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Seriously, now? Going after the CEREAL?

April 27, 2009

A fun post at By Common Consent made me evaluate my childhood through my breakfast habits…did I grow up Mormon enough?

So when I see gleaming boxes of Apple Jacks and Frosted Flakes (all close to free if you hit it right with sales and coupons), I find it hard to resist. I try to avoid the blatently hydrogenated cereals, which eliminates the favorite Captain Crunch, Raisen Bran Crunch (surprising, isn’t it?) and Fruity Pebbles (which, if you leave it soaking long enough, will turn your milk an appetizing shade of chartruse). But that leaves Apple Jacks, Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, Honey Nut Cheerios, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch fair game for my pantry, all for a pittance. And I gather them all, like a chicken gathering her hens. Or, something like that, if hens came in flakes baked in sugar.

So I’m curious. Does anybody else have a mildly dysfunctional relationship with sugar cereal? (Although, now I think about it, I don’t know what a functional relationship with cereal would be.) Does sugar cereal represent something about childhood, or am I the only one here? And does anybody else think grapefruit is manly?

A mildly dysfunctional relationship with sugar cereal? Are you kidding me?

I’ll tell you something. When I was growing up, I don’t think I ever had a “traditional” breakfast for breakfast (at my house). Eggs, bacon, sausage, french toast or even buttered toast with jelly…I loved all of that stuff dearly, but the tradition at my house was that that was Sunday dinner. So every week, after church, I looked forward to all of that stuff.

Man, my eyes are watering, because I’m remembering such good times.

I remember how I wanted to get out of my Sunday clothes faster so I could eat. But I would generally wear my dress socks because they feel better than regular socks (but they are so delicate…they tear easily). So, I’d wolf down some dinner, and then my mom would vary between making cinnamon rolls or apple turnovers. Cinnamon rolls were awesome. Apple turnovers were not so awesome.

My dad would always want to get cornbread…I don’t know how he liked the stuff, personally…Cornbread is one of a few foods that is deceptive…you think it’ll taste like cake (even though the name is much less flattering), and when you have some…blech. Maybe it’s an old people thing.

That was just Sunday dinner though.

Mmm, delicious

Mmm, delicious

During the week for breakfast, we didn’t have such luxuries. Even the breakfast of Heather O’s husband (toast with honey, a glass of juice, and a grapefruit) was beyond my grasp. So, I identify well with Heather about especially the Cinnamon Toast Crunch — I believe it is the best cereal ever. If you don’t, bite me.

Many days, I wouldn’t even eat anything for breakfast. See…I don’t know if there’s an official condition for it, but I’ve found that if I eat before about 9:00 AM, I get sick. It throws my day off. It’s better for me not to eat until lunch (which I guess becomes my breakfast?).

I guess in the end I have to realize that my family just did things weird…and that perhaps I would have appreciated something different. Whenever I would go to a friend’s house, I’d be amazed at how he and his family would love to cook all sorts of things — it was something the whole family got into. So of course, at sleepovers, there’d be breakfast.

What am I talking about…the grass is always greener. I have no time or patience to cook great breakfasts, and even doing something continental like getting a piece of fruit just doesn’t seem right to me.

So if I must have a dysfunctional relationship with cereal, fine by me.

…maybe I should work on my irrational dislike for grits and oatmeal simply because of their consistency.

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  1. Cinnamon Toast Crunch is damn good stuff. I’ll always have a soft spot for the frosted mini wheats, though.

  2. frosted mini wheats were a cereal I didn’t often get to enjoy…I dunno why, but I could never get to buying it that much.

    CTC was always A+ stuff.

  3. I pretty much abandoned cereal after moving to Norway. Norwegians aren’t big on cereal, they want a good, hearty bread for breakfast, along with jam, cheese, eggs, or cold cuts (which I avoid). If I eat bread vs. cereal, I can go longer before I get hungry again. But whenever I come home to Canada, what’s the first thing I want to eat? Cheerios. The good old plain Cheerios in the yellow box. It’s strange, I can get every kind of Cheerios in Norway (honey nut, multi grain, etc.) EXCEPT the plain kind. That’s probably why I quit eating cereal. If I’m in the mood, I’ll get a box of Bran Flakes or Special K, but usually my husband ends up eating it. Germans are good with Musli, a mix of flakes, oats, seeds, nuts, dried fruit. It’s much better for you than granola.

    I know what you mean about eating too early. Even if I start work at 7 am, it takes a couple of hours for my stomach to “wake up.” But I never skip breakfast, even though it might be closer to “brunch.”

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