It’s strange how some things at some-times sometime act as irresistible magnets.

Hot dogs, for instance. Who eats hot dogs? Alright, most everyone did when they were kids. Except, maybe, the Goody Two-Shoes . . . who, doubtless, ate kale. But as adults, who looks forward to coming home from work and having a nice hot dog for dinner? Nobody. At least not in the elitist but socialist circles in which I travel but have not been granted membership.

What with all the worries about their ingredients, how the hot dog will affect our delicate digestive systems and, ultimately, the consequences for the endangered species (“cool” dogs we’re less concerned with).

But go to a ball park or an auction or a state fair, and the hot dog rockets from insignificant and off-the-radar to the only item on the menu worth rational consideration by reasonable people.

Yet a dietary yen every now and again is not unusual among people. Pickles and ice cream, to trot out a well-worn example.

Once a year, sometimes twice, and if I had it my way, three or more times, the urge for oats strikes. Tricked into this addiction by a stone-faced and perfectly grim chef, whose only redeeming quality is the incredible food she prepares, I now qualify for a recovery program, group rehab, and probably cost-free oat-patches to be affixed to my upper arm. There may be a prescription drug to which I’m entitled, though which one is unknown. But I’m already feeling victimized.

Steel cut oats – and I have no idea what they are or how they’re different from any other kind of oat – are the drug of choice. It is, apparently, a big deal to prepare them. Takes days and days. Over an open fire. With really large pots. And lots of stirring. Which, of course, requires considerably upper-body strength coupled with endurance.

But health and longevity are ensured for those who indulge in the oat. Not to mention moral superiority. And an entitlement to lecture others – hot dog-eaters, to pick an example at random – about their miserable choices and how it’s sending the nation into a downward spiral.

As well, preparing the oats for eating is a ritual not to be missed. Load them into a bowl. Add a generous amount of brown sugar. Maybe a dash (or two) of cinnamon. A healthy (and healthful) dose of half and half – it is dairy, after all. And about a gallon of pure maple syrup. Add fruit only if you wish to spoil the sugar.

Almost sounds like a candy bar, doesn’t it?

No matter. I’ve been assured by nutrition, hospitality and certified, professional fitness and exercise club staff that oats cure most things and prevent most everything else that requires preventing.

That’s all the evidence required.

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