On the subject of cold weather edibles… I would like to briefly extol the wonders of Cream of Wheat. Known officially as “farina” (ground wheat), Cream of Wheat was an essential element to each and every Fall and Winter morning of my elementary school life. I could make it myself, tearing open the packet of instant ground grains and pouring in boiling water. Then a big sticky handful of brown sugar, quick tap of the cinnamon jar, and a generous splash of milk to form a delicious creamy white moat. It would keep me warm all the way to the bus stop.
When I was at my grandparents’, my grandma would make it for me, while I sat at the small table in the wood-panelled nook outside the kitchen. And of course, these bowls of Cream of Wheat always tasted even better. With no bus stop to rush off to, I could take my time to roll each scoop of hot cereal around in my mouth, enjoying the sandy molasses sweetness of the brown sugar as it half-melted into the creaminess, and look out the window, watching the bright red cardinals peck away at the suet on the feeder.
Oatmeal is nice. Really. And I like it. But there’s no comparison, in my sentimental mind. On a chilly morning, Cream of Wheat can’t be beat.