Monday, April 25, 2011

Cold Cereal People

I know I mentioned before that Barb eats Quaker Maple and Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal for breakfast everyday. And occasionally my kids request something weird like eggs or toast. And every so often I get into ambitious baking mode and I bake something like baked oatmeal or baked french toast. But aside from all of that, we are cold cereal people.
When I was a kid, we loved going to my grandparents' house. Of course, we loved my grandparents, but we especially loved the rows and rows of cold sugar cereal stacked on top of the fridge that we were allowed to eat day and night.
I mostly ate cold cereal growing up, but I think it was my grandparents' house that sealed the deal.
So, in Russia, the first thing I looked for at the store was milk and cold cereal. I had lived on cold cereal in "college" and if Russia had only pelmeni and borsch to offer, cold cereal would be my saving grace.
Lo and behold, cold cereal. It appears to be from Germany, and has awesome giant dehydrated berries and apple slices, but I can get it at any store that carries groceries here. Wheetabix are also available, as well as several varieties of corn flakes (not Kellogg's).
And instant oatmeal. In yummy flavors too. There is a good brand from Norway, I think, but I'm not going to lie, I am drawn to the familiar. The grocery store I frequent doesn't usually have the Norwegian one. Once I run out of my ten year supply of Quaker Maple and Brown Sugar, maybe Barb will get to try some of these.

So those are my basic breakfast offerings here.
The kids don't really like them, they are expensive, and corn flakes get old even with giant apple slices, so...
I order cereal from home.
Did you know amazon sells groceries? It's usually in bulk (the cereal comes in four to six packs), but that totally works for us. AND for a lot of their products, they have a "subscribe and save" option where you can subscribe to the items. Crazy, huh? So, for example, I have subscribed to Cheerios that are automatically shipped once every two months, and I save 15%. I think it makes the prices comparable, if not better in some cases, to grocery stores back home.

(and it's not at all important, but I feel like I have to say that we normally just get Cheerios and Oatmeal Squares, but I quit eating treats in January, and I was craving something sweet to eat, so I went a little crazy in the "cereal aisle")

And now for the milk:
This is boxed milk. If I am correct (don't count on it), it is fresh milk that has been ultra-pasteurized by some heating method that makes it safe to keep it at room temperature. It doesn't have the best flavor, but it's not bad.
It's usually cheaper for Russia, but these are from our little convenience store where things are more expensive - 44 rubles for the Russian brand on the left, and 90 rubles for the imported Finnish brand on the right. That is about $1.50 and $3 respectively for little more than a quart.

Our dairy product of choice though is this fresh milk imported from Finland (red for whole milk, dark blue for 1.5%, and light blue for skim - funny how aside from some stores, that's sort of the same as the States. I wonder if it's international). The cheapest I can find it is about 55 rubles - about $2 for just over a quart. That's about $8 a gallon. A little pricey. But it's a convenience I am thankful for. And all of the big grocery stores carry it, but it's not uncommon for it to be sold out, so we usually try to keep some in the freezer. I don't mind though, because it's only been in the last couple of years that it's even become so widely available. I'm just glad to have it.

And that's it. That's our breakfast.
Cold cereal, people.

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