December offers all kinds of events, and in combination I find that priorities conflict. Mimosa brunches are followed by dinner with the in-laws, nights of rum and eggnog are followed by work the next morning, and sparkling wine-fueled oyster binges are followed by early wake-ups for shopping with Mom. Expectations run high this time of year. In a perfect world, I’d be able to stumble from one event to the next in a twinkling haze of festive spirit and good cheer, but the thing about in-laws and work and Mom is that they have little appreciation for my kind of enthusiasm, and sometimes Nick decides it’s my turn to drive.
Knowing that Grace’s oyster feast was upon us and having bought two bottles of sparkling wine, I planned ahead. To stave off the effects of a party, I like baked oatmeal; it’s a dense, cakey version of oatmeal that will fill you up and sort you out.
Before going out, I put oatmeal, eggnog, eggs, butter, and spices into a bowl, mixed them well, and placed the mixture in a 1.5 quart baking dish that I then put in the fridge. Now, if it seems like I am asking you to bake oatmeal in custard, don’t worry. That’s absolutely what I’m asking you to do, because we’re a long way from swimsuit season, and this is a celebratory dish, the kind of thing you bring out for brunchtime and then digest during a nap that lasts all afternoon. It’s oatmeal, but it’s special. It’s like a big dish of oatmeal cookie, the dessert of breakfast dishes. High in soluble fibre and butterfat.
Use the best eggnog you can get – I use the stuff from Avalon, which I bought more of than I needed because of the beautiful dairy man who causes me to trip over my words. Also, it’s delicious.
Eggnog baked oatmeal
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant – I used large flake, the kind that cooks in 10 to 15 minutes on the stove)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- 1 cup eggnog
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp. rum or bourbon, whichever you prefer (optional, I guess)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
In a large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. Stir. Add eggnog, butter, eggs, rum or bourbon if using, and vanilla. Stir again, thoroughly. Pour mixture into a greased 1.5 quart baking dish, cover, and refrigerate for eight to 10 hours or overnight.
Heat oven to 350°F. Bake oatmeal for 60 minutes. It should be golden on top, with a little bit of bubbling around the edges. Let rest for five minutes before serving; serve with maple or golden syrup, if desired, or yogurt. If you were to serve it with ice cream it would be amazing but I am not so bold at 9:30 on a Sunday morning.