I like to make a big brunch at the house at least once a month for my brother. He's easy to please, appreciates good food, and is a total hoot. He also doesn't mock me when I photograph these brunches, which is kind of him. I have made so many now—waffles, pancakes, egg dishes, you name it, and this time I wanted to do something different. I realize not everyone is excited by oatmeal, but I am, and in this case, I think I even surprised myself with how delicious and fun this was. I made an oatmeal bar. My brother is a big fan of participatory food. I'm going to point out the details here that made me so happy. In this shot it's the tiny creamers, for everyone to have their own milk to pour in. I love these things, we use them all the time. This oatmeal here has a homemade plum-apricot-orange spiced compote on top which will get its own post because, dang.
The muffin tin of toppings. This is what made me so delighted. I won't tell you how many ways I thought about displaying the toppings that was both pleasing and practicable. I am thrilled with the muffin tin solution. And who knew buying small handfuls of toppings in bulk was so fun? This was all without kids, buying anything in bulk with kids makes me crazy. A wonderful cheap thrill. To serve, I just ladled in the hot oatmeal (Bob's Scottish Oatmeal) and then passed the tin of toppings around. The girls loved it, too.
In the tin: there's a tropical dried fruit and nut mix, dried cranberries, brown sugar, flake coconut, pumpkin seeds, and chopped pecans. That ceramic spoon broke during the clean up. Who would make ceramic spoons? (Anthropologie.) And who would buy them? (Me.)
My pleasing bowls, which were stacked like this by accident, but how photo worthy. Also from Anthro recently, on sale, and they are making me so happy.
I also served fresh fruit and hard cooked eggs, juice, and coffee. The hard cooked eggs— my brother said he had never eaten one before. For real. The things is, I believe him. I ate them all the time growing up, and we did grow up together, but I don't recall him ever eating hard cooked eggs. He ate one at brunch, but I don't think he loved it. I mean, if he hadn't of had one by now, I think there's a reason why. But who has never had a hard cooked egg? I think this is really funny.
I've been making lists lately of things I do that make me really happy and gluing stuff to paper and making brunch for friends and family keeps coming up very high on my list. This last weekend reminded me of that. I didn't glue anything on paper, but still.
I also have been writing down everything I do that I find really lame, or tiresome, or frustrating, or just low-level depressing. Some of it I can't avoid, but much of it I can delegate or get help with. This was a challenge to do honestly— I feel guilty focusing on what I don't like (always telling myself to stay positive, don't complain, be grateful) but then I never really admit what really makes me grumpy. Like wearing shoes that hurt, or going grocery shopping, or using my phone to read the news. But now that I just admit that there are things that tend to bum me out, I can avoid them if I can, or at least know when I do these things, I tend to get grumpy and plan accordingly. So simple. What's interesting is how often I do stuff with my extra time (out of habit) that I don't really like to do, like read the news on my phone, and how seldom I glue stuff to paper. I plan to make some adjustments.