Bread and Oats
By Jeri Guevara
The familiar tinny whistle of the kettle is a nuisance for the most part – especially when I was a kid, I abhor that sound – but it also signals something else: the water is hot and ready.
Waiting for the water to boil is a torturous chore for an impatient child like me. The kettles then, the one mostly steel and plastic and shrilly, took about five to eight minutes to boil, and about three on good day. In eight minutes I would have colored a new page on my Barbie coloring book, or learned to spell ten new words, or I would have recited the multiplication table of five.
Possibly anything can occupy me from the slow – very, very, very slow – passing of time.
But eight minutes is worth the wait for my favorite breakfast (or snack, or late-night sneaky eating) – oatmeal.
I put exactly four overflowing spoonfuls of oatmeal on my ceramic bowl, and equal amounts of Bear Brand powdered milk. For my eight minutes of waiting, I barely pour any scalding water on my oatmeal mix because I hate the thin texture of it when there’s too much water. I like my oatmeal thick, sticky and Bear Brand sweet. Adding sugar is a taboo for me – never ever have I put sugar on my oatmeal, it’s like blasphemy.
But what could possibly be the best invention mankind has ever made is oatmeal... with pandesal. Oh my goodness.
The moment when the broken pieces of pandesal sink into the gooey oatmeal is marvellous (especially for a six-year-old). It’s like magic (until I realized that it’s because science and density – childhood ruined).
But as soon as the oatmeal and bread entered my mouth, I’m in heaven. The whole thing is the right amount of sweet, rough, soft and powdery and sweet.
No breakfast meal – pancakes, waffles, cereals or even oatmeal itself – tastes quite right after I tasted the oatmeal with pandesal.No, one cannot use Gardenia or monay or basically any other bread because it’s not the same.
Thank God for the invention of electric kettles.
Breakfast oatmeal is much easier to prepare now and a convenient choice of food too, since college is hard and heavy Katipunan traffic is a hassle.
When I was much younger, I would always wake up late and prepare very slowly because the bed is comfy and I don’t want to go to school, mom, five more minutes.