For breakfast this morning, I had oatmeal. The other day, when a student asked about the word “bland,” I offered up oatmeal as an example of a food that tastes bland. When describing words to young kids, you tend to reach for the stereotypes first. It’s something I’m trying not to do. Because my oatmeal this morning wasn’t bland.

I made it last night. A jar filled with a green apple from my grandmother’s tree, chopped small. A sprinkle of salt. A heaping tablespoon of dark brown sugar. A handful of California raisins. Then, the oats. I use whole flake oats instead of the instant kind. They hold up better when you soak them overnight. When I last bought oats, they were on sale, two for one, so I bought a bag of “ancient grains” to mix in. I don’t remember all the grains, but it makes for a heartier, crunchier, more interesting mix. Nothing like “bland” at all.