Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Fruity Cheerios vs. Oatmeal

One of the biggest criticisms I've heard levelled at blogging is "who the hell cares what you had for breakfast?" Didn't think I'd ever stoop so low, but, guess what this is going to be about? Exactly! What I had for breakfast! Even if it means they'll take away my thinking blogger thingy.....

I wouldn't call myself a health food nut. Growing up I was fed healthy food. Never gave it a second thought. My mother, who was a nurse, put it in front of me and I ate it. Fast food was still in the future. Most food was fresh and minimally processed. Bread was often whole wheat. At my grandmother's house, out the country, white, store-bought bread was a rare 'treat'.

Candy was discouraged [which is not to say that we didn't head straight to the local sweet shop the minute we got a few pennies....] My mother tried to satisfy our craving for sweets by serving dessert. Sometimes it was stewed apples with custard [Bird's Jelly Deluxe!] Sometimes it was rice pudding. Sometimes it was sago [yuk, yuk!]. On special occasions it was apple tart[yum!] or queen cakes [double yum!] or, on state occasions, trifle [drool, drool, triple yum!] Always healthy, wholesome tucker. We didn't eat only dessert, but that's what comes first to my sugar-crazed mind. [Shepherd's pie was my favourite of the non-dessert items served at home.]

But when my children came along, it dawned on me that the care and feeding of these little people was my responsibility. Obviously nobody had checked my credentials before assigning me this task. I hung on with the breastfeeding as long as I reasonably could...... Then I haunted the library for books that would steer me in the healthiest direction. Which did not include jars with a happy cherub on the front. So I learned to mash and strain and puree. And, even though it didn't always look that appetizing, it worked. Nobody died. Nobody wasted away from malnutrition. Nobody had to be hospitalized and fed intravenously. Phew!

Liz had some strange favourites for a toddler. When I cut a lemon and used only part of it, she'd ask for the rest and happily suck on it!!! She also liked to pop whole kumquats in her mouth and chew as happily as if they were candy....And when I made coleslaw she had to have the cabbage core. Everything went well until my boys hit their teens and decided to become vegetarians. Which was, quite frankly, a pain in the neck. Stress was high enough trying to keep people fed who had two hollow legs apiece, now I had to accomplish that without any help from meat? Not fair. And then their little sister, who thought they were gods, joined their ranks, but she was still very young and growing....agghh....and stubborn....more stress, as I tried to make sure she was adequately nourished! Thankfully the OC and the Bean are still happy meat-and-potatoes-and-anything-else-I'll-put-in-front-of-them kind of guys.

So where was I going with this? Ahh, yes....breakfast. My mother fed us porridge for breakfast, big heaping bowls of grey stuff. My dad set it up in the evening in the double boiler. We sprinkled it with sugar, poured on the milk and choked it down. And then had a few hunks of buttered brown bread with marmalade for good measure. At least it stuck to our ribs and saw us through 'til lunchtime. But oh! How we longed for summer when she would relent for a couple of months, and let us eat corn flakes or rice krispies instead!

But, just like the sensible shoes that I so heartily resented, I find myself doing many things mum's way, now, at the rapid approach of dotage. Like breakfast. I usually have a bowl of oatmeal, made palatable by the addition of chopped up fruit. Except for lately. Due to the recent visit of small grandsons, I see a most unaccustomed sight when I go to the cupboard for my morning cereal. To wit, a large red and yellow box of Fruity Cheerios. Tiny crispy donuts in every colour of the rainbow. With no sign of an imminent return visit from the boys, and being a thrifty person, there's only one thing for it. I'm working my way through the box. But next time they visit I will implore their mother to buy a smaller box. Because..... are you listening up there Mum?.....I miss my oatmeal!

7 comments:

Liz said...

Next thing you'll be telling us about the stewed prunes you had for dessert! :-)

Zanna said...

It was always porridge for breakfast at my Granny's - served with a cupful of the'top of the milk' - and of course the sugar! Haven't had anything like that in 40 years!

sMC said...

The Scot always makes us parrich for breakfast. Although he does indulge in bacon and eggs once a week, and then I have cornflakes. I love fruit and sugar on my parrich, but The Scot always says "Thats no how you eat parrch" :)) aubirdwoman

meggie said...

I dont tell anyone what I have for brekky! But seeing as I loathe all dairy- apart from some cheese- I cannot stand milky cereals. When we were kids it was mostly eggs of some sort, poached or scrambled. Or even fried. We were never fat, nor did we seem to be unhealthy. My kids were milk users, so they had porridge or cereals. Weetbix was a big favourite. I would eat that with hot water in the place of milk.

Aunty Evil said...

if they were in my cupboard, I'd eat them too!

Sooziii said...

I'm a weetbox lady although I do love those little packs of porridge that are flavoured with sultanas and apples. My grandson is also one who loves the colour sugar laden treats - I rarely buy them for him and when I do he gobbles them down quickly - maybe he is frightened I will eat them while he is missing.

Stomper Girl said...

Oh Lordy. I absolutely would support my kids should they ever decide to become vegetarians but I suspect I'd be grumbling about it behind their backs!

Our 'Epicure' section in the newspaper recently ran a "sago is yummy and making a comeback" article. Yeah, well, I might take everyone else's word for that one, because sago sounds REVOLTING!

Chuck the sugary cereal out Molly or use it to ice a cake with. Breakfast is allegedly The Most Important Meal Of The Day. I think you should eat your oatmeal.