I came into the kitchen recently and saw my mom eating something other than hot, hand rolled, cook oatmeal with cayenne and salt for breakfast. That was weird. She religiously eats hot, hand rolled, cooked oatmeal with cayenne and salt for breakfast. I asked her what she was eating, eyeing what suspiciously looked like box cereal in her bowl. She does NOT eat box cereal. She eats hot, hand rolled, cooked oatmeal with cayenne and salt. Every morning.
“Opeynopes,” she said, slurping milk off her chin.
“Opey…wha?” I paused and then added, “Have you been talking to Aunt Chris again?!”
My Aunt Chris is a caution, in the best sense of the word. The recipe for Opeynopes, it turns out, is really not rocket science but I like the explanation and presentation of said recipe as relayed by my aunt. I share it with you with the understanding that you can tweak this to suit your dietary needs (pre soak the oats, use raw honey, whatever) and hope that you appreciate the great honor it is to be privy to such an important family treasure. I give you the evolution of Opeynopes…
8 am Monday morning after a hectic weekend, including any number of church assignments, birthday parties, little league games, and so on ad infinitum.
Four hungry children, all late getting up, finding shoes, and putting on dirty socks because the clean ones were still wet in the dryer. Then the proverbial straw: ”Mom, there’s no cereal.”
It was thus that opeynopes were born, not of necessity but of desperation, disorganization and chaos.
“I am going to give you a special treat that all your friends will be jealous of. You all will love it!!” I poured uncooked rolled oats in a bowl, poured milk over, dumped sugar on, and voila! Opeynopes.
Some of them took more convincing (and sugar) than others, but soon everyone, including my husband, was chewing this concoction every morning, like a row of obedient horses.
Our three-year-old first used the word “opeynopes,” probably her version of “oatmeal,” but who were we to argue with her?
Future possible editions could include the history of plup-plups, bologna and peanut butter spinners, and other notable contributions of the Cunningham family.
I told my aunt that I was on tenterhooks waiting to know what plup-plups were…unless they involved the bathroom.
What about you? Any favorite family recipes born of desperation? Especially breakfast! Aren’t you just so tired of figuring out what to have for breakfast?!
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