Brown Bag Thursday: Breakfast for Lunch

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Cooking first thing in the morning feels special. For me, it's a way to kick off the day doing a few minutes of something I love. I stand at the stove for just a few minutes stirring and gathering my thoughts. Then I gulp down coffee and race to work.

I've been looking for a take-to-work lunch recipe that would give me that few minutes of cooking without overwhelming my morning. I needed something that did not require special ingredients or wide-awake attention.

I found what I wanted on the McCann's Irish Oatmeal website. The site suggests a quick soak method for boiling the steel-cut oats before you go to bed and then letting them soak. Over night, the oats absorb the water and turn tender and creamy.

This old-fashioned method is excellent. Wake up the next morning and bring the oats back to the boil for about seven minutes and the oats are tender and ready to roll. I was temped to pull a stool up to the kitchen counter, call in sick, and then eat my oatmeal right there.

Instead, I packed up my oatmeal and got on the subway. I bought an apple and some almonds from a sidewalk fruit vendor. At lunch time, I used the office microwave to warm up my breakfast-for-lunch, poured some milk and sugar on top, and stirred in my almonds.

Unique and calming lunch idea, but I still need to perfect it. Next time I'm going to try to bring brown sugar from home instead of relying on work's little sugar packs. I haven't decided on a lunch box or Thermos yet, but I bet if I had a Thermos, my oatmeal would stay hot and I wouldn't need to re-heat it. The microwave gave the oatmeal hot spots and made it a bit gummy around the edges.

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