But then I moved to sub-Saharan Africa.
Needless to say, I quickly became an oatmeal person. It’s an easy breakfast to prepare in the confines of my room. If I add fruit, it keeps my stomach happy until our 2 PM lunch. If mixed with broth, it makes a great soup for dinner. And, best of all, oatmeal tastes just like America.
Although I eat oatmeal for breakfast almost every morning, I quickly grew tired of this rather boring cereal. So I spiced it up a bit (literally, cinnamon and nutmeg).
These are a few of my favorite recipes…
This is the original oatmeal. Just add hot water and your breakfast is ready to go. The Quaker is for the easygoing person. You enjoy the simple joys of life, you’re a hard worker, and you don’t ask a lot of those around you. You’re best matched with a fellow Quaker.
The French Toast
Growing up, my mom always scolded me for spreading too much cinnamon and sugar on my French toast. But there’s no one here to reprimand me when I put loads of sugar in my oatmeal. If you like The French Toast, you’re a spicy person. You look for the zest in life, you’re comfortable in your own skin, and you’re not afraid to tell it like it is. Look for The Banana to make your life complete.
The Banana Oat
This is best with local bananas grown in Senegal, but sometimes I have to buy the more expensive, imported variety. The Banana Oat is for the sensible person. You think before you act, you don’t make rash decisions that end in disaster, and you deeply care for your close friends and family. Match up with The French Toast to add a little spice to your life.
Kosam is sour milk which is bountiful during rainy season when the cows have plenty of grass to eat. When sugar is added, it makes a delicious and refreshing drink for any time of day. If you live in the city, kosam is available year round. The Kosam is for the strong person. You’re persistent, know how to get things done, and won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. The Mango will balance out the sour in your kosam.
Although hot season can be very unpleasant, it brings many mangoes with it. So many mangoes, in fact, that tons of mangoes rot on the side of the road because they can’t be eaten fast enough. A mango in Senegal costs about $0.25 – reason enough to pay me a visit. The Mango is for the adventurer. You don’t look before you jump, you learn through your many mistakes, and you always grab life by the horns. The Banana or The Kosam will make a great mate for you.
Most mornings start with a bowl of oatmeal and a cup of coffee (from The Mill in Lincoln, Nebraska or Allann Bros. in Albany, Oregon). Although this sounds like the start of a typical day in America, my breakfast isn’t followed by rush hour, an office, or happy hour (not necessarily in that order). You may be driving your car to work and I may be riding my bike to the market, but we both eat oatmeal for breakfast.
No one ever said this would be easy, but they didn’t say it wouldn’t include oatmeal.