Monday, September 18, 2006

Surly with a side of Bland Oatmeal

New York Magazine just started a food blog. “Grub Street will be updated hourly, covering everything from the cult street vendor, nameless yet venerated, to the latest temple of gastronomy, awash in renown.” Honestly, I’m not sure I can deal with another New York food blog trying to find exquisite food for under $5 or rave (again) about The Little Owl. The market is saturated. Enough already.

Or maybe I’m just grouchy because I’m having trouble with my oatmeal. (Just stop reading right here unless you’re really interested in my oatmeal trials and tribulations.)

Hi Mom.

I’ve never been a big oatmeal eater, but all of a sudden I found myself in the oat/meal aisle of the grocery store. The fact that I knew exactly what to buy and how to make it was a sure sign I’d seen this episode of Good Eats on television a few too many times. You know, the one where he pretends to be Scottish and they make haggis?

The trouble is the topping - it needs a little something to add flavor. I should mention right here and now that I’m not a chunks-o-fruit kinda gal. I don’t eat fruit yogurt, I don’t even like pulp in my OJ. (In fact, I will not drink any beverage that contains pulp. When I was younger I used to strain my juice before drinking it. Perfectly normal.) So fruit is pretty much out. I know this closes off a whole world of nutritious and flavorful blah blah blah. Seriously, I used to strain my juice. I’m not going to start tossing blueberries into my breakfast any time soon. If you like that sort of thing, go ahead. Hell, throw some raisins in there. Just don’t expect me to Mmmm and Ahhh.

I started with the classic brown sugar. Always a crowd pleaser, but lacking punch. Things improved when I started adding a spoonful of plain yogurt and a pinch of salt with the brown sugar – it may sound gross but the contrast of flavors was really quite nice.

Next I tried semi-sweet chocolate chips. Absolutely awful. Really truly dreadful. Bitter, miserable, I had to throw it away. In this case, two rights make a big fat wrong.

Butter wasn’t enough, maple syrup was too much. Should I go salty, sweet, or both? Anyone out there have any suggestions for the perfect oatmeal?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not much of an oatmeal person myself, but I do understand that it can be extremely healthy and quite filling. I am always looking for ways to give it that extra oomph. Choco chips seem perfect! Oh, and I am so with you on juice w/ pulp...ewww!

11:50 AM  
Blogger s'kat said...

I'm a big fan of a judicious splash (splodge?) of honey.

Truth be told, I like sliced bananas in there from time to time, but that probably gets uncomfortably close to your ick factor.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Jeff in NC said...

I'm with you - no pooh-pah fruits will do.

My personal favorite is a serving of plain M&Ms, allowed to sit in the warm oatmeal just enough to get a little melty inside. Total yum.

Though if you didn't like the chocolate chips, you might nto be too thrilled with M&Ms.

Joe also sometimes throws in butterscotch chips or cinnamon chips.

1:40 PM  
Blogger MeBeth said...

Hmm - honey sounds good but M&Ms sound better!! Jeff - I must give that a try. I think the problem with the choco chips was the semisweetness, but I bet milk chocolate would be perfect. I actually have some fun size Milky Ways lying around (for early trick or treaters, you know) that might be great in there.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd go for great Irish oatmeal with a bit of salt and/or cinnamon. It has great texture and crunch. Add a side of pork roll and you have a real New Jersey treat. The only orange juice in this fridge is pulp free - by popular demand.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Jeff in NC said...

Oh, for early trick or treaters....riiiight. That's so very pro-active of you. :p

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the same problem with oatmeal. I'm interested in the responses to your question. I like the idea of adding honey. I guess I'll try that.

Paz ;-)

9:07 AM  
Blogger Loren Shlaes said...

i make mcann's oatmeal for myself on a regular basis. i put a big pat of butter on top but i don't mix it in, just let it float on the surface. instead of maple syrup or brown sugar, i use granulated maple sugar. then for total decadence, i buy one of those teeny bottles of ronnybrook creamline milk, and pour a little bit of cold milk on every hot spoonful. the contrast is lovely.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Backyard Chef said...

Hmmm...bacon usually makes everything better...but, maybe not what you're looking for.

I'm tapped out.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here in England the best thing with oatmeal (or porridge as it is usually called here) is golden syrup. You might be able to find it in the US, I don't know how available it is, but it's worth trying to find because it's delicious with porridge!!
Golden syrup and a splash of cold milk or cream on top of your hot oatmeal...yum.

8:27 AM  

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