oatmeal & other good stuff

Once upon a time, I was invited to a posh art colony, where I learned many things about my artmaking process, about the New York art scene, & about oatmeal. The process stuff was very important (& still is), & the art scene stuff was informative, but the oatmeal was a fucking revelation.

I thought that I didn’t like oatmeal. It was always too gooey & gloppy & reminded me too much of, I dunno… like, barf. Or something. To think that I nearly missed this oatmeal just because I was in the habit of sleeping through the breakfast service! The dinners were always very good though, so one fine morning I made a point of waking up in time to check out breakfast.

I don’t remember what else there was, but the oatmeal was unlike any I had ever seen before. Each individual oat was fluffy & plump & discrete from every other oat. They clumped together like grains of rice or couscous instead of being glued together in a viscous gummy mush. Intrigued, I plopped a small spoonful in my bowl, melted some butter on top, & took a cautious mouthful. As you must guess by now: angels sang, synapses fired, I was a born-again oatmeal-eatin person.

Somehow I neglected to ask for the recipe. Having zero experience cooking oatmeal, I probably thought: how hard could it be? & to tell the truth, after much experimentation at home, I found that it really was as easy & simple as it should be.

Here is Meditation Oatmeal for one (or for two, in parentheses):

In a small pot with a lid, boil 1 (1-3/4) cup water with a pinch of salt.

When the water is boiling, turn off the flame & quickly pour in 1/2 (1) cup of rolled oats, stir once only if necessary to get all the oats wet, & put the lid on. Raisins or currants or other additions are optional; add them to the oats before you pour everything in. You don’t want to lose a lot of heat or steam, & you don’t want to break the oat flakes.

Leave the heat off & the lid on. Go meditate for 30 minutes.

Come back & you have your oatmeal! Serve with butter, brown sugar or maple syrup, whatever floats your boat. You can even pretend you’re at an exclooosive art colony!

Ahem. Is there something wrong with the weather that I must blog about oatmeal in May? I have been so, so cold. Imagine my surprise, then, when I took $60 to the farmers’ market yesterday & came home with this:

Here we have

ze famous Riverdog pastured eggs

ze famous Swanton strawberries

a yellow onion


purple asparagus

assortment of the first summer squashes

little carrots & big carrots

ze lovely lettuces from Blue Heron

2 kinds of fingerlings (French & Russian, I think)



broccoli raab

spring onions & fresh garlic

velvety, lovely fava beans

$5.70 (my no-fuss method of keeping track of how much I spend at the farmers’ market: I count in 20s & keep the change in my pocket)

When I saw the cherries, I thought I was gonna fall over in sheer surprise. When I saw the summer squash, I lost my mind. When I saw the peaches, my freezing little heart just melted.

Go forth & shop! The good stuff is all out there right now.