One of the memorable commercials from my childhood was for a cereal called Life. And the title to this post is a nod to that commercial. Mikey happened to be a picky eater, but he liked that particular cereal, which seemed to come as a surprise to his family members due to his general pickiness when it came to food.
Let it be no surprise to you, my friends, that I like – I really like – cereal. Pretty much all cereal. (Though Grapenuts have never really caught on for me, but I’d be willing to try them again at some point. They do hold a strange appeal for me, but I remember being disappointed when I tried them several years back. The palate can change over time, though.) At the moment I’m writing this, I have a pantry full of cereals: Rice Krispies (generic, of course), Honey Nut Cheerios (NEVER generic), Lucky Charms (sometimes generic but not at this moment), Crispix (another generic), Reese’s Puffs (not generic now) and finally, Total Blueberry Pomegranate (a new try for me). I think you can tell just from this list that my husband and I are partial to cereal. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of love for Jake a couple years ago when he looked at me as we were eating cereal for dinner one evening and said, “You know, I really do like cereal a lot.” Bliss, people. Sheer marital bliss.
Over the years I’ve had some favorite cereals, and Lucky Charms will probably always have a place on that list no matter how old I get. As will Kix, for some reason unbeknownst to my bewildered husband. And Honey Nut Cheerios. That’s a classic, folks. (I should note that I recently discovered that Lucky Charms has the same amount of calories and carbs & actually has LESS fat than Honey Nut Cheerios. Crazy!) And I can’t forget Corn Pops. Oh, how I love Corn Pops…
Many times I have been extremely disappointed to find that a favorite cereal was no longer available. I still remember how sad I was when I realized I could no longer buy Oatmeal Raisin Crisp with almonds. Now you have to choose between having the raisins or having the almonds. And it wasn’t all that long ago that my husband and I discovered the far-superior chocolate puff cereal, Nesquik, only to have it taken away. This cereal was actually made so that the round chocolate pieces would release a layer of chocolate powder into your cereal’s milk so that after you ate the still-quite-chocolatey cereal, you had true chocolate milk leftover to entice you (to actually finish the milk!). Far before that day, though, I remember loving to pick out the little blue marshmallows that came in the Booberry cereal my mother RARELY bought us. They were just tiny pill-shaped marshmallows at that time, and I loved to pick them out and put them in an old film case and pretend they were pills; I would pretend I was a patient that had been prescribed this serious medicine and wouldn’t hesitate to ingest my cure. Now, they still carry Booberry cereal, but the marshmallows are no longer in that same shape or size. They are now in ghost shapes, I believe. Which is okay, but not the nostalgic favorite of mine.
Let me end with this: many of you will recall that I have described myself as a “foodie” and at times I’ve noted my love of “gourmet” food. And some would suggest that the idea of loving cereal as much as I obviously do and remaining a “foodie” or “gourmet” would be incompatible, but I absolutely believe that underneath every gourmet chef’s hat is a man or woman who wakes up in the morning to a good bowl of Kellogg’s best. Or Post’s. Or General Mills’.