Serious About Cereal

Growing up, we had a few basic options for our morning breakfast cereal (which was a typical weekday breakfast at our house...we saved 'fancy' breakfasts for dinner...most especially Dad's awesome Sunday night waffle dinners)--as follows:

-corn/bran flakes
-corn/rice chex

I like an occasional oatmeal breakfast, but typically started my day with a quick-and-easy cold cereal--maybe with something on top to add some pizzazz (fruit, raisins, coconut, sprinkles of sugar, mini marshmallows). 

I remember we did have several months (a year?) during which we excitedly devoured boxes of Cap'n Crunch (from a big sale? storehouse?) cereal which felt like a very special splurge. Sugary cereals were not on our weekly grocery list...unless...IT WAS YOUR BIRTHDAY WEEK.

On your birthday week YOU got to pick the cereal--dubbed in our family as "birthday cereal" and it was AWESOME. Honestly, I think it was a birthday least for me, because I LOVE cereal. It always went too fast, though. Probably because I ate 2-3 servings at a time!!

Both of my grandmothers provided delicious options for my cereal cravings. 

Grandmama always had special cereal boxes in her cupboards. I specifically remember Rice Krispies (snap! crackle! pop!), Golden Grahams, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I looked forward to these cereal options, and would enjoy a different cereal each morning we were at her felt like *such* a treat! 

When my Grandma J came to visit (or if we visited her), she would make buttered toast with freshly hot oatmeal which was delicious...but my favorite breakfast option was her fantastically scrumptious homemade granola. Seriously, people. It is the best granola ever. I learned how to make it and would occasionally make a batch or two...but it went pretty quickly, especially in our house. *YUM*

When I moved out for college, I spread my cereal-loving wings and bought whatever cereal I wanted. I don't like the over-the-top sugary cereals, nor am I interested in the chocolatey options. I really like cereal with clusters, nuts, and granola elements. My cereal standard eventually became Honey Bunches of Oats.

I like cereal so much that I remember as a newlywed, waking up just to eat some cereal in the morning and then going back to bed to catch some more sleep. I suppose cereal was/is kind of a comfort food for me. I love the crispy crunch and the blend with cold milk. So good, you can eat it anytime, really. 

Why limit the good stuff just for breakfast?

Things have changed, now that I have two little (but very serious-about-eating) breakfast-eaters in my house. We have a routine that we started with J and from which we rarely deviate. 

And, guess what. 

It does NOT include cold cereal!

The boys get hot oatmeal every single morning & they love it. Oatmeal with raisins, cinnamon, and a spoonful of no-sugar added applesauce to cool the bowl down. Cheerios, we do have, but are more of an easy snack option. We keep one or two other boxes of cold cereal...but those are for Mom & Dad. However, these have dwindled quite a bit in the last few months since the Mr. is on the road most of the time and when he is around, breakfast is not a priority for him. 

I still love cereal, and I eat it a few times a week...but I'm not as serious about cereal as I used to be. It is just not as convenient when I'm fixing oatmeal for the kids, and honestly--it does add up on the grocery bill. Plus, being pregnant, I never know what will sound good to me in the morning anyway, so I play it by ear.

The thing is...
...if I do eat oats.

I still like the cold cereal taste,
so I eat them raw.

You can take the cold cereal out of my pantry,
but you can't take my love for a bowl of grain with cold milk.

What's your breakfast routine? 
How much is it influenced by your childhood breakfasts?


It's Me - Jen E! said...

Growing up, we also just had the basics (cheerios, rice krispies, rice chex and grape nuts). I enjoyed the first 3 and still do. Never was a fan of grape nuts - it seems like it was too much of an effort to eat them! Our morning routine now (M-F) is scrambled eggs, toast and cereal (my J needs a big breakfast to start his day!). I still keep the simple cereal in the house (they don't need the sugar high before school) but when we go camping or during school breaks, we do see the froot loops and lucky charms make their way into our cabinet.
I like breakfast but it's too much of an effort during the week, so I am lucky to take a yogurt to work. And the weekends, I try to get us out for breakfast *sometimes*.

Linda said...

I agree Jen, the grapenuts were WORK!
The mystery of the Captain Crunch is that ...we were up at the Scout Camp at the end of their season, for something. Some kind of training, or service project, I think. And they had these CASES of Captain Crunch and they had to get rid of them! I think we might have come home with 2 cases! HUGE CASES. I think we got kind of tired of it! Well, I did. Too sweet! So yes, we had plain cereal at our house EXCEPT at one point I was totally buying those sweet colored cheerios...what were they called? oh, yes, fruitloops! one box of those got mixed with 2 boxes of plain cheerios. That was to give you a LITTLE bit of excitement without all the sugar! Cereal is wierd because sometimes it gets outrageously expensive, depending on the crops. We have wound up for quite a while now not buying cold cereal though Spencer ate it for years, and he had the big bags and would just work his way through them. Pretty fast! I finally got him on an oatmeal plan and he is thriving on it, and it holds him much better for a day at college. His classes and the drive is such that he doesn't eat again until AFTER classes. I think at the rate he eats his quick oats, he eats about 50 pounds a year, plus a sam's bag of raisins a month! He also adds in cinnamon sugar that I make up for him.
I like slow oats.

My favorite things of Grandma Jackson's were her apple dumplings, but also yes her granola was great! Growing up we often had a 'hot breakfast' because my dad then left for his work as a traveling feed salesman. He was used to the big "farmer's breakfast", and the idea that his wife got up and made him a hot breakfast. We usually had toast, eggs, and bacon or sausage. And orange juice and milk. I remember though as we got older, us girls just didn't have time for that kind of breakfast. Mom even had instant carnation breakfast powder packets available. We would rather spend the time sleeping, or putting on our make up than sitting down for eggs and sausage and toast. Short sighted, yes. She also had several kinds of cereal available for us. In the years at college we certainly weren't having big breakfasts. I remember thinking..."Oh No, when I marry will my husband expect me to get up and make his breakfast?" I was that in-between generation of women... I tried that a few times, but Andrew really isn't much of a breakfast eater, so that worked out for me.

As you kids got older, it worked better to just let you be on your own breakfast schedule. As we started making bread, I think there were toast times. We more likely had breakfast for dinner. Or weekends. Pancakes, french toast, eggs. Definitely Dad's waffles took on a life of their own. Bonnie has a rotating weekly schedule for her family breakfasts, or did. Andrew grew up with mostly oatmeal, I think...with the occasional other.

I like cinnamon toast crunch, granolas, and I went through a big Kashi phase.

It was fun to take you to the store and let you pick out your Birthday Cereal. A box of cereal just doesn't have that much in it though!

Linda said...

Dad used to eat dry oats with yogurt. He might have done that on his mission so that he would not get hungry, I think he said they were only eating twice a day. I also think I remember him sprinkling dry jello in the mix for flavor.