The Oatmeal that Changed My Life

Why is everything better hot and mushy?

This wasn’t your mother’s oatmeal, your grandpa’s oatmeal, your cashier’s or your insurance adjuster’s oatmeal. This was life changing oatmeal.

Maybe you’ve grown up with oatmeal–it’s a familiar breakfast food, perhaps a little bit bland. The mushy consistency is unremarkable, and you consider it a symbol of the mundane, of mediocrity, of something that could always be improved upon.

I used to think the same way, and then Sunday morning happened. I went to prepare myself a bowl and found a paltry amount of oats left—less than a quarter cup.

Disaster. Outrage. Despair.

But despite the feelings of heartbreak and irretrievable loss, I persevered and decided to prepare them the usual way, with white sugar and vanilla and cinnamon and walnuts, cookie-fying it as much as possible.

After I poured hot water over the concoction and stirred, I tasted disappointment yet again. I had added too much water and my oats seemed a pathetic, thin gruel. I took it back to my lair in order to eat it unceremoniously in the company of my computer, my preferred breakfast partner.

As I sat munching and reading The Rumpus, something miraculous happened: I slowly realized that I was eating the best bowl of oatmeal of my entire life. Each mouthful was bursting with intense, oaty flavor enhanced by the contrasting texture of the walnut’s gentle crunch and the soft oat mush. It was exhilarating. Life doesn’t stay the same after eating the best bowl of oatmeal you’ve ever made.

With that shimmering moment of revelation, every bite was a joy because I knew, “This is the best oatmeal I’ve ever tasted. This is the highlight of my life, the crowning of my career. I’m eating my accomplishments. The day is blessed and I can do no wrong.” What could have been nothing more than an oat bummer became the turning point of my entire life.

I went out that day and delivered 16 babies, saved countless lives, and drew a convincing picture of a sparrow. While sleeping later that night I dreamed I was walking in the Garden of Eden with the Good Lord Himself and we were going on all of the rides together. “Emily,” the Lord said as the roller coaster inched inevitably upwards, “Did you enjoy your oatmeal today?”

“That was YOU?”

He chuckled, “It sure was. Remember this always. Go and do likewise for others.” And the moment snapped and we faced the earth itself and zoomed downwards, screaming and laughing together.

When I woke up, I made myself another bowl of oatmeal. It wasn’t as good as the last one, because the last one was the best bowl of oatmeal in my entire life, but it was still pretty good.

Have you thought about oats for breakfast tomorrow?

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45 thoughts on “The Oatmeal that Changed My Life

  1. […] This post is part of my general obsession with breakfast, breakfast foods, and the holistic experience that encompasses breakfast. If you want to munch on more of this topic, see I am the Breakfast Whisperer, Oh My God It’s Breakfast in Istanbul, and The Oatmeal that Changed My Life. […]

  2. […] love breakfast. Just to prove, I’ve blogged about it here, and here, and probably somewhere […]

  3. […] If you liked this blog post, you might also like: I’m not a local, but then again who is and Finally, a Bachelorette Party that Celebrates Pain, Confusion, and Fear and The Oatmeal that Changed My Life […]

  4. […] If you liked this blog post, you might also like: I’m not a local, but then again who is and Finally, a Bachelorette Party that Celebrates Pain, Confusion, and Fear and The Oatmeal that Changed My Life […]

  5. […] exhaust myself with questioning. Perhaps I will never know. I turn to my oatmeal, and eat quietly. Share the Snot!Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. Tagged food, health, […]

  6. […] Instead of participating in class today, I daydreamed about going to an amusement park with God. (yes, more on the idea of God and me at an amusement park: see other post) […]

  7. I’m in such a rut – hot cereal every morning – mostly oats. Might I be so bold as to suggest you check out the hot cereal recipe on my blog? It can make every day’s cereal seem like the best. With a variety of ingredients mixed in, every day it’s a little different. I have a tough time with “just” oatmeal now, but I’m glad you liked yours so much. Great way to start the day!

  8. Yeap, oatmeal tomorrow. I add a little extra water and when it’s almost done, I throw in some craisins and hunny. Let that sit (covered) for a bit, then add sliced bananas. The craisins rehydrate, the bananas melt into syrupy goodness and my day is made.

    • edrevets says:

      Oh my…that does sound delicious. I’ve never thought of putting crasins in Oatmeal before, not to mention bananas. Best days start from the inside out.

  9. I’m a Brit, so I’m guessing that oatmeal is like porridge. But I love the ‘gruel’ moment – a flashback of Oliver! popped up, with the young orphan boys singing together! Got to love a retro breakfast. Or just for brinner…

  10. Chubby Chatterbox says:

    Believe me when I say it had not been my experience that everything is better hot and mushy. Growing up, I could never achieve a lump-free bown of hot oatmeal and stuck with cold cereal. Roly led me to this blog and I think it’s great. i hope you’ll visit me sometime at Chubby Chatterbox. have a great day.

    • edrevets says:

      Well thank you for visiting—I will certainly have to stop about the chubby chatterbox sometime. I have an obsession with textures in food—more blog posts about that coming up…eventually.

  11. 68ghia says:

    Thanks to Sarchasm for reblogging this.
    Oatmeal does have a bit of comfort food-ishness to it 😉

  12. the greatest inventions in life were materialized by chance!

  13. Roly says:

    Reblogged this on Sarchasm2 and commented:
    Oatmeal will never be the same again 🙂

  14. tedstrutz says:

    Tomorrow morning, I will eat oatmeal in front of my computer and think of you.

  15. Archon's Den says:

    Och lass, we Scots know oatmeal should be so thick you can hack a slice off and put it in the toaster. And yah’d be havin’ us drink oat soup?
    Okay, I’ll give it a go.

  16. kitchenmudge says:

    Gotta second the steel-cut recommendation, if one has the preparation time. “Instant” oatmeal has ruined it for a lot of people.

    But does anyone know whether there’s any serious nutritional difference between oatmeal with the usual amount of sugar and an oatmeal cookie?

    • edrevets says:

      I used to put at least 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in my oatmeal as a child, so at that point I’m sure a cookie would have almost been healthier. My modern life has made my oats more mushy, but I would def do steel cut if I had a second.

  17. mikesretirementplan says:

    One of three, you are hilarious. Who else could make something as ordinary as oatmeal sound so gratifying? BTW, I think I saw you as you plummeted back to earth, but passed it off as a shooting star. I love organic steel cut oats with quinoa and long grain brown rice cooked in a slow cooker. Use double the water, add a little brown sugar and cinnamon, and whala!

  18. “Have you thought about oats for breakfast tomorrow?” Not until just now after reading this… but you made it sound so good that I might have to have some, and have some right now! Is there any law that you can’t have oatmeal for dinner? I figured that I better ask you, cause you seem to know these things… 🙂

    “I went out that day and delivered 16 babies, saved countless lives, and drew a convincing picture of a sparrow.” It’s non sequiturs like this one that will always keep me coming back for more! LOL

    • edrevets says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it and I hope you enjoy some oats today. They are, of course, good for any time of the day, and nothing says you can’t even have them twice in one day, if you’re really being crazy.

  19. Lady Sensory says:

    I make the Irish steel-cut oatmeal the night before and let it sit on the stovetop overnight. Otherwise it will take like 30 minutes in the AM and who has time for that? Then I top it with maple syrup and vanilla almond milk and it’s like…well…a hug from the inside. I especially thought of making oatmeal today…since it snowed and it’s the end of friggin’ April. So I said to myself, “Screw it. If I want to be more Irish than I am, I’ll just get drunk.” And that’s what I did.

  20. tomwisk says:

    My mother made gray bland oatmeal. I add maple syrup and whatever fruit I can scrounge up. You experienced one of life’s gifts, an unexpected mitzvah that you couldn’t duplicate if you spent a lifetime trying. You’ve been reblogged on
    Keep posting, sometimes getting those lucky flashes out to the masses brings more.

  21. tomwisk says:

    Reblogged this on tomwisk and commented:
    It’s the random stuff that makes life worth living.

  22. Rich Crete says:

    Can’t hang with the oatmeal but I do seem to be consuming some life altering Cheetos at the moment. I’ll leave orange finger prints on every life I save and baby I deliver.

  23. tom says:

    Sorry, but oatmeal and “bug juice” and I am back in summer camp. Not going there

  24. Little Sis says:

    I think about oatmeal a LOT. I’m a little ashamed at how often I think about oatmeal. 🙂

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