Monday, October 12, 2009

Meal in the City: Oatmeal with Cheese at Home

Some people who cook have been hanging out in the kitchen for a long time - they helped out their parents with tossing salads, or learned how to make cookies under some elder's guidance, or just plain preferred to be in the vicinity of the stove or the oven while good smells wafted around them.

I'm not one of them. The truth is that I didn't really become interested in finding out what I was eating - and, in turn, the processes of making food - until I moved out of the family home. My partner has always been creative in the kitchen, so I adopted his interest after seeing that he got so much out of it.

I may still have much to learn in the kitchen and about food, but I'm not exactly kitchen-dumb. I can make quite a variety of breakfasts. And I have a particular talent for making oatmeal.

Now, you might scoff and say, "Oatmeal is INSTANT, there's no skill involved in boiling water~!" Sure, but there IS skill involved in letting the oats cook to the desired doneness. Yes, there are donenesses involved: for example, my partner likes his oatmeal slightly clumpy, while I prefer mine more smooth.

And there is skill involved in putting in flavorings: some people prefer their oats with honey, or sugar; some like 'em savory, so it becomes like congee.

Me, I like my oatmeal with a good slug of condensed milk. And for a sharp contrast in flavors, I always tip in some cheese, cut into small cubes.

Yes, I know, it's not exactly food porn. But right there in that mug is a nourishing meal that's more than good for you. Lots of fiber and a healthy dose of calcium. And the best thing about oatmeal is that it's good whether it's freshly-made or it's lukewarm. At least, that's the way I like mine. I could eat this at any time of the day - and indeed, when I took this picture, it was a dinner that spelled out C-O-M-F-O-R-T.

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