Brown Sugar Bacon Oatmeal

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Our winter came in a series of two-day cold fronts, and it’s hard to tell if the spurts of cool air are over just yet. This weekend we turned on the heat for the first time ever. Suddenly cozy and no longer a slave to a blanket during a 30-degree morning, we made this hearty weekend oatmeal for breakfast. Again. It was Danny’s crazy idea to add bacon to oatmeal. We’d added eggs, greens, and cheese to oatmeal before, but I never thought of bacon. I wondered if it would work.

Well, it totally worked. It wasn’t just a gimmicky hey! let’s-add-bacon-to-everything-move. We woke up one morning wanting bacon and oatmeal and we tried it together instead of frying up eggs.

This combination worked so well that we had it twice within a couple weeks, and it probably would’ve been sooner if we hadn’t gone off to Chicago. And after cooking bacon the easier way (in the oven!) and topping it with brown sugar, I don’t know that I ever want it any other way.

Oatmeal is a bit more controversial here than you might expect since Danny thinks I don’t cook it correctly. I try to explain we just let it cook to different consistencies, but there’s no winning. Hopefully you know what I mean. But I do concede that butter and brown sugar should pretty much always top a bowl of oats. That’s his move, and I’ll keep it. Oatmeal doesn’t need to be an ascetic, all-beige breakfast affair. The dates had to go in because how could I not? It’s a little salty, a little sweet, and a bit stepped up from the oatmeal bowls of Tuesdays.

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brown sugar bacon and oatmeal

The salty-sweet situation here is very good, and cooking the bacon in the oven makes for an easy weekend breakfast.

5 strips bacon
brown sugar
1 cup (thick-cut) rolled oats
2 cups water
pinch of salt
4 large Medjool dates, chopped
butter

Heat oven to 325°F.

Place strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack or aluminum foil. Sprinkle generously with brown sugar. Bake bacon until sizzling and slightly crispy, about 20 minutes.

About halfway through the bacon cooking time, start up the oatmeal. Bring 2 cups water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add oatmeal and a pinch of salt. Lower heat to about medium-low, letting oats simmer until most of the water is absorbed and it reaches a consistency you like, about 10 minutes.

Divide oatmeal and dates between two bowls. Sprinkle with brown sugar and place a dab of butter in the middle of each serving. Eat one strip of bacon when ready, and roughly chop the rest into bite-size pieces, adding about two strips worth to each bowl. Serve immediately.

Serves 2.

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