Yesterday at Growlers our newest beer went on tap: Thai One On. It’s a beer inspired by the five flavors of Thai cuisine: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and hot. The brewmasters used chili, palm sugar, lemongrass, tamarind, and ginger in this beer, and it’s amazingly innovative and delicious. It’s interesting to observe customers’ reactions. Some of them love it, some find it intriguing but aren’t interested in a glass of it, and some taste it, say “interesting,” and leave it at that. When it first went on tap, I took a sample to two of my customers, who ended up being “interested” by it and getting something else. I told them that I really liked it, but I like weird things. I couldn’t really think of another way to express my taste in food.
I suppose weird is relative, but with some of the things I want to post I find myself wondering whether people will just be weirded out, wonder what strange mutation of the human species I am, and go look at something else. It probably stems from the same instinct that had me sneaking mouthfuls of green beans in Elementary school when none of my tablemates were watching, and hiding my egg salad sandwich in my lunch bag in between bites.
So I am going to make this an exercise in self-expression, and take a “don’t knock it til you’ve tried it” attitude. I’m sharing what I like, and people who don’t like it can go (to another) home (page).
The following are two variations on oats that I have used to fortify before my waitressing shifts. One is sweet and the other is savory. Have you tried savory oatmeal? Oats are like any other grain: very versatile. Just like serving corn grits (or polenta) with cheese or maple syrup, oatmeal can be a palate for any flavor you’re in the mood for.
Savory Greens Oatmeal
I cooked about 1/2 cup oats, then stirred in spinach to wilt and added salt and pepper . You can adjust amounts and ratios to whatever your heart desires.
That’s the base, and the toppings are up to you. I fried an egg and chopped some cheese.
Then topped it all with some fresh arugula and a drizzle of olive oil.
It was a perfect mid-morning brunch before the lunch shift.
Sweet Peaches and Cream Oatmeal
This is more of your basic oatmeal with some fun mix-ins.
Cook 1/2 cup oats with chopped peaches, then mix in about 1/4 cup of cottage cheese, a splash of maple syrup or honey (a teaspoon or two) and a few shakes of cinnamon.
I topped it with ground almonds and plain yogurt sweetened with maple syrup, plus a few more chopped peaches.
A fun way to make oats more satisfying with protein from the cottage cheese.
So, at this point I’ve either scared you away to a blog where oatmeal appears in more familiar guises, or inspired you to expand your oaty repertoire. Or, you eat this kind of thing all the time and it’s no news to you… in which case, go ahead and share your favorite unconventional combo with me!