In Celebration of the Back of Cereal Boxes

When I was a kid, I’d sit at the breakfast table and read the cereal boxes over and over again. Often there was either something fun or interesting on the back, and sometimes some interesting recipes on the side. But over the last few years I’ve noticed that most cereal boxes use the space for either overt marketing or for supposed health messages, with no actual substance. I eat Cheerios because I like how they taste, okay? Not because they come with a whole bunch of propoganda about how this or that will help your heart. (Don’t even get me started again on those stupid commercials that show three year old children being overtly worried that their parents’ hearts are going to give out any minute!)

But, I digress. I give Albertsons store-brand cereal boxes the thumbs up. Their honey-nut o’s box had a ‘match a leaf shape to its tree’ learning game. And their corn flakes box had pictures and information about herbs and their uses – rosemary, bay, thyme, tarragon, chives, and basil. It’s interesting, fun, and the writing is creative. It doesn’t tell you that the product helps your cholesterol (reminds me of Smithers working at the race track in the Simpsons, “The audience is already here, do we really have to keep hustling them?”) or any other part of your body. It’s actually RELAXING to read these cereal boxes. So, I just want to say.. Nice job, Albertsons’ cereal box design people!

Olney Pancake Race

From their Official Website: “The Olney Pancake Race, dating back more than five hundred years, is held on Shrove Tuesday. The course is 415 yards long and is run from the Market Place to the Church at 11.55 a.m. Participants, housewives or young ladies of the town, must have lived in Olney for at least 3 months and be at least 18 years old. Competitors must wear the traditional costume of a housewife, including a skirt, apron and head covering. They must of course carry a frying pan containing a pancake. The winner, on crossing the line, must toss her pancake and she is then greeted by the verger with the traditional kiss of peace.” Enough said?

Celebrating the Twinkee

It’s the 75th anniversary of the Twinkee and to celebrate their putting together a Twinkee Cookbook, including such creations as the Twinkee Taco. The article also contains a reproduction of the infamous “Twinkee Experiment.”

Birth of a Monster

Ah, the dark side of creativity. This morning I reached into a bowl where we had placed some oranges and walnuts, and this was the result:

Kristen and I couldn’t stop laughing at this poor abomination. It looked like some sort of deranged mousketeer. After dubbing it: Mr. Fuzzy Nuts I briefly considered giving him his own T-shirt and possible cartoon series. Alas, he lost an ear whilst trying to perch precariously on a fence post, so this will be his one and only appearance.

Chocolate Room

Chocolate Factory Makes Room Good Enough To Eat: “HALLE, Germany — Germany’s oldest chocolate factory celebrated its 200th anniversary this week in a very special way. Halloren created a room entirely of chocolate. The room took months to make. It includes 108 wall panels made of sweet and bittersweet chocolate. The stucco is made from marzipan, accompanied by a coat of white chocolate paint. Authentic 19th century dishes and cups were also created, as was a delicious rocking chair. The room is air-conditioned to prevent the chocolate from melting. About 2,000 pounds of chocolate and 500 pounds of marzipan were used to create the sweet masterpiece.”

"No Cell Phone" Area & Walnut Strike – Not Related

I think this is a fantastic idea. Just like with the smoking and no-smoking areas within a restaurant, you’ll get a little spill over, but it’d be really nice to be justified to ask someone to step away with their cell phone conversation. (Just the other day I was waiting for John to come out of a store, and I listened to a woman’s entire cell phone conversation, in which she gave out her address and phone number! HELLO??!??) If cell phone companies really wanted to make people happy (and restaurant people especially) they’d develop a microphone where you can talk low and whisper and still have it be completely easy to hear on the other end, without picking up any background noise. If I’m going to overhear people talking while I’m eating my chicken burrito platter, I want to hear BOTH ends of the conversation and they better only be in the next booth – LOL.

In other foodish news, this article reminds me of the Seinfeld episode with Kramer being on strike at the bagel place. Life imitating art imitating life.


We were the only ones in the fast-food type restaurant, and the clump of kids that came in had to sit in the booth right behind us. Not only that, there were about eight of them and only four of them could fit into the booth, so the rest of them pulled up chairs. One kid pulled up a chair and was sitting RIGHT NEXT to my booth seat, so close that, in fact, he had to move when we got up to leave. And they were loud, in a regular kid kind of way, so that John and I couldn’t even have a conversation, at least, not one that this group wouldn’t also hear.

I probably should have said something. At least, “Would you mind moving up a little so you’re not sitting with US?” but I think I was just a bit stunned. As a solution, I quickly finished up what I was eating (which had ceased to be an enjoyable experience) and we left.

I suppose it could simply be a cultural/familial thing. I was raised to believe that being considerate not to intrude on other people was a nice thing. (As a kid, I also would have wanted a table we could all fit at, and one as far from other people as possible. Go figure.) Other people seem to believe that being close together is a sign of niceness, rather than ‘distance’. Overall, I think the best thing for any of us is probably to be aware that there are differences, and not assume either way, but to just PAY ATTENTION. [This has been a public service announcement/rant. You may now continue with your regularly scheduled program.]

More Contest Craziness

How would you like to be known by a quote like this one: “I’m on top of the world right now, because everyone’s going to know that I can shove more than three burgers in my mouth!” This guy doesn’t seem to mind – LOL. On the other hand, at least he wasn’t the person who tried to drink an entire bottle of ketchup – *shudder*

Season to taste?

It’s perfectly natural that what your body needs is reflected in what tastes good to you, but it’s still pretty cool when you experience it in action. For the last few days, I’ve been really craving salt, as I think my body was low on this resource. I was out a lot in the strong California sun, but the air was chilly, so I didn’t realize as much what was happening as I might have if it was HOT out. For instance, I was horking down Lay’s potato chips like they were going out of style, but they didn’t taste at ALL salty to me, and my lips never began to shrivel. (And John assures me that the Lay’s taste as they usually do to him, so that’s my ‘proof’ that it’s not the chips themselves.) Usually I eat a handful and have had enough, but not today. I also had a grilled cheese sandwich, and the (salt involved) cheese just really hit the spot.

On the flip side, I haven’t had much interest in sweets at ALL, which is wrong, especially when one has a tin full of chocolates less than an arm’s length away – heh. Even yesterday, what sweets I did have were oddly unsatisfying.

In the general sense, I still find it odd when people insist that, say, a soup is too salty or too bland, without having any clue that it’s THEM or that objectivity isn’t actually POSSIBLE with food, and that it’s not necessarily the cook’s shortcoming, but their own body’s.