OATMEAL

Sitting at our breakfast table, I stirred my hot, “from-scratch” cereal. I asked my wife, “Do you want milk on your oatmeal?”

She sprinkled sugar on hers and shook her head. “No. In my family we add butter and sugar.”

I thought of my grandfather, the man who taught me how to eat this every-morning cereal.  Very often he and I were the only ones who were up when he poured the dry oats into water and set the mixture to boil.

He cooked oatmeal as his morning ritual while he brewed his coffee. We sat together at the table with our hot cereal.  Some days he embellished his oatmeal with a raw egg, added grape jelly and some of his coffee to the mixture, giving it a purplish hue. If there was a piece of pie left over in the refrigerator, that went in there, too. The once grayish bland food took on various shapes, flavors and colors.

As a young boy, it seemed odd to see such an unconven-tional treatment of oatmeal. Gramp explained, “It all goes down to the same place and gets mixed up anyway.” As we sat before the steaming food he instructed, “Always take the oatmeal from the edge of the bowl. It’s cooler there.”

Over my years of making my own morning oatmeal, I found myself following Gramp’s ways. Some days I added garlic or steamed carrots. Usually it was more typical fare: honey, wheat bran, raisins and milk. 

It’s always tasty. And, I always remember to eat from the edge of the bowl.

 James (See also his one-liner.) adds, “While eating my morning oatmeal, I treasure memories of my grandfather’s company and logic.”

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