I would put Raisin Bran up there as one of my top three cereals. It’s always been a favorite. I can remember asking for it when I was young. Sure, put a box of Frosted Flakes and Raisin Bran side by side and I’m going for the Flakes, but other than that I’m always going Raisin Bran. It reminds me of summers at our cottage on Lake Candlewood where we lived for those months with our cousins. Every meal there was always an occasion, but breakfast you were kind of on your own. My Mom and Aunt would do the shopping and stock up the cabinets with a bevy of cereals for every taste. Trix. Cheerios. Rice Krispies. You’d open the cabinet and you’d have all these choices. I’d opt for Raisin Bran (although always Kellogg’s brand – seeing a box of Post brand Raisin Bran was always a huge disappointment).
Maybe me choosing Raisin Bran was a circumstance of being the second youngest of a rather large combined brood. When that happens, you make the best of your situation. I knew the older kids would go for the more popular cereals leaving me with the Brans. Maybe I adopted my tastes to survive, but I don’t think so. I think I just really liked the taste. The true competition for morning cereal wasn’t for the cereal but for the spoon. My Dad had worked for International Silver Company at the time (a silver maker and retailer – he managed the retail store). At some point, he brought home some mismatched spoons that must have been samples or returns or something along those lines. There was about a dozen of these very different spoons that each had a unique design. He brought them to the cottage where they would get the most use especially for young, hungry cereal lovers. The most coveted of these mismatched spoons was the pyramid spoon – a sturdy and mostly flat handled spoon with a good sized bowl at the end but with a very distinct pyramid design at the top. Somehow in a lesson in supply and demand, this spoon became the most prized of all the spoons. It was the kingpin. The one that rules them all. If you had this spoon, you won the morning.
These are the kind of challenges that come from boredom or just being somewhat contained to the same place for a whole summer. That’s not a bad thing – it’s fun thing. It were these kind of challenges and boasts that put some fun in your day. With the pyramid spoon, my cousin John, who you could categorize by stating he likes to win, pulled out his A game. He would wake up early to make sure he got it. He’d hide it the night before. We were like a bloat of hippos and John was proving his dominance to us all by eating his Trix every morning with the pyramid spoon held proudly and firmly in his hand. I had no chance, so being the non-confrontational middle child I am, I started to always use another spoon that had little diamond shapes cut out of the spoon handle. I tried to bill this spoon as every bit as cool as the pyramid spoon and I think I may have even been a slight distraction to John in his spoon maneuvers, but it never quite caught on like I had hoped it would. Without the demand, it was always there for me whenever I went to eat my bowl of Raisin Bran.
I wish I had planned better for today, National Raisin Bran Cereal Day, because I had eaten the last bowl of Raisin Bran on Monday. We try not to keep too much cereal in the house because the gluten doesn’t treat Lola so kindly, yet she is always tempted by a nice bowl of cereal. I think she likes that it’s just an easy and filling thing to eat at any time of day. Because we were out, I headed up the street to get some more. In recent years, I have been partial to Raisin Bran Crunch because you get all the goodness of Raisin Bran, but the addition of these little crunchy oat clusters really step up the game. It could be the perfect cereal. I poured a big bowl and had some for lunch.
I felt like I had to do a little more celebrating so I scanned the internet for Raisin Bran recipes and I found an interesting one on Food Network. It was for Cinnamon-Raisin Cereal Treats and what really sold me on it was that you make it in a bundt pan which was significant because today was also National Bundt Pan Day. Perfect! It was kind of easy to make, although messy like all cereal bars are. You melt some butter and marshmallows, add in some vanilla and cinnamon, then combine it with Raisin Bran and Rice Krispies (I had bought some regular Raisin Bran for this recipe). When it’s all combined, you pour it into a bundt pan to shape it, then let it firm up. After you take it out of the pan, you drizzle it with a sugar glaze and you have yourself a pretty good looking dessert.
Glaze makes everything better. I cut a piece for each of us after dinner. Lola was kind of oblivious to the whole creation of this treat. She had her nose buried in all her work today and I don’t think she even realized what I was making. Even when I gave her a piece I don’t think she really knew it was a cereal bar. I think she just figured it was something to do with this holiday thing, so she was playing along. Then she took a bite and I could see the delight in her eyes. This was really good. It’s everything you like about Rice Krispie treats, but the addition of the Raisin Bran and the glaze made it all better. It was crunchy, but not tear your mouth crunchy, and it was sweet. A great little treat.
Raisin Bran continues to bring me joy. Sure it’s not the most fanciest of cereals. There’s no orange stars or green clovers. It doesn’t change your milk to chocolate. It doesn’t even have a Tiger to tell you how great they are. They are just plain good and a great thing to celebrate. So raise your spoon, pyramid or otherwise, and celebrate the joy of cereal!
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