No-Bread Bane / Bain-Marie Boon


I dunno how conditions are in your neck of the woods, BUT, the mere sight of the Stateside, broken supply chain’s emptied store shelves is depressing; so much so, that I’ve not been psyching up sufficiently to haul my heinie off to the supermarket. Consequently, since my last store visit (nearly one full month ago), I’ve observed my supply of cracked wheat bread dwindling; from loaves… to slices… to breadcrumbs…

Alas, this early a.m., that presented a problem; seeing how my oatmeal and coffee main menu frequently features a bain-marie (double boiler) warmed over peanut butter and jam sandwich for dessert.

ASIDE #1: If you’ve yet to consume peanuts / peanut based products, DO be cautious. Check this out…

“A peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies. About 1 in 50 children in the US have a peanut allergy. It is a food allergy that commonly causes anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening symptom of an allergic reaction. There’s no cure for peanut allergies, although many children outgrow them.”

(Ohio’s) Cleveland Clinic • Read Full Article Here

ASIDE #2: The de-linking of our supply chain has also cleared the shelves of creamy peanut butter (especially the stir the oil back in variety); all of which has necessitated my becoming more “adventurous”; i.e, opting to check out the chunky variety (which rarely sells out). In this case, my message to the non-allergic masses: DO be adventurous; in this man’s opinion, there are few culinary pleasures that can top munching into a PB & J sandwich’s delish, warm goobers.

So, with all asides now set aside… here’s how I compensated for my down to bread crumbs, crummy plight.

I began by upping my usual oatmeal serving size from 1 to 1½ cups. While everything cooked up, I located my smallest loaf pan; the actual L x W x D:

  • Centimeters = 11½ x 6½ x 4
  • Inches = 4½ x 2½ x 1½

Once the oatmeal was ready, into the loaf pan I spooned / spread out, evenly, the following ingredients:

  • a bottom 2 cm / ½ in thick oatmeal layer
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp strawberry jam
  • a top 2 cm / ½ in thick oatmeal layer

I placed the goodies loaded loaf pan into the now rinsed clean, reheating bain-marie. In the approximately 15 – 20 minutes it took for me to savor my bowl of oatmeal, the mock PB & J’s peanut butter oil was re-separating and the jam was liquefying; thereby imbuing the surrounding oatmeal.

Obviously there’s also plenty of room for future, ingredient experimentation; e.g.

  • adding a crumbled crackers top layer
  • replacing the jam with pancake syrup
  • including raisins, dates and figs
  • subbing in seasonal fresh fruit
  • sprinkling on spices (e.g. cinnamon)

Who’d have thought it possible that a bain-marie could transform into a stove top bakery?

As for the two cereal layers’ ability to replace the bread slices, the oaty flavor proved vastly superior; so yummy that I’m no longer in any particular hurry to haul my heinie off to the grocery store.

My reinvented PB & J sandwich, summed up more succinctly:

Confection Perfection!




Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!










That’ll NEVER happen?


17 springs ago… I officially inherited a bain-marie (a.k.a. double boiler), which, from c1968 onward, had simmered to perfection, many a piping hot, tasty bowlful of oatmeal, cornmeal and cream of wheat for my father, mother, sister and me.

I also inherited the buildup of accumulated minerals, which had lined the bottom section. Each time I’d look at that sickly shade of tan, approximately 2mm / 0.125inch thick layer, I wished I could remove it… yet… without fail… would conclude…

“That’ll NEVER happen!”

Why I warmly welcomed “Ms. Marie” in my kitchen was, mainly, for sentimental reasons. Each time “she” helped me prepare breakfast, there was that sense of continuity / linkage to fond memories of my gathered around the breakfast table family. There was a pragmatic reason, too. This double boiler’s appearance, otherwise, was still presentable.

3 mornings ago… while preparing a new batch of oatmeal, I heard this short series of loud banging noises… and soon afterwards a bunch of clunking sounds. Well, seeing how this odd racket had come towards the end of the preparation cycle, anyway, my suspense was short-lived.

Within seconds of lifting off the top section, I realized my 17 year-old-wish had been granted. That entire eons old, built-up layer had miraculously broken free and into chunks.

Granted… that lower section still doesn’t look brand-shiny-new, but at least its more presentable.

Admittedly… not all of life’s oft complex problems are as insignificant as the cruddy insides of a double boiler.

Even so… I’ve still got to wonder… how many times, in our day-to-day lives, do we hastily, erroneously conclude…

“That’ll NEVER happen?”