My brothers and I sat at their dinner table in the farmhouse’s sunny patio room. Warmed by the heated floor tiles, the sunshine and a glass of Casper’s homemade wine, our conversation flowed freely.
Billy jumped to his feet and went to the kitchen. A moment later he came back with a wedge of cheddar cheese. Dropping into his chair, he cut several slices for us to share. Savoring the creamy flavor of the cheese, then taking a sip of two-year-old plum wine, made me sigh with satisfaction.
Casper was telling funny stories about things that had happened to him while fishing with friends in Canada. The topic of foods they had brought with them somehow devolved into Mom’s attempts to feed oatmeal to Casper when he was a little boy.
He complained, “Most people call it oatmeal, but I call it vile glorp! Every time I opened my mouth, Mom would shove a spoonful of the stuff into my mouth.” To demonstrate how repulsed he felt just remembering this traumatic experience, my 78-year-old brother stuck out his tongue and gagged.
Laughing, I took a sip of his excellent wine and said, “What a big baby you are! That’s a long time ago. No one is making you eat it now, anymore. Can’t you get over it?”
With a grin on his face Casper exclaimed, “No! Oatmeal isn’t people food. It’s a slimy, life-sucking monster from outer space.”
This visit with my brothers and our conversation took place four years ago at the farm where we had all grown up. Big changes have taken place since we no longer own the farm and both of my brothers have died recently. Memories like these are like precious pearls on the golden chain of life.
How funny Casper was about his dislike of oatmeal! What a fantastic, descriptive name he had given it! When memories like these come to mind, I consider it a good time to ask the Lord to bless that person’s soul.
This morning as I was putting the ingredients for oatmeal into a pan, I chuckled and thought, “Casper, I’m going to voluntarily eat vile glorp. I’ll even enjoy it. What do you think about that?”
I pictured a doubtful look on my brother’s face and him answering, “Blugh! Better you than me.”
“Casper you’ve just never had it the way I make it.” I thought as I put a heaping tablespoon of medium grain rice into the pan, followed by a one third cup of old-fashioned rolled oats and a few grains of salt. Adding a cup and a half of water to the grains, I set the pan on the stove to simmer for 10 minutes. At the end of that time I added milk and returned it to simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes.
While the oatmeal finished cooking, I put a pad of butter and sweetener in a bowl. Then I cut an apple into small chunks. When I poured the cooked oatmeal into the bowl that I’d prepared, the mixture was steaming hot. I stirred vigorously for a minute and then topped it with apple chunks and a generous sprinkle of walnuts.
My bowl of oatmeal was delicious. As I savored each creamy, fruit and nut filled bite, I wondered, “Why in the world did Casper hate oatmeal so much? I’m sure Mom must have slow cooked it the old-fashioned way. However, if she had tried to get him to eat the instant version that’s just made with hot water, I can understand why he would have hated the stuff!”
The phone rang as I finished the cereal. It was my daughter, Niki. I asked, “What are you and the kids up to today?”
She said, “We’re having breakfast. I made waffles.” In the background I heard Blaise, who will soon be three years old, calling out, “Hello! hello! Grma, Grma, hello, hello!”
I said, “Hello Blaise. I’ve just finished my breakfast. I had gourmet glorp.”
Niki laughed and corrected, “Mom, it’s not really glorp if you enjoy it.”