Some time last week, Maureen had to work late and the kids were at their mothers, so I was actually left to my own devices and could eat absolutely anything I wanted for dinner. Maureen called to check on me and she naturally asked what I had done about dinner. I replied that I had a bowl of cereal. Actually I had three, but I don’t think anyone was keeping track. Maureen seemed stunned. She felt like a rotten girlfriend. She wasn’t there, so I had to resort to eating cereal. Like I couldn’t take care of myself. You see, I didn’t have to eat cereal. I wanted to eat cereal.
I am actually a pretty good cook. I grill almost all summer, and even in the winter with the grill in the garage and the door open. I fry up a mean zucchini just like my mama used to do. And usually on a night when I have no kids I make something I know they won’t touch. On a similar night recently when I was home alone, I made myself chicken livers and collard green. Even Maureen turned her noise up at that one, but they turned out great. One of my employees shared the leftovers with me the next day at work, and he thought they were very good too. Of course, then again he was also the guy who had me taste his Arkansas Squirrel Stew last year. It was actually pretty tasty, although you had to be careful of the rib bones. They could be a little sharp.
But on this night I chose to have several bowls of cereal for dinner. My grain of choice that night was Honey Nut Cheerios. But it really could have been almost anything. I’m a bit of a cereal slut. Not very picky about the specifics as long as it goes well with some cold milk. 2% of course, anything less would be like putting water in the bowl. I tend to stay away from the over sugared cereal. Marshmallows belong in hot chocolate, not in my breakfast. Rice Crispy Treats being the noted exception. But I don’t float those in a bowl. My love of a good bowl of cereal dates way back to my childhood. I believe it was my sister Amy who would tell the tale of me and the six or seven bowls of cereal in one sitting. I have a feeling it is a bit of a tall tale, but I can’t deny it was possible. In a head to head battle between me and a box of Golden Grahams, those honey coated crunchy little squares don’t stand a chance.
Cereal makes a good meal no matter what time of day, and even a great late night snack. I have had many nights where sleep has failed to take a hold, where a quick trip to the pantry and a box of Frosted Mini-Wheats have done what no other sleep aid could. I have not tried the other flavors of the Mini-Wheats. Although I am sure they are delicious, I am a bit of a purist on this one. And I don’t really have a favorite cereal, I am perfectly happy with whatever happens to be on sale at the time I am at the store. Nothing fancy like those granola and berry mix things, just a plain box of Rice Chex or Corn Flakes are perfectly fine. Maureen is fond of the Special K with the strawberries in it, but I haven’t given them a try yet. It is not because I think I won’t like them, I’m afraid I will like them too much and Maureen may find me one morning hiding in the corner with the empty box.
Alex likes a good bowl of cereal too, but more like Calvin and Hobbes he is drawn to the Chocolate Covered Sugar Bombs. The boxes with more sugar than cereal. Fruity Pebbles, or Trix, or Fruit Loops. Don’t take this as a slam against the sugar-coated cereals. Give me a box of Honeycombs or Corn Pops and all bets are off. Molly is the marshmallow cereal eater, and Alex will also partake in the Lucky Charms type of fare, but Molly does it all without milk. Another one of those times when I think maybe we brought the wrong baby home. Molly’s all time favorite is the Cinnamon Toast Crunch, again though, dry as a desert. But not a bad choice for a favorite. I don’t think I could pick a favorite if you asked me to. There are so many choices and possibilities down the cereal aisle at the market, that I honestly think I could eat cereal for every meal every day of the week. But then again, there are so many other good foods that I would miss if it ever come down to that. Every once in a while I need those chicken livers too.
That will be the night that Maureen and the kids eat cereal.