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.