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