Oh! Those versatile O’s

I come from cereal eating people!  My brother lived for Fruity Pebbles.  My siblings would fight to the death for the last drop of milk and/or the last crumb of cereal in the box.  They are all still avid cereal eaters!

I married a man that thinks cereal is a major food group.  He eats it in a big bowl, slurping every milk drenched bite, until it’s gone.  He also gulps it dry from a cup, for a snack.  In his younger years he would awaken in the middle of the night, decide he was hungry and go have a bowl of cereal.  (I can’t eat ANYTHING in the middle of the night, let alone cereal.)

My kids love cereal!  I don’t allow sugar laden cereals in our home, and I don’t allow putting sugar on cereal, as I once did as a kid.  Still my kids eat bowls and bowls of cereal, dripping with milk.  Or, they eat it dry for a snack or they often beg me to make my homemade “Floor Sweepings” with it.  (Floor Sweepings – any form of trail mix – because it looks like something you swept off the kitchen floor.)

I was born without the cereal eating gene!  As a kid I never understood the whole cereal thing!  I don’t like milk, therefore why would I want to eat cereal?!  I did find that I could tolerate Fruit Loops and Apple Jacks, just slightly wet from milk.  Although, if I had been caught throwing away the milk left in the bowl after the cereal was gone, I’m sure I would have gotten it!  My mother is of the firm belief and often quoted to us “Use it up!  Wear it out!  Eat it all!”  As I got into high school I learned to like Product 19 and Special K, a little bit.  However, they had to have several spoons of sugar applied in order for it to be palatable and again BARELY wet with milk.  I also really liked Chex Mix, but my family assured me that didn’t count as cereal eating.

As an adult I did find two cereals that I enjoy, one straight out of the box with no milk, Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuits Island Vanilla .  The other Nature's Path Organic Cereal, Corn Flakes, but I can only eat it with almond milk.  These cereals gave me a small glimpse into the life of my cereal eating family.  Even though I do enjoy these cereals, cereal is still not my first choice for any meal or snack.

I have to be honest, I do have one true, love affair, with one cereal, but I do not eat it the way typical people do.  I have a vague recollection of how I came to love this cereal.  As I remember it, I was baby-sitting three children, all day.  They asked for a snack, in particular popcorn.  Either they didn’t have it, or I didn’t want to make it (this was before microwave popcorn), so as I was rifling through their pantry I came across the following recipe.  Hot Buttered Cheerios!  It was close enough to popcorn in my mind, so I fried up a batch.  I have no memory of whether the kids liked it or not, but I fell in love!  I have specific memories, during my high school years, of watching certain TV shows and enjoying those hot O’s!

As an adult I have had them here and there, but less often, mainly because it’s expensive to cook up a large batch (no generic brand compares) and I’m usually watching my calories.  The Director and the five experiments have also come to love my kind of cereal eating, so if by chance I do make a batch, I have to make enough for seven people.  Not something I do often.  However, Cheerios are always in our house, mainly because they are so versatile and yummy!

Cheerios are a great first finger food for babies because they melt quickly.  And, if by chance they end up being swallowed whole, a child is less likely to choke because of the hole in the center of the O.  A quick search of the recipe section of the Cheerio web site and you’ll find 14 pages of yummy looking recipes using Cheerios.  There are tons of Cheerio crafts  for kids to do and there is even a Cheerio t-shirt line and Cheerio book line.  The books use Cheerios on the different pages to help complete the pictures of the book.  My children assure me that they are great with milk and right out of the box.  We often pack them as a quick snack on the go. And, if you happen to read my past post My Tinkle is Happy, Disobedience or Denial? you will find that (my boys assure me) Cheerios make great tinkle targets!

As for me, I’ll stick with hot buttered Cheerios, my one, true, cereal, love!


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