The Goldilocks of Oatmeal

While I had high hopes for 2018, the year hasn't gotten off to the greatest start. It's almost the end of March, yet I've hardly posted here at all. I'm behind schedule on my next book and struggling to keep up with things like exercise, bookkeeping, and laundry. (How is there always so much f#$%ing laundry?!?)

I'm getting back on track—finally—and instead of focusing on the frustration that comes with setbacks, I'm going to think about oatmeal. 

Oatmeal is my jam. Whatever else is going wrong, I can always rely on having a delicious bowl of oatmeal to start the day. Oatmeal may be the most constant aspect of my life. (That's normal, right? Right?!?)

There are lots and lots of ways to make oatmeal. You can use "old-fashioned" rolled oats, steel cut oats, or instant oatmeal. Though, for me, the instant variety is only for baking... or as a last resort, like when the power is out and you're managing with a coffee maker plugged into a dwindling UPS.

With the oats, you can use water, milk, or apple cider. (Being allergic to both milk and apples, I opt for water.) And then there are the optional add-ins. So many add-ins! Raisins, craisins, blueberries, mixed berries, brown sugar, maple syrup, etc. You can even mix grains, adding in some corn grits or quinoa. 

It would be a very long post if I were to get into all the intricacies of making a delicious bowl of oatmeal. Instead, I'll stick to telling you about the one problem I had with oatmeal and its simple, but brilliant solution. 

Some mornings, I'm in a rush and only have about 15 minutes to make and eat my oatmeal. Rolled oats (not steel cut) only take about 5 minutes, so that should be enough time. Except, oats straight off the stove are HOT. Too often I'd either burn my mouth, or go hungry and stick my delicious bowl of oatmeal in the fridge to reheat later. (Heartbreaking)

This is where the internet can be super useful. After this problem went on for a while (longer than I'd like to admit), I googled and found the most obvious, wonderful solution:

How do you cool oatmeal quickly? Frozen berries. 

When I'm pressed for time, I put frozen wild blueberries in a bowl, then layer the hot oatmeal on top, and maybe add a drizzle of maple syrup. Within two minutes, the berries are heated through and the oatmeal is a perfect, edible temperature. Tada!

Now, if you wait too long, the coldness of the berries will make the oatmeal cool too quickly. So be vigilant! Just a couple of minutes and you'll have oatmeal that is not too hot, not too cold, but just right. The perfect Goldilocks oatmeal. 

Also, if you put the berries in first, the bottom of the bowl stays cool. Bonus!

Sometimes life can be extra challenging. But finding simple solutions to annoying problems can be a huge boost in motivation. If the lava-hot oatmeal problem can be solved with frozen berries, what else could improve with a just a simple shift?

And when everything else is going wrong... there's always oatmeal. 💗

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