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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cereal. Cold cereal.

I had a great breakfast today. I finally got around to making my own whole wheat bread from the freshly ground wheat from HEB, made a sunny side up egg (chicken this time), some cheese, some honey, and a cup of hot cocoa.

Breakfast, however, is the meal that seems to stymie a lot of people. For many, breakfast implies certain types of food groups, and in fact, certain dishes are probably taboo on the breakfast table (starting with beer, but I may be getting ahead of myself). On my recent airplane trip, we were handed these single serving cereal bowls with a carton of milk - I declined mine. Mainly because of the milk. But cold cereal is a mystery to me. It is one of the most processed "foods" around - I daresay this is, as Michael Pollan will put it, the poster child of an "edible food-like substance".

The cultural cachet of cold cereal is amazing, though. It's considered an essential part of so many diets, carrying the kind of mythical sensibility that Gatorade provides. Which is to say, not really sensible in reality. Nutritionally speaking, I wouldn't put most commercial breakfast cereals at any better footing than corn chips with a helping of candy (for many parents, it's just a way to get kids to consume milk).

The best idea I've seen for breakfast cereal is to just use popcorn. Popped corn has about the same ancestry as corn flakes, yet isn't often thought of as breakfast food. And the latter isn't served in movie theaters.

I used to live in New York City. I have to admit, this is an amazing use of a very small space, an apartment that is only 10x16 feet, and yet manages to have a kitchen and a library. I'd have to think about what foods can be prepared in such tight quarters, I figure some inspiration from submarine galleys would come in handy.

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