Rolled Oats

According to the NYTimes this morning, “Speaker John A. Boehner told his fellow Congressional leaders and President Obama that he did not spend 20 years working his way up to the top job on Capitol Hill just for the cachet of the title — he wanted to accomplish something big…

“The speaker’s lofty ambitions quickly crashed into the political reality of a divided, highly partisan Congress.”

Having Congress is like having 535 wives. If you think having one wife who doesn’t listen, just imagine…

That’s why I didn’t want to write about politics this morning; Washington is a fine mess. They’re smmoooooth but they just. don’t. listen.

Oatmeal raisin cookies are a significantly healthier breakfast than a smoothie.

My good friend Liz Arden had a smoothie for breakfast this morning. Despite the date, it didn’t come from the 7-11. She blended her own rolled oats, cranberry juice, yoghurt, fruits, and protein powder. She says it tastes like ice cream. Really? We’re alone here but this is a family column so I can’t tell you what that particular flavor and texture combination evoked. I can say that acrid, gooey, whitish, slime doesn’t seem all that appetizing to me.

Anyway, the rolled oats got my attention. I likes oats. That grain forms the basis for my third most favorite sandwich bread and my third most favorite cookie. We still buy Arnold Oatnut bread because I haven’t put together a recipe to bake it here at home and I’m noshing on an oatmeal raisin cookie right now.

Rolled oats. Did you ever wonder how Quaker teaches oats to roll over? Do they have classes? Do the slow oats get special tutoring while the quick oats command higher prices in the marketplace? Can oats learn to sit up and beg? Do we need to do some genetic engineering so they can shake hands?

Wikipedia reports that professional trainers should most likely instruct the oat’s owner to train his or her own flake; available group classes continue the lessons for the more mature grain. Grains can be so stick-in-the-muddish that the owner must repeat and reinforce the techniques taught in the original class.

Owners and groats who attend class together have a unique opportunity to learn each other’s likes and dislikes and how to work together to become flakes without being, well, flaky. Training is most effective if all oat handlers take part in the training to ensure consistent commands, methods, and enforcement. Classes also help socialize the flakes to the other flakes in the round cardboard shipping tube. Training classes are offered by many brands, including Better Oats, McCann’s, and Quaker.

Probably just as well that Ms. Arden had neither fresh prunes nor fresh raisins for her smoothie.

It’s all better than tipping cows, I suppose. After all, I’m pathologically parsimonious and they take umbrage at my usual 10 percent.

In the real world of agribusiness, grain processors apparently employ no private trainers. They use heavy rollers to press oat groats into flat flakes, then steam and lightly toast them.

6 thoughts on “Rolled Oats

  1. On the topic of rolling oats: I find that when they are aggressive, I might have to roll them to demonstrate my alpha role relative to their more submissive one. You know how it is when oats feel themselves, after all.

  2. She says it tastes like ice cream … I can say that acrid, gooey, whitish, slime doesn’t seem all that appetizing to me.

    I do realize that opinion in an op-ed matters far more than actual experience or data, so it pains me to rain on your parade.


    Okay, maybe not so much.

    I don’t know if a fruit-and-yogurt smoothie tastes just like ice cream to your friend Liz. I do know that when I make smoothies, they have a consistency and flavor that is not yogurty, nor protein powdery, but is much more like a fruit flavored ice cream.

    I take a cup of vanilla flavored yogurt (non-fat, sweetened either with honey or with Splenda(tm)), a half-cup of cranberry juice, a cup of various fruits (strawberries, raspberries, bananas, peaches, whatever you wish), a few tablespoons of a soy-based protein powder that is essentially flavorless and dissolves quite nicely, and a cup of crushed ice. I blend the bejeebers out of this until the consistency is smooth and creamy. What I get is a chilly, very creamy smooth, fruit-flavored concoction that indeed seems much like an ice cream shake.

    Oh, yes. The rolled oats. I do occasionally throw a handful of rolled oats in sometimes, or the Irish “steel cut” style, or even granola. It’s not all that different from adding nuts to ice cream. Gives a little something to bite into, and adds a nice nutty flavor.

    Could you elaborate more on Liz’s recipe and how it was you sampled it and found it to be not your liking? What protein powder did she use that made it gritty? She may want to try Geni-Soy brand. Why was her recipe so slimy — too much yogurt and not enough ice to smooth it out? Did she use insufficient quantities of colored fruits that its whiteishness was off-putting (although one has to wonder if the whiteness of actual ice cream is as appalling to you)?

    And what on earth could have happened that she ended up with something that was acrid? Good lord, one might think that poor person doesn’t know how to combine ingredients and have the result essentially changed from the basic elements at all!

    Have the poor girl see me, and I’ll teach her the basics of cooking, so that next time you have to drink one of her smoothies it will not be quite so distasteful.

  3. See, I’m a guy. There are some things guys just know without having to experiment. One of them is that a slightly bitter, slightly acidic, white cream ain’t passing these lips.

  4. I’m guessing Dick thinks acrid from the cranberry. But with all the fruits in it, there’s no way it could be white. Nor would it be slimy. The fruit takes care of that, too, as would the oats. But when I add oats, I’ll throw them in the mini-processor to make them powdery…or I’ll use baby oatmeal. I don’t really care for the chewy texture to mess with the rest of the smoothie. I don’t mind the berry seeds, though. I use soy milk, no ice, frozen fruit, and protein powder with the fruits and yogurt.

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