meal. i wanted to have matching sets of towels, freshly laundered and waiting for refreshment and relaxing. i wished i had hot coffee and warm treats, with candles lit and baseboards dusted. i realize that "in the chaos" was where i needed to be this week, using a long-lost love/gift in theatre, and i have let myself off the guilt-hook. however, i am reminded that for me, food has always had a special place in my hospitality, and i want to get back to those roots.
as i thought back to some of our sweetest memories, i immediately wished for a bowl of baked oatmeal, one of the first recipes i discovered on allrecipes.com, and one i've shared over and over with friends and family who've visited and relaxed over a hot serving doused with cream and accompanied by fresh fruit and hot tea or coffee. baked oatmeal to me is comfort with a bit of extra "fancy" thrown in; it says "welcome," and "i cared enough to bake for you." it says "good morning," and "have a great day!" it's a recipe i've pulled out that i can sort of prepare ahead and always feel like i'm taking good care of our guests. i'm looking for a flashback to that old-fashioned homey comfort, so i think as we settle back into real-life this week (is there such a thing? :)) i may make a batch of baked oatmeal.