Me? I’ve been around the blogosphere once or twice. As I scour food and diet sites, one thing has become extraordinarily clear: oatmeal is important. I don’t know why (and I’m not sure I want to know) but the fact remains: eat oatmeal or risk mortal peril.

I figured I must be missing out on something so I decided to give it a shot last night. Not knowing which of several thousand blogs and recipes was the correct one, I decided to just head to the pantry and wing it.

This is my story.

The first tidbit uncovered by my research is that there are two basic kinds of oatmeal. Kind #1 is what’s known as “Regular”:


Kind #2 is what’s known as “Variety”:


Being new at this, I wasn’t sure which one to choose. So I inspected the packages more closely. As you can tell, the Variety Kind is blurry, so that turned me off a bit. But then I looked at the Regular Kind and noticed something alarming. Regular oatmeal is freakin’ old:


I don’t know how you people eat that stuff. So, having missed the cutoff date by a mere two months and twelve years (or who knows, maybe that’s the year 296), I decided to go with the other box, the blurry oatmeal. I removed two packets since one packet alone seemed insufficient for my hunger needs. The packets themselves are awesome. They are so chock full of fun facts and information, it probably makes Wikipedia jealous:


Next I checked the instructions. Apparently you need to add some form of liquid to turn the dried oats into a bowl of delicious mush. You have many choices, such as milk, water, or beer:


I opted for milk. Until I smelled it.


Luckily there was a fresh gallon in the fridge. Yay. I poured it over the sawdust and was ready to roll:


Into the microwave it went. I’ve heard you can do this on the stove top, but if I had that much time on my hands, I’d start a blog. After two minutes, the scalding hot container was enough to give me second degree burns. If this had been a McDonald’s, I would have written a strongly worded letter complaining that no one warned me the oatmeal I was about to enjoy was extremely hot.


The second thing I learned on my tour of the blogosphere was: never eat oatmeal plain! Never, never, never. All I could gather from this is that plain oatmeal is poisonous. Not wanting to risk a few days of illness, I looked around to find some stir-in ideas. Here’s what I came up with:


I was torn between the Flintstones vitamins, the garlic, and the barbecue sauce. In the end, however, I settled on two of my favorites: blue food coloring and cookie sprinkles:


Yum! Now the last thing I learned on my tour of the blogosphere was this: make sure you put the finished bowl in a pretty table setting, adorned with lots of oatmeal accessories, such as bananas and real cloth napkins. Then take a photo and upload it for the world to marvel at. Now that’s kickin’ it old school. Unfortunately, this wasn’t in the cards last night:


I thought perhaps the meal wouldn’t be a total loss if the dog ate it, but she took one sniff and ran the other direction.


Oh well. I tried. Maybe next week I’ll give it another shot. Either that, or just go back to talking about really disgusting cheeseburgers. Ah, those were the days, weren’t they?

30 Responses to “Oatmeal”

Jono said
November 4, 2008 at 5:15 am

Charlie… this was very amusing and well written! Thanks!

Megan said
November 4, 2008 at 6:42 am

Oh my goodness! I am rolling on the floor laughing! I eat oatmeal every morning, and I gander at all the oatmeal posts every morning. You should never eat oatmeal for the first time without sweetener!!!!! I am so glad you opted for mix-ins…although I am disappointed that there were no Flinstones swimming in your oats. Hey…your little oatmeal eater looks a lot like mine!

WeightingGame said
November 4, 2008 at 8:17 am

I am an oatmeal fanatic – eat it every day…but blue with sprinkles? No wonder you/your dog ran!!

Kath said
November 4, 2008 at 8:55 am

Hahhahaha. Great post!!

BUT – you must make it on the stove-top with old fashioned ROLLED OATS and a banana and half milk half water. No microwaves or instant oats allowed!!!

Charlie said
November 4, 2008 at 9:13 am

So what are rolled oats, Kath? I only saw two different kinds: Regular and Variety. If there are more kinds than that, I’m not sure if my aging brain can handle it.

Holly said
November 4, 2008 at 9:16 am

Hahaha – that’s hilarious! I LOVE the play by play. 🙂

johngl said
November 4, 2008 at 9:17 am

Oh you guys…

Don’t you know that rolled oats are so passe? 🙂

Rolled oats are oats hulled (groats) and flattened by big honkin steel rollers, essentially crushed so they absorb liquid faster. They come by their name honestly. Somehow, this tried and true method is no longer acceptable to marketeers.

Instant oatmeal is precooked and post-flattened. Most of the goody is pressed out of it. These are apparently not acceptable to nutritionists.

Steel-cut oats, the holy gruel, are the whole deal: unadulterated bran, germ and endosperm. Doesn’t the word endosperm just make you want to run out and try them? Be brave.

Seriously, the steel-cut ones are better for you. You might want to put them in a small slow-cooker the night before though. They take a couple of hours to cook.

I like mine with agave nectar and cashews.

Cammy said
November 4, 2008 at 9:59 am

Your pantry is as bad as mine, almost. I think I’ve cleared out everything pre-2000.

Peanut butter as an oatmeal stir in is delicious. I’ve heard that some folks also stir in jelly, but I haven’t felt the need.

Frenchy said
November 4, 2008 at 11:21 am

Oatmeal! First get rid of that instant favored stuff. Get the good stuff. Cook it in the microwave in water or milk. Flavor it with lowfat yogurt (many flavors), peanut butter. Add bananas, strawberries (any fruit) nuts whatever and you will enjoy. It will stick to your ribs all morning and the variety is endless. The food value and caloric value is right where you want to be.

Biz said
November 4, 2008 at 12:17 pm

I just about fell off my chair when I saw the date on your oatmeal Charlie! Um, you do have to clean your pantry out once in a while!

LOVED the add ins too!

Rachael said
November 4, 2008 at 12:41 pm

There’s this wonderful thing called spring cleaning that you might want to check into, Charlie. 🙂

Anyways, I like my oatmeal nuked in milk with cinnamon, salt, and raisins. That’s my 2 cents.

Pubsgal said
November 4, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Still chuckling, and I read this an hour ago. I thought if I read another panegyric to oatmeal on the internet, I’d toss something that looked like your finished product…and I looooove oatmeal. The “regular” stuff in the packets is way too salty and the “variety” are both too salty and too sweet…get thee to a market and (oh, and now that I’ve gone archaic, I guess I must continue in the same vein) prithee get thyself oatmeal in a one of those cardboard cylinder containers.

Jerry said
November 4, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Listen to your readers – they know oatmeal. The packaged stuff? Ugh. You don’t have to buy the steel-cut (although I hear they’re very good). Good old-fashioned oatmeal is ok too, and it doesn’t take very long to cook. You can dress it up with lots of add-ins, like cinammon, chopped apples, nuts, sugar (the real stuff), brown sugar, honey, nutmeg, raisins, Craisins and such.

Jennifer said
November 4, 2008 at 1:48 pm

OMG, I was laughing out loud at this at my desk at work. I had tears in my eyes! So funny Charlie!

honi said
November 4, 2008 at 2:07 pm

that was hysterical.. best oatmeal ever..
real rolled oats, half water, half skim milk.. splenda brown sugar to taste.. and half to whole honey crisp apple peeled and chopped into oatmeal, dash of cinnamon, dash of vanilla.. 2 small pats REAL butter.. YUM.. this has to be on the stove top and takes around 20- 30 minutes to prepare.. I pour oats in to water skim milk and then I boil and keep stiring it .. then i add the apple, cinnamon , vanilla and butter a little at a time.. its really tasty.. good luck on your oatmeal adventures… NEVER EAT INSTANT BLECH! although hemp oatmeal is good with a little splenda brown sugar..

Helen said
November 4, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Steel Cut! Steel Cut! Steel Cut! (with a few dried cherries, yum.)

beccainaustin said
November 4, 2008 at 3:42 pm

I went through this last year– it was one of my New Year’s resolutions to learn to like oatmeal because, as you said, as a rule, one cannot possibly live a healthy lifestyle without an ardent passion for oatmeal.

So, I bought my steel-cut oats and was all ready to add my real butter and brown sugar and fruit… but never did. I just never found the time or motivation to cook something for 30 minutes that I never wanted to eat in the first place.

But now you’ve inspired me! Since I still have 2 months left to fulfill my resolution, I’m going to do it this week (unless, of course, my oatmeal has expired by now- I’m not buying more). Now if I could only learn Italian in the next two months…

Dinah Soar said
November 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm

Give my No Bake Cookie oatmeal a try. Recipe here:


It’s yummo…

MaryB said
November 4, 2008 at 6:49 pm


Jen said
November 4, 2008 at 11:17 pm

I too have thought all the oatmeal posts on every single blog I read has become major overkill. I mean we all know oatmeal is healthy, but come on! I loved your parody.

Vicki said
November 5, 2008 at 1:25 am

I wish you’d write for a sitcom. It’d be a hit!
I eat oats every morning.
1/2 cup oats (old fashioned)
1 cup water
Micro 3 minutes
add smart balance, cinnamon, ground flax seed and some fruit.

Kyddryn said
November 5, 2008 at 2:04 am

Oh, sugar…this is just…it’s just tragic…in the most comedic way. A tragicomedy, this.

Seriously…don’t even attempt grits…it won’t end well. I am an oatmeal pro, have turned haters into fans, and I won’t do grits.

Poor doggie…probably wondering why its human doesn’t love it any more…

Shade and Sweetwater,
K (who has a recipe posted somewhere she won’t mention because she’s not really into blog self-promotion)(hah!)

Katrina said
November 5, 2008 at 8:22 am

Crack me up as I seriously read this while having my morning bowl of oatmeal! Funny! I’m a “Kath” follower and she knows her oatmeal. That is too funny about the date on the oats being so old. My friend gave us some peanut butter to use years ago, probably in 1998, 1998–and the peanut butter said 1991 on it and he had no idea! We threw it out for him.
Great blog! Love it.

Bonnie said
November 5, 2008 at 11:03 pm

I say, go with the steel cut oats too. Buy them at a health food store and they’re cheap….like $1.09 a pound at the one I go to.
And they do not take 2 hours to cook. I cook mine 1/4 cup steel cut oats to 1 cup water in a little pan on the stove and it only takes about 10 minutes. Start them on high and bring to a boil, then turn down a little bit at a time, so you can make sure that they are still simmering, until you get them low enough (but still simmering), that you can walk away from them. But don’t walk too far away or the water will boil completely out of them, and they will burn to the bottom of the pan. Anyway…..really….it only takes about 10 minutes. And once most of the water is soaked in, add about 1/4 cup of blueberries (I used frozen ones so they don’t go bad on me). And just heat it until the blueberries are hot. Then pour into a bowl and add a packet or two of Splenda. These steel cut oats are SO chewy, they are just delicious!

Try it, you’ll LIKE it!

megan said
November 6, 2008 at 1:06 pm

choclate chipa nd coconut are my stir in choices. Loved the post!

Miss Tiffie said
November 6, 2008 at 3:01 pm

hahahahah this post made my day :] It reminded me of the one time my best friend and I made blue mashed potates and green mac&cheese hahaha all from a box and the power of food coloring.

HangryPants said
November 7, 2008 at 9:55 pm

haha – oh this was funny. Thanks so much for having fun with your oatmeal. 😀

I’ve actually had that dino oatmeal. Freaky!


seelee live (for the love of peanut butter) said
November 12, 2008 at 8:13 am

This post is hilarious. You’re an awesome writer. Thanks for giving us a taste of your style!! :o) Garlic oats…hmmmm?!! WHO KNOWS?! I love the satirical twist you added….these days everyone’s adding everything from A-Z to their oats. It’s awesome.

magpie said
December 10, 2008 at 9:50 am

Blue food coloring. Who knew?

CourtneyRyan said
December 11, 2008 at 7:51 am

OH MY GOSH! Great post. I actually hate oatmeal unless its in some sort of cookie form…but I didn’t consider garlic. I love garlic, maybe that will help?

I’m so glad you stopped by and found me, I’ll be back to visit!