Finally, a cooking win for a crappy cook

by DGO Web Administrator

In an unusual turn of my internal human condition, I woke up this fine Sunday morning at 7 a.m. with a desire not only to cook breakfast for myself, but also my sleeping roommate. However, true to form, I wanted something that gave the illusion of health, but would also be quick and simple to make, which is why I chose Chrissy Teigen’s Yellow Cake Baked Oatmeal recipe from her book, “Cravings.”

To my great dismay, Sunday morning turned out to be a bit of an awkward time to shop for groceries.

Between constantly feeling as though I was in the way and even whacking one poor woman with my shopping basket, the man in front of me in line at the checkout unabashedly stared at me for a solid 60 seconds (which feels like a loooooong time when you are desperately pretending like it’s not happening by gazing with transfixed denial at the nut varieties on the snack rack) before asking me if my “head squirmed a lot” when I got my daith piercing.

Needless to say, it was a relief to finally leave. Unfortunately, when I returned home, I found my roommate still taking full advantage of her last opportunity to sleep in for the weekend on our living room couch, which posed a challenge, as that room is right next to the kitchen. I had a feeling my good intentions to make us breakfast might not be met with much appreciation.

As quietly as I could (which admittedly wasn’t a silent process), I began unpacking my groceries and digging through cupboards for dishes. But of course, as I was trying to drag out a cutting board stuck behind an unopened box containing an espresso machine, I knocked over a giant mug, interrupting my roommate’s slumber. As she mumbled something incoherent and checked her phone, I apologized for the noise and cheerfully informed her that I was making yellow fruitcake for breakfast (which in hindsight does not sound good at all). All I got in response was an unenthusiastic response of, “Cool…” as she rolled back over.

Unperturbed, I carried on. After preheating the oven to 350 degrees, I stirred together a bowl of milk and oats before nuking it in the microwave for six minutes. Once that was finished, I let the mixture sit for 10 minutes before adding in cake mix, eggs, melted butter, and salt. The cake mix proved to be a bit clumpy, so I spent half of the time stirring, trying to smash apart the blobs that stuck together.

Next, I poured the mixture into two baking dishes, as I did not own the 10×12-inch dish the recipe called for. Then came the fruit. I took two small peaches and cut them up into thin slices before sprinkling them atop the yellow concoction. The raspberries… proved to be a different story. A much more difficult, pain-in-the-ass story.

Turns out, despite scouring each box for mold (because every container seemed to be infested with it), I found that some of my buried-in-the-container raspberries were covered in this unwelcome fuzz, and I had to painstakingly go through each raspberry to check for mold, of which most of them had. In hindsight, I should have just pitched the whole box, but for whatever reason, I was filled with the indignance that I had paid for the damn fruit and I was going to at least get a fraction of my money’s worth.

Turns out, all that extra work didn’t really pan out (does it ever?), as I only ended up with a handful of usable raspberries.

Only somewhat satisfied, I tossed the pans into the oven for 35 minutes and took, what I felt, was a much-deserved break to go lay on my bed and play Candy Crush.

Despite my fruity troubles, I was delighted with how it turned out. Warm and weirdly (but also pleasantly) gooey, it just sweet enough, and was balanced out by the tartness of the peaches and (very occasional) raspberries.

Definitely not the worst way to start a Sunday for me and my roommate, who did eventually rise from the depths of hibernation to have breakfast as well, and gave me a thumbs up for presentation and taste.

Amanda Push is a writer who wishes she lived with a cat and just wants to learn how to not eat like a college student anymore. Contact her at [email protected].


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