Thursday, January 20, 2011
CEIMB: Vanilla Spice Oatmeal
Okay, I'm not proud to admit it, but I almost did not participate in Craving Ellie in My Belly this week, and it was all because we were supposed to be making oatmeal. Ellie's Vanilla Spice Oatmeal, chosen by Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feet, was not something I ever even considered making when I first purchased her So Easy cookbook. You see, here's another little-known bit of trivia about me: I can't stand oatmeal.
Yep, it's true. Or at least, I was pretty sure it was true up until this past weekend. I know I have been offered oatmeal in the past. I've turned it down every time. If I had to pinpoint my utter disgust concerning the mere presence of oatmeal, I'd say it's because of the texture. I'm just a big weirdo when it comes to food textures, and in particular I'm completely not a fan of mushy textures. Mashed potatoes are not my friend, and neither are grits, polenta, or even cream-based soups. So oatmeal certainly falls into that category for me.
When I first learned what we were to make this week, I told my husband, and then said that I would be choosing an Ellie rewind recipe from before I joined the group. I figured I would just make something else in place of the oatmeal. But then he asked me, "Why not just make it?" And you know what, I realized he was right. Why not? Neither of my children had ever eaten oatmeal (because I would never make them eat it, nor did I want to buy it and prepare it for them!), and it has been years since I last tried it. The truth is, my horizons have broadened so much in the last few years. I'm trying (and liking!) so many things now that I never dreamed I would. I've been pleasantly surprised so many times by foods that my former self could not palate.
And so, I decided right then and there, that I would make the oatmeal after all! At best, I would discover that I really did like it. At worst, I would just try it again and see that my suspicions were justified. Either way, no harm done.
In the end, I have to be honest. Me and oatmeal will probably never be bosom buddies. I loved the ease of making oatmeal from scratch (because I honestly had no idea it was so simple and fast!) and I did love Ellie's add-ins. She incorporates vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, and pecans for crunch. She added raisins to hers; I added dried cranberries. However, that darn texture is just not something I crave, or particularly enjoy consuming. I thought it tasted very good, but the mushiness is tough to deal with. Turns out, my husband is not a huge oatmeal fan either! I thought that was ironic and hilarious, considering he is the one who convinced me to make it! So he liked it okay, but wasn't in love. My five year-old son really did not care for it, but I had a feeling he wouldn't, so there were no shockers there.
I'm glad I revisited oatmeal, just so I could know for sure that it's just not our thing. Sorry I could not report some big culinary epiphany, though! I wanted it to work out better. Thank you to Mary for pushing me past my comfort levels! For the full recipe, you can go here, to Food Network's website. For the full CEIMB blogroll, click here.