After a week of rain turned suddenly to snow Saturday night, the already chilly air became icy. The snow accumulated quickly, piling on top of pillows of lush green grass in our backyard, which we hadn't been able to mow lately due to all the rain.
Soon, the branches of our trees and lilac bushes, whose leaves made perfect beds for the snow to cling to, began to bend under the weight of the snow, so heavy with moisture. My husband put on his warm things and trudged outside, three times that night, to knock snow and ice off the branches in an effort to save them from breaking. In the still night, muted by falling snow, we could hear the unmistakable cracking of breaking limbs throughout the neighborhood.
The next morning, we awoke to a full foot of snow and the saddest trees I've ever seen, with huge branches broken off, lying forlornly on the ground. Our own were spared this depressing fate, thanks to my husband's efforts the night before.
We bundled up and shook the tree branches we could reach free of lingering ice, then gently uncovered our herbs and flowers, hoping they had survived the crushing blanket of snow. We shoveled wet, melting piles of snow away from the house, and waited for the sun to do the rest of the work.
Exhausted and cold, we made coffee, and Jamie requested oatmeal for breakfast. Usually, I make oatmeal with brown sugar or maple syrup and plenty of plump raisins, but I thought of all the berries and rhubarb in our freezer and decided to cook a quick fruit compote to spoon on top of our oatmeal.
Simply simmered strawberries, blueberries and rhubarb, with cinnamon and a little sugar to cut the tartness of the rhubarb, became a beautiful compote. With a splash of cream on top, it was the perfect warming breakfast for what I hope was the last snow of spring. And everything tastes better when served on a pretty vintage tablecloth.
Oatmeal with Berry Rhubarb Compote
- 1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
- 10 strawberries, halved
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups whole milk
- 2-4 tablespoons raw honey or other sweetener (adjust amount to your own taste)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- extra milk or cream for serving
Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cook until the oats have thickened, about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.
Spoon the oatmeal into bowls and top with the fruit compote. Finish with a splash of milk and/or cream.
Yields 4 servings
Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen