While discussing our health and eating habits, I lamented to my best friend during our weekly early morning walk together, “I’ve got to get ah hold of my diet.” Six months ago, I needed to lose five pounds…I now need to lose five additional…. My friend’s weight hasn’t varied a pound in the last decade. I hate him just a little.
I know I could have said “get hold of” but I’m Southern and “get ah hold of” is perfectly acceptable. I could have said, “get ah holt to” too, also perfectly acceptable from a man who was born, reared and has lived his entire life south of the Mason Dixon.
The point, I actually have one…oatmeal. Oatmeal is one of the ways I get “ah holt” of my diet despite the fact I don’t like cooked breakfast oatmeal ah tall (at all). I realize it is good for me. I know this because of the red heart on the round tubed package with the smiling Quaker on the label. Oatmeal seems to go well with the concept of diet and exercise…or as I think of it, starvation and torture.
Be clear! I don’t hate oatmeal, I hate cooked breakfast oatmeal. I’m a grits guy and all the unhealthy additions used to make it palatable…extra-sharp cheese, butter…maybe some sausage crumbles. All my non-Southern friends roll their eyes and remark, “I don’t know how you eat grits, they’re so bland.” Oatmeals not? And a painter’s canvas is white until the paint is applied. Grits are the same way. Grits are a blank canvas for the chef’s art.
I told my friend, hoping by saying it out loud I would follow through, “I’m waiting until the first frost and changing over to oatmeal again.” For some reason, oatmeal seems better suited for the cold, barren, bland, and dark days of winter. Well, we had our first frost a few days ago and I’ve had my first bowl of steaming hot Quaker Steel-cut Oats. Yum…not.
I also converted from beer to Jack. Jack seems better suited to help me through those cold, barren, bland, and dark days of winter. Oats with a shot of Jack? It’s five o’clock somewhere.
There is something about the mouthfeel of cooked oatmeal…is that something? Mouthfeel? I heard the term on one of those cooking shows that I noticed never cooks oatmeal. Consistency? Sometimes it seems the more I chew, the bigger the wad of oatmeal gets. Sometimes I swallow without chewing. I like the mouthfeel of grits and I never swallow without chewing because of the added accoutrements. I used the French pronunciation in my head to make it sound better. I guess I used the French spelling too. I just can’t do that with oatmeal with a straight face.
I try to disguise the oatmeal, using it like a gray, chef’s canvas, I guess. Almonds, yogurt, and frozen blueberries, or cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter, sometimes molasses and walnuts, maybe chocolate chips…okay, I seem to be making it less healthy as I go, and it doesn’t change the mouthfeel. Oatmeal gets worse as you compare it to the mouthfeel of what you are putting in it. Kind of like the feel of a silky negligee as opposed to a knobby wool nightshirt.
I like oatmeal’s mouthfeel fine in Missouri cookies or granola…I won’t turn down a raisin oatmeal cookie. That’s pronounced Missour…rah cookies. Raw oats, cocoa, butter, sugar, milk, and peanut butter…it has peanut butter, what’s not to like? No-bake, easy, tasty but probably not very heart-healthy. Granola is toasted but is pretty calorie-dense with all the honey and nuts. Sometimes I add it to my yogurt and leave the cooked oats out.
Choices, choices and all are bad. My bud suggested, “Why don’t you eat multi-grain Cheerios or Kashi? They stand up well in milk, high in protein. I eat them with fruit.” Yeah, a good mouthfeel I guess and they have the little red heart symbol on their package.
Good idea but I think I now realize, eating boiled oats is my own form of self-flagellation for previous nutritional choices leading to my heart attack. I am paying for my sinful eating habits. Too much pizza, too much red meat, and fried chicken…drinking eggnog while eating sausage cheese balls at Christmastime, cut in lard cathead biscuits running with butter and King syrup, fried everything….too many sins to enumerate.
I need absolution. I should be confessing to a food priest…”Forgive me, father, for I have sinned, I ate a fried hamburger last week…with mayo…and cheese.” My penance would probably be another bowl of breakfast oatmeal served sans anything. I may be sick. “Hail Oatmeal, full of grace….”
The featured image came from UrbanDaddy https://www.urbandaddy.com/articles/37513/chicago/the-state-of-chicago-burgers-10-beautiful-burgers-one-beautiful-slideshow Please forgive me for showing a Yankee hamburger but somethings transcend region.
Don Miller’s author’s page may be found at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM