I never realized I had so many brothers and sisters in “the struggle” — to eat oatmeal — or that so many would be seeking deliverance and my “secret” recipe.
“Like you, I was fed oatmeal as a child (in my case, pretty much 365 days a year). This was the old-fashioned, cook-for-20 minutes kind — slimy with lumps,” Cary writes, concerning my recent column about my lifelong hate of oatmeal that has now become for me an almost daily savory indulgence.
She continues: “In my 70’s, but I still find myself whining about having to eat oatmeal on Christmas — first before opening presents or any candy — because ‘you need a healthy base before you eat all that junk.’ On the rare days we got Cream of Wheat or corn meal mush instead, I was ecstatic (no grits in our New Jersey home).
“So your column today really resonated for me. I am so very glad not to be the only one! Any chance you would share your recipe? If there is a way to add non-slimy (a k a edible) oatmeal into my diet, I should try it.”
Share my oatmeal secret? Not so fast, Madam.
“I’m asking you, please, to share your ‘Oatmeal for life’ recipe! The world needs it,” writes Eunice.
My thought: Say, “Pretty please.”
Eunice continues: “As a skeptic, I started gulping (Ugh! How else can you get it past the gag reflex?!!!) oatmeal 10 years ago at age 83, to lower my cholesterol. It worked. I am now 93 and still eating this slop.”
Yep, you could definitely use a new recipe.
Writes another: “Can you share your oatmeal recipe (no-cook, low-fat yogurt)?”
And another: “Boy, did your column strike a note with me. My aunt used to make me eat oatmeal with an egg stirred in while the oatmeal cooked,” Laura writes.
Yuck! And I thought I had it bad. Sheesh.
“What’s the recipe that changes your mind?” Laura continues. “If you wouldn’t mind sharing it.”
A longtime oatmeal lover weighs in: “My opinion of oatmeal is totally different from yours. I’ve loved it all my life,” writes Hosea. “In fact, my ultimate compliment to a woman is, ‘You’re the best thing since I learned to cook oatmeal without it getting lumpy.’ ”
Hmm, I wonder how many ladies have fallen for that line. But I digress.
“Good morning, Mr. Fountain,” writes Rosemarie. “I promise not to divulge anything if you would please tell me the brand name of the no-cook-just-add-milk-and-low-fat-yogurt oatmeal…”
Writes another: “Would you be willing to share the recipe you found as well as the oatmeal brand? You convinced me it was so great you were hooked!”
Finally, a fellow former West Sider writes: “You shared my sentiments exactly with this oatmeal stuff. My Aunt Lula Mae would make it every time I slept over her house. It never made it to my stomach. At 53, I will try it … one day.”
Okay, okay, enough already. I feel your pain. So, for all you wannabe oatmeal lovers who have suffered through a lifetime of sticky goo and slime-in my Pentecostal preacher’s voice-today is the day of your oatmeal deliverance!
Here it is, my secret: Qi’a oatmeal (coconut flavor for me). The key seems to lie in instant rolled oats rather than cooked oatmeal. The preparation for Qi’a is right on the package.
No secret: About a quarter cup of milk, stir in yogurt, refrigerate overnight. In the morning, eat it cold, or heat in the microwave, add your favorite healthy bits (for me, raisins and walnuts). Deeee-licious!
Hallelujah, brothers and sisters. Oatmeal heaven. Hallelujah.