Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Preparing for Morning

Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let not your hands be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
whether this or that,
or whether both will do equally well. (Ecclesiastes 11:6)

My early morning hours are so precious to me. I have a full hour and a half to read the Word, pray, exercise and prepare mentally for the day ahead before my active sons' feet have even hit the floor. And now, having implemented a new schedule in our household, I find my time in the evenings to be equally as precious.

Preparing breakfast the night before is vital to the flow of our days. An Amish baked oatmeal that we love is prepared the night before and slides easily into the oven between my devotional time and making the bed. I boosted the nutritional value with some flax meal and millet, and that, along with increasing the cinnamon and nutmeg, makes it so hearty and delicious! And it is delightful with a spoonful of vanilla yogurt or your favorite fresh berries, or even just some warm milk poured over the top.

1/3 cup butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk plus 2 tablespoons
3 cups whole oats
1/4 cup of flax meal
1/4 cup of millet seed

Melt butter and set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs well, then add brown sugar, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix well until there there no lumps.

Whisk in butter and milk, then add oats, flax meal and millet.

Stir well, and pour into a greased 8x8 baking dish. Refrigerate overnight.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until set in the middle. Serve hot! (I double this for leftovers - it's even better two or three days later! - so if you would like to as well, use a 9x13 baking dish, and the cooking time is the same.)
Working in the kitchen after the children are in bed and the sun is slipping behind the mountains is so enjoyable to me - it is exciting to think of serving up a hot meal that didn't use precious morning hours to be accomplished! I've also been known to crack all of my eggs the night before, whisk them up in a glass bowl with some shredded cheese and a splash of milk, then store in the refrigerator to be poured into a skillet the following morning. (A four-slot toaster is next on my grocery list, for I am finding that eight and six-year-old boys can put away the bread!) Clean-up the following morning is much easier when preparations have already been made the night before. We can move onto our next tasks even quicker!

There is still a time and place for cold cereal at our table. Those evenings and mornings come. But I do so like to linger over breakfast. Listening to the chants of catechism by lantern light. Scooping food into my baby's mouth in between bites of my own. And gathering up the dishes, knowing that I will probably not hear, "Mama? I'm hungry!" for at least an hour. That's a half hour longer than cold cereal, friends. I'll take it.

So, what's cooking in my little apartment kitchen tonight? Overnight Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes - it's Daddy's day off!

31 fellow travelers shared:

Beka said...

Beautiful glimpse of your sweet home life, Elise. Reminds me of Proverbs 31:
She rises also while it is still night,
And gives food to her household
(verse 15)
and
She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
(verse 18)

Your breakfast times sound like such precious times!

And I will definitely try the recipes... I love baked oatmeal, and would love to try a new recipe. And those pancakes? They look good. That Family Homestead site has some really good recipes.

And yes, young boys can put away bread... I have three younger brothers, and never cease to be amazed at the amount of bread they can pack in. My brother Nate could, I think, eat a whole loaf in one sitting :-)

Andrea said...

I hear you, Elise. :) I am loving my early rising these days. I get so much done!! However, it leaves me wanting bedtime much much earlier, so no breakfast prep for me at night, just coffee in the coffee maker!! :) Baby steps, I guess.
However, I do like th Sally Fallon oatmeal recipe.. Soaking your oats overnight is healthy *and* quick!!

Blessings to you this week, Elise!!

Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

What an encouraging post, Elise! I'm inspired. And my mouth is watering. (Somehow I don't think the corn flakes and ff milk is going to satiate, but it will have to do 'cause it's all I've got besides cookies and cream ice cream left over from Sunday fellowship. lol.)

Stacy said...

I am so enjoying my early morning quiet times, too... Right now I have almost an hour free, but I keep thinking I have to stretch that time. It is so serene and I love beginning my days with all that quiet, reflective time.

And YUM. I love it that you posted recipes. And I will DEFINITELY be trying these. :) I may even go whip up those pancakes for tomorrow morning.

Love you! I prayed for you today, dear Elise!
~Stacy

Mrs. "M" said...

Yummy recipes! Always looking for wholesome breakfasts with lots of fiber:o)

Cindi said...

The oatmeal sounds delicious. What great ideas you have for preparing ahead of time. I need to implement those. My little boy seems to always be hungry and we never buy cold cereal.

Sarah said...

Some fresh baked oatmeal sounds like just the trick to spice up our breakfast. Right now, the favorite is scrambled cheesy eggs, toast and fruit. Sometimes we'll do cream of wheat, but that oatmeal recipe sounds so much better. I started those early morning quiet times a couple months back, but I think I need to get to bed earlier to make it more consistent. Also, I have a question for you, do you set an alarm or do you naturally wake up at the right time? My husband likes to sleep in, so I don't want to wake him up, but I really think I need an alarm.
Love, Sarah

schnuckiputzi said...

Great recipes -- thanks for the wonderful ideas. I wish now that the weather would turn cool here, as that always makes me want to bake! I know as a teacher, I see a lot of sleepy kids before lunch, and I think a lot has to do with no breakfast...and probably little routine in the mornings!

Beverly said...

What a wonderful glimpse into your mornings! This is something I would like to strive for ... work towards. I also like the idea of cooking for breakfast the night before. I'm sure my husband would appreciate a hot morning meal in the mornings before work, and since he leaves so early, he usually has to take instant oatmeal or muffins! Thanks for sharing the recipes. Enjoy having your husband home!

Betty said...

What an inspiring post, Elise. You're exercising already! I've really needed to start again. I've really needed a new beginning. Your post was very motivating and inspiring to me. I miss my early morning times with the Lord that have been pushed aside this week. But I don't like who I am without that special time with the Lord!!!

I'll start again tomorrow!

Grace & Peace,
Betty

Trina said...

This Oatmeal recipe sounds absolutely delightful! We have another similar one we love but this one sounds much healthier so we'll have to try it. The pancakes are also on my list to try. Thanks for the peak into your morning.
Blessings,
Trina

Christine said...

Yum, I can just smell the aroma in your kitchen!!

emily said...

Elise,
I have never posted a comment but regularly read your blog. I want to share how refreshed I feel after reading what you share; you have such a precious gift in the way that you write and I am blessed and refreshed every time I "visit". It is strange, this "blog world", the feeling of knowing a person who is truly a stranger. Thank you for sharing your life ... and this post about early mornings is a sweet reminder of how precious that time is, and how I need to really prioritize it. It is always worth it once I am up, but getting up can be the struggle!! :)
Blessings,
Emily

Aleah said...

The oatmeal sounds really good! Honestly I've never thought of making breakfast the night before. That would help out so much in our household, I'll have to try it!
Thanks for the new idea. : )

Joel and Jaime said...

I'm not much of an oatmeal eater, but that recipe sounds so good, I might just try it :)
Thanks for making even the simple things seem like such a treasure...

Staci said...

This sounds really yummy. :) I think I will make it this Saturday night for Sunday morning. Things are always crazy around here trying to get out the door for Sunday school...this will be much better than cold cereal.

Thanks.

Staci

Shelley said...

Thanks for inspiring me. Just the kick in the pants that I needed. I've been in a real slump lately, unmotivated, overwhelmed. I need to pull myself up by my boot straps and get back into the swing of things.

A said...

Hey Elise! That oatmeal sounds great. Just so that I can hear the gasp from women everywhere: I have never had real oatmeal. Wha!?!?! I've had flavored instant, but not until college or even after! It wasn't as good as this sounds!

My mornings are starting way too early for my preferences now days! It would help if I would get to bed earlier! Could you impart some of your new schedule and discipline my way?? :)

Maxine said...

Wonderful ideas in this post, Elise. I cannot tell you how much I love my early morning quiet times with my Lord. They are precious beyond words. May you be blessed over and again in the years ahead. I was so excited about the recipes, especially the pancakes. They sound like some of those underhanded suggestions that I offer on my Sneaky Nutrition posts!:)

henryteachers said...

Oh, that breakfast sounds so good and healthy. What a smart idea to prepare it the night before. My mornings seem so hurried and stressed if I don't make time to arise before my little ones and pray, read, study, and exercise too. Hope your new schedule continues to go well for you.
:) Mindy

:..Rebekah..: said...

I am definately going to have to try that! I love reading about how you enjoy your time in the kitchen after the kids are in bed. I love being in the kitchen at night, either cleaning or cooking, especially with calming music playing. I always feel like I'm right where God wants me to be.

randi---i have to say said...

I made the pancakes for breakfast yesterday and they were a big hit. Thanks for the link!

Sandy said...

Mmmm, always love to visit you, Elise :)
Recipe sounds delic!
Sandy

Jenn Lynn said...

*Sigh* I really need to get back into the habit of waking early and spending time with my Lord. Its so hard when the kids wake up early though, I find it a little hard not to resent the instrusion into my special one-on-one time with Him.

The recipe sounds wonderful and so yummy! Will definitely have to give that one a try!

Amy said...

Making me hungry!! Thanks for the recipes. We prefer cold cereal around here, but we eat breakfast for dinner all the time!

Liberty said...

I want to come to your house! It sounds so peaceful in the morning. How early do you have to wake up before your kids get up? It seems like everytime I "plan" on getting up earlier they always wake up with me.

I am going try that oatmeal! It sounds yummy!

Wendy said...

As I was reading this I kept thinking about the wonderful memories you are building for your children. What a loving mom you are!

Joy@Joy in the Journey said...

First of all, how sorry I am for not being here at your place for so long! I am sorry to have missed adding my comments of comfort during your difficult time.
However, I'm here, and I wanted to say that this is our favorite breakfast! I add wheat germ instead of flax meal, and it is so good! And, I also really enjoy Crystal's wonderful recipes over at The Family Homestead.
Blessings!!
Joy

TaunaLen said...

Elise,
I read this post several days ago, and flagged it so I could come back later for the recipe. Reading through it again, it really is such a sweet look into your home. I am rejoicing with you over the sale of your house. Can I ask a favor. I grew up in a Baptist home with loving Christian parents, and a foundation I am so grateful for. But I know very little about the practices of those of other denominations. I found an old, well-worn Book of Commmon Prayer at a tag sale years ago, and I just loved reading through it's pages. It still has a place of honor on my bookshelf. I read in this post about listening to 'the chants of catechism by lantern light", and my heart was so warmed. Can you share some more about how you incorporate The Child's Scripture Catechism into your home and your little one's faith instruction? I have no idea how a catechism is even implemented, but I would love to find out. Thank you so much for being a blessing to me. I apologize for 'blogging' your comments section, but I'll share one more smile, then leave you. I just purchased Fernando Ortega's This Bright Hour. It means so much to me to listen to it. Thank you for the recommendation.

~TaunaLen

Stacy said...

Elise,
We had these Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes for breakfast Monday morning (Mark's day off), and they were a huge hit!

I'm going to try those millet muffins soon, too (just as soon as I get to the store to get more millet. But last week I tossed them into some bran muffins I make and we all loved them.)

On a side note (and re: your post today).. Ella (5), who watched your video with me, has been searching the house for scrunchies. She's just now found two (!!) and is on her way to the hallway and "baby's room" to affix the scrunchies. :)

Loved seeing you in the video. I'm off to help her get those on!

~Stacy

Jamie said...

So inspiring Elise!!💝

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