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Fancy Cereal Fancy

July 3, 2014

Cereal and milk. Milk and cereal. It’s a classic.

Say what you will about the state of cereal today, but there are cereals to be found that offer a deep toasted grain flavor with just a hint of sweetness (without a lot of the junk you don’t want). I’m partial to a few of the less sweet products made by Nature’s Path. The heirloom grain flakes may be my favorite.

The state of milk today isn’t great either, but there are good versions to be found that can actually bring pleasure. And milk should absolutely be a pleasurable treat since its filled with fat and sugar. If it’s not, it may be time to change your milk.

But it’s far too easy to lean too heavily on milk and cereal. And the unfortunate side effect of that is burn-out. The joy of the contrast between crisp and creamy, and the race to finish the bowl before the flakes succumb to milk’s temptation, is replaced by the monotony of choking down another damn spoonful of the same stuff day in and day out.

Have you ever considered making your cereal more fancy?

There’s a place in Philly that’s doing just that. Maybe you saw the video that was going around. Not only is this now the restaurant’s signature dish, but it’s also a savory one. Of course, this isn’t the only path to the solution.

Yesterday, I thought that if I could just dig out enough cookware and dishes to make and serve a proper dinner, it would help me feel more settled.

Regrettably, I failed in my goal.

Part of the problem had to do with the dishes. Mrs. Fussy and I have finally taken possession of some family china. And man, were those plates packed away safely. Unpacking the twelve piece set felt like Christmas. There were dozens of paper bundles within a giant box, and it was unclear what each contained until it was fully unwrapped.

“Ooh, it’s a footed gold-rimmed tea cup”
“Um, that’s a big gravy boat.”
“Honey, I think we now own a soup tureen.”

By the time everything was unwrapped, and put away, there was no time remaining for cooking dinner. There was time for cereal.

Naturally, I had mine in one of our new bone china bowls. And to make it extra fancy, I used one of our silver soup spoons. The silver had been in storage, and before that it had lived the bulk of its life in its padded, leather bound case. But dammit, silver was meant to be used and enjoyed. China too.

So that’s what we’re doing. We’re elevating the everyday. Especially now that the kids are a little bit older and I can trust them with nice things just a little bit more.

Granted, this may not solve your problem of cereal fatigue. If you simply cannot face another bowl of cereal and milk, then I’d recommend going cold turkey for a while. Overnight oats are a good replacement. So are generic Grape Nuts with yogurt and a bit of honey. But you could also try going savory with some hummus on Ak-Mak crackers. During the summer when I was getting parsley from the CSA, I’d make some piquant Italian salsa verde and have it on toast.

If that doesn’t wake you and your taste buds up from the drudgery of breakfast, I can’t help you.

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