Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Clouds in the sky

Oatmeal bread
I've been making lots of bread. I bake oatmeal bread a lot, because it calls for oatmeal and whole wheat flour, and I have seven-grain mix from the Amish, so it's technically an eight-grain bread. As my cookbook says, “it makes delicious toast.” I'm convincing myself that it's a health-conscious choice, but it just tastes like decadent lavishness.

I convinced myself I needed oatmeal for breakfast in winter, and I can't eat eat real oatmeal anymore, not since the Appalachian Trail. Before I left, I blended six months of whole oats with wheat germ and soy powder and whey protein to make a high-protein breakfast cereal I packaged in ziplocs. By Maine, even when it was our prime source of calories from the mail drop, I could bear just to bring the goop to my mouth. It'd been invaded by weevils in my mom's basement, and was threaded with webbing.

I didn't find any actual insects, but I recognized recognized the signs. I knew she'd still had them, because when she came to hike with me, for a week in Tennessee, the box of generic mac-and-cheese she'd packed had insects fly from its cardboard. We didn't eat dinner that night. But the cereal wasn't as bad, just a bit of extra bitterness.

As Bahamians said, when we were invaded by boat weevils, you only need to worry after the bugs leave. Because till then, it's got plenty of protein. So we swallowed the bitter oatmeal, kept hiking to Katahdin. But I can't eat oatmeal anymore.

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