After last night's super-rich chicken-liver-and-mussels-and-steak-and-fries dinner, I thought breakfast ought to be a little bland. Balance and all that. So when my husband went down to the hotel breakfast room, he brought back oatmeal.
Oatmeal is one of those things that I generally shy away from, not necessarily because of its flavor, but because it's more akin to glue than to food. When I'm dieting, I sometimes force oatmeal on myself because it's filling and it's good for me, but in those cases, I severely undercook it, allowing the oats to absorb just enough water to be chewable. I'm sure most people would think my way is the disgusting way. But, as with applesauce, I'm not a fan of food you don't really have to chew. And the way most people cook oatmeal, you could gum it. You could just let it slide down your throat if you wanted.
I do, however, see the appeal of this pile of brown mush. It's an excellent vessel for other flavors. You can dump brown sugar and half-and-half on it, and still feel like you're eating healthy (my aunt introduced me to the half-and-half idea, and it was the best bowl of oatmeal I ever ate). Another friend of mine likes it with pecans and raisins, which would give it a little crunch, a little chewiness. So I guess oatmeal can be good; you just have to doctor it up. Me, I ate mine relatively plain (it was apple-cinnamon flavored, but it only tasted slightly sweetened to me).