Eating Our Mistakes

This is a reprint from the time of Covid, April 27, 2021

As the designated adventurer at our house, I am the grocery shopper for more than a year now. I have learned that pimentos are never located on the olive aisle and that Velveeta cheese is located wherever the last tired stocker set them down because it is not a cheese. I have learned to eat my shopping mistakes. Try as I might, apparently chocolate dipped ice-cream bars do not qualify as a shopping mistake. The actual worst of my grocery mistakes was just a few weeks ago. My assignment was to get a can of old-fashioned quick cooking steel cut oatmeal. I honestly thought I did. But I didn’t. I got old-fashioned steel cut Irish Oatmeal in a can, 1 pound and 12 ounces net weight. It did not say quick cooking or fast cooking or 10-minute quick oatmeal. Dorothy noticed immediately. It was decided that we would press ahead. There was a winter storm in the forecast.

Upon reading the fine print on the back of the can we learned that the shortcut method was to boil water in a pot, add the oatmeal, stir and boil for 5 minutes. Cover the pot and store it in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, put the pot back on the stove, bring it to a boil and stir it for another 9-12 minutes. By my estimation, the quick-cook method takes about 25 hours. We opted for the traditional method—30 minutes on the range. I also noticed that the recipe kept referring to this as porridge. I remember porridge as something Little Orphan Annie had to eat, with a big frown on her face. Porridge is oatmeal, flax and other bird seeds boiled in a big pot, which is stirred constantly until you are done. It suggests you add buttermilk or honey and brown sugar suitable to taste. Our pot of porridge lasted for days. We tried syrup and apple sauce with cinnamon on it and we tried smothering it with various flavored yogurts. Our final attempt was to use a large amount of pumpkin pie filling. That actually tasted best. By the way, porridge diluted to a thin, watery state is called gruel. It was used to help the sick get well. It tastes worse than it sounds.

We make mistakes. We try to hide them, own them, or make up for them. The best policy is to admit them, deal with them, and learn from them. We still have a pound or so of the oatmeal left in the can. It will keep.

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Press ahead.  And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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