Got Milk?

I think I’ve mentioned six or seven hundred times that when I was a kid in the 1950s, I loved the television show Captain Kangaroo. The Treasure House. The Banana Man and Grandfather Clock. Other characters with clever names like Bunny Rabbit (a bunny rabbit), Mr. Moose (a moose), Dancing Bear (a dancing bear), and Mr. Green Jeans (I’ll leave that to your imagination).

The Captain and all of his friends had a positive impact on my formative years. To this day I will hear a piece of classical music and I will realize I recognize it from hearing it on Captain Kangaroo. I can’t go to the zoo without singing “Look there Daddy, do you see? There’s a horse in striped pajamas.” I know, Baby Boomers, now that song is stuck in your heads. My grands look at me like I’m nuts. They’re only partially wrong.

searchI’m telling you this because I’ve been thinking about cereal lately. Cereal is something I can eat on my low fiber diet, but not any that are actually healthy. Nope, only the ones that have no fiber. Cereal like Frosted Flakes. Which, of course, makes me think about my childhood, during which I ate cereals like Frosted Flakes, Sugar Smacks, Apple Jacks, and my mother’s one nod to healthy low-sugar cereals, Rice Krispies (which we liberally doused with sugar, thereby rendering them unhealthy). We used to get the snack packs, and we would bicker about who would get which cereal, none of us wanting the lone Corn Flakes, which always got tossed.

As I pondered my childhood cereals, I realized they were all made by Kellogg’s. I know there were other brands of cereals available. I’m certain at any rate that Post cereals were available, but they certainly weren’t on our family’s pantry shelf. Why?

My conclusion? Kellogg’s must have sponsored Captain Kangaroo, and we listened to the captain.

As an aside, while at the grocery store the other day, I noticed that an entire aisle of the supermarket is devoted to all-things-cereal. Not only are there very many more kinds of cereals, but many cereals have a variety of versions. Cheerios, for example. According to Cheerios’ own website (and yes, this cereal has its own website), there are Original, Honey Nut, Multi Grain, Ancient Grains, Honey Nut Medley Crunch, Frosted, Apple Cinnamon, Fruity, Banana Nut, Multi Grain Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Multi Grain Dark Chocolate Crunch, Dulce de Leche, Cinnamon Burst, and Protein Cinnamon Almond. Imagine. Here are a couple of photos I took at our market….

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As I further pondered cereal (remember that I’m retired and have lots of time on my hands), I began thinking about the milk we pour over our cereal. And how the milk, in my opinion, is the best part. All sugary and delicious.

Both Bill and I still drink the milk from our cereal. In fact, just like when we were kids, we unapologetically drink it straight from the bowl. Because sugary milk does not require a glass or a spoon. And we are proud of our milk mustaches.

I did a quick survey of the grands and their cereal milk-drinking habits. Here’s what I learned…

Alastair – always
Addie – about half
Dagny – never
Maggie Faith – no milk ever; eats her cereal dry
Joseph and Micah – yes, it’s a house rule that they must drink their milk
Kaiya – never
Mylee – never, or eats it dry
Cole – it hasn’t occurred to him and he spills half of it anyway

Cinnamon Toast Crunch seems to be a favorite amongst many of the grands. It’s a General Mills product, so it wasn’t advertised on Captain Kangaroo. Therefore, it was a no-go for me. However, I recently saw this recipe for a brunch cocktail, and while I’m not a fan of fancy-dancy drinks, I must admit this appealed to me. It’s the fact that you use the cereal milk. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t vouch….

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cocktail

Makes 2 cocktails, with more for virgin drinks

Ingredients
3 c. whole milk
2 c. Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal
2 shots Fireball whiskey, or other cinnamon whiskey
2 shots rum cream liqueur

Process
Combine milk and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal in a large bowl or pitcher, and let steep for one hour in the refrigerator. Strain, saving the milk and tossing the cereal.

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice and add the cinnamon whiskey, rum liqueur and 6 oz. of the milk. Shake and divide between two glasses filled with ice. Use the remaining milk for additional drinks or for non-alcoholic beverages for people who like sweetened milk.

Like me.

Thursday Thoughts

Home Again
Now that we are back in Colorado, at least for a bit, it is back to our regular routines. Like flossing regularly. Except that now I read that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is saying flossing probably isn’t necessary. Whaaaaaat? If I did my math right (which I’m sorry to say isn’t a given despite a very good high school algebra teacher), that means I have wasted something like 448,950 seconds of my adult life unnecessarily flossing. Those are seconds I could have spent on more important activities like playing Pokemon GO. And by the way, should the Department of Health and Human Services be worrying more right now about the Zika virus and less about our oral hygiene? Just sayin’….

Can We Watch Julia Child?
Kaiya, Mylee, and Cole were visiting the other day. As I was scrolling through Netflix to find something that we all could watch without having to cover anyone’s eyes, 7-year-old Kaiya noticed that Fixer Upper was on my Netflix list. “I like Flip or Flop a lot better,” she informed me, referring to a popular HGTV show. “You watch Flip or Flop?” I asked her, and she nodded. In the meantime, 6-year-old Mylee was lobbying for Cupcake Wars. What ever happened to Captain Kangaroo? I’m relieved to say that 2-year-old Cole was perfectly content with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, which he refers to as Mee Mow. He hasn’t yet discovered HGTV or Food Network, although I’m pretty sure his father is encouraging a strong interest in SportsCenter.

Puzzling
A couple of years ago, I got into puzzles. I had a puzzle going all of the time, both in Denver and in Arizona. My puzzle-of-choice is Springbok, with its large sturdy pieces, and even more important, the pieces of all different shapes. Before I got distracted from working on puzzles, I had discovered White Mountain puzzles and developed sort of a love affair with them and their busy, nostalgic content. As of late, I have no longer been working on puzzles. But the other day, Bec and I visited the Denver Art Museum (someplace I hadn’t been for probably 25 years), and, as is always the case, we stopped in the gift shop. I do love me some museum gift shops. I walked over to the puzzles and found a White Mountain puzzle depicting different memories/places/tourist attractions of Colorado. On impulse, I bought it. I spent a bit of time in the first stage – separating the pieces that make up the puzzle’s frame from the other pieces, and then dug in. And was immediately hooked once again… And yes, that’s a gin and tonic next to the puzzle. All the better to think spatially…

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Expired
The other day I was rooting through our medicine chest trying to locate a bottle of aspirin that I was sure was somewhere. I finally found it, not in the medicine cabinet but in the little cabinet right next to it. I was distraught to see that it had expired many years ago. It occurred to me that my bathroom cabinets were probably full of all manner of expired products, and I undertook a thorough examination. By the time I was finished discarding bottles of expired medications and other products, my medicine cabinet was practically empty. The winner (or loser, depending on your outlook) was a bottle of prescription eyedrops with Bill’s name on the label that expired in 1986. That was long before we were married, meaning he moved that bottle at least twice after it had expired. I am thankful, however, that he likely hasn’t actually USED the drops for – using Abraham Lincoln’s vernacular – over a score. I was surprised I didn’t come across Castor Oil or laudanum.

Packing My Bags
I have mentioned before that I am a sucker for all of the various and sundry quizzes and lists offered by Facebook. The other day I came across a list of what the “perfect women’s body” is in various countries. I was delighted to read it because I learned that I don’t actually have to lose any weight. I just need to move to either Colombia or Romania. I think I’ll like the food better in Colombia.

Ciao. Gotta go work on a puzzle….

Wait. What?

Bill and I flew to Chicago earlier this week to visit his mother. Our plane left Denver at 10 a.m. and arrived Chicago at 1:30 p.m. Right over the lunch hour.

As that great philosopher Captain Kangaroo would say, you have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool me, so I bought a few things to snack on so that we wouldn’t be hungry. A couple of peanut butter protein bars, a big Snickers bar, a bag of peanuts, and at Bill’s request, a bag of M&Ms. We settled down on the plane waiting until we were settled in the air before I would open the bags and commence snacking.

We were at cruising altitude and the flight attendant invited us to sit back and relax. My hand was poised to begin opening bags.

“Oh, by the way,” she added, “we have someone on board with a severe peanut allergy so if you brought anything with peanuts, please don’t open the bag.”

Whaaaaaat?

As you can see, only the M&Ms are open.

As you can see, only the M&Ms are open.

As you can see from the photo, we dined on M&Ms. Next time I’ll bring beef jerky. Nobody’s allergic to beef jerkey.

By the way, my granddaughter Addie’s volleyball team took first place in their tournament. Yay.

Addie is back row, middle.

Addie is back row, middle.

Have a great weekend.