Tuesday, March 6, 2012

National Cereal Day

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By Chef Diane

I used to love going grocery shopping with my mom when I was younger.  My favorite aisle was the cereal aisle.  It was almost as fun as going to a toy store; well most of the boxes had toys in them too.  There were so many different boxes to choose from; of course you just picked the ones with the best toys in them.  My favorites were Cap'n Crunch and Sugar Smacks (now Honey Smacks).  Somewhere along the line there was an unwritten rule somewhere that you had to eat the grown up cereal.  I started eating the bran flakes and frosted mini wheat’s.  I can't find the long mini wheat’s now, just the spoon size, and I don’t like them as much.  But I like to let it soak up the milk until it gets soggy.  I like corn and rice Chex too, but I have to eat it too fast before it gets soggy. I don’t know when the changeover occurred...from great colorful cereal with toys, to grown up cereal, but I think the grocery stores are involved.  They put the kid cereal on the shelves at kid eye level, so they can easily see it, then, the taller you get, the more grown up cereal you see. It’s like they are forcing us to eat more bran and fiber.
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Cereal was invented during the Colonial era when housewives started to serve popcorn with sugar and cream for breakfast. Today, nearly half of all Americans start their day with a bowl of cereal!  Cereal Day honors the invention of corn flakes in the late 1800s by brothers William and John Kellogg. In a series of experiments to create foods for their vegetarian diet, the brothers found that grains cooked into dough and pressed through rollers formed flakes.   They served these flakes to patients in their Sanatorium, a convalescent hospital.  The corn flakes were so popular at the sanitarium that the brothers decided to mass market the cereal. The Kellogg brothers were the founders of Kellogg’s, the megacorporation of today that sells a large variety of cereals and other foods. There are approximately 2.7 billion boxes of cereal sold each year. That’s enough packages to circle around the globe thirteen times!
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One serving of most cereals can also provide 10 to 25 percent of the daily value for more than 10 essential nutrients.  While I typically eat a bowl of grown-up cereal every morning. I still like to snack on some dry fruit loops in the afternoon.

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Today is National Cereal Day, so why not start your day off right with a bowl.  If you don't want it for breakfast, here is my recipe for making "Trash" with my favorite Chex cereals.

Diane's Trash Mix


1 box Rice Chex
1 Box Corn Chex
1/2 large bag of twisted pretzels
1 large can mixed nuts
1 large can cashew nuts (I cause people always pick these out first)
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons season salt


Preheat oven to 250.  In a large pan (I use a turkey roaster) combine all the dry ingredients.  In the microwave, melt the butter, then stir in sauce and salt and mix until salt is dissolved.  Sprinkle over the top of the cereal, and then mix well.   Place pan in oven for 15 minutes, pull out stir, and put back in oven.  Do this every 15 minutes for 1 hour.  Take out of oven and pour out to dry.  I usually lay newspaper on my table, and then cover with paper towels.  This make alot, I usually only make it at Christmas, then package it for gifts, however you can cut the recipe in half.

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