Fruit crisps: oat-y or oat-free

I remember the conversation as if it happened yesterday, not nearly seven years ago.

We were just about to enjoy dessert and I had set a cup of tea and a dish of fruit crisp and ice cream in front of my husband. He eyed the fruit crisp suspiciously, then asked, “Since when have you been adding oats to rhubarb crisp?”

“Since always,” I answered, giving him an equally suspicious stare.

Was he feeling OK, I wondered? At the time, we’d been married 17 years and I had always made crisps with rolled oats in the crumble topping. (OK, maybe only 97% of the time.) He’d never questioned a crisp’s contents before. I briefly contemplated suggesting we take his temperature to see if he was alright. Then again, maybe this was some sort of mid-life crisp crisis? Or perhaps a crisp epiphany of sorts?

An animated discussion ensued. Me trying unsuccessfully to convince him that, in fact, many people made fruit crisps with rolled or quick oats. He assuring me his mom had never used oats in her crisps and besides, oats really weren’t necessary – in fact, should not be allowed in a fruit crisp. (To this day, I’m not sure what he has against oats!)

Of course, oats aren’t an essential ingredient in a fruit crisp. But they do add a nutty flavor which many people (obviously my husband excluded!) enjoy.

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