I used to love cereal and milk.
Photo: Christian Cable via Flickr
When we were little we called it cold cereal before we moved to the South and realized people just called it “cereal” as if there were no other kinds. I used to ask my mom if I could have it for dinner (she almost never said yes). I even love bran cereal.
Unfortunately, boxed cereal is really the epitome of processed food. It’s also usually full of sugar (likely listed under several different names). Those Cheerios are meant to sit on the shelf for a looooong time if need be. So, while I used to park myself at the counter and keep adding cereal to my bowl of milk until I’d solved every maze on the back of the box, I tend to avoid it now unless I feel like indulging. (Yes! I do realize how lame that sounds!)
The first thing I do when I try to give up a processed food is consider whether or not it’s worth making it myself. In the case of cereal, the ingredients for granola are pricey and I can’t figure out how to make a Wheatie.
Hold tight there, fanatical pastry people, I’m taking a brief break from the cake talk to write about something I love even more: my dogs.
Hello there. I only snore when I dream about steak.
My dog Bosco is the last “child” left at home with my parents. As such, you can imagine how spoiled rotten he is. He is showered with gifts that he doesn’t play with, offered more walks than he knows what to do with and has taken to sleeping in my old bed. Shortly after I moved out of the house, my mom even began covertly cooking him breakfast on occasion. While I thought that this was the first sign of descent into madness ( I love my dog and all, but I’m not making him bacon and eggs), I’ve come to realize that a lot of people cook for their dogs.
I shouldn’t have been so surprised. Los Angeles is the only place I’ve been where dog-friendly offices are commonplace, where public “dog bowls” are more readily available than public water fountains and where, sometimes, we even specifically choose to sit outside at a restaurant because that means that our dogs can come to dinner and sit with us.
I have only used homemade dog food once (and I wasn’t the one who cooked it). I was fostering a dog named Wes that was found on the street. Wes, skin and bones on four legs, needed some fattening up. The non-profit group that I was working with provided me with what looked like white rice fortified with beef, veggies and shmaltz. Big surprise, the pooch loved it. The closest I came to cooking for Wes was stuffing some doggie antacids in a big wad of peanut butter.
Wes at the office. He only wakes up for his lunch break...
Obviously, if you are making your own pet food, you can determine the quality of the ingredients and where they come from. For me, the line is drawn at giving the dog leftovers from a, well, a doggy bag. But I would still like to know that I’m doing right by the environment when it comes to feeding the dog. How difficult could it be to find organic dog food in the land of posh pooches?