SO it really is FALL/WINTER season in Portland. May I just say: UGH!! ?? Rain is pounding and the wind is howling. And I hope we don't have just this to look forward to until JULY. I grew up in Valdez, Alaska where half of the year it was dark - I mean grey during the day and TOTALLY dark when the sun went down around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. So you'd think I’d be accustomed to this kind of weather. But I’m just not. I would go to school in the dark and go home in the dark for most of my life, but for some reason the seasons here seem to weigh on me even heavier. Our goal as a family is to get above the weather in the mountains as much as we can to get that much need energy from the sun.
So to celebrate the hunkering down the rain is causing us today, I thought I’d make a truly winter treat from my childhood and share it with my kids. Even though it is rain instead of snow falling outside, that smell of warming milk on the stove completely transported me. I’m talking about good old Cream of Wheat!! This is quite an endeavor for me for a week day breakfast, so I was terribly proud of myself. I set the table for the kids and me. I put sugar out for them to gingerly sprinkle (yes, I found this at the back of the pantry - NOT a baker). I decided to forgo the typical NO SUGAR rule on breakfast cereal. The milk was set out to cool the toasty cereal. I replayed in my mind the ritual of getting the creamy goodness ready for that first sweet milky bite, imagining my kids LOVING it as much as I do and them looking at me with grateful eyes as they thought about how LUCKY they were to have a warm breakfast on a normal old day. My son doesn't eat very many things, but I was still holding out some hope that this magical breakfast would break through, but he said "no WAY am I trying that. Can I have some sugar on my plate??" Even my daughter who loves oatmeal and tries everything was not impressed. She said "I'm eating it mama! I.... like... it? Can I be done??" So they trotted off, and I sat eating my Cream of Wheat alone in the kitchen. It was still really good, but I think some of the shine might be a little worn.