I must write about "Lucky Charms".
It's a breakfast cereal. I've always thought of as a children's cereal. They say they're magically delicious in commercials.
Well, they used to say that.
Now I'm seeing a commercial where a woman says, "Lucky Charms." Then she eats some and says, "I forgot how good they are."
Guess Lucky Charms is looking for a new adult market.
Good luck to them on that. I couldn't stand them as a child. I can't imagine eating them as an adult.
I ate pretty healthy cereals as a child. At least they claimed they were healthy. Who knows what was in 'em?
I had friends that ate "Fruit Loops", "Sugar Pops" and "Corn Pops", and a few who enjoyed "Count Chocula" and "Frankenberry". I tried them. They didn't talk to me.
Eating healthy seemed to be a normal thing for me. While I loved sweets, I also loved fruits and many foods children aren't supposed to enjoy eating. You got liver and onions? Pass it over. Broccoli, raw or steamed? I'll take either. Brussel sprouts? Oh, yes, I loved the 'little cabbages'. Peas? Asparagus? Spinach? Yeah, baby, now you're talking. For a long time, my favorite sandwich was liverworst with yellow mustard, onion and dill pickle on dark rye bread.
Strangely, the one food I didn't like when I was young was sour cream.
My breakfast cereal mainstay for a while was Cheerios. I sliced bananas on them, which disgusted my sister. She's a purist when it comes to food: eat one at a time, and don't mix up their flavors or substances. Sort of prudish to me.
Quickly growing out of Cheerios, I switched to "Frosted Flakes" and left them, and then 'The Breakfast of Champions', "Wheaties". Those commercials swayed me. Gotta tell you that "Wheaties" didn't do it for me. Not much different from Frosted Flakes to me, it was like eating cardboard. I tried "Trix" for a bit, because you know, Trix are for kids, and "Kix", which seemed a lot like Trix to me.
"Life" was tried. Life cereal featured some kid named Mikee who didn't like to eat anything. The punchline was that Mikee liked them, to the astonishment of another kid exclaiming, "Hey, he likes them. Hey Mikee." My name was Michael so my sisters encouraged me to try them.
Life didn't last.
"Riced Krispies" came and went. "Puffed Rice" was...interesting...but not much to it. I needed to eat half a box to get full.
Throughout all of this, I enjoyed Quaker Oat Meal. We only had the old fashioned sort then, requiring boiling water, stirring it in, stirring it on the stove, cooking it covered, letting it sit for a few minutes. Not really a good choice for a young boy making his breakfast.
After Wheaties and the other explorations, I went to Raisin Bran because I'm a raisin fan. Later, I realized I liked the cereal because the raisins gave the cereal more flavor and substance. Then, while visiting my grandparents, I discovered "Shredded Wheat".
Now there was a cereal I could chow down on.
I'm not talking this frosted, flavored sugared mini things, either. I'm talking about the bare golden brown rolls of Shredded Wheat like a roll of hay in the field. It was a solid, crunching thing. You had to break it up to eat it.
There are many ways to approach eating a log of Shredded Wheat. You can crunch it up first and add the milk, fruit and cereal, or you can put everything in the bowl and then mash it up. Or you can leave the log whole and just break off pieces as you ate.
I tried all the variations and stayed true to none. Sometimes I preferred completely mashing the roll up, adding just enough milk to make it a paste. Other times I liked the challenge of keeping the log intact, using a butterknife to cut off pieces.
But then came the cereal that eclipsed them all: Grape Nuts.
We're not talking about the flakes, we're talking about the gravel in a box. I liked them with just a little sugar, enough milk to wet them, and some sliced banana.
Eating them felt right. You had to chew. They had flavor and substance.
It was this cereal I was eating when my wife and I married. She'd never had them before. Her mother always got up and fixed the kids oatmeal for breakfast.
So I introduced her to Grape Nuts. She loved them. "It's like eating little rocks," she said. Grape Nuts was our cereal for a long, long period. Eventually, though, I returned to oat meal, now available to make quick and easy. Now I eat oat meal with fruit or granola with yogurt and fruit.
My one encounter with Lucky Charms came at a friend's house. His name ws Charley. Once he'd been my neighbor and best friend. Then he moved from Wilkinsburg to the suburbs, to a new house in planned development. I went to stay with him for a night. Lucky Charms was offered to me the next morning. I ate some but, well, there was nothing there. I also tried some of the other sugared cereals available. They had a bunch of them. None appealed to me.
That surprised Charley's mom. "What do you usually eat?" she asked. I can remember that scene so vividly. "Wheaties or Raisin Bran," I replied.
She seemed mystified.
So you won't see me picking up a box of Lucky Charms and remembering how good they are. You might see me looking for Grape Nuts. That might be pretty good with some yogurt and berries.
Do they still make it?
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com