Let’s do three little seconds of Halloween recap before we launch full-throttle toward Thanksgiving.
- My favorite moment of our own above-average day (shouldn’t Halloween always be on a Saturday?): The doorbell rings, and I open the front door to six or seven middle-school boys in costume. One of them says, “Epic! This is the house where Henry barfed last year!” It’s not directed at me, but I laugh a little too much and ask, “Is that true? We just moved in over the summer.” He switches gears instantly and politely says, “Hope you’re enjoying your new home.” That’s a fun-sized portrait of kids from our town. And for the record, I corroborated the tale of woe with the house’s prior owners. True story.
- A friend wears a Robin costume to team up with his young son, who is very excited to dress as Batman. Except the son changes his mind at the last minute, so they go blithely forth into the world as Captain America and Robin. The things we do for our kids.
- At the end of the day, scrolling through photos of everyone’s suburban exploits, I encounter a short series of images of Winnie the Pooh trying in vain to restrain a small waterfowl. Fowl’s mom has captioned the series, “Everyone loves an uncooperative duck.”
And now, onward. Let’s get ready for a festive season of face-stuffing by keeping some of our dinners on the delicious but reasonable side in the days leading up to the feast. Let’s eat lots of dark leafy greens, legumes, and whole grains. Today, let’s dine on a palette of savory browns. Let’s turn a hallowed breakfast into a good-weird dinner. Let’s make savory oatmeal. Why not?
Savory Oatmeal with Crispy Shiitakes
Savory oatmeal may seem surprising for a second, but once you get on board with the idea, it's a natural fit. A touch of soy sauce and a dab of butter launch this cheap and easy meal into full-umami territory. Feel free to add lots more vegetables -- I often do. Wilted spinach, corn kernels, and broccoli spring to mind. A little grated cheese or a few pieces of fresh or smoked mozzarella would also be delish.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- A sprinkle of fine sea salt
- A few good grinds of black pepper
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 4 cups good vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 recipe Crispy Shiitakes
- 4 seven-minute boiled eggs
HUNGRY FOR MORE UMAMI? YOU MIGHT LIKE THESE RECIPES: