I’m not sure why but oatmeal was never really a thing in my house growing up. It was there – I can remember the container being around – but I think it was used for baking and cookies and that sort of thing. I don’t recall ever getting a nice bowl of hot oatmeal to start my day. I feel I missed out on something. Lola was the one who introduced me to oatmeal as a breakfast option. She would sometimes make a bowl for herself and it would always look pretty good. She’d doctor it up too – add in some nuts, fruit and maybe even a little honey. Then she’d eat it up, usually wrapped under a blanket on our couch engrossed in some kind of book or article. It always looked like a nice and warm treat.
Because today was National Oatmeal Day, I figured a nice bowl of oatmeal would be the appropriate way to celebrate. We have lots of oatmeal in our pantry from Steel Cut, to instant, to Irish. I never knew there were so many varieties. I think we have so many because Lola asked me to pick some up and I kept picking up the wrong kind, so we started stock piling. For me, I went with the one with the smiling face on the box that I most associate with oats, Quaker Oats Old Fashioned variety (in fact, in my mind, the Quaker on the container talks like Wilford Brimley – that’s advertising working in your subconscious). The recipe is right on the container and it calls for 1 cup of oats to 1.75 cups of milk (plus a pinch of salt). I also added in a few sprinkles of cinnamon and about a teaspoon of brown sugar just for a little bit more flavor. It takes about five minutes to cook and afterwards, I poured in some Sun Maid raisins to complete my breakfast (those are two nice smiling faces to share your breakfast with).
Oatmeal is still a pleasant surprise to me after having pushed it away for so many years out of stubbornness. It’s nice to have a nice warm dish that sticks to your ribs. It definitely needs to be doctored up, like adding in the sugar and cinnamon, but it really is a sweet little bowl of warmth which is perfect for a cold morning. I would say oatmeal is kind of glutenous as it all sticks together and makes it kind of chewy which is a weird quality for a cereal. It’s another item that I have been pleasantly surprised to discover I am a fan of. This quest keeps bringing out the surprises for me.
I was going to continue my oatmeal celebration by making some kind of baked good (like oatmeal cookies or bars – there’s no shortage of great recipes for oatmeal), but I was heading out of town for a Fantasy Basketball draft, so my time at home was limited. I even had to rule out the nice hot oatmeal bath I was going to take later in the evening too because I wouldn’t have the time. So even though my celebration was kept to just my bowl of oatmeal in the morning, that’s the kind of sweet, simple celebration that seems perfect for oatmeal. Easy, sweet and warm. That’s how you celebrate National Oatmeal Day!
My draft was in New Hampshire and it was the first time I was back in those parts since August. It felt a little weird driving back into town. I got to see some friends I haven’t seen in a while and it was good to be back there having some laughs on a cold Saturday afternoon. To be clear, I am possibly the worst fantasy player ever to have played for ten seasons or more. I had actually retired, but thanks to old friends for keeping in touch, they let me back in. I guess they missed beating me every week. In any case, it was a nice way to spend a day. Now I just have to figure out who Karl-Anthony Towns is and why I picked him in the first round.
Next Up: National Candy Corn Day