I can remember most Saturday mornings as a kid having breakfast with my Dad, watching Pee Wee Herman over bowls of Alphabits. That was until he abruptly announced I could never watch Pee Wee again. I was crushed and confused. He never did explain his sudden disgust for Pee Wee, who he used to find so humorous. But I forgot about Pee Wee and soon Alphabits and "confetti" was replaced with sweeter concoctions like Reese's Puffs and Waffle Crips, that I'd secretly drizzle peanut butter over when my mom wasn't looking.
The other night, after an unavoidable, packed full weekend, I found myself late at night in front of the tv with a bowlful of cereal. Kashi Go Lean Crunch to be exact. It was a raid through a sad empty kitchen that ended with a late night bowl of cereal. Something I can't remember doing since college. What is it about sitting in front of the tv, eating sweet, not so-great for you cereal that fills your veins with the sugar-rushed joys of your childhood?
Sugar. Pure sugar. Though it's been years since I've dug into a kid cereal box, it can certainly be said that commercial cereal was once a food group in my diet. Such a nightly snack would've been normal to me years ago. So it's sad (not for me really, but probably sounds sad to anyone else) when Kashi's Go Lean Crunch fills my viens the same way I remember Waffle Crisps once did, as well as Count Chocula, Alphabits and store brand Flinstones Pebbles, better known as "Confetti." It was always disheartening to find a cereal box with unreckognizable cheesy cartoons on the box at breakfast.
I never did understand why spending that extra buck on the real Fred Flinstone Pebbles, which guaranteed to taste just as good as the last box, was so difficult to come up with. But my parents were teaching me to be grateful for whatever was in front of me, even though I despised the store-brought box and it's fake cartoon bear with the party hat on, surrounded by fake "confetti" staring with that fake smile at me almost attempting to make me happy about my fake breakfast . Of course now it must sound like I never experienced a home cooked breakfast. For the record, my Mom can cook with the best of them and my Dad makes the greatest waffles you'll ever bite into. Still I was, after all, an American kid growing up in the 90's, when even the healthiest of family's pantries looked like an endorsement for General Mills cereal.
And now being the oatmeal-craving, granola-baking, better-for-you-grain-seeking dork that I am, Kashi Crunch is an indulgence. I hate even calling it that, because honestly I know I'm paying more for my healthy cereal at Whole Foods than my parent's would ever consider paying for any sugar-laden box of cereal. However healthy you may think a boxed cereal is, unless it's sugar is 5 grams or below, it doesn't contain high fructose corn syrup and it doesn't resemble all the colors of the rainbows, it's not the wisest or most nutritious choice to eat boxed cereal. That's just the truth of it. But my week has been insanely busy and with no time to make a wholesome snack, let alone pick up groceries I was kind of stuck. And alas succumbed to my Dad's Kashi Go Lean stash.
Now I must admit a cup of Go Lean Chruch, with a handful of berries, sprinkled with some cinnamon and dark Ghirradelli chocolate chips does the trick. I sat in front of the big screen tv, snacking on my new-found cereal concoction, feeling like a kid again. Thoroughly enjoying how the crunchy, sweet puffs of sugar I was consuming ( however healthified Kashi may sound, sugar is sugar. So my sweet-tooth craving was satisfied, my hunger satiated and my eyes were glued to whatever random movie my family could agree on at an ungodly hour of the night. Believe me, I will be going back to my oatmeal very soon. I know what I need. But I must admit, it was nice just digging into a box of cereal this once.