Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Oops, I Blew It Up Again”

A Moment in My Life – Thursday, November 19, 2020

Do you ever do the same thing over and over again and think that maybe this time the outcome would be different? Don’t laugh. I am serious here. Usually, I am one of those people laughing and thinking how silly that is, but the truth be told, it happens. I know this because I’ve been doing it! It’s insane, but yet, this is me. I’m not proud of it. It’s embarrassing and frustrating after realizing, “Oops, I did it again,” but it was too late by that time—the damage was done.

One morning when I was vacationing with my friend, Noreen, she microwaved Trader Joe’s oatmeal for breakfast. It was so simple and delicious. I came home and went to Trader Joe’s and bought a canister of multigrain oatmeal, and I couldn’t wait to make it myself. I followed the instructions on the label. I filled a microwave-safe bowl with 1 cup water, added ½ cup of the oatmeal, placed a cling wrap over the bowl, leaving an opening for steam, and then placed the bowl in the microwave. The instructions said to cook on High for 2-4 minutes. I set the time for 2 minutes first. Good thing I did that. When I opened the microwave door, I found my oatmeal bubbled over the sides onto the microwave tray. What a mess! I didn’t get much oatmeal that time. Instead, I got a good workout scrubbing the sticky, gooey exterior and interior of that bowl. Since I started experimenting with microwave oatmeal, my microwave tray has never been cleaner. I seriously don’t get it. I checked with Noreen, but hers has never bubbled over.

The next day, I repeated all the steps as the previous day, but this time I used a glass cappuccino mug so I could see inside, and I set the time for only 90-seconds instead of 2 minutes. When the timer pinged, I winced as I gingerly opened the microwave door expecting another bubbly mess, but was pleasantly surprised that the oatmeal was intact inside the cup. Phew, no mess! It didn’t look creamy the way I like it, though. There was no excess liquid in it, but I took a chance that I could get it creamier if I gave it another 30-seconds, so I did. Yep, that would do it. I’m sure of it, I thought. Then, 30-second later, I swung open the microwave door expecting it to be a perfect consistency. Instead, “Oops, I blew it up again!” Ugh. It was only 30-seconds! I removed the tray to the counter and swooped up as much of the oatmeal back into the cup as I could since the tray is super-duper clean. I wiped down the sides of the mug and cleaned the tray again before enjoying my cup of oatmeal.

After many more attempts, I finally figured it out. With my microwave, 90-seconds is the safest time for a cup of oatmeal. The secret is to let it sit for a minute afterward, and that softens and combines the oatmeal closer to the creamy consistency that I like. Success! I was thrilled that I got to enjoy a nice cup of hot oatmeal without the cleanup. 

I was patting myself on the back and doing my happy dance after months of testing this—success at last, but it was short-lived. The lesson that I learned here was that I shouldn’t get too comfortable and let my guard down. Making oatmeal keeps me, literally, on my tiptoes, so I could look into the microwave as it cooks. Keeping an eye on it is the only way I could stop the cooking before it bubbles over. I learned this when it bubbled up and made another mess after I thought I got it down. You could imagine my surprise when I opened the microwave door to find, “Oops, I blew it up again!”

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