The Christmas visits are winding down. Big Sister has gone to visit other family, Mommy and Daddy finally found time for a get-away, Jessica headed back to the city yesterday. So it's just Daddy-O and Baby Sister here with me at the farm now. We'll have her a few more days.
Once we got past the Christmas rush, she has fallen into a pleasant routine. The most important event of her day is finding Daddy-O and taking him out to see the "fruck" (truck) where she makes sure they are both buckled in and then she pushes every button. Then they walk over to see the orange tractor and the blue tractor. She likes sitting in the tractors, too. That's a big change from the Thanksgiving visit when she was afraid of the tractors.
We have enjoyed listening to her constant chatter—like the "sorry 'bout that" when I got her up yesterday from her nap that wasn't happening. She reminds me of Shirley Temple when she says "Oh my goodness!" She helped me put away the nativity set yesterday and named the figures as she handed them to me. "Here's Mary. Here's Shoseph. Here's da baby."
I love that she has no "J" in her speech at the moment. So she wears "sheans" and sings "Shingle Bells" and her best buddy here all week was "Shessica." She told Jessica goodbye yesterday but I'm betting that when she gets up this morning, she'll ask a hundred times, "Where's Shessica?"
This time next week, the floor in my den be cleaner. But there is a price we'll pay for a cleaner house--no Baby Sister bustling around all day. They will be heading home all too soon.
I'll catch up on some new recipes we tried when things are calmer here, but I really wanted to share at least one. I had wanted to try baked oatmeal for some time, but wanted more people here to eat it. Now that I know how good it is, I won't wait to have folks here. We could have polished this off by ourselves. Easy and delicious.
I made this the night before and baked it on Christmas Eve morning. Since it was a holiday, we topped it with whipped cream. Milk, cream, yogurt or fresh fruit would be good, too. The baked oatmeal is drier than stovetop oatmeal. A topping helps. Leftovers (and there wasn't much) were good reheated in the microwave.
APPLE CINNAMON BAKED OATMEAL
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 apples, choppped
Mix dry ingredients together. Then, add all remaining ingredients except apples. Stir well, then fold in apples.
Spray 9x13 dish with PAM. Spread oatmeal mix into pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, uncover dish and place into a COLD oven. Then turn over to 350 degrees and bake 35-ish minutes, until the oatmeal is set and lightly browned.