Meal One:  Breakfast
I am here to tell you about my favorite breakfast of all time, which has trumped the eggs florentine that Brian made me when morning sickness pushed me away from everything else.  This breakfast is the nutritional powerhouse dieticians should have had in mind when they advertised eating your biggest meal first.  It is not the protein behemoth that fitness culture and the fat, lazy followers of Atkins unsuccessfully marketed as The Way:  it contains a respectable 15 grams (and 25 grams of fiber, yes, in one meal.  I hope you have toilet paper). 

It's oatmeal, people. 
However, there is so much other stuff going on, that you might forget that the creamy puddle of hot chewy oats under everything else is actually how the dish might be titled if it were to appear on a menu somewhere.  Oatmeal with the Works.  Everything Oatmeal.  Something like that.

So let's get down to it.  What happens first is that I cook Bob's Red Mill Scottish Oats in water-- usually double the water recommended, whisking it regularly as it cooks down into what Brian calls gruel, and I think of as oat velvet pudding.  It's heavenly.  Into my bowl it goes.  On top of that I scatter a couple tablespoons of chia seeds-- which we need to talk about-- a tablespoon of ground flaxmeal (you can't digest the whole seeds), a sliced banana, a half-cup of my father's Famous Cranberry Compote (in other seasons, I make apple compote, rhubarb compote, or summer fruit salad), and then a few tablespoons of Molly's French Chocolate Granola (made with sesame seeds!).  Let me tell you, it is spectacular

It can be made vegan, and is wheat-free.  Lately I have cut out wheat, dairy, and peanuts (sad), as well as continued to abstain from things I never eat anyway (soy, corn, processed foods) for the benefit of my slightly gassy, very vocal newborn daughter.  I like to make her buffet as delicious and nutritious as possible-- hence the massive amount of omega-3s in this meal, and also the lactation-boosting oatmeal. 

The fiber's really the thing for me, though.  They don't tell you that after you give birth, you get to relive the unmedicated experience through your bowels for several weeks.  Ouch. 

Cranberry Compote

24 ounces fresh cranberries (or substitute 4-5 tart apples, chopped into 1/2" dice)
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar (1/4 cup if using apples)
1 bag (12 oz.) frozen raspberries
6 satsuma mandarin oranges, segmented (seedless)
1 cup raw walnut pieces or halves
pinch of salt
few gratings of fresh nutmeg (or 1/4 teaspoon dried ground nutmeg)
splash (1/4 cup? I splash heavy) port, Grand Marnier, or other delicious liqueur

Rinse and pick over cranberries, discarding the sketchy ones.  Combine cranberries (or apples), water, and sugar in a large pot (I use an enameled cast-iron dutch oven) over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.  Listen for the popping of the cranberries, because it's awesome.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes (I've simmered the apples for up to 40 minutes-- I like them pretty compotey), and then stir in the raspberries, salt, and nutmeg.  Cook for five more minutes or so, then splash in the port, stir in the mandarins and walnuts, and remove from heat.  Compote should be very thick, but it'll keep thickening and set up as it cools. 

Makes about six 1/2 cup servings. 

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