Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The oatmeal of my dreams

In my dream, I was at the home of an acquaintance who was making oatmeal. He was combining all sorts of weird ingredients, but the stranger the combinations, the more delicious the concoction became, or so it seemed.

My acquaintance, John, stirred the oatmeal in a big bowl with a wooden spoon. The oatmeal looked light and smooth and creamy, more like a cool chocolate mousse than a hot cereal. John's house was a bit chaotic, with kids running around, the phone ringing, and guests coming and going, but he put the dish together with the grace and confidence of Kim Yu-Na channeling James Bond.

By the time John was finished, I knew I had to have his recipe and I said as much. As he rattled off ingredients and procedures, I tried to write everything down. But each time I went back to check my notes, I realized that I had missed not just a few but many important points, and no amount of checking and rewriting seemed to correct the errors. I began to have the sinking feeling that I was not going to be able to record the recipe, but I also refused to give up.

As my alarm intruded, I began realizing the recipe was just a dream. Yet for several minutes I still believed that, even though it wasn't real, and dubious as some of the ingredients were, the recipe should be tried — that it might be transcendent. As sleep slipped away, I struggled to remember the ingredients.

Today I can recall only two: barbecue sauce and Greek whipped cream. Or not quite enough to make the magic happen.

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Copyright 2009-2010 by Sasha Sark. Please don't reuse without permission.
"West African Dark Blue Cloth" image is displayed courtesy of the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery at St. Lawrence University.