I was never born for math, or so they say (my father does, anyway). The inability to master all these complex formulas of juggling numbers in a manner so akin to balls (which I can't do either), the careless mistakes which always seem to appear despite the papers being crinkled with all the times I've flipped through them to check and re-check. It's complicated business, mathematics, of playing with powers and indexes. The pattern never seems to surface from the square, only until someone explains and I give out that "Ahhhhh". In a sloping crescendo, not like that flat-tuned note at the doctors.
I suppose that attribute transfers itself to my knowledge of music being reserved to the above example. It's been over half a decade since my fingers have hit the black and whites of a piano, and every guitar piece I play to be relatively lifeless. I admit, my fingers don't coax music out like it does with the essence of food.
But what I lack in mathematical and musical knowledge is replaced in my passion for the pen. For feeling the slight vibrations of paper as the nib scratches it, leaving behind an inky trail. For having words which've spring to my mind apparate on the previously unmarked sheet. I like fumbling with sheets of paper, having their familiar coarse texture against my thumbs, drawing up an extra sheet and placing it back before realising that I needed it. And bending down to pull it out again.
It's writing that I derive joy from. Writing that is my couch and television for you 'telly-junkies' out there, or soccer for football-fanatics. (I can almost hear my classmate groaning "Soccer, not football") My callused tall finger is worn as a badge of pride, and my pen my sword. Words are the enclave I draw myself in; I wouldn't be whole otherwise, like Tom without Jerry and strawberries without powdered sugar.
There are many words I'd use to describe this bowl of oatmeal - luscious, smooth, sour, sweet, tangy, citrusy. As for the streusel - crunchy is called to mind, as are sweet, nutty, crisp. It takes away some of the tanginess of the oranges and within it, bland, insipid nuts take on a sweet flavour with hints of earthiness. I added oat bran for the oatmeal to take on a silky, pudding-like consistency. If you don't have any on hand, another 3 tbsp. of oat grains will suffice. Oranges can be substituted with lemons for a zestier take, as can honey instead of maple syrup. Feel free to experiment and play around. Enjoy.
Carrot-Orange Oatmeal with Pecan Date Streusel
1/3 c oats
2 tbsp. oat bran
Pinch of salt
1 c liquid ( 1/2 milk, 1/2 water)
1/2 carrot; 1/4 c grated
1-2 tbsp. maple syrup
Pecan Date Streusel
2 tbsp. oats
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp. pecans
1-2 medjool dates, chopped
1. Grate the carrot and zest the orange.
2. In a pot over medium heat, bring oats, bran, salt, liquid to a boil, along with 1 tbsp. orange zest and grated carrots.
3. When liquid is almost fully absorbed, add in maple syrup.
Pecan Date Streusel
1. In a bowl, combine oats, maple syrup, pecans and chopped dates.
2. Toast lightly in a pan until a fragrance is emitted.
3. Top oatmeal with streusel and add orange segments, if wished. Enjoy.
- to be continued -