“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.” – Joshua Becker
Minimalism. Simple living. KonMari. Until recently these ideas were fairly abstract to me, but the past several months have led me to make a few life changes. Simplifying my surroundings has been keeping the anxiety at arms length, and it has given me renewed focus and clarity. With less clutter, suddenly I can see everything in my space. Each item serves a purpose. There are less trivial decisions to make. I can focus on life, on work, and on things that matter. The air is more fresh and rejuvenating.
In January, I downloaded an audio version of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. I was feeling too unfocused and, frankly, depressed to actually sit down and read a book. But I could listen. I listened while baking, taking baths, or photographing food. In bits and pieces, I took everything in. Suddenly I became painfully aware of all the excess stuff everywhere… the clothes I never wore, gifts I felt guilty about parting with, the “just in case” items flooding my closets and shelves. The decluttering began. We’ve been donating everything that’s not trash. Since starting this process, I’ve become absolutely itchy with the desire to remove unnecessary clutter from my life. We always used to think we didn’t have enough storage space. It turns out we have more space than two people could ever possibly need. We just had too much stuff. If you’re interested, this is a basic overview of KonMari, but it barely even scratches the surface. If it sounds intriguing, you should check out her book.
I’m just getting started.
This is a fairly straight forward, “use what you have” type of recipe. I’m not much for sweet meals first thing in the day, so I’m a big fan of savory oatmeals. Many times I use steel cut oats instead of rolled oats, but either will work. I love poaching eggs so I can swirl the yolks into the oatmeal, but you can cook them however you prefer. A fried or sunny side egg would also be a great topper. I had crimini mushrooms, but most varieties will work here. You can omit the tomatoes and/or basil, or swap in a different herb. I tend to switch things up a bit each time.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small or medium shallot, finely chopped
- 1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 2 large eggs
- 3-4 sliced grape tomatoes
- Fresh basil, sliced thin
- Parmesan cheese
- In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook briefly until translucent, then add the mushrooms. Cook for several minutes, stirring periodically, until the mushrooms have softened.
- Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once the liquid is boiling, add the oats, salt, and pepper, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10-20 minutes, stirring periodically, until the desired texture and consistency is reached.
- While the oatmeal is cooking, heat a large pot of water with the vinegar to approximately 180 degrees F (clip a thermometer to the side of the pot if you have one). Crack the eggs into separate, small measuring cups and then gently drop the eggs into the water, one at a time. Cook for 4-6 minutes (depending on how firm you like your egg), then use a slotted spoon to remove the egg. Briefly drain on a paper towel.
- Spoon the oatmeal into two bowls. Add a poached egg, sliced tomatoes and basil to each serving. Top with a generous amount of freshly grated parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of ground black pepper.
Fried or sunny side eggs would also work well with this recipe.