Kitchen Confidential*

Making Oatmeal
by Jim Somerville

I love the way
The boiling water hisses
When I pour the oats
Into the pot.

It’s a cheap pot
(Stainless steel with a loose handle
I have to tighten almost every time
With a screwdriver),

And the oats themselves
Are nothing fancy:
No steel-cut, slow-cooking Irish imports here;
Just the “Quick Oats” from Food Club. 

But when the oats hit the water
And I stir them under with a wooden spoon
and the warm, oaty aroma begins to rise…
I feel like a real cook,

Doing what I’ve done a thousand times before,
Flicking my wrist to turn the oats under,
Massaging the mix to a creamy texture,
And knowing

Just when to turn off the heat
and put on the lid:
That moment when the bubbles start slowing,
When they start going,


*The title of this blog is inspired by Anthony Bourdain’s book by the same name, a fascinating first-hand account of his life as a professional chef.

2 thoughts on “Kitchen Confidential*

  1. Jim,
    It seems that you enjoy every aspect life offers, which is something we should all strive to do! Yes, celebrate all of life, even the mundane. What a joyful and exciting home life you and Christy have made for each other and your girls! (I cheat and cook my oatmeal in the microwave though.)

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