bowl of oatmeal

There is nothing I like more than waking up and enjoying a warm bowl of homemade oatmeal. Nothing. Except, maybe, waking up and enjoying a stack of crispy bacon. And drinking a bunch of caffeine. Or waking up and building a new Lego set…

Ahem. I digress. Nearly every single morning, I fashion the perfect bowl of hot oatmeal and you, fortunate reader, will now learn my culinary secrets. Consider yourself blessed. Without further ado, here is my recipe:

Ingredients

  • Oats
  • Honey
  • A handful or two of your favorite dried fruit
  • A dash of cinammon
  • Ground flax seed for protein (optional)
  • Milk from any milkable animal or nut

Steps

  1. Find your favorite pot for cooking oatmeal. Realize that it’s dirty and sitting in the sink because you were too tired and lazy to wash it last night like you were supposed to. Maybe you shouldn’t have stayed up until 1AM binge-watching every Taylor Swift documentary you could find.
  2. Wash the pot.
  3. Ask your children if they are going to want some oatmeal, a question to which they politely decline.
  4. Pour approximately one and a half cups of tap water into the pot and set the pot on the stove to boil.
  5. Once boiling, add 2/3 cup of oats and reduce heat to just slightly less than medium, but not too much less, and definitely a lot higher than medium-low, but not so much higher that you exceed that medium-medium-low-medium threshold.
  6. Crawl back in bed.
  7. Wake up to the cathartic sounds of a crackling fire. Remember that, not only is it sunny and 70 degrees outside, you don’t even have a fireplace. You are actually hearing the sound of your oatmeal doing its best impression of a 4th of July fireworks show.
  8. Repeat step 2. You may have to use a knife, razor blade, or chisel to scrape off the petrified oats from your pot. If your wife later asks you why the bottom of the pot has a number of scratches and scrapes, blame the children.
  9. Repeat steps 4 and 5, and then skip 6-8 but proceed to step 10. You could hit step 6 again, but you’ll want to add step 6A which says “Set an alarm” (Oooh, this is like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure recipe!)
  10. This time, ignore your mother’s advice that a watched pot never boils and stare at the pot while the oatmeal cooks. Once it reaches the consistency of pig slop, carefully pour it into a bowl.
  11. Add the honey and your favorite dried fruit. I typically choose raisins, but any dried fruit will work. Blueberries, cranberries, apricots, dates. Whenever Sarah and I are shopping and we find dates, I ask “Have you ever had a date?” It’s the best joke ever. She laughs every time. Every. Time.
  12. Gently shake your container of cinnamon to get just the right amount of spice on your oatmeal. When the cinnamon refuses to come out, shake the canister harder and start smacking the side of it until the lid pops off and enough cinnamon to kill a horse crashes onto your oats in a cloud of dust. That’s OK, though. Cinnamon is good for your heart.
  13. Optionally, add a heaping spoonful of ground flax seed to embellish your breakfast with those nutritional Omega-3s and protein molecules. You’ll know you’ve added enough flax seed when your oatmeal morphs into the texture of a chunky spackle.
  14. Finally, add milk. If you don’t have any available, find a local animal to milk. Any mammal should work. For a dairy free option, throw various nuts into a blender, add some water, and pulverize the suckers. I’m almost certain that’s how nut milk is made.
  15. Before you enjoy this delicious meal, the kids will remind you that they absolutely wanted oatmeal for breakfast and did you make enough for them? Of course, no. But they don’t care. Selflessly, while you grumble under your breath, dump most of it into some smaller bowls and give it to your children so they can promptly forget that exists and let it go stale on the counter.
  16. Finally, realize that by this point it’s lunch time. Scrape your oatmeal into the compost and start the lunch process. Ask your kids if they want a sandwich. They politely decline.

And now you know why my wife does 99% of the cooking in our household.

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