oats so complicated

I suppose this post will need to be categorised under ‘lifestyle’ as I don’t have a category for ‘silly things that happen in the morning’.

My first mistake was to buy the packet of instant porridge in the first place – I had obviously forgotten how difficult it could be to make porridge from one of these little sachets. I should have known better. Sometimes I think my only hope is that time travel becomes possible before I forget absolutely everything I know, so that while I’m shopping for food I can travel back to my kitchen 5 or 10 years ago and watch myself making a mess with instant porridge then.

It’s so simple to fill the little sachet with milk ready to put it in the microwave – so simple to put it down on the worktop and watch as it falls over, apparently in slow motion but not slowly enough for me to catch it before it spills its contents right across the work surface, down the front of the fridge and on to the rug underneath. It isn’t until later, after I fondly imagine I’ve cleared up all the mess, that I find it has also spilled into a conveniently placed niche on the top of the fridge door, so that when I’m fetching milk for my coffee I can put my fingers in it and cause it to cascade down the front of the fridge all over again.

I should have known that this operation would involve heating up milk in a saucepan which has to be watched constantly because it somehow knows the minute you run into the conservatory to switch on your computer and manages to boil over and burn at the same time, and then after you’ve added the oats it has to be stirred constantly for several minutes, otherwise it will simultaneously burn and go into hard inedible lumps.

Why didn’t I just buy a packet of oatmeal and carry out the relatively simple process of soaking it in water for a while and then bringing it to the boil as my mother used to do? Don’t ask me – I am too easily lured by the promise of golden syrup mixed in with the oats.

I have a few other things to do this weekend as well as ruining my breakfast: wrestling again with my historical novel, starting my planned summer holiday short story, and (most alluring of all) making a little promotional video for ‘The Mountain and the Flood’ with a lovely piano soundtrack. Oh, yes, and tidying the kitchen of course. Somehow I can see that being pushed to the back of the queue.


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