Friday, May 26, 2006

Clean the Larder Stewed Berries over Oatmeal

Someone asked me a while ago what I eat for breakfast. I often don't eat breakfast other than a cup of coffee at all (I know, I know, its the most important meal of the day...) I always make a fresh pot of decaf coffee (getting old, dontcha know) and only drink one cup of caffeinated beverage once a week at church. I like to use my french press coffee pot because it truly does make the richest, smoothest coffee in the world. Sometimes I eat leftovers from dinner, or have a bagel with cream cheese, salt and pepper, or toast with peanutbutter (especially if I have homemade bread). Once in a while I'll have an egg or hash browns, or both together, especially on a Saturday morning, but I tend to save my egg allottment for dinner or for cooking. I seldom drink juice and prefer to just eat some fruit - its more satisfying and not disgustingly sweet. Sometimes I have dry cereal and milk, yogurt with granola or hot cereal. I'm on a hot cereal jag right now, and that is what I ate for breakfast this morning, with stewed berries and some yogurt on top.

If I am making hot cereal for one person, I do it in the bowl in the microwave, or in a pyrex measuring cup, using the proportions of 1 part cereal to 2 parts water. If using quick cooking oats, cook for 1 1/2 minutes on high; if using old fashioned oats (my preference for the chewy texture), cook for 3 minutes on high. This makes a very thick, pudding-like consistency which I like very much.

Last night I was rummaging through the freezer and found a half-bag of cranberries from last Thanksgiving! Better use those up right away! I also found a partly used bag of frozen blackberries, and decided to stew them as a topping for oatmeal, ice cream, or pound cake. I used up some stuff that was almost empty in this dish, as you'll see.

Clean the Larder Stewed Berries

1 C whole cranberries
1 1/2 C whole blackberries
1/4 C dry sherry
1/4 C honey
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C water
1/2 tsp ground allspice

Put all the ingredients in a nonstick 3 quart saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for 30 minutes, until all the cranberries have popped and the berries have cooked through. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar or honey if needed, and more water if it is too thick. Cover and refrigerate till ready to use. This will thicken up a bit as it cools, but should remain sauce-like rather than syrup-like.

Notes: I can never get all the honey out of a jar, so I usually warm it up in the microwave so that it is watery, then add some water, shake the jar, and then when I pour it out, I get every last bit. I decided to use the sherry because I originally thought I would only use this over ice cream or cake for dessert, but let me tell you, it tastes fantastic on oatmeal! Yummy!

FIVE stars from ME!

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