I was listening to a WWII-era episode of "The Aldrich Family" which opens as the family is seated around the breakfast table and Mrs. Aldrich is insisting that Henry finish his "dish of oatmeal." It's not the first time I've heard the word "dish" used in place of "bowl" or "plate" on one of these vintage radio programs, but this was the first time I really noticed the difference. Today, I think most people are more specific --- a "bowl of oatmeal" or a "plate of spaghetti" --- at least that's the way I've always heard it! Maybe it's just a regional thing. Are any of you more accustomed this kind of phrasing?
Speaking of oatmeal, I wonder if kids have always hated it as much as me and my sisters did when we were little. We smothered it in as much brown sugar as our mother would let us and gagged as little down as we had to... Thank goodness it wasn't an every morning kind of thing! This wasn't the sugary instant stuff, mind you. That was an entirely different ball game! It's only as an adult that I've been able to find any kind of taste for oatmeal - and still the Irish Oats brand is the only kind I really care for. It's just not as gelatinous as the others.
How do you think oatmeal was usually served in the '40s? Did people garnish it with cream, milk, sugar, raisins --- all the goodies, or did they eat it plain? Was oatmeal a breakfast staple all winter long with a switch to cold cereal in summer?
The history page at www.quakeroatmeal.com tells me that Quaker Oats was manufacturing a "Quick" variety in 1922 - much to the relief of mothers across America, I'm sure! Quaker purchased Mother's Oats at the turn of the century and continued using the brand name until at least 1949. In 1915, they began selling oatmeal in that cylinder-shaped container we still see today. Clapp's and Armour's also sold oats during the '40s, and Gerber made a "Strained Oatmeal" product for babies.
A dish of oatmeal, anyone?