Living on the Edge: Oatmeal

Or, as they call it here, porridge. But, being an American and not an orphan, I call it oatmeal.

I’m a big fan of instant oatmeal for breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. It’s filling and delicious. When I was a kid, I would only eat either the Quaker Maple Brown Sugar flavor, or my mom’s stove top oats with added brown sugar, real sugar, and milk. I was picky eater. And I had the metabolism of a hummingbird, apparently.

Because I was super picky, I have – and still have – a huge issue with textures. For example, I loved oatmeal because I could add enough oats until it became a solid mass, whereas Cream of Wheat cereals were always too watery and gritty. And I had the unfortunate experience of eating a bowl of Cream of Wheat while watching Alien 3 at the part where the alien explodes out of the dog’a stomach and the entrails bore a striking resemblance to the cream of wheat and there are some things you just don’t forget.

[This would have been where I put the screen shot of the dog’s stomach exploding, to give you a visual reference, but I decided to be nice and forego it. This time.]

This texture obsession thing has always dictated how I eat my oatmeal. While I’ve branched out to different flavours (vanilla or strawberries n cream are delightful), the way I eat it remains the same.

  1. Rip open oatmeal pack, pour into mug (always a mug)
  2. Put the recommended amount of water
  3. Microwave for 90 secs
  4. Mix in second pack of oatmeal and stir until a solid mass
  5. Cut into slices and eat

Just kidding with that last step — but two packs oatmeal to one pack water makes it gummy and solid, and I love it right down to the bottom of my weird little soul. I’ve tried using one pack and adding less water, and it works in a pinch for when I only have one pack, but it leaves me hungry. And eating two packs means I’m full until late afternoon, so that’s also awesome. Also while the second pack combines with the first pack, I like to say things like “emulsify” and pretend I’m a scientist, even though I know that it’s not really emulsifying. I don’t know what the term is for oatmeal expanding with water – probably expanding – but I like the word emulsify and I don’t get to use it often enough. I’m really cool.

So I look forward to my oatmeal ritual. And I look forward to oatmeal. Yes, the older I get, the more I know that feel, Calvin’s dad.

maybe I’ll build some character, too.

All this to say, the other day I forgot my lunch at home. Or we didn’t make lunches. One or the other. But I was short on cash and short on the will to go outside, so I decided to eat some oatmeal, since I skipped breakfast in lieu of second coffee. Solid fiscal decision! But something went horribly wrong with my water measuring, and it was still too soupy after two packs. So I thought, “why not add a third pack? I like oatmeal. Sure!”

What I ended up with was like 16 oz of oatmeal. And I are all of it. Halfway through I thought “fuck, this is too much oatmeal.” But I grew up in the Great Depression and I hate to see food go to waste, so I was determined to eat it all. My hands were shaking with the last spoonful, as the 16 oz of oatmeal seemingly expanded to 36 oz of deathmeal.

They say oatmeal makes a good breakfast because it “sticks to your ribs.” More like, it stuck to every blood cell I had. All afternoon, I felt like I was going to throw up. And drinking water to help push it all through only made me feel more like spewing.

After all the oat fueled trauma, I survived. It was about 7:30 that night before I was hungry again, but my stomach didn’t explode with an oatmeal alien like that dog’s stomach in Alien 3.  And uh, yeah, let’s not talk about all that fiber.

This morning, 3 days later, I made one packet of oatmeal. I used less water. It came out perfect. I nearly puked with flashbacks of oat-stomach, but I finished the serving. Take that, breakfast food.

So, Audrey: 1, Oatmeal: 0

#LivingontheEdge

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