I'm treating the sadness/lowness in the usual ways (hot shower, using the special shampoos/moisturizers, turning on lots of lights), but also by having an extra-large bowl of baked oatmeal from a recipe my not-just-online friend Mairzy sent me. I find this recipe very bolstering. Here it is as Mairzy sent it to me, with Mairzy's comments:
I feel obligated to explain that not only have I sincerely enjoyed oatmeal (with brown sugar and milk) since I was a child, but I first made this baked oatmeal one evening in the midst of a raging pregnancy hunger. I needed FOOD, and when this was finally done and I could eat it, I nearly composed an ecstatic poem on the spot. So you might not find it as absolutely soul-satisfying as I do, but maybe you'll like it. It is, after all, still oatmeal.
I'll send you the way I use the recipe, which I halved and then used fresh fruit instead of dried. So it's all a bit approximate.
Slightly more than 3/4 Cup milk
1 Tbs butter
1/2 Cup regular oats
1/2 apple, peeled and cut into smallish pieces
1/2 banana, cut into pieces
5 or 6 pieces of canned pineapple chunks
2 Tbs brown sugar (I use the kind from the BOX)
1/4 tsp vanilla
Dash of salt (do NOT forget the salt -- ugh if you do)
Bring milk and butter to boil. Stir in oats slowly. Stir in fruit, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Pour into lightly greased casserole dish (a small one). Bake, uncovered, at 350-degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle more brown sugar on the top, then bake about 5 more minutes until bubbly. Cool slightly. You can serve it with additional milk, says the recipe, but I just pour myself a tall glass of milk to drink.
The original recipe also calls for pecans or walnuts to be sprinkled on the top with the brown sugar. I didn't have any on hand, but I'll probably try it because it sounds good.
The first time I made this recipe, I thought would be my last. I thought there was NO WAY I was EVER going to go through this much fuss again: not only does the oatmeal have to be cooked in a saucepan AND baked in a casserole (vessels used for cooking oatmeal/milk are a bee to clean), but there's all kinds of PREP work with the FRUIT, plus there's FUSSING AROUND with tablespoons and sprinkling and using only part of a can.
But then there I was a week later going through it again, and with joy in my heart. Instead of feeling resentful of the recipe, I had the happy hummy feeling of something making a fussy recipe that's totally worth the fuss---like a special holiday recipe. That's because the second time I made it I knew something I didn't know the first time around: you can put the leftovers in the fridge and scoop some into a bowl and microwave it in the morning, and it tastes BETTER than when it's new. I double the batch and have breakfast for a week, and I don't have to do the fussing-around in the morning when things are busy.
So. Here is how I do the recipe. I double it, which since Mairzy halved it means I'm making it at its original size (MATH MEDAL). I don't peel the apple, I leave the skin on. The first time, it was because I was looking for lazy ways out, but it was really good that way. Yay lazy!
Hey, do you already know how to section up a banana to avoid the slimy-cut-surface problem? You peel the banana, and then you shove your thumb rudely up one end. The banana splits into three long strips just like magic. Slightly FAULTY magic, since sometimes it splits better than others, but still pretty cool. Then you can break each strip into chunks, and the chunks are dry and starchy-looking the way a banana should be, instead of smooth and slimy. This doesn't really matter for this recipe, but it's still a quick way to cut up a banana.
I didn't have pineapple chunks so I used a few spoonfuls of crushed pineapple, and that was really good so I did that again the second time even though I could have bought chunks at the store by then. I used a heavy hand with the brown sugar "sprinkled" on top---I used at LEAST two tablespoons, and it could have been three or four. I like sugar.
The first time, I made it without nuts because I didn't have any, but the second time I used pecans (Target had them on a good sale) and it was SO YUMMY I'm going to have to keep nuts on hand now. I used a heavy hand with those, too, putting down a nice single-nut layer over the whole dish.
After it cooks and cools, I put a piece of tin foil over it and put the whole deal in the fridge. Each morning, I scoop out a piece, put it in a bowl, and microwave it for 45 seconds. It smells SO GOOD. And the taste/texture is growing on me: at first I was like, "Well, it's very good oatmeal, but it's still oatmeal---albeit with a much lower goop-factor and a nice mix of yummy stuff in it," but now I....well, I hesitate to put this in writing, but I look forward to it each morning. And I don't like oatmeal.
The reason I doubled the recipe the first time was not only because I didn't want to mess around with half-fruits, but also because I saw an opportunity to finally, FINALLY use the Le Creuset casserole dish I bought because I loved it so much and then have never used. It is gorgeous. It's hard to tell from the picture, but the color starts out orange at the bottom and gradually changes to yellow. SO PRETTY. It's not marked with a size, but when it was empty I measured water into it, and it holds 6 cups of water up to the brimmy-brim. It held the doubled recipe with the perfect amount of room to spare.