Friday, November 01, 2013

Serious Thoughts About Cereal

I've been reading a memoir written by the daughter of J.D. Salinger.
[If you do not know who J.D. Salinger is -- umm, why are you reading Bookpuddle?]
I am a great fan of his stuff.
Even though her book meanders at times into information about herself that admittedly -- I wonder why I should be interested in that -- she does bring it back around to her dad just in time for me to keep reading. 

It's a big book, and it's been taking a while for me to get through it. I may finish it yet this weekend. I have about eight hundred other books in my TBR pile -- and I just added to that pile today at the annual Rockcliffe Park Bookfair.
But enough about me. Let's talk about cereal.
At the end of Ch.22 -- Margaret Salinger notes the difference between the breakfast-making skills of her mother and father. Apparently, dad rocked at making breakfasts.
Mom, not so much.
She goes on and on about how incredible his breakfasts were, how he "cooks eggs perfectly" etc.
I found myself profoundly relating to this guy. Because I take breakfast time seriously -- I really do. I have made many a breakfast for many a guest -- and have never heard a complaint. I've researched and learned the perfect way to "poach" an egg -- and have also perfected the art of "basting" eggs. This gives them the perfect cookedness, without ever having to flip them over.
When it comes to eggs, Margaret has nothing but praise for her dad's breakfasts -- but says of her mother's efforts, "Hers was straight from the English nursery: milky, runny scrambled eggs that we called mucous eggs or snot-on-toast, and Special K, which, in its dry meagreness, made me feel anything but special."
This raises the issue of what happens when you don't have time to fry up a nice batch of unborn chickens.
You eat cereal. At least I do.
And I have to agree with Margaret that Special K is maybe the blandest and basically non-exciting cereal that was ever invented. She's right. It's "meagre".
The question arises, therefore -- "Oh Wise One. What is a more preferable cereal, pray tell?"
The answer to that is easy.
Kellogg's [frigging] Mini-Wheats, in any of their frosted incarnations!
It has GOT to be, without even a doubt, the best quick-o just-add-milk cereal ever invented by mankind. I myself am addicted to Mini-Wheats, whenever there isn't time for a full-out breakfast. They're just incredible, and whoever came up with this idea for a boxed food product to get you though the morning should get a Nobel Prize.
At one point in the history of humanity, there was just those big unwieldy shredded wheat biscuits. 

And prior to that, just like... wheat, waving in the fields to no account whatsoever.
But then some guy said, "I think we can make this stuff spoon-size."
Nobel Prize!



Isabella K said...

Have you seen the recent documentary, Salinger? I saw it on Netflix a couple weeks ago. Riveting! I recommend it.

I loved Catcher in the Rye, and I find it hard to believe that so many people hate it and say it's lost its relevance. I've read little else of his, though. I take it you're a fan? Is this biography worth reading?

Stefanie said...

I have nothing to say about Salinger, only that I am glad you are enjoying his daughter's memoir. Cereal on the other hand, I love cereal! When I was a kid Cocoa Pebbles was my favorite. Mini Wheats were my mom's favorite and I liked those too but only if we were out of Cocoa Pebbles. Earlier this year I read a book about processed food and it had an extensive section on cereal and ever since then store bought boxed cereal has not entered out house. The book was that disturbing. Now Bookman makes a batch of cereal every few weeks and oh is it sooo good! Oatmeal and flax and wheat germ and sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, coconut, and a few other yummy bits. By the time you get to the bottom of the bowl you feel like you ate something substantial.