Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oatmeal - Or, Eat Your Mush

Does anyone remember that great scene in a Little Rascals short, where the boys and girls would whisper to each other around the table? It went like this (thanks to IMDB for refreshing my memory):

Spanky: Don't drink the milk!
Cap's Wife: Why not?
Spanky: It's *spoiled*!
Cap's Wife: Spoiled nothing! You kids put that milk on your mush and eat it! Eeehh!

Always loved those Rascals.

It turns out that Significant Eater and I have a difference of opinion when it comes to oatmeal for breakfast. I really like it, and she doesn't. But, and here's the kicker, she used to; over the last six months to a year, though, she's decided it just isn't her cup of tea (and has gone negative on bananas as well).

I've tried and tried - I serve the oats with only the best Grade B maple syrup (farmer's market, of course), brown sugar that comes from the Brooklyn Brewery (don't ask), delicious fruit both fresh and dried, nuts from Bazzini, whatever - she still turns up her nose (though, and don't tell her I said this, if it's the only thing on the table, she'll eat it). So now when I want oatmeal, I'll often make her something like toast with peanut butter and jelly or topped with butter and cheese...not bad, but not oatmeal.

A week or two ago, SE noticed an article in the NY Times food section, written by Mark Bittman and extolling the virtues of savory, whole grain breakfasts. Things like wheat berries with scallions and soy sauce, polenta "pizza" with pancetta and spinach - well, you get the picture. And on a video on the Times' web site, Bitty (as Gwyneth likes to refer to him) suggests substituting oatmeal for the wheat berries - aha, a eureka moment, I thought. Although, let's face it folks, we've all been eating savory breakfasts for a long time - after all, what is bacon and eggs if not savory? Anyway, back to my eureka moment...

So there it is - oatmeal, scallions, soy, salt - everything a savory person could want. Cooked perfectly - man doesn't this look good?

Well, guess what? She didn't like it one bit - even started to throw out suggestions like perhaps I should've made a little sauce, with soy, vinegar, ginger, etc. etc. Fuggetaboutit - no more oats for you. And chopping scallions in the morning makes the whole place stink to boot. As for me, I'll continue to make mine the way I like it - with cranberries, raisins and good old maple syrup.

Significant Eater will just have to do with toast. And to Bitty - thanks a lot. Now go eat your mush.


  1. The Significant Eater is right! Oatmeal is awful unless it's in cookies or stout.

  2. I love oatmeal. I was looking forward to some the other day only to discover that we were out. That almost ruined my day.

  3. The Missus has been experimenting with breakfast quinoas for a while. Tasty, healthy and a little different. I think this morning's version has cherries and pistachios. She makes enough for a few days at a time...

  4. I just made oatmeal for breakfast this morning!

    I have to say that I've come to find rolled oats a bit insipid. For me, it's steel-cut oats or nothing for porridge.

  5. What are your thoughts on good, old-fashioned, Wheatena?

  6. slkinsey - I like the steel-cut, but like to keep this style around for cookie making.

    Allan - hmmm, wheatena - that's baby food, no?

  7. Much like Peak Frean cookies, Wheatena is a serious hot cereal - healthy, great toasted wheat flavor, and according to various sources, it originated in New York City on Mulberry Street in the late 19th century. Anyone else out there a big Wheatena fan?

  8. If she doesn't want oatmeal....that's cool. You eat it and be quiet now!
    Besides if you tried the stuff in the white can, the real deal oatmeal you might have more success.

  9. Hey, rolled oats are oatmeal too. And if that stuff in the white can came in the form of toast topped with cheese, then yeah, she might eat it.