Monday, February 22, 2016

It's Come to This

I'm guessing that every mom has in her arsenal one meal that is the go-to grub for when she has HAD IT with the cooking all the danged time and the baby bird mouths are still opening and closing in front of her. We were raising our Boys at the same time some friends were raising 11 kids (really!) and I asked that mom how she coped with one of those days. Eggs, she told me. My mom's go-to was peanut butter sandwiches.

In my case, that anti-starvation arsenal was loaded with cheap cereal. I  bought cereal by the multi-box pack, by the duffel-sized bag, and by the grocery cartful. With six of us and the price of cereal going up all the time I had to be canny in choosing brands, but I was a cereal bargain hunter and gatherer par excellence and no one starved. I did try to keep the nutritional value of the cereals at least a notch above the nutritional value of cardboard packaging, but once in a while a box of Reese's Puffs sneaked into the cart and lo, there was great rejoicing.

Recently Boy#3 was home and feeling peckish so he headed for the cereal stash. I found him there with the cupboard open, shaking his head slowly.

The cupboard contained raisin bran (of course), but also bran flakes (two brands), Crunchy Raisin Bran, Cracklin' Oat Bran, and Fiber One. Needless to say, there were no Reese's Puffs.

"This is the saddest thing I've ever seen," he told me. "It's an old folks home cereal cupboard."

Well, yeah.

This weekend we upped the ante. See that raisin bran above? It appears for all the world to be Post raisin bran, which looks like this:

But no! Ours is, in fact, Kiggins brand. 
I'm sure it's just coincidence that the font, the color choice, and the arrangement of the photo are practically identical.
Yes. Kiggins. 

You were not even aware this brand existed, were you? Nor was I, but because it was half the price of the name brand, when I saw this on the shelf I bought Kiggins raisin bran. 

This, of course, is during the time of our life when we are not exactly Uncle Scrooge McDuck crawling around on piles of doubloons but we are through with braces and piano lessons and tuition payments, so I could afford to pay twice as much and get the name brand cereal without toddling off to the poor house. 

But old habits die hard. Hunters and gatherers don't lose their finely tuned skills when they get old. 

It's not Reese's Puffs but the Kiggins raisin bran wasn't too bad. 

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