April 5, 2006 at 11:16 PM | Food, Nostalgia, Work | 1 Comment

The topic of oatmeal came up the other day when I was in the break room making myself a drink and one of my teammates came in and started preparing a packet of instant oatmeal. I did not realize this at the time because he was doing all of this in a cup.

“Whatcha got there?”

“It’s oatmeal,” he said, as he stirred in some hot water with one of the plastic spoons from the break room.

I thought to myself, “How very MacGuyver.”

The past couple of days, I’ve been making myself a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast before work everyday. For a while, I was having a smoothie for breakfast, but I’ve grown quite weary of that. And then there was a phase where I was eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch. That was pretty damn good. But I got tired of cereal too. So, lately I’ve been breaking out the oatmeal, tapping in a little bit of brown sugar, sprinkle some cinnamon in there, filling the bowl with milk, and microwaving the whole thing for like 2 minutes. It’s fantastic. Fantastically easy.

“Say you know, as a child, I loved oatmeal, but of course, I was never the one to actually prepare it.” I was referring to the oatmeal that comes in the big round cardboard tube. The kind that wasn’t instant. The kind that had to be cooked on a stovetop. Quaker brand. My mom doesn’t fuck around with the store brands. I’ve always been impressed with how she was able to pull that one off. “Yes, I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast lately,” I explained, “… the kind that comes in the big round tube.” My tube of oatmeal was Great Value (Wal-Mart) brand.

“Oh yeah?”

“You bet… I’m loving it. I think I like it better than the instant kind because it just feels more real, you know what I mean? The oatmeal pieces seem a lot bigger.”


“Yeah, they’re kind of chewy. I like the texture of it.”

“Dude, I think you’ve been eating the kind that you have to cook on the stovetop.”

“Wha… worrd?”

“Yeah, there’s 2 kinds of oatmeal that comes in the tube… one that is kind of similar to instant oatmeal and the kind that you have to cook on the stove.”

Well, the oatmeal that I had been eating was indeed not like instant oatmeal. The stuff that I had been eating, you could see all the oats n shit. Big pieces of oats. “Dang, I think I got the kind that needs to be cooked on a stove… I’ll have to check it out when I get home.”

So I checked it the next morning and the primary instructions for preparation found on the side of the tube were for the stove. But, it was labeled as being “microwavable” and the secondary instructions described how to cook the oatmeal in a microwave. It was great news because I had possession of an oatmeal product that apparently transcended the conventional oatmeal genres. On the one hand, it had all the good qualities of a stovetop-style oatmeal, yet with the convenience of an instant, microwave-style oatmeal. As I read this information, I knew that I was holding onto a goldmine. Magically, this stuff comes out delicious and so much better than the instant kind that came in packets, pre-flavored. Slightly more work, yes, but I like being able to control how the stuff tastes… I usually find the instant ones way too sweet. Goldmine.

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  1. I don’t know about microwaving milk and stuff, but I think milk has the ability to retain radiation from the microwaves. That’s just as well, since I tend to like the pre-flavor oatmeal packets. I just use two pack for breakfast, and just enough hot water to moisten it all (about less than a quater cup of water). Now that is chunky.

    Comment by LL — April 9, 2006 #

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