20 October 2008

Nobody cares what you had for breakfast

As it gets colder, I get a hankering for hot creamy food. My mom's bean soup, or dumpling soup, or scalloped potatoes, or...well, you get the idea. The easiest hot creamy food to make in this world is Cream of Wheat. So I made some. Then I added a little butter, a little milk, and a lot of brown sugar. Mmmm. Hot, creamy, and sweet. There is nothing wrong with that.

When I was a sophomore in college, after I'd moved out of the dorms (and into Christus House, actually), autumn came along and again I felt like having some hot creamy food. I bought a box of one minute Cream of Wheat, made up a double batch....and something wasn't right. I followed the directions exactly, stirred and timed and used fresh brown sugar and butter and milk...but since it still wasn't right, I did what every self-respecting 19 year old woman would do: I called my mom.
"Hi Mom. Listen, I made some Cream of Wheat, and it's good and all, but it's just not right."
"What do you mean? Did you burn it?" This was a reasonable question, sadly.
"No...it's just...it's not like yours."
"Well I don't know what to tell you. I used that same kind at home." My mom is a brilliant cook, and learned to cook from her mother, who learned to cook from her mother...I didn't have her skills, but she was good at talking me through things when I needed her to.
"But, I mean, I followed the directions and stuff, and I even used a wooden spoon like you do, but...how do you get your Cream of Wheat to have those lumps in it?"
She hung up on me.
But I was serious. I still haven't managed to make lumpy Cream of Wheat like my mother used to.


Shirley said...

You have always been known for your tact, Jen!

I check languishing almost every day, and happy to find your updates. I don't get to see the newest generation very often, so I appreciate your insightful, colorful stories and pictures!! Keep it up.


sara said...

My grandpa used to make hot oatmeal with raisins. I also tried to recreate it. I ended up using it for wallpaper paste instead.

Deron Arnold said...

I agree. The lumps were the best! (Well, second only to the brown sugar clumps. If I could get a lump and a clump in the same spoonful, I knew it was going to be a good day.)

Our moms had the same teacher.

Dawn Mason said...

I only liked the brown sugar clumps, and that is likely all I ate. I hated the sticky goo. I think mom only it to please Deron.

Stragely enough, I craved it when I was pregnant.