Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A Trip Down Memory Lane (or rather a trip down the cereal aisle)

Money is a little tight this week. Why do all the expensive staples in my pantry always run out at the same time? I’m talking to you gluten free flour and tamari soy sauce. So we were running low on cereal and my first inclination was to just make sure we had other things to eat for breakfast this week, but at Lidl my eye was caught by a box of buckwheat cereal at a low price. They were having a special on some gluten free food. I was suddenly struck with a memory that said, “Didn’t I used to eat buckwheat cereal?”

I bought the buckwheat cereal and mixed it with the small remaining bit of our favourite cereal Mesa Sunrise (which I already dilute with budget cornflakes to make it last longer) and I was instantly transported back. There *had* been a buckwheat cereal in my life! I was sure of it!

 So  a few searches later I found this:


This was the cereal! I remembered it so well. I am sure I convinced my family to buy it on the sole fact that it was called Buc Wheats as I had a mild obsession with Buckwheat from the Little Rascals.


I actually named our cat Buckwheat which everyone immediately  shortened to Bucky. I had a poster on my wall with a picture of Little Buckwheat and his giant unkempt nappy afro that said: Buckwheat say crack not o-tay! Which I genuinely hope wasn’t racist because I loved that poster.

So I started reminiscing over all the cereals I had ever loved in my life. Spiderman kept sniggering under his breath that it was sad when a person had nothing better to do than to dream about the cereal aisle of her youth, but soon he was joining in.

“What was that cereal that was so good but looked like dog food?” he asked.

 “Oh yes!” I cried. “It was made from oat bran and brown sugar and was delicious!”

A few google searches later and we had come up with it. Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran.

It was delicious, but it sure did look like dog food.


But the surprising thing was due to some heavy amounts of modified palm oil in it, the cereal weighs in at 200 calories a bowl. Yikes.

Then I started to remember the cereal that we only ate when we visited my grandmother. It was made of corn and like little pillows and stayed crunchy forever in milk. It was Quaker Corn Bran.


I used to love to put one in my mouth and then press it with my tongue as hard as I could to the roof of my mouth to feel it pop. It was like corn flavoured pop rocks.

“Did you ever do that?” I asked Spiderman dreamily.

No, I did not you insane woman, I just eat my food I don‘t play with it” his look seemed to say. 

I used to also sneak some little crunchy corn pillows and use them for tiny doll pillows for a set of miniature worry dolls. I didn’t bother to mention *that* to Spiderman.

I also used to love this cereal because the adverts were a complete rip off of the Wizard of Oz

With a scarecrow whose costume and make up were the spit of Ray Bolger. Watch the ad here and see if I am lying: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBNJ2J1iRog 

I can recall asking my mother to buy me this cereal and she told me it was only available in East Texas. I am not sure that was true. I think she just didn’t want to buy it.

Then I got to thinking about Chex Cereal. How I loved chex, because without chex there could be no Party Mix. Mmmmm…party mix.

You remember Party Mix don’t you? Chex cereal and pretzels and nuts all cooked up in a savoury salty sauce. Oh my days. How I loved it. My grandmother used to make it (the one with the Crunchy Corn Bran cereal) but hers was always slightly burned and full of wheat chex. Pooey. Tiggers don’t like the wheat chex. My dear departed Mother-In-Law Etta made the best party mix, hands down. Hers was always just golden and fragrant and full of corn chex and rice chex and deliciousness. She used to make us a special batch all to ourselves (I suspect I didn’t share it very well with Spiderman) at Christmastime.

Now I know now that Party Mix isn’t vegan because you normally use butter and Worcester sauce which contains little fishes in the form of anchovies, but there are ways around it. You can by fish free Worcester sauce or use tamari or soy sauce. You can use margarine in place of butter. But the one thing  I can’t seem to find here is Chex. SOB! I was all set to make us some veganised Party Mix when I realised you can’t find Chex or the equivalent here. BOO HOO HOO! If I find something I will let you know because we will be making it and eating it if it can be found.

The thought of my two favourite  flavours of Chex (Rice and Corn) made me think about another cereal.

“Do you remember…” I began.

“It was called Crispix,” he said and went back to his puzzle.

How did he know? But yes--Crispix was like Chex but with one side corn and one side rice and not a yucky wheat chex in sight. And you use Crispix cereal to make the rather oddly named but never off putting treat: Puppy Chow.


Mmmm….. puppy chow. Basically you melted chocolate chips and peanut butter and covered the crunchy cereal and then dusted them with powdered icing sugar.

Another treat I fantasised about veganising until I recalled you can’t get any kind of crispy hexagonal cereal here! SOB!

I recalled fondly that during the 1984 Olympics there were bumper stickers inside boxes of cereal and when I was at The Mountain on holiday with my folks it was the cool thing to do to get the bumper sticker and wear it. I can remember wrestling with a boy called Robin in the breakfast queue over some Special K for a bumper sticker. Many of the pictures of me that summer show me sporting asymmetrical earrings (it was the rage to wear one extremely long one and one short), converse hi-tops and signs saying Have ’em for breakfast America emblazoned across my chest.

 Those were the days.

 But enough with my trip down the cereal aisle of memories. I leave you with this joke.

When the third body turned up, stabbed with a spoon and covered in cornflakes the chief of police was heard to say, “Boys, I think what we have here is a cereal killer.”  

What were your favourite cereals and why?


  1. Ironically, wheat chex is the only kind of chex brand cereal I liked.

    I enjoyed both!!! BTW... I always like the salty burnt checks.