The flu bug has struck, and together with a runny nose, an itchy throat and a raspy voice, I have also temporarily lost both my senses of smell and taste. That spells disaster where food is concerned as I cannot stress enough the importance of these two sensorial functions to enhance a total dining experience. Food presentation can only do so much to excite the palate, but will not restore the appetite without the other two senses. Having little to zilch appetite in the last two days or so, I have already lost at least a kilo in weight .... am wondering why no one else has done more R&D work on the numbing of these two senses to decrease appetite and voila, in the process achieve a slimmer you ... but what a sacrifice for vanity it would be to lose the ability to breathe in the intoxicating aromas of delicious food and to taste heaven on your tongue!
Whenever I'm ill, and sustenance is required during recuperation, I turn to trusty Mr Quaker and his instant oatmeal cereal. Not taking more than 5 minutes to prepare (add boiling water to oatmeal and stir for a few minutes), I know I will not run the risk of fainting out of fatigue on the kitchen floor."Something to smile about..... Start your day right..... Oatmeal - Lots of ways, every day....."
- that's just a few of the mantras on Mr Quaker's website
[visit for a wealth of information on nutritional benefits of oats, the soluble fiber beta glucan in oats which experts claim have cholesterol-lowering benefits, and recipes using Quaker oats products].
Unfortunately, for something that is supposed to bring so many health benefits, oatmeal cereal is unlikely to make anyone's top 10 food lists. Apart from suffering under a negative association with gruel
(a thin porridge made from crushed/rolled oats and water) fed to the orphans in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, cooked oatmeal porridge is really NOTHING much to look at - scoring very very low on food presentation and palate excitement (which is why I have placed this photo of my latest oatmeal porridge right at the end of this post).
If not for the slices of sweet succulent pear topping this bowl of oatmeal porridge which I had cooked together with some maple syrup and milk, and the fact that I was too sick to cook anything else, I sincerely doubt that I would have finished this bowl. I will try this next with some dried chopped apricots, honey and a dash of cinnamon... and pray that I will regain my senses of smell and taste as soon as possible!