Finding recipes for the oatmeal was easy — I just went to my favorite meal-planning website, grocerybudget101.com. Several of the recipes I wanted to try called for powdered coffee creamer, which I don’t keep on hand, but turns out I do keep on hand the ingredients for homemade creamer.
The recipes also said to store ingredients in a Ziploc baggie. That just seemed like such a waste. Instead I put ingredients in a half-pint canning jar, which doubles as a bowl for the finished oatmeal — just add hot water. I can reuse the jar and lid over and over, and the contents are shelf-stable for several weeks.
While I loved the idea of breakfast in a jar, there was one more thing. I thought that once I poured boiling water into the jar it would get too hot to hold. In the search for a solution, I stumbled upon the final project of this craft trio: no-sew jar sleeves, made from an old felted sweater sleeve. I liked the ones I made for the half-pint jars so much I made a couple larger ones for my favorite travel coffee mug, too.
I still have some dried peach slices I made during the summer so I went with peaches-n-cream oatmeal. Biting into a little bit of summer on a cold winter morning makes all the effort worthwhile.
PEACHES-N-CREAM OATMEAL IN A JAR
1 ½ cups old-fashioned or instant oats
2 tablespoons powdered coffee creamer (recipe follows)
¼ cup dried peaches, or other dried fruit
Process ½ cup of oats in blender or food processor until powdered. Into 4 clean half-pint jars, put ¼ cup oats, 2 tablespoons oat powder, creamer and dried peaches. Seal tightly.
To make oatmeal, add ⅓ cup boiling water, stir well and replace the lid. Let sit for 1-2 minutes for instant oatmeal or 3-5 minutes for old-fashioned. Mix in any additional sweetener (we love maple syrup).
— Adapted from grocerybudget101.com
HOMEMADE COFFEE CREAMER
1 cup powdered milk
2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
Combine dry milk and sugar in a bowl and mix well. Drizzle oil over the top of mixture and stir until there are no clumps. Store in an airtight container.
— Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
NO-SEW SWEATER SLEEVE
Find an old wool sweater that has been felted (they usually shrink considerably when this happens, rendering it useless for apparel, but wonderful for crafts).
Slip the jar into the sleeve of the sweater. If you’re lucky, like I was, it will be a tight fit. If it’s not tight enough, you can take in the existing seam by hand or machine sewing.
Measure however tall you want the sleeve to be and cut. Felt doesn’t unravel, so there’s no need to hem the edges. Wash as needed — it should continue to felt into a solid piece of fabric.
Features Editor Deirdre Long: 256-294-4152. On Twitter @star_features.