How (Not) to Cook Oatmeal in the Microwave: A Sort-of (But Not Really) Tutorial

Posted by on Nov 6, 2012 in Lists, Tutorials | 113 comments

"How (Not) to Cook Oatmeal in the Microwave - A Sort of (But Not Really) Tutorial" by Caryn Caldwell

Oatmeal: It’s explosive.

1) Carefully read instructions on oatmeal packet. This time you will do it right. For once, breakfast won’t end in messy defeat.

2) Stir together milk and oatmeal.

3) Set microwave according to directions. Hide pre-victory grin. Whistle. Exude confidence.

4) Watch oatmeal spin on tray, ready to halt all cooking at first sign of boilage. Squint a little. Hold breath. Fear overflow, despite yourself.

5) Stir and check status. (Answer: Oat flakes drifting in warmish milk soup.)

6) Another minute in microwave.

7) Still floaty dry oats + milk. This could take a while.

8) Set microwave for one more minute. It’s still raw, and barely lukewarm. You’re totally safe.

9) Go set table. Take your time. Swagger a little.

10) Saunter back to microwave, spoon in hand, poised to stir.

11) Open microwave door. Discover that, in your absence, your impending meal became an oatmeal volcano, spouting thick, gloppy, magma-esque mess all over clean microwave tray.

12) Congratulations! Your oatmeal is hot and (mostly) cooked. So is the tray beneath.  Blow on breakfast. Wait for it to cool so you can finally eat it.

13) Clean-up time. Soak bowl for sixteen hours. Chisel cemented cereal off bottom of microwave. Try not to swear.

14) Vow to use water instead of milk next time, though tasteless paste isn’t your preferred dining choice.

15) Scribble “Buy bigger bowl” on shopping list. Amend to “Much, much bigger.” Underline. Add exclamation point.

16) Or there’s always toast. Toast is safe. Usually.

Your turn – what’s something you repeatedly attempt, even though you know it will lead to your ultimate doom? Talk an elderly relative through way-too-techy computer issues? Jump into NaNoWriMo with the threat of Thanksgiving (and all those pies you have to bake) hanging over your head? Make coffee in that complicated machine in the break room? Sew pants? Come on! Make me feel better. Spill it. (Yeah. Spill. You and my oatmeal…)

  • Cynthia C. Willis

    I have given up pairing oatmeal with any microwave. I always end up with the same sort of mess. Yuck.

    • Caryn Caldwell

      It kind of seems inevitable, doesn’t it? The mess? Oh, but the supposed ease of a microwave is so, so tempting. Hope you found a method that works better!

  • Stacey

    that is so dang funny. made my night. :)

    • Caryn Caldwell

      Thanks so much, Stacey! And *your* comment made *my* night!

  • Jennifer Shirk

    Ha! I’ve given up on microwave oatmeal too. One time I burned chocolate while trying to melt it in the microwave too. Burnt chocolate really STINKS up a house.

    • Caryn Caldwell

      Oh, no! Burned chocolate? Sad day! (And apparently a stinky one, too.) I hope the cleanup wasn’t too bad, at least.

  • Samantha Vérant

    Hahahaha! I’m sorry! I have to laugh! I do that with eggs all the time! Anyway, I hope you have a fab holiday!

    Meilleurs voeux!


    • Caryn Caldwell

      Definitely laugh, Sam! Life is so much better if you do. :-)

      As for eggs, I’ve had problems with them, too! Tricky little things — burning, boiling over, not to mention cracking.

      Meilleurs voeux to you, too, and joyeuses fêtes! (Confession: I looked both of those up on Google Translation. I will now have to use them with the French-speaking people I know, but only in emails because I have no clue how to pronounce either of them.)

  • Peggy Eddleman

    Hahahaha! Love it! So hilarious!

    • Caryn Caldwell

      Thanks, Peggy! I was inspired by real events. 😀

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