Steel Cut Oatmeal Challenge

Saturday, February 28, 2015
Today I am grateful for the Steel Cut Oatmeal Challenge. My sister is now thinking, “What? Has she lost her mind? Mary HATES oatmeal!” Ha-ha-ha-ha. She’s right! As if adding “steel cut” to it could make it palatable. Look. . .I’m not a horse. It isn’t natural for me to like oats of any kind. They remind me of the granary on my grandpa’s farm and the black beetles who lived there and were big enough to put a saddle on. Ick.

I know many, many of you out there love your oatmeal. I further know that you would like everyone to love oatmeal as much as you do. I understand that oatmeal is very healthy and good for me. I don’t care. I’m never eating it again unless it’s baked into a yummy cookie or on an apple crisp! Never! Ever! Do not push it on me like a crack dealer on a street corner. No-means-no. I will however, try to shut up about it and not do “the face” whenever it is mentioned.

A lovely young woman who sits near me at Weight Watchers touts the virtues of the steel cut oats she eats every day. Whenever she mentions it one of my eyes shuts, my face twitches into a painful contortion, my throat catches and the hair on the back of my neck stands up. Charming. Okay, I’m dramatic. Deal with it.

A few weeks ago this woman said, “I’m going to bring you some steel cut oats because it’s way better than regular oatmeal. . .nutty and a nicer texture and really, really good.” I give her my best “are you crazy?” look, but she is not daunted. “If I bring you some will you at least try it?” She’s really nice, so I stupidly caved and said I would. . .for her! What an idiot I am. I figured she’d forget. No luck.

So last week she brought a veritable buffet of the stuff. There was a dry single serving in a baggie than needed cooking for twenty minutes, a package of something else and a small bowl of it already cooked. I stared at it all like it was poison and she was Cruella Deville. “Pick one. . .or all of them,” she said. Oh boy. I took the already cooked dish and popped the lid off to smell it. Yuckopukeybarf! I hate that smell! “I’ll take it cooked because no way am I having this smell in my house for twenty minutes.” Ha-ha. She reminded me to heat it in the microwave and put a little brown sugar and milk on it before eating. . .er. . . trying it. “You promised,” she said. I should learn to shut my big mouth! Now there’s a challenge!

I put that dish in the fridge and tried to ignore it for days, hoping it would eventually mold, or morph into a cookie. No luck. Finally, when I could put it off no more, I stuck it in the microwave, sprinkled it with brown sugar and poured on some milk. When it was ready to go, I circled it like a golden retriever trying to find the perfect place to poop. Then I sat, spoon in hand, trying not to smell it as I went in for the kill. “Find a spot where the sugar is heaviest,” I said out loud to no one. In I go. One spoonful was all I promised. A taste. I shoved it in my mouth and started to work it, wondering if it would actually go down the gullet. It did, but not without a shudder that measured on the Richter scale.

Sorry folks, you might love it, but I just can’t! Hey, I get points because I didn’t kick grass on it like the above mentioned dog would have. When I was garbage disposing the rest of it, I tried to analyze what it is that I can’t stand about it. The smell, texture, taste! Yup, that about sums it up. The texture resembles the hard, sinewy gristle that your teeth bounce off of in a cheap hamburger and you have to find a way to spit it in your napkin without anyone noticing. Yuckopukeybarf!

Even after I thought I swallowed it all, those little rubbery beads of something were reappearing in my gums, refusing to be chewed. I looked like Mr. Ed when he was all lip-curly and hollering at Wilbur about something. I am grateful I took the steel cut oats challenge, but now I’m all done. Never again! Ever! Mr. Ed can have my portion! I’d rather munch on the beetles in the granary bin, with or without their saddles!

oatmeal challenge- spoon in bowl

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