Apple Cinnamon Raisin Overnight Oats (Gluten-Free option, Vegan option)
This week I learned a valuable lesson in food culture. People tend to be possessive about recipes that are attributed to their heritage and I can understand that. It’s how I feel about German Kohlrouladen (cabbage rolls) and meatloaf. I only like cabbage rolls the way my grandmother made them and I only eat meatloaf the way my Mom made it. Nothing tastes better!
This month, my daughter has been studying North Carolina. They have learned about the topography and history of the state and today, they are celebrating with a “Taste of North Carolina” feast at school. Parents were asked to contribute a tasting dish, so the kids could sample traditional Southern cuisine. On the list of options were things like: pimento cheese, Neese’s sausage, Lance crackers, Krispy Kreme donut holes, Mount Olive pickles, Cheerwine and fried okra.
Also available for sign-up were ham biscuits.
“I can do that!” I declared. Easy peasy.
Not so fast, my friends. I truly thought I could whip up some biscuits, put a slice of deli ham in the middle and call it a day. But, over the weekend I was telling a friend (a native Charlottean) about my plan and she was horrified. “That’s not how you make a ham biscuit,” she said.
So, I asked her to enlighten me. First, you must use country ham. Not deli ham, not ham off the bone. Smithfield country ham. But, you see, grocery stores don’t display this coveted ham in the deli cases. You have to ask for it by name. Then you have to baste this ham with a brown sugar and butter glaze before putting it in your biscuit. And there were seven more steps after that. I really wanted my child’s experience to be authentic, so I made a special trip to the store and approached the deli counter.
And here’s where things got interesting.
When I asked for the country ham, I was given a dark side eye. Like I had asked for the Hope Diamond. The woman at the counter didn’t budge. She said “I don’t know if we’ve got that.” So, I persisted. Slowly, she removed her gloves. “I’ll have to go in the back and check.” “What do you want it for?”
“Ham biscuits,” I said. And I tried to sound confident like I knew what I was doing, but there was that inflection in my voice that suggested otherwise.
She emerged from the walk-in fridge with a box. “Now, I have to shave this ham. I can’t carve it on the regular machines, you see.”
“Oh,” I managed. “Thanks.”
Dear Lord, what have I done?
It did not even occur to me that this special ham may cost me $500 a pound. I didn’t think to ask. The whole scenario was just so baffling…
When she handed off the package, I was afraid to put it in my basket, as if I had governmental secrets hiding in brown paper! The good news was that the ham only set me back $4.99.
When I got home, I set to work preparing these ham biscuits. Exactly as instructed. And off they went to school this morning. They looked good. But, we shall see what these fourth graders thought of my attempt at authentic Southern cuisine!
After that whole debacle, I was ready for a simpler endeavor. Which is why I made these overnight oats. This is such a great breakfast idea. You can make it the night before and grab it out of the fridge on a busy morning. No cooking, waiting, prepping required. And you know the smart people always tell us breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Now, you won’t have to skip it. It’s nutritious, too!
This recipe is for two servings, but you can double it or triple it to make enough for the whole family or to last you all week. How awesome is that?