One of my recent regular “obsessions” — I’m very loyal. I usually find something I really like and then stick with it for a time until, of course, I change my mind, which happens frequently. Anyway, where was I?
Oatmeal, you say, bewildered. I have yet to mention a word about oatmeal.
Well, you’re right. But the connection between oatmeal and Burger King is obvious — at least to me.
Right now, my current food “obsession” for breakfast is oatmeal with fruit on top.
I crave a breakfast of oatmeal with fruit on top — raisins, light and dark, and cranberries — every morning. It dawned on me this morning when I was walking to Burger King sometime before the breakfast deadline of 10:30 a.m. that I have done this many times before and that I was really looking forward to my morning dose of oatmeal and fruit.
Really looking forward to it.
I casually wondered how much money I had spent, but high finance, 10-figure math is out of my league. So, I started to concentrate on the fact that I really, really liked eating it for breakfast. It serves two cravings. One, it’s sweet, and two, it’s supposed to be healthy, even though carb heavy. Anyway, I got increasingly curious about oatmeal, as well as grits and Cream of Wheat. All relatively equal in my mind, but apparently not in others.
OK. Here’s what else I found out about oatmeal.
Oatmeal is basically and for all intents and purposes ground oats. Now, there are many types, steel-cut oats, crushed oat and rolled oats. Oat grains are “de-husked” by, well, basically hitting them, warming them up — which gives them a nutty kind of taste — and then cooling the grain to “stabilize” it. These oats can then be eaten uncooked in a cereal form called muesli or cooked into a kind of porridge. Oats are also used as ingredients for cakes and cookies or as a sprinkled topping, like on oat muffins and the like.
Oatmeal also is considered one of those “healthy” foods. According to current health knowledge, oatmeal can lower blood cholesterol and may even reduce the risk of heart disease when combined with a low-fat diet. Oatmeal, thanks to its high content of complex carbohydrates and water-soluble fiber, slows digestion and stabilizes blood-glucose levels, as well as containing more Vitamin B than other such “porridges.”
Well, all this info is well and good, but I felt I was leaving out a large segment of the porridge population — grits and Cream of Wheat.
You see, when I started to ask people what their favorite breakfast food was, I came up with answers such as sausage and biscuits, biscuits with just about anything on them, and biscuits with gravy. One fella said that although he usually just grabbed a Pop Tart, his favorite breakfast was country ham, eggs, gravy and — of course, a biscuit.
Yep. Biscuits. Not a surprise. Oatmeal didn’t show up any where in the bunch.
So, I decided to change my question.
What do you like better for breakfast, I asked, oatmeal, grits or Cream of Wheat?
I got’em there, didn’t I?
Keeping you in suspense to the answers I got just a little bit longer, let me tell you a little something about grits and Cream of Wheat.
Grits, a perennial Southern favorite, comes from Native American origin. It is made from ground corn or sometimes even alkali-treated corn or hominy.
Grits can be either yellow or white, depending on the color of the corn used.
Grits usually are eaten with salt and butter or sugar. They are usually served with sausage, biscuits and gravy. Instead of water, sometimes they are made with milk.
According to my research, 75 percent of all grits sold are sold in the South. In 2002, Georgia made grits its official prepared food.
Additional research led me to Cream of Wheat. It also is a porridge and first made in the United States in 1893 by wheat millers in Grand Forks, N.D. It has a similar texture to grits, but made with wheat kernels (ground ones) instead of ground corn. The product made its debut at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Cream of Wheat can also be made with either water or milk, stirring in farina until thickened.
Addig fruit to any of these “hot” cereals is common, in addition to nuts. One lady I know doesn’t like oatmeal at all, unless it has peaches mixed in with it.
In my research, I discovered that Cream of Wheat also often is used as the first solid food for babies here in the U.S.
OK. I’ve kept you in suspense long enough.
Few people liked grits either, even if they were from the South.
In fact, I seem to be the only one who likes these porridge type meals. Must be my austere German heritage, I’m a-guessin’.
The other mistake I have been making all these years is that I thought that grits and Cream of Wheat were basically the same type of food — interchangeable, so to speak. If you were from the North you ate Cream of Wheat and mixed it with sugar and milk, more like cereal. But, if you were in the South, you ate grits and fixed it with butter and salt, more like, well, grits.
And anyone who admitted to liking and eating grits, also added a caveat — only with other food, like bacon, eggs, gravy and of course, biscuits.
Well, I still like eating my stable breakfast food of oatmeal and fruit. I will continue for a while. I’m like that. When I like something, I stick with it — until I get bored, that is. I have been known to be a tad fickle.
In fact, all this talk of oatmeal and grits and Cream of Wheat is making me a bit bored.
What to do now?
I hate being bored above just about anything else.
What else could there possibly be on the menu for breakfast tomorrow?