Thursday, March 8th, 2018
I’m always on the search for the most efficient ways of doing things. Breakfast is full of interesting possibilities, and cereals pose a dilemma. How many different types should I offer? Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Wheetabix, Puffed Wheat and all those other highly processed types of cereals seem to have gone out of fashion. I don’t want to put out six different boxes every morning only to have half their contents go to waste because they’ve gone past their consume-by date. There’s definitely been a big move towards seeds, oats and nut-based products, mueslis and granolas. So I shall offer only one type of traditional, boxed breakfast cereal. Mueslis and granolas are often packed in bags rather than boxes, which poses the problem of how best to present them. Should I decant them into a big bowl only to have to repack the surplus later for a few hours until the next day? Do I plonk a rather ugly plastic airtight container onto the sideboard or table for guests to help themselves? The first option is time-wasteful and the second involves guests having to grapple with lids. I’ve always thought those cereal dispensers you find in hotels are rather neat. Finding one that wouldn’t look too clinical or institutional was more of a challenge. I was delighted to find this elegant red one, which blends into the décor, matches my shiny new toaster and can stay in situ for weeks on end, dispensing just the right amount of cereals into one’s bowl with one turn of the screw. There is an airtight bung at the bottom to keep the contents fresh, so all I have to do in the morning is to top up the reservoir and remove the stopper, and the cereals are ready to go.