Little in life frustrates me as much as a trip to the fridge only to discover a mere mouthful of milk remains. So much so that I've started to bulk/panic buy the white stuff much to my fridge's distress and my flatmate's amusement. Three litres within 24 hours? You betcha! I yearn for the day when those mammoth American-sized fridges are the norm in our poky flats and semi-detached abodes! It will surely signal the demise of the farcical pint/litre milk cartons and herald the incoming reign of the standard four litre fridge staple.
My milk obsession is simple and that is the lure of breakfast. Breakfast is what gets me moving in the morning, breakfast meaning cereal. Nothing else seems to fuel me through to lunch like a brimming bowl of flakes and clusters, raisins and granola, nut and crunch. The choice is endless and the taste-bud-cum-stomach-satisfaction is a sure-fire guarantee.
There are people around me who beg to differ of course. My sister, being one, is of the whipping up fluffy blueberry pancakes calibre. She tends to get quite fancy in the kitchen and where I might go to great extremes and shove a Tesco frozen apple strudel in the oven, she will think nothing of strutting out the whisk and creating a raspberry and orange chocolate cheesecake as a last minute treat. I live for dinner at her house. My flatmate, meanwhile, is of the bacon sandwich and builder's tea breed, which is to say something I can fully appreciate on occasion, say post-night on the tiles and two bottles of Riesling later. The greasier the better and only real butter need be applied is her stance. Then of course there is P. P introduced me to the breakfast burrito delight served up alongside a generous portion of homefries...a winning combo of course but it makes me feel like I have to skip lunch given its moreishness and calorific guilt-factor. I don't like to skip meals - elevenses, coffee breaks, mid-evening snacks, I want my day to accommodate each and every one. It's the little things in life as I am so apt at reminding everyone who will listen. Given the change of season I have heard twinklings regarding the return of the porridge oat. I'm a fan of course but it does require oodles of sugar for it to stand a chance of tantalising my appetite and spur me out of bed first thing in the morning. Recently a friend talked me through her stewed apple and cinnamon porridge breakfast favourite, I'm sold and the bag of cooking apples await a stewing.
The thing about cereal though is its double-whammy effect of succeeding in quenching your morning thirst in addition to filling the hunger gap and sending you on your way. As to personal brand/type favourites, well they tend to change with the season and there is no telling how long a particular craze will play out for. At the minute, my cereal of choice is a combination of bran flakes (more often stores' own brand to that of the big players) and no added sugar muesli (again stores' own brand). Topped with a little dusting of sugar and lashings of pink milk - a recent move to 0.1% fat content has however made me question my intake of calcium and Vitamin D. I take this opportunity to remind myself that it's all a passing tendency craze and I'm sure I'll be back on the green before long. The blue however, will never wheedle its way into my cereal bowl.
Which in turn brings me to the question of the role of the cereal bowl in my morning ritual. For we all have them. Rituals that is. From the way we brush our teeth to the manner in which we dress, morning rituals prepare us mentally for the day ahead. For me, the cereal bowl has had its moment of glory and now lies redundant. For no particular reason it has fallen out of my favour and cereal, I have discovered, tastes far superior out of a mug. It has changed my life. By mixing up my ritual I feel a little youthful wrecklessness return and as though I am standing my ground against running the risk of falling prey to the horrors of convention. It also means I can go back for seconds and thirds without having to believe I've chowed down on copious amounts of cereal. No-one wants to start of their day believing they have already pigged out before the morning elevenses have brought forth the chocolate biscuits.
And so there it is, cereal from a mug is my new approach to life. I urge one and all to give it a whirl. Today's mission meanwhile is to locate a mug big enough to accommodate these stewed apples, nuts, raisins and porridge oats. Winter is fast approaching and heaven forbid I miss its oaty calling.