Willis Kingery, Oatmeal

Three years of grad school truly did a number on my cooking skills and life habits, so this is somewhat difficult to answer, but I’ll share something simple I make often and couldn’t have survived without. It’s just an oatmeal recipe, but one of my morning staples. You simply make your oatmeal as you normally would—I prefer water and old-fashioned oats—add a spoonful of coconut oil and a dash of vanilla extract, then when the oats feel about done, turn the burner down, crack an egg in and stir thoroughly. If the temperature’s right, the egg won’t curdle. In my flusher moments I’d serve with maple syrup, blueberries, and walnuts, but it’s also great as is. That recipe comes from Lexie Smith, who posted it online somewhere while she was the baker at a cafe in the Lower East Side called El Rey. The food her and Gerardo Gonzalez were making there around 2013-14 was probably my favorite in the city. I miss it. It’d been some years since I’d stopped by, and I’d heard the food changed after they left, but when I walked past El Rey’s old location a couple weeks ago it had been replaced by something else. Fickle city.