Book Cookin: Oliver Twists’ “Please sir, can I have some more…mango coconut overnight oatmeal”

It’s November. The nights are getting colder, dates are getting shorter and the memories of summer (such that it was), are getting hazier by the minute. Time to break out the classic books and comfort food.

In this Book Cookin post, I’ll be making overnight oatmeal, a.k.a. gruel, a la Oliver Twist.

…Maybe not exactly like Oliver Twist. This is less of a gruel and more of a creamy oatmeal…with mangoes and coconut…and we can eat as much as we like.

Regardless, overnight oatmeal is a pinterest staple, usually made with organic almond milk, laced with chia seeds and served in a charming ribbon-adorned mason jar.

…Show off.

But, if you downgrade these expectations just a little bit, then word on the street is that this little breakfast trick can be a god-send for early mornings.

Overnight Oatmeal: The basics

Ingredients:

1 part Rolled Oats

1-1.5 parts milk (any type)

Pinch of salt

Instructions:

Stir ingredients together and let sit in your fridge overnight. In the morning, eat as is, or heat in the microwave to taste. And despite what the internet will have you believe, tupperware works as well as a mason jar.

Modifications:

Try adding any combination of the following before refrigerating:

Yogurt (1 part, any type/ flavor)

Chia seeds, flax seeds, or whatever “miracle seeds” everyone is subscribing to these days.

Cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar, honey, pumpkin spice

Fruit (any fruit- Bananas, berries and apples are especially good)

Peanut butter, Nutella, Jam, Pie filling

Oliver Twists’ Coconut Mango Overnight Oatmeal

  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 heaping tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup diced mango
  • 1 1/2 tbsp agave nectar (Or, just use sweetened coconut. Also I’m sure a tsp of sugar or honey would be just fine as well)
  1. Combine ingredients in single serve containers
  2. Let chill overnight (covered)
  3. In the morning- Heat (optional) and eat!

This was actually super delicious and easy. Obviously because I heated it, the time savings were minimal. However, I usually opt for a more time consuming breakfast because oatmeal is for poor orphans and my morning deserves better. But with doing this, I was actually really pumped to eat oatmeal, and the “deciding what to have for breakfast” time was saved!

Some other Dickens- inspired combinations (remember, any milk will substitute fine 1:1, and chia seeds are always optional):

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Review Time: This is Where I Leave You- Jonathan Tropper

Judd Foxman is not having a great year. Whilst surprising his wife on her birthday (with a cake from her favorite bakery), he catches her in bed (their bed) with another man. His boss, to be more precise. This quickly leads to him losing his job, his house, and doesn’t leave him much in the self-esteem department. And then Judds’ father dies, bringing him, his mother, his sister, and two brothers together for the first time in years. All of this is quickly followed by the news of his wifes’ pregnancy (Judds baby), and cohabitation with her new boyfriend. So, we must forgive Judd if he does not have the most respectful and reverent reaction to his quasi-religious fathers’ last wish: that his family sit Shiva together in their family home.

For one week, Judd the trod-upon, Wendy the perfectionist sister (complete with crumbling marriage), resentful older brother Paul, and lovable screw-up Phillip, along with their mother (who literally wrote the book on having inappropriate conversations with ones children), and their partners, will co-exist inside the same house. They will be together for the longest time since they were children, with only their grief, buried issues and dysfunction to keep them (and us) entertained. Chaos inevitably ensues.

Jonathan Troppers’ “This is Where I Leave You” was very entertaining, an easy and fast read. I am a sucker for a family drama, (as an extrovert, group dynamics always fascinate me). But even outside of that, this book was really funny…a little twisted, but very smart and clever. Troppers’ characters are wonderfully flawed; Judd is not your likable unlucky protagonist. He’s critical, irreverent and self-absorbed, and this makes him real. The family is almost absurdly dysfunctional and you feel sorry for the outsiders who have the misfortune of having married into this mess (or you would feel sorry for them, if they weren’t as messed up as the Foxmans)! However, all throughout the book, the authors’ primary idea remains beautifully clear. When life gets hard, whether you know it or not, you need your people.

I completely understand the need to gather up the people you love in one place. I am extraordinarily blessed with a number of families. Nothing makes me happier than when I have 14 friends in my house, deep frying a turkey. Or when a dozen or so gather at my Dads’ place for a mohito competition and Bocce ball. Or when J and Sophie and I sit outside on a summer evening and play cards.

Because home isn’t a place you go, home is your people.