Jazzing it up!

As a rule, I’m not a cereal eater but recently I discovered steel cut oatmeal. It’s the kind that requires 20 minutes of cooking time. My husband commented that, uncooked, it looked a lot like chicken feed. It’s not so attractive. Okay, so even cooked oatmeal isn’t much of an eye pleaser, and maybe that’s why I’ve never eaten it very often. But I went into it with an open mind and what I discovered to my amazement was that I actually enjoy it. In fact, it’s good. Sometimes I cook it with a few raisins and sprinkle it with cinnamon to jazz it up.

I’ve been doing that with the revisions I’ve been working on recently. I didn’t want the story to be plain old oatmeal when I could jazz it up and make the writing livelier, breathe life into the characters and plot. It’s been cooking for a long time. Why didn’t I see that it needed a few raisins and a sprinkling of cinnamon? Oh well, better late than never. And guess what? I like the story so much better now.  :)

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  1. Yes, I love steel cut oatmeal. I call it macho oatmeal. Of course I take a healthy breakfast and add butter, salt, and sugar and call it good.

    • Isn’t it wonderful? (Never thought I’d say that about oatmeal.) I never heard tell of putting butter on oatmeal. Do you use milk, too?

  2. I have never had this, just “old-fashioned” oatmeal, but I too add butter, sugar, and milk. I’ll look for it at Trader Joe’s.

    And this is my kind of post … finding a connection to writing, no matter how off spurious! :D

  3. Oops, ha ha, I tried to edit out the cliche (off the wall) but left an artifact. Oh well, I tried. :-)

  4. Cottentail Bunna

     /  May 17, 2010

    Try a little Brown Sugar or Maple Syrup. Yummy!

  5. Steel cut oatmeal? Does it get rusty if you take too long to eat it? Is it like grits? I dunno – sounds like the stuff could really damage the gums.

    • You see that’s the whole thing about steel cut oatmeal, Dave, you eat it so quickly that it doesn’t have time to rust.

      Since you brought it up I’ve always wondered, exactly what the heck are grits?

      • Grits are made from corn – can be served salty in place of potatoes for dinner or with sugar as a breakfast food. Can also be used to patch drywall or as a top coat for stucco. The ancient “Redneckians” of the area often used grits to set a broken arm or leg – though the time in the sun often caused severe dehydration & 3rd degree burns as, unfortunately, grits tend to take at least 24 hours to harden into a solid form.

        That explanation work for ya????

  6. I love your style! I’ve been dropping raisins in one of my novels lately as well. Nice to meet you!


  7. Isn’t it amazing how many things can become an analogy for our writing? The “breathe life into the characters and plot” is what good writing (and deep POV) is all about… digging deeper and putting out something extra.

    I have to admit I’ve never heard of steel cut oatmeal but I like regular oatmeal, with or without raisins, but with lots of brown sugar and milk. I’ll have to check out this other kind.

    • I’m sure we could find a connection to writing no matter what the subject! :)

      I’m actually am so impressed with the oatmeal that I thought it was worth mentioning. Althought the raisin and cinnamon are nice, it’s great on its own without that extra jazzing up.The steel cut is oatmeal the way we remember it, not those fake imitations. It’s definately worth trying.

  8. Melanie Crouse

     /  May 19, 2010

    I just dropped by to find out more about you. I’m so glad I did. This is a fun post! And I haven’t had steel cut oats for a long time…

    • Hi Melanie! Nice to meet you.

      I love your name. In fact, it’s my oldest daughter’s name. :)

      Drop in any time.

  9. I never heard of steel cut oatmeal, and don’t recall seeing any in our stores. Maybe that’s what my grandmother used, because the stuff they sell now doesn’t taste at all like what she used to make for me as a child.

    I add pecans and cinnamon to mine for added flavor and a little texture. Plain oatmeal is too much like paste for me to enjoy it.

    • I hadn’t heard of steel cut oatmeal it until recently, either and it’s really good. As I said, I’m not really a cereal person but I got excited about this.

      Now pecans sound really good and healthy besides! That’s it. I’m getting some pecans to add.

  10. “Steel cut” just basically means _real_ oats–not processed schlock masquerading as oats. ;-) I grew up on porridge and never understood why some people didn’t like it– it’s great with jam and milk, too.

    I also liked your oatmeal/writing analogy–and lol, yes, re: your comment about how writers can make _anything_ be about writing!


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