Cereal Killers

I grew up eating cereal. My mom did what she could to provide real meals, but truth be told, I liked the simplicity of a bowl of cereal and still do to this day. As a kid I can remember gazing at all those sugar filled cereals all lined up on a self in a low cupboard that I could reach all by myself. We always had about three or four boxes opened at a time. Never would a box go stale. Now, as an adult, not much has changed. However, my family currently has about ten boxes open at a time, and yet still, none will go bad. We buy six gallons of milk at a time to feed our unwavering desire for yummy cereals. We get the “how many children do you have?” question at the check-out line almost every single time. My response is, “Two. But they’re really thirsty.”

My wife will report that during her childhood they were only permitted to have two boxes open at a time. The next box shall be opened only upon completion of one of the two previous boxes. Seems like child abuse to me. Furthermore, the two boxes were typically Cheerios and Kix. Wasn’t Kix the “kid tested, mother approved” cereal? I’ll bet the “kid testing” program didn’t have Lucky Charms or Count Chocula as the other test cases. I think those taste trials were unfairly stacked—probably something like Kix, Wheat Germ Flakes, and Barley Thorns. Which one would you choose, kiddies?

As an adult, the toy surprise at the bottom of the box no longer generates any happiness. Unless you have an only-child, this little gift only produces large battles. One toy, multiple children equals a bad scenario. But as a kid, it was like digging for gold–your short little arm plowing though a mile of Cap’n Crunch in order to grasp that little nugget of goodness. Half the box would end up on the floor and you’d be itching the cereal powder clinging to your arm for hours. My Grandma would dump the entire box into a large bowl, retrieve the prize for us, and then carefully replace the cereal back into the bag. I guess she didn’t want us mixing the snot and dirt that was often all over our arms into the cereal that we would be eating. Yummy.

For the record, Kashi cereals are not cereals. I understand that many people enjoy that kind of thing, but it is not cereal. Cereal requires the sweet taste of sugar and/or a cartoon drawing on the front of the box. It’s wrong to sell your Kashi crap and Grape-Nuts garbage in the same section as your Froot Loops and Fruity Pebbles. Find a different isle for your so-called cereal.

As a lifelong eater of cereals, I consider myself an expert in the ways of preparing a bowl of cereal. Here, I offer you a couple of tips to consider when pouring your next bowl of cereal.

Know which cereals float. Don’t make the mistake of over-filling a bowl of Lucky Charms and then attempting to pour the milk. The cereal will float up and you will end up falling short of the required cereal to milk ratio. This mistake will cost you valuable time returning to the refrigerator in order to add additional milk to your half eaten bowl of cereal. During this gross delay, your cereal will sustain unnecessary sogginess. Disappointment will ensue. Furthermore, it is an obvious mistake to hold down the cereal with one hand while pouring the milk inbetween your finger and thumb in order to fill the bowl. Upon lifting your hand, only disaster can follow.

Avoid pouring milk from a high distance.  This rule is especially important when consuming a flake-based cereal. It is hard to generate a more disappointing sensation than watching the stream of milk hit a Frosted Flake and then be vectored off two feet outside of the bowl (often spraying over the edge of the countertop or table). When pouring milk into a non-ball shaped cereal, create a pit near the edge of the bowl with your finger, remove your finger, and cautiously pour the milk into this safe zone.

I love cereals with marshmallows. However, I do understand that cereal manufactures have taken a huge liberty when calling those little balls of sugar marshmallows. Lucky Charms is still delicious and always will be. Don’t read me wrong. But marshmallows, they are not. Try and stick those purple horseshoes, red balloons, blue moons, and orange and white shooting stars on a stick at a campfire to make s’mores. Not the same, is it?

It wasn’t too long ago that my wife pointed out that Lucky Charms is nothing more than Cheerios with little balls of sugar. I’m still coming to grips with this rude awakening. It still hurts. I’ll be alright, but I think I need to be alone for awhile.

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17 responses to “Cereal Killers

  1. Denise Matherne

    I have to interject, of the current 12 boxes currently open in our pantry, one is cheerios, bought for my Dad when he comes to visit, one is grape nuts, will go stale, because only I eat it, and one is Raisin bran crunch, will also go stale because I’m the only one that will eat it. Unlike my boys and husband, I eat about 1 bowl of cereal a week – luckily, I have a variety to choose from!!

  2. Agree! “Adult Cereal” really isn’t cereal at all, it’s more like fiber themed dog chow. Give me a spoonful of sugar in the morning and I’m ready to go!

  3. Who would have known that making a bowl of cereal was a culinary artform. This would explain why my table has faded rings of white, dried milk at the end of the day.

    I have to agree that cereal is a snack, dinner when your too lazy to cook, and a dessert when nothing else sounds good.

    Thanks for the post and the follow. I look forward to reading more.

  4. I hear you. I refer to my wife’s Kashi and Mueslix as the Sneeze Cereals.

  5. I have never been much of a cereal fan. In India we don’t have that many varieties available and the ones we do get are all wheat, corn, bran flakes. But reading this post actually made me hungry. I loved the passionate way you wrote about cereal. :)

  6. You had me at “Cereal Killer.”
    We also have about a dozen open boxes – Cookie Crisp, Fruit Loops, Trix, Cocoa Krispies (not Pebbles – my kids can tell the difference), Captain Crunch, etc. My kids all look pretty healthy to me.
    Growing up, my favorite thing in a cereal box was actually the cereal box itself. Was is Alpha Bits or Super Sugar Crisp that had the Archie’s “Sugar Sugar” 45 on the box that you could cut out and play on your record player?

  7. Hi, Thank you for stopping by.

  8. Apparently you Americans have cereals which are 99% sugar! How can I get some?

  9. I LIKE DRY OATMEAL.

  10. After ice cream, cereal is my kind of crack. Baby, i’m cukoo for cocoa puffs, loopy for fruit loops and i salute Captain Crunch! I’m opening a new box now.. just because.

    • And I salute you, however, being the chairman of the board of cereal consumers, I must point out that since there is no actual “fruit” in that box, you’ll be opening a box of “froot” loops.

  11. confound you, and your corporate mumbo jumbo!

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