Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Stirring the oatmeal makes me smile


When I was a little kid, maybe 7 or 8, my dad made oatmeal for all of us. It wasn’t his normal gig – mom was in the hospital with pneumonia and he was trying to feed four of us breakfast. I remember that oatmeal as being cold and grey and lumpy and awful. I haven’t eaten oatmeal since, other than those envelopes of instant that are something totally unrelated to simmering oatmeal in a pot on the stove.

This year, trying to eat healthier and noting the amount of sugar and other refined things in cold cereal, I explored overnight oats. I didn’t think I’d like them, considering my aversion to cold lumpy oatmeal, but I was surprised. I found out I enjoyed them very much, especially with agave sweetener, and other than mornings after nights when I forgot to make it before heading to bed, I ate it every day for several months.

And then we spent the summer traveling and breakfast at hotels is pretty predictable. Fake eggs, greasy bacon or sausage, cold cereal, toast. Not a lot of choices that I wanted to eat. But there was always a big pot of steamy oatmeal. And I liked the cold overnight oatmeal, right? So maybe…

Yep, it turns out I like oatmeal!

So now I’m exploring at home. The old fashioned variety which takes about 5 minutes of contemplative stirring is my favorite at the moment. There’s something so satisfying about the warm milk steaming, stirring in the oatmeal and cinnamon, maybe a tablespoon of raisins to soften. Sliding the whole thing into a bowl, adding a touch of brown sugar, some apple, maybe dried cranberries.

It’s such a peaceful way to start the day and I highly recommend trying it yourself. But those steel cut oats? Well, they’ve been taking me 45 minutes of stirring and I don’t have that much contemplation in me in the morning.

What makes you smile? Tell us about it and link it to Trent’s blog, he’ll recap the smiles on Monday. And you know it’s Mondays when we usually need a smile or two.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

26 thoughts on “Stirring the oatmeal makes me smile

  1. Hi, Dawn – I love oatmeal too — especially with all the toppings (warm milk, dried cranberries, chopped nuts, a couple of swirls of honey) I especially like steel cut oats. Perhaps I’.ve been making them incorrectly but I just let them simmer themselves on low on the stove while I do something else. That works for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Try a little bit of chopped apple, or some fresh raspberries, or especially blueberries when they’re in season on top. I love that the best. I could try the honey… and maybe I am just stirring too much. I also forget stuff if I’m not right there, I’d run the risk of forgetting there was oatmeal on the stove. Maybe if I set a timer.


  2. I eat oatmeal almost every day. I cheat with steel-cut when I have it – I leave it soaking in warm water for 30 minutes, then it cooks up pretty quick. Still a little chewy, but not bad. I use cinnamon and maple syrup (not much) no matter the type I eat.


    • I’ll try the soaking in water thing with the steel-cut. I tried them again today and it took almost an hour of simmering. At the very least, when I make those, I need to make more than one serving and keep the rest for another day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love overnight oatmeal too. So satisfying!


  4. Oh, this brings back memories of our dad making us breakfast while mom made the beds and got herself ready for work. When he made oatmeal and served it, we were allowed two spoons-full of brown sugar – which of course, would sink to the bottom and be the very best part of eating the porridge. Sometimes he added coconut or vanilla extract or both – must have been a handy hint on the package or in the Family Circle magazine.

    On very VERY special occasions, when he was feeling generous, we were allowed a dash of half and half cream. He was very parsimonious with the cream – so much so, even today, half a century later, I still think of him when I put cream in my coffee.


  5. My husband has oatmeal for breakfast every morning. With Honey Crisp apples available now, he tops his oatmeal with apples and cinnamon. He loves it, and tips his coffee cup to you!


  6. Try steel cut oats and oat bran, organic, from Whole Foods. I combine and it is delicious.


  7. I’ve never liked oatmeal, even as a kid. Can’t smell it, can’t eat it. I do, however, enjoy Cream of Wheat now and then, Perhaps it’s an acquired taste?!


  8. I learned to love oatmeal also. You can buy the good organic oats in the health food section of your local grocery. It’s great with some good honey and a little milk.

    Also hope Bruce is okay and is recovering well.


    • Will look for the organic oats next time I’m at the grocery store. The put all the organics in with everything else now so it’s hard to find stuff. Bruce is doing well, thank you for checking on him!


  9. Used to love hot oatmeal just with milk and brown sugar, now unfortunately there’s too many carbs.


  10. Pingback: The Weekly Smile 10/28 – 11/4/2019 | Trent's World (the Blog)

  11. Haven’t eaten oatmeal for a long time although I always have old fashioned rolled oats in the pantry. It would be a great winter breakfast with agave nectar, maple syrup, or raw honey. Maybe I’ll follow your lead.


  12. I’ve grown to like it recently too, after years of not having it. We call it porridge. I get the unsweetened microwave type though and add plenty of cinnamon, a little honey and some blueberries or sultanas.

    Liked by 1 person

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