As the calendar year came to a close this past week, I was fortunate to enjoy a few days off from work. This holiday season has left me feeling particularly burned out so I spent any chance I had to loaf in bed as long as possible.
One cool morning last week found me wrapped inside a cocoon of blankets weighing the pros and cons of getting up and making coffee. I would have had no trouble forgoing the coffee, closing my eyes, and going back to sleep for another couple hours until my husband flung open the bedroom door. “You have to get up! I need your help with the orbital sander! Your coffee is already going! Get up!”
There was a solid few seconds where I stared at him, wide eyed and confused. When the process of synapses finally took place and I was able to comprehend what was going on I rolled out of bed and grabbed a mug from the kitchen, staring at the coffee maker as my black, high octane elixir trickled into the pot.
The orbital sander is for the dining room table my husband is making. I had no idea he could make furniture until last year when I wanted a coffee table for the living room in our new house. After making the biggest purchase of our lives we were house poor and the thought of buying a new coffee table was enough to make us clutch our wallets a little tighter to our chests. Jason, however, was confident that if I found plans online for a coffee table I liked he could put one together with the help of his carpenter brother.
Sure enough, within a week we had a brand new, beautiful coffee table fashioned out of two-by-fours for a fraction of the cost of what we would have paid at the store. With the confidence that comes with learning a new skill, Jason asked if there was anything else we needed for the house. Coming from a tiny apartment into a house, there was quite a bit we needed including nightstands, a side table, dining room table with bench seating, and a bench for the front door. By the end of the week, we had a brand new set of furniture all stained to match for the same price as two nightstands I had been eyeballing for awhile.
The one regret I have with our home purchase is the lack of dining space. We have the small table Jason made that seats 6 comfortably, but if we want to entertain more we just don’t have the room. So I had the idea to convert a portion of our basement into a dining room with an eight foot table to accommodate more people.
Jason borrowed tools from his brother this morning and needed my help to get the pieces of wood sanded before everything had to get returned. As my coffee brewed I got started on a warm bowl of oatmeal while the compound miter saw whirred in the garage.
I am a big fan of oatmeal on cold mornings like this. It’s warm, comforting and can be incredibly filling. This spiced pear oatmeal is the perfect meal before heading out to our cold wood shop converted garage.
Toasted pecans drizzled with molasses and topped with sea salt make a perfect crunchy topping. This recipe makes enough to serve two, but can easily be multiplied to accommodate more.
Spiced Pear Oatmeal with Sea Salt Molasses Pecans
For the Oatmeal
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Pear, chopped
- 2 Tbsp Raisins
- 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
- 1/2 Tsp Ginger Powder
- 1/4 Tsp Cloves
- 2-4 Tbsp Brown Sugar, to taste
- 1 Cup Rolled Oats
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Cup Milk, plus additional for serving
For the Sea Salt Molasses Pecans
- 1/4 Cup Pecans
- 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 Tsp Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Black Strap Molasses
- Sea Salt
Get started on the oatmeal by melting the butter in a large, heavy pan. Cook the pears in the butter until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and brown sugar and stir to combine. Add the oats, water, and milk and allow the liquid to cook down and the oatmeal reaches a desired thickness.
While the oatmeal is cooking down, toast the pecans in small pan. Add the cinnamon, brown sugar and molasses and allow the molasses to simmer, being careful not to burn. Remove the nuts onto a plate and season with salt.
Add the oatmeal to your bowls and top with pecans. Serve warm with additional milk and enjoy!