Great Inventions

As a complete and lifelong failure as a cook (ask my family), I have just been given a gift of incalculable wonder by the Quaker Oats Company.  It is a small plastic cup of rolled oats weighing 1.69 oz. (contents included) that sits on the shelves of that dreaded but unavoidable place, the grocery store. 

I bought one with a slight and unwelcome sense of guilt, and read the directions with a growing sense of pleasure.  I can do this!  1)  Remove lid completely.  2)  Add water to the line in the middle of the cup.  3)  Stir well.  4)  Microwave well for 45-50 seconds.  5)  Stir and let stand for 2 minutes.  Behold!  I could eliminate step #4 because of the instant hot faucet next to my sink.  I prepared my new breakfast, adding  cranberries  during the Let Stand moments.  There it was – an Eat and Toss option with no preparation and no cleanup.

The environmental police in my family need not tell me I am violating green by throwing away a plastic cup.  Nor should they suggest, as one already has, that I should be eating green vegetables for breakfast.  As I was enjoying my oatmeal, a memory popped into my head:  the fun of listening to Dick Tracy on the radio as a kid in the ‘30s when, at the most dramatic moment of an episode, a stern voice would interrupt with “brought to you by Quaker Oats….”  Dick Tracy is long gone, but Quaker Oats is still there for me.

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