Growing up, we were always big on the family meal. Breakfast was in a nook behind our kitchen, at a yellow and white Formica table that just fit in the corner next to the basement stairs. When I was young, I would read the cereal boxes while my parents read their newspapers; I learned every ingredient and every serving suggestion and solved every puzzle on the back. While we weren’t a sugary-cereal household, my mom and I did have our own breakfast indulgence: back in the days before most people used skim milk, we’d pour whole milk on our cereal and then top it off with some half-and-half.
Of course, that was when I was young. Sometime in elementary school the selection changed: next to our varied flakes and occasional Life cereal appeared this small box, filled with something very dense: “Alpen”:http://ow.ly/4c6Z muesli. Instead of a bowl full of “Corn Bran”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrRE0Mvunvo, Alpen meant a couple of tablespoons of tan dust with oats in it, and my mother’s new skim milk on the top. Later, my father came back from a conference in Sweden, bringing a nifty viking ship model I liked to play with, and a reprehensible habit of putting his muesli on plain, unsweetened yogurt. The yogurt’s sour smell seemed to take over the whole sink when I washed the breakfast dishes, even more so when my mother picked up the yogurt habit too.
Alpen disappeared, and it was a while before “Mueslix”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNnHWVO9cx4 came on the scene, but somehow my parents persisted in ruining even something delicious like Cracklin’ Oat Bran by putting it on yogurt. I vowed that I would never ruin my cereal thus, and even stuck with whole milk into college.
So it is somewhat to my shock that I find myself having cereal with yogurt several mornings every week. I deceive myself that it’s not cereal with yogurt but instead a parfait, some special mixture of yogurt, honey, and granola; but let’s face it, I eat cereal with yogurt. The dollop of honey makes it nothing but sweetened cereal with yogurt. Worse, the cereal is either Grape Nuts or Kashi GoLean Crunch.
This is not what I thought adult meant. But it sure is tasty.
fn1. Is that Max von Sydow?
fn2. It’s not that I don’t like yogurt — I love it — or that I have a problem with plain yogurt — I eat it — just the yogurt/cereal combo always bothered me.