Sunday, 24 January 2010

Laugh! Part 2 - He Who Laughs Last.

I was intending to do a separate post for today about last night's QI XL programme that I'd recorded and watched this afternoon. It had a wonderful section on archaic words and phrases that would be fun to share.

However, now the day has run away with me, and I return at last to the keyboard, honesty bids me tell the background story to my morning porridge, mentioned above. Yes it was fine - eventually. But this is the before.

Usually, I put one scoop of oats into a bone china bowl, with three scoops of water, then microwave for two minutes for perfect results every time, and no saucepan to wash at the end of it! But in my groceries this week, I had 'organic' oats - still oats, but on opening the packet, they appeared slightly lager (?) (larger! Ta, Weaver for handy hint!) flakes that the 'ordinary' variety, so I thought I might follow the instructions that came with them: 50g oats to 300ml water, cook 31/2 mins, stir, cook 3 mins, rest one minute.

Now, before I found my perfect combination of china bowl, oats and water, I had experienced microwave boil-over emergency, as well as stove top burnt saucepan ditto. These disasters had taught me to be wary when trying new quantity versions of plain old oatmeal breakfasts. The instructions I read this morning, had me reaching for a larger, deeper, microwave plastic pot, just in case. First three and a half minutes - fine. Got bold, and left the second three minutes to run their allotted time without watching progress. Result? When I opened the door, a hideous alien creature met my gaze. Bulbous porridge warts oozed slowly down the sides of the pot, to pool in a gelatinous mass around its base.

I'd love it if anyone could tell me how a purpose designed, plastic microwave container of considerable depth, could not keep 50g of oats under control - or lock and key- for a paltry 6 1/2 minutes.

So though I spoke the truth - my porridge was fine - it only achieved that happy state after much scraping of the outside of the pot, and scooping up of gelatinous mass from microwave glass plate. I feel much better now I've shared the true story... blow QI.

18 comments:

  1. Could the temperature of your microwave be too high?

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  2. Perhaps you need to stir them more often

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  3. We do like our settled routine, don't we? I bet every new box has different instructions. Modern marvels.

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  4. One daughter microwaves a certain oatmeal blend which included yogurt. It works for her but creates a disaster in both ours and other daughter's ovens.

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  5. jinksy - staged heating - cook for thirty seconds and stir - cook for thirty more and stir. no promises. no guarantees. good luck and enjoy your porridge!!! steven

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  6. I surely can't help. I cook oatbran in a 4 qt. measuring cup and 3/4 cup of water, and have yet to have to find a cooking time that it is done, and not boiling over with a mess.

    Surely there is someone that has the secret. I do think stop and stir, stop and stir plus standing and watching to interrupt the cycle when it starts boiling up.

    But what kind of time saving is that?

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  7. I try and avoid cooking in the microwave as much as I can, altough I do use it for reheating for a few seconds at a time. Something about the microwaves makes me uncomfortable. Not a lot of help, am I?

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  8. Oh jinsky, I find no 2 microwaves are alike and I don't know why. I think the suggestion of staged heating until you know for sure is your best bet....Good Luck tomorrow morning, xo

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  9. Kellog's cornflakes!
    No cooking, no mess.

    I watched QI on Friday. Missed the XL version. Can't remember anything about archaic words and phrases. Now... will that be because of me getting on a bit, or did it not feature in the S version? I remember though the funny part about Herr Benz's first draiverz lizenze ;-)

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  10. now i know why i skip breakfast....

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  11. Hello Jinksy,

    As an ex-porridge maker par excellence(!) I rarely found the printed instructions accurate and then, of course, the power rating of your microwave is also very important!

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  12. I don't care what the instructions tell me, I never go longer than two minutes at a time with oatmeal, and I usually add natural applesauce in the beginning mix. Turns out great a little after four minutes.

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  13. If our microwave broke, I think our household would cease to exist.

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  14. Ugh. There's little more hideous than finding your oats boiled over in the microwave.

    Well, I suppose having a leg chopped off is worse, but you know what I mean. It's nasty. And don't make the mistake of trying to clean it up with a paper towel immediately upon opening the microwave door. That only leads to a burnt hand on top of the mess.

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  15. Was it really a lager bowl Jinksy or was that a Freudian slip? If it was then it might explain the eruption in the microwave. The farmer makes our porridge with organic oats every morning and follows the instructions on the packet (Jordans) - but i have to say he makes it in a rather large basin, so it never boils over.
    Hope the microwave hasn't been too hard to clean.

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  16. Ho Hum! Typo, Typo! Well spotted, Weaver! Larger it should have been. LOL :)

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  17. I am not sure what porridge is but it could be like oatmeal? I follow the directions they give for oatmeal but I just cook it at 50% for twice as long. This way I never have any problem, then I add raisins, cinnamon etc. I used ½ the serving they mention because I also add fresh strawberries et ½ a banana so by the time I eat it it’s quite a meal – that sticks with you…. I don’t use a china bowl – just some French pyrex bowl I found here at the hardware store.

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  18. Jinsky . . . I will not try that at home!

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