The retro pantry, part two: oatmeal


Rhianna P’s guest blog didn’t tempt me even for a minute to run out and buy a jar of Ovaltine, but it did get me thinking of the comfort foods of my own youth. And, for me, a bowl of milky sweet (with a hint of saltiness), porridge in the morning always makes me feel like a kid again.

If I could find someone to make it for me, I could lie in bed breathing in the earthy aroma of cooking rolled oats on a rainy, dark October Saturday morning and pretend I was 10 again. But I am forced to act my age and make it myself since no one else in my family will go near oatmeal unless it’s in a cookie.

Heaped with (too much) brown sugar, which is better if it’s a little lumpy, and drowned in milk, it’s the only meal I know of that you can actually feel sticking to your bones.


It’s the easiest thing in the world to make. Just boil a cup and a half of water or milk with a healthy pinch of salt and add about three-quarters of a cup of quick rolled oats (less if you don’t like it thick like I do). Bring it back to a boil then simmer for five minutes. It’s done.


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