Quick quiz: can anybody identify the source of these quotes:
“Snap! Crackle! Pop!”®
“Let’s get Mikey! He hates everything!”®
If you said “cereal ads” or slogans, you get five points. However, if you can name all three cereals … without looking them up, you win the prize! (Leave a comment on this post with your cereal story, and I’ll send you a box of your favorite! No kidding!)
Ah, I remember when my brothers and I would actually get to go to our dad’s grocery store. It wasn’t really his; he worked as the assistant manager for the A&P chain, but we called it “Dad’s store.” As with most dads who worked (or work) at grocery stores, our dad always brought home what we needed.
But now and then, Mom would bundle us into our station wagon and off we’d go. We’d drag our feet through the aisles of condiments, canned vegetables, and aluminum foil, but when we got to the cereal aisle, magic happened. Our feet began to dance and our eyes to pop! The number of choices blew our minds.
And Mom usually would say, “Each of you can pick one box.” With our senses reeling, we looked from one end of the aisle to the other, then turned around and did it in reverse. Sometimes, we’d choose one, clutch the box to our chests, and carry it through the rest of the store to the check-out counter.
Before we go further, I should mention the prerequisite for choosing. It had a little to do with taste, nothing to do with slogans, and everything to do with the treasure inside the box. We’d been known to skip our favorite to take a box with little taste appeal just because of the trinket hidden in the bottom of the box.
When we opened the box at home, we’d wait until Mom wasn’t looking and squeeze it from, first, the narrow sides, then the larger ones, shaking the flakes or Os so to see down the depths of cereal dunes to catch a peek of the missing treasure. And when we found it, our hands (hopefully clean) reached way down, plucked the surprise out, and reshook the box, trying to make it look like the toy was sitting on top all the time. Of course, the bloated box that never fit quite right in the cupboard told a different story.
Then, breakfast could begin. We’d pour our chosen cereal into our bowls, add milk, and, if unsugared, enough sugar to make up for not having the sugared kind (and then some). And depending on the kind of cereal, our senses set to work next.
You know how moms and dads always tell kids not to play with their food? If so, why did they create Alpha-Bits®? The sense of touch couldn’t wait to pull out the letters to spell our names, placing the milk-covered letters on the table. By the time we got all the letters, the first ones were soggy and hard to pick back up to return to the bowl.
Of course, we all know which cereal wins the prize for the best auditory brand. You guessed it—Rice Krispies®! Okay, ‘fess up—how many of you actually listened to see if you could distinguish a “snap,” “crackle,” or “pop”?
For a treat for the eyes, I’d have to pick any of the many kinds of colorful cereals—ones with blue, red, green, and yellow Os or tiny flakes. We didn’t care about the taste, just the colors.
How about our sniffers? What cereal’s unique scent comes to mind? Okay, let’s face it, the apple spice smell didn’t mean apples were in the box, and the enticing chocolate odors may have added pounds from just a whiff or two, but it wasn’t from any real chocolate in the box. We admit our parents were right about the imitation this or that, but the sense of smell won us over at the time.
And last … taste. On this one, we have to agree to disagree … or agree to agree if you think the best tasting cereal was—
Oh, no, we’re not playing THAT game! You have yours and I have mine and never the two shall meet … at least in my mouth.
One final sense comes to mind before I end … that warm sense of feeling that comes from eating a cereal that brings to mind the love that went into making it. One cereal brings that to me: mush and milk, we called it.
Anyone else grow up having this delicacy made from Brinser’s Best Yellow Corn Meal and water, cooked over low heat for half an hour or more until thick and creamy. Poured hot into a wide bowl (to allow it to cool faster … and have more space for sugar), doused with pats of butter, covered with plenty of sugar (the bowl took care of that), and topped with milk. Nothing says breakfast cereal … and love … to me like mush and milk.
God sure knew what He was doing when He created the plants which give us grains to make the cereals we all enjoy and feed the cows that give us milk to pour over them … no, we won’t talk about those uncouth people who DON’T drink the milk in the bottom of their bowls when the cereal is gone.
So, anyone who wants a free box of their favorite kind, leave your cereal story here in the comments! Even if you don’t want the free box, we’d still enjoy reading your story!
8 thoughts on “Tell Me a Story about … Cereal!”
My favorite cereal, growing up, was Sugar Frosted Flakes, or Rice Krispies. When I grew up, got married, I became Wheaties, the breakfast of champions, most of the time. I now eat Wheaties four days a week and Rice Krispies on Sunday. They have to be the real thing, none of this store brand stuff. No, you don’t have to buy me a box of cereal, we go t the store every Friday. 🙂
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Hmm … let’s see what comes at Montrose! Thanks for sharing, Frank! My dad’s favorite was always Total, which is similar to Wheaties … but in my thoughts, better.
OH, I love this post, Cathy! I believe the cereals are Frosted Flakes, Sugar Pops, and Life. My favorite is Raisin Bran, even though they get soggy real quick.
One of my earliest memories is of staying at Ida’s, the babysitter, while Mom and Daddy both worked. Ida had five kids of her own, plus she watched my brother and I. When all us kids would clamber for a snack after school, Ida gave us a Tupperware cup of Cheerios. Then, when I grew up and had kids of my own, I gave them dry Cheerios for a snack.
If I win, you don’t need to mail me a box of Raisin Bran–just bring it to Montrose. I can’t wait to see you! Love, Jen
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Thanks for the compliment on the post and for sharing, Jen! (I didn’t know you liked to be called Jen!) I’m glad you enjoyed it. Cheerios are great snacks, though I enjoy the flavored ones for that. My favorite is the Multi-Grain Cheerios as a breakfast cereal. We give our one-year-old granddaughter Cheerios to occupy her between parts of the meal if she gets antsy. As for the prize, I’ll make sure a box of Raisin Bran is in our car for you … however, you didn’t get it right! It’s not Sugar Pops! The “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” is from Rice Krispies! Do you like plain Raisin Bran or Raisin Bran Crunch? Faith likes the latter. I even saw they now have it with both raisins and craisins! Blessings!
I like the plain old Raisin Bran!
Thanks for asking!
Love, Jen (which I only use in writing, because it takes less time)
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I think my favorite cereal growing up was Sugar Frosted Flakes — remember when it used to have “Sugar” in the name? A few years back they removed that on many cereals. But I think I loved Tony the Tiger. But we liked a lot of variety too. So, sometimes it was Fruit Loops, or Captain Crunch. Sometimes our mom tried to make us eat Total, for the vitamins. Had to add a lot of sugar to that! When my kids were growing up, their favorite was actually Quaker Oatmeal (instant) Maple & Brown Sugar flavor. In fact we have a big box of those packets right now in our cupboard that our adult son who lives with us still likes! As an adult I started to like less sugary cereals like Cinammon Life, Rice Chex, Cornflakes and yes, even Total! I do like Honey Nut Cheerio’s, Fruit Loops and Captain Crunch once in awhile. Gee I probably named almost all of them! I never liked Honey Smacks or Apple Jacks, though. But let’s face it, the best part of eating cereal when you’re a kid is reading the back of the box while you eat, or like you said, the prize inside. Oh yes, I forgot about Rice Krispies. But they weren’t my favorite. Just now and then.
I did know all of the cereals from the three slogans you mentioned. Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies, and Life Cereal (I think that’s right!).
Years ago I took my two youngest boys on a mystery weekend trip. I called them from work, told them to pack a suitcase because we were “going somewhere” when I got home from work. I wouldn’t tell them anything more. We couldn’t go far because I had to be back to work by Monday and we couldn’t afford to go very far either, but going anywhere would be fun. We wound up on an Amtrak, boarding in Niles, MI and getting off in Battle Creek maybe an hour later. Battle Creek is the home of Kellogg. Soon as you step off the train, you can smell cereal! The whole city smells like cereal and has the nickname of Cereal City. We just made a weekend of it, staying in a hotel, swimming, eating out AND touring the Kellogg Factory! You could have your picture taken and put on the front of a cereal box, just for you to take home as a souvenir. So I have this cereal box with my two youngest sons on the front that is so cool to have! They like to snicker now about how Mom once took them on a fabulous summer vacation to a cereal factory, lolol. But hey, they do remember it!
PS: Yes I did listen for the snap, crackle, pop, and always heard it, too!
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I think you win a prize for being the most inventive mother when it comes to finding ways to enrich your sons lives and have fun doing so! You share the most delightful field trip and vacation stories. I never knew Battle Creek was called Cereal City. I guess that must smell like cereal like Hershey, PA, smells like chocolate. It’s less than an hour from us. Also, in Harrisburg, even closer, is the Holsum Bread (or is it Stroehman?) factory. Driving by there is heavenly. And very close to us, less than half an hour, there is a place that makes Lady Fingers. When they’re in baking mode, I could just pull over and wind down my window and gain 10 pounds!
So, you win a prize for guessing the cereals! Would you like a box of your favorite kind mailed direct to your house? 🙂
Well I guess I never pinpointed what really was my favorite cereal, I sort of named them all I think! So thank you, but no need to send me any. I would like to one day visit Hershey, PA — just to smell it, lol! There’s your next (or someday topic) — chocolate!
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