Our Chanukah Miracle and How To Make Oatmeal

Our Chanukah Miracle And How To Make Oatmeal 

During the week of Chanukah, we had our own personal miracle story.

Our morning routine is that I get Yaffa dressed, make her breakfast and lunch and give her her medicine, etc. before going to work. Then, before Raizel goes to school, she puts Yaffa on the bus.

Last week, Yaffa needed oral surgery to remove 4 baby teeth which were impacted and preventing her adult teeth from growing in.

On the day of the surgery, I called the bus company and told them not to pick Yaffa up. However, the bus came anyway. 

Yaffa, who knows how to follow a routine better than anyone, put herself on the bus. 

Thank God, Raizel saw what happened and pulled Yaffa off the bus and brought her back into the house! 

Incredibly, all of this transpired without my husband even being aware of it. Not only that, but, Raizel was still able to get to her bus stop on time and make it to school. 

Raizel really saved the day! 

Miracles are what happen in our ordinary lives when we are willing to see how extraordinary the mundane really is.

After having her teeth pulled Yaffa was in so much pain that she was unable to chew and went back to eating only very soft and pureed foods.

As I have shared, Yaffa used to be on a feeding tube. The road to teaching her how to eat food by mouth and to bite, chew and swallow food has been a long and tortuous journey. 

Every food milestone that might be taken for granted with other children, was only attained after great effort — baby step by baby step. Given her history, we are very regimented in forcing Yaffa to eat foods that require chewing.

So, for a week now, Yaffa has not eaten her usual breakfast of prune juice, a banana and cereal with milk. For the first few days she would only eat apple sauce and oatmeal. She has now gone back to eating a banana. Getting her to eat dried cereal with milk again appears to be a bit of a challenge.

So, in light of our current situation, I thought I would take a moment to write about how to make oatmeal.

How To Make Oatmeal 

Believe it or not, there is an art to making the perfect bowl of oatmeal, and everyone has their preferences.

One way is to boil the water first, and then add the oatmeal, using a 2:1 ratio of water to oatmeal. Simmer over a low or medium-low heat until desired thickness. When the oats are added after the water boils, the oatmeal has a thicker texture.

The other way is to boil the oatmeal together with the water and then simmer it over a low or medium-low heat until desired thickness. This way the oatmeal is more creamy and smooth.

So, when the oats are added to the water determines the consistency of the oatmeal. The longer the oatmeal cooks, the thicker and softer it is. Naturally, each person in our house has their preferences.

Growing up, we would sometimes cook the oatmeal with milk or water and serve it with butter and brown sugar.

Now we cook it in water, and serve it with a splash of milk and maple syrup.

Sometimes, we add a pinch of salt. Cinnamon gives a touch of natural sweetness too.

Other ways of serving oatmeal include adding dried fruit, fresh fruit, sunflower seeds, nuts, or any combination of the above. My particular favorite is adding frozen cranberries and nuts.

There are also various types of oatmeal: instant, rolled and steel cut.

Interestingly, the rolled oatmeal in Canada is thicker and has more texture than the rolled oats available in the US. When we go back to Canada, we always like to stock up. 

Steel-cut oats have the most distinctive and almost nutty taste compared to other types of oatmeal. Unfortunately, they also take the longest to cook. 

When Yaffa was in the early stages of being weaned off of the feeding tube, we tried using instant oatmeal, without much success. When we were at that stage, I would make the oatmeal and then puree it with an immersion blender to make it extra smooth, which worked better.

Oatmeal can be made on top of the stove, in a crockpot, overnight in the fridge inside a jar, in the microwave and even eaten raw, with yogurt. We tend to make it on top of the stove, or in the microwave.

I also make “oatmeal rolls” and bake the oatmeal in a muffin pan.

Oatmeal “rolls”

oatmeal

cinnamon and salt

water to cover

Instructions

Spray oil muffin pan. Add oatmeal, salt and cinnamon into each muffin cups. Pour water to top and let sit until water is absorbed.  This can also be done the night before, covered and refrigerated.

Bake at 350-375 degree oven until done.

These travel well, and can be frozen and defrosted as needed.

Here are pictures of our recent oatmeal adventures:

Stirring it in a pot on top of the stove:

The final product, with rice milk:

Here is oatmeal that I microwaved:

Here is an oatmeal roll:

  

Baked oatmeal can also be flat like a pancake, but I find that it falls apart too easily.

The humble oatmeal can be dressed up or dressed down in so many ways.

Enjoy!

Hot Chocolate Lessons 

Last night and this morning, Raizel decided that she wanted to make hot chocolate. 

For many people this sounds like a relatively straightforward activity. 

For Raizel, however, it became an opportunity to rise above some of her challenges. 

The first time Raizel made the hot chocolate all by herself. I think she confused teaspoons for tablespoons so she did not use enough sugar or cocoa. The final product “tasted terrible!” 

The second time, she misread the instructions and microwaved the cocoa and sugar in a paper cup without any milk. The cup burnt.

The third time was a charm. It tasted great and Raizel was very happy!

She would only let me take a picture while she was holding it!

  

Here is the recipe from the Hershey’s Cocoa box:

Ingredients 

2 tablespoons cocoa 

2 tablespoons sugar

A dash of salt

1 cup of milk

Optional: 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract when cooked 

Instructions 

Mix all ingredients together and microwave on high for 2 minutes.

Blend together and drink while warm.

Something so simple was a wonderful opportunity for growth! We had a bonding experience. 

I guess sometimes it’s  the little things in life that matter.

  

Raizel made the chain stitches for the heart.

Chickpea Smoothie

This morning I made a variation of my breakfast smoothie using chickpeas instead if nut butter.

I know it sounds unusual, but it really works!

Ingredients 

Bananas 
Oatmeal 
Chickpeas 
Water
Cinnamon 


Instructions
 

I place everything in a container and using an immersion blender, purée until smooth. 
Et voila– breakfast on the go.

Here are the pictures:

   
 

Drink using a thick straw.

Breakfast On The Go– Dairy Free Smoothie 

Sometimes I need something quick and easy for breakfast. This is my version of a dairy free, egg free morning smoothie. It can easily be adapted to accommodate various taste preferences.

Ingredients 

Bananas 

Oatmeal 

Nut butters (I usually use almond butter, but peanut butter works too)

Water

Cinnamon 

Instructions 

I place everything in a container and using an immersion blender, purée until smooth. Et voila– breakfast on the go.

Here are the pictures:

   
 
Raizel likes it with strawberries and orange juice. Rice milk is also good.

Yaffa is a creature of habit. For breakfast she eats: a banana, or apple sauce, and she has learned how to eat cereal like Kix.  She prefers to eat oatmeal or cooked grains with rice milk. 

We have come a long way!