Grandma’s Not Such a Fruit, After All

I loved sleeping over at my grandma’s house when I was a kid. My family lived out in the country, and the only faces we saw on a regular basis were those of farmers driving by on their tractors or people flying by in their cars to wash away their worries at one of the three bars located a mile away from our house.

When the summer weekends came, I was ready to escape to the ‘big city’ of De Pere where people biked and walked down the sidewalks (real sidewalks!), ice cream trucks sang “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” and “Old McDonald Had a Farm”, and the whistle of a train rattling on its tracks could lull you to sleep.

After I awoke to the cooing of mourning doves, I would go to the kitchen where Grandma would be sitting at the head of the table, diving into a bowl of cottage cheese and pineapple.

When she asked me if I wanted some, I gazed at her in disgust and poured myself a bowl of Cheerios. Cottage cheese and pineapple? Together? Pickles and cottage cheese were my two favorite foods, but mixing the savory, creamy cheese with fruit seemed not only disgusting, but crazy.

Then again, I thought the Baby Sitters Club series was the best ever written, wearing sunscreen was for sissies, and people who got up early to exercise were stranger than the cast of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.’

I now like my cottage cheese with pineapple. And other fruit. And sometimes, I even turn it into oatmeal.

Cherry & Cottage Cheese Oatmeal

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • splash of vanilla
  • 1/3 cup pitted cherries
  • 1/3 cup cottage cheese
  • slivered almonds

In a medium saucepan, bring milk and water to a boil.

Stir in oats and cook for 7-8 minutes.

When oats have reached desired consistency, stir in vanilla, chia seeds, stevia, and cherries.

When cherries have warmed and split, remove from heat and stir in cottage cheese. Pour into a funky bowl and top with your favorite toppings. I went simple this morning, and just sprinkled some slivered almonds on top.

I take it back, Grandma. You’re not crazy. Cottage cheese and fruit can be friends.

What food or food combinations did you used to think were weird but now love?


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