Growing up, the Everythingtarian family was a devout, cereal-eating bunch.
We ate it for breakfast.
We often ate it for lunch.
And yes, on those neverending days when Mama Everythingtarian was sick of wiping snot, making pot after pot of Kraft Mac n’ Cheese and taking care of more than five daycare kids in addition to her own four daughters, we ate it for dinner too.
Whenever I found myself clutching my grumbling stomach in dire need of sustenance to survive my years of childhood sans kwashiorkor, I knew there was no point in whining to Mama E about it. Mostly because I already knew what she would say…
“Have a bowl of cereal.”
In case you needed confirmation: yes, I was a drama queen from a very young age.
I distinctly remember the one time Daddy Everythingtarian tried to make us French toast. I was eight years old. Mama E had left for work when Daddy E sprung into the kitchen offering his four precious daughters piping hot French toast on a Saturday morning.
Can you imagine the excitement me and my freshly-awoken Medusa hair felt in that moment? I was as excited for this French toast breakfast as I would be later that year when I received a Troll doll, bright blue windsuit AND Ren + Stimpy dinner tray for Christmas.
While Daddy E makes a killer bacon + eggs breakfast and can grill with the best of ’em, I soon learned sweet breakfasts are just not his thing.
He forgot to put milk in the eggs.
Ten minutes later, two slices of soggy bread weighing about five pounds each plopped onto my eagerly-awaiting plate. My eight-year-old self even knew something was inherently wrong upon discovering the middle was still raw.
I took one look down at my plate and asked, “Dad, will you hand me the Cap’n Crunch?”
And so for the majority of my first 18 years of life on this Earth, cereal it was.
While my palate has since matured and ventured deeply into the Everythingtarian world of yog messes, oatmeal, Oaty Cakes and PB+B toast, nothing will ever replace a bowl of ice cold milk and cereal for breakfast.
Sometimes, I still dream of our cereal cabinet, which was the rectangular one right about the oven that could fit approximately 10 cereal boxes.
We had Kix.
We had Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
We had Total.
We had Lucky Charms.
We had Cracklin’ Oat Bran.
Most importantly, we ALWAYS had Honey Nut Cheerios.
You can imagine my excitement then upon finally getting to my last bag of 3 Sisters Cereal to discover it was a environmentally-friendly version of this #1 family favorite…
Nothing but whole grains and a touch of honey (but sadly, no nuts).
Just one cup of this cereal has 120 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein and immunity-boosting amounts of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus…
The verdict? The Marshmallow Oaties were good.
The Sweet Wheat was even better.
And the Honey Oaties? The best.
While I needed about three bowls of this to fill Grown-Up Holly’s stomach, I thoroughly enjoyed each and every crunchy, delicious bite.
If I had been able to enjoy it with a glass of orange juice and the loud, rageful sounds of my three sisters pulling each others’ hair while listening to Amy Grant’s “Baby Baby” in the background, I would have been immediately transported to 1991. If I had been able to enjoy it with a glass of orange juice while getting my own curly mop of hair pulled, I would have been immediately transported to 2001.
In the Everythingtarian house, hair pulling is still an effective tool to get what you want.
Instead, I ate the Three Sisters cereal for breakfast.
I often ate it for lunch.
And yes, I ate it for dinner too.
I may be 25 years old now, but I’m still not risking the kwashiorkor.