If you read yesterdays post you will remember the fear and dread I had for todays new breakfast cereal. I was very nervous but as always was willing to try something new. Oat based cereals tend to fill me with fear then quickly empty me of anything. Today I was embarking on Dorset Cereals ‘Proper Raspberry Porridge’.
One of my biggest frustrations with porridge manufacturers is the fact that recently they have taken to pre-packing the box of porridge in to what they consider to be ‘individual’ portions. This annoys me as previously stated I am 27 and should be able to choose how much I want. The second of my frustrations is the side effects for an IBS sufferer can be painful, disgusting, embarrassing and hideous. The third and final frustration is that generally porridge is dull. Usually you have to put that much sugar, golden syrup, jam etc in to it that it makes what is a healthy cereal, unhealthy. However this is where Dorset Cereals have impressed me so much. They have added freeze dried (very clever, imagine they make them doing some sort of Paul Daniels style magic trick) raspberries which come to life and give a really powerful punch of flavour and pumpkin seeds which I found a strange concept however now I have eaten the porridge I can confidently say they are pleased they put them in, they add a bit of crunch to the traditionally mushy texture.
When making the porridge this morning I decided to ignore the helpful ‘cooking instructions’ on the box in the same way most of us men ignore flat pack furniture instructions (and always then need them or are told to use them by our wives) and decided I would be fine to just put the porridge in a bowl, pour a load of milk over the porridge, chuck it in the microwave for a few minutes and bingo. Except it went more bango than bingo, I put it in our microwave for a bit to long. I could tell because I heard something explode, it was a freeze dried raspberry. Unfortunately this mornings serving of Dorset Cereals Proper Raspberry Porridge was slightly spoilt by my idiocy the texture wasn’t what it should have been but that is my fault not theirs. At the time of writing this it is also so far so good for my IBS/Oat worries which is a relief because at work there was no toilet roll, I live life on the edge sometimes.
This morning I had time to make my Dorset Cereals Proper Raspberry Porridge properly and to consume it slowly. I made it the same way my Grandad always used to pretty much every day of his life, on the hob, it bubbled away nicely and tasted a lot creamier than yesterday. It was enjoyable and stayed hot for a lot longer than yesterdays microwaved serving. I did some research in to porridge eaters today to see who eats it and why and found a forum that said for dietary reasons and for managing hunger women think it is great. Saying that my mate who appears in the following photo when referencing said photo also said “women think it’s great”:
I am not a woman but I am enjoying this cereal so far. Hopefully this enjoyment will continue. For IBS suffers I can confirm so far I have been unaffected. Tomorrow is another day.
Today is Mothers Day so I was planning on giving my wife a nice lie in but at 7.30am I came out the bathroom to find my wife in our daughters room. My wife was convinced it was Monday and I was late for work, classic. I wasn’t planning on being up at 7.30am but I had awoken from a really vivid bad dream in which I had been given my first team debut for AFC Bournemouth by Eddie Howe but had been sent off within about 10 minutes for making a sarcastic comment to an oathish defender on the opposite team about his height, I was so confused that sarcasm was now a sending off offence and that Eddie Howe (the Bournemouth manager) was livid with me that I drove home rather than just sitting in the changing room. I wish Joseph was here to interpret that dream. I had woke at 6.30am and not been able to work out the point of the dream and annoyingly couldn’t get back to sleep. I have been wondering whether different cereals have different effects on the brain and on the body. I find it interesting that when I had Jordans Country Crisp (another heavily oat filled cereal) before Christmas I had vivid dreams (playing Swingball with useless Arsenal strikers etc) and now I am on this heavily oat based cereal I am having very vivid dreams. Another strange feeling I have had since starting Dorset Cereals Proper Raspberry Porridge is nonsensical confidence like last night when I played 5p poker. I had a very unusual confidence that for the hour between 9 and 10pm I was going to do well, I even warned my fellow players that I had a rare confidence and I was right to think so as I did do really well, for that hour. I am finding this a downside too though to the rather tasty Dorset Cereals Proper Raspberry Porridge. Because we have a 20 month old we have had to childproof the house and on no less than 4 separate occasions in the last 3 days I have injured myself whilst climbing/hurdling the stair gate at the bottom of our stairs. The first time was on Friday when from about 4 steps from the bottom of the stairs I had a feeling of confidence and self ability to jump and hurdle the stair gate, I leapt in to the air feeling like I could take on the world until my feet caught the top of the stair gate, my right foot managed to hook itself ‘stair-side’ leaving my left leg to deal with landing, my left ankle twisted as I landed awkwardly and I went hurtling in to our dining room table. On top of these I have tried simply climbing over the stair gate and on two occasions thudded the top of my foot in to it. I don’t know what has happened to me. I have football tomorrow night so will be able to analyse the physical effects of Dorset Cereals Proper Raspberry Porridge Better but so far it has made me even more clumsy than I ever was. Mentally I keep having weird dreams and getting over confident so who knows whats going on. One thing is for sure I had another good bowlful this morning and it kept hunger looked away until at least 1.30pm which is pretty impressive. I perfected the microwave technique this morning as well because although I had success making it in a saucepan yesterday my wife made me wash said saucepan up 3 times because she was not happy with the standard of my cleaning. I would love to blame poor washing up on the porridge too but I think that would be pushing it. My wife is always telling me I have not washed up properly and that I have missed bits on bowls etc, strangely she continues to ask me to do it.
Today I was excited to see what effects Dorset Cereals Proper Raspberry Porridge had on my footballing abilities. I’ve heard it said that porridge is good as it is slow burning carbohydrates. Most Mondays I usually have cereal at least for breakfast and lunch but I knew that I couldn’t do that with porridge because of IBS. So I had a nice hearty bowlful this morning, it was OK but the raspberries in today’s portion seemed to give less punch flavour wise than they usually do. Maybe after 4 days I am just used to them. I got to work and nearly immediately I had a feeling that today was the day my body would react to the fact I have been sending oats it’s way for four days now. I wasn’t wrong. Four times I had to go to the loo at work today with an upset stomach, on one occasion for 20 minutes, after which my boss went to use the loo and walked straight out again deciding to get some fresh air instead and walk his dog. I had nothing left in my body, I ached and felt weak which was perfect as I was playing football tonight in -2 degrees which according to the met office was actually -9 degrees with wind chill. My porridge from this morning seemed a long time ago And it showed, after 90 minutes in freezing windy coldness, literally playing on patches of ice at times we lost 12-0. Strangely the game was fun though. I got home and was still happy we had played, I had my bath which felt like I was being poached and got out and went downstairs, I was still shivering and my body was like that of a frozen turkey at Christmas, impossible to defrost, unfortunately I don’t fit in the microwave.
As I woke this morning to an alarm that somehow I had managed to set loud enough to wake a small village I opened my eyes and instantly realised that the sand that I got kicked in my left eye last night was still very much still present, I was hoping it would have gone overnight but alas it hadn’t. I went downstairs feeling sleepy and lacking vision on my left hand side, the sleepiness was to be short lived as I went to hop over one of my biggest enemies (the stair gate) and clattered the top of my foot into the top of the stair gate. This is annoying. It didn’t set me in a good frame of mind for todays serving of Dorset Cereals Proper Raspberry Porridge which was unhelpful to say the least as sadly my boredom threshold regarding this cereal is close to being penetrated. One of my reasons is that it just takes ages to eat as its so hot, I would say it averages about 8 and a half minutes. Which, in my humble opinion is too long for cereal consumption. Today when I had heated it in the microwave I put some extra, cold milk in which wrapped itself lovingly around the pile of molten hot porridge. I can confirm that this effort was definitely not worth it and a complete waste of time, it didn’t cool the porridge, if anything the porridge heated up the milk. I found myself just chewing the porridge for ages near the end of the bowl. It starts looking glum and stodgy, perhaps a metaphor for…………….goodnight.
It was 2:07am, there was loud noises outside my window, I peered through the curtains in a way that made only my left eye and part of my nose visible to the outside world. I scanned the driveway, there was nothing there, so I moved my eye towards the pavement and the road and could not believe my eyes, or eye. I then pulled back more of the curtain so I could not believe my eyes, and I could not believe my eyes. Outside my window was the most bizarre thing I have ever seen. I gazed out the window out in to the icy cold night and there were cereal boxes, loads of them, all stood in a circle, they had arms and legs made out of whispy furry rope/string that ordinarily would never have the strength to hold rigid and take the weight of these boxes of cereal. The cereal boxes were having what I could only describe as a dance off, each taking it in turns to stand in the middle of the circle and thrust there rigid box shaped bodies in a funky dancing style. The Weetabix fell over and the other boxes laughed at it. Not in a mean way, but in a ‘I’m laughing with you, not at you’ way. The box of Party Puffs (manufactured by Honey Monster Foods, the makers of Sugar Puffs) had a ‘ghetto blaster’ on its shoulder which I found humourous but confusing as I don’t live in ‘the ghetto’ that they were blasting. They were having a great time, the Dorset Cereals Proper Raspberry Porridge was particularly good at jumping but not so good at dancing. Kelloggs Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes was plain annoying and kept running in to the road and sliding on his knees like 9 year olds at discos, buffoon. I was confused that this didn’t hurt and that he didn’t get cut knees on the tarmac. Then I woke up. I sat bolt upright and pulled back plenty of the curtain to see if the cereals were outside dancing. They weren’t, of course they weren’t. It was a really vivid dream, yet another dream I have had in the last week since I had started eating Dorset Cereals Proper Raspberry Porridge, I struggled to get back to sleep. I was bemused, again. After managing to get a few more hours sleep after the dream I went downstairs and had my final serving of my Dorset Cereals Proper Raspberry Porridge, I went overboard on milk in an attempt to prevent stodginess, it proved to be a very sensible move, the porridge was creamier and nicer both flavour and consistency wise than any serving so far, it tasted great and kept me full until lunch. It was great to finish this cereal on a high and although I was looking forward to a cold quick cereal again I will miss certain elements of it, mainly the freeze dried raspberries.
Here are Dorset Cereals Proper Raspberry Porridge vital statistics:
Cereal Cost: £2.49.
Real Servings per Box: 6
Cost per Serving: 41.5p
Pros – Keeps you full for a long time, hot and therefor good in winter, good mix of flavours.
Cons – Takes a while to eat, makes me have really vivid dreams.
During the consumption of breakfast I was racking my brain as to what the meaning of this latest dream might be, I did what any sensible man might have done, I asked the internet. More specifically I asked a few ‘dream interpretation’ websites, a lot of them had no idea what the dream might mean and any feedback I received was particularly unhelpful. The best I got was the following:
Posted by hitoribochi89 Mar 13th, 2013
“Hmm dancing outside your house, pff obviously, they wanted attention! “Hey look at us! were having sooo much fun! woot woot”…so I interpret this as you having craving for breakfast cereals but think it would ruin your diet. I say go buy some!”
This was clever, I had not mentioned my quest yet he realised that I was “having craving for breakfast cereals”. I disagree that they will ruin my diet though. I am not on a diet. Yet.
A bit frustrated with the lack of understanding of my dreams I took matters in to my own hand, what could it mean, something to do with dancing and something to do with cereal? I am by no means a dancer so felt nervous about what I was meant to do I had no idea, I figured I would let my mouth do the talking and would not censor anything that my brain kindly offered it. So, as with all adventures I headed off to Tesco at lunch, particularly the cereal aisle in Tesco. It was there that I picked up my next cereal, ‘Chocolatey Cheerios’ I then just hovered around the cereal area clutching my cereal excited about a new taste but tentative about what might happen next. I then waited for my brain to tell my mouth what to do. I saw a lady, perhaps 40 years old but she was desperately trying to look about 30 years old. Then it happened “excuse me, I am going to dance up and down the cereal aisle holding this box of cereal, please can you take a photo of me?”. She was finding it “hilarious fun”, not her words, but I could pretty much tell, it was possibly the time of her life, she took a snap, (a word that is now rarely used but people still know it essentially means photo) :
Yes the photo is particularly blurred but I was dancing, in a fashionable cardigan in front of shelves full of adoring fans (cereal boxes). Things were going great but I was getting tired and quite frankly my head started to think “what on earth am I doing dancing up and down Tesco’s in front of a total stranger?” (this was the correct thing to be thinking given the situation). I was shaking with nerves like I was just about to sing in front of millions. My mind froze and the lady gave me back my phone and said thank you for putting a smile on her face. That is where we should have both walked off, she would have had her day brightened up and I would have a cheered up Tesco security staff watching CCTV. However my mouth then opened “Do you want to dance holding some cereal for me?”. Idiot. My stupid mouth. She panicked and laughed whilst speaking in an awkward way and muttered firmly “no, no thank you”, she then walked away from me, in fact she legged it, she walked as fast as you can walk without it being a run. I didn’t enjoy this incident. Nor did she.
I got back to work and poured my first bowl of Chocolatey Cheerios, I didn’t know what to expect because they are “NEW”. I assumed something like Wheetos as they look like Wheetos skinner cousins, they tasted funny, but in a good way and calmed me down following my Tesco fun. They were a different chocolate flavour to Weetos, more of an initial impact of chocolate flavour but then in faded out and tasted like normal Cheerios. It was so nice to have a nice simple bowl that could made and eaten within a few minutes. Porridge was a nice change but I was reminded of what a nightmare porridge could be reading a message I had received from our legendary vicar, (the vicar who’s legs are the basis of the almost popular saying “wow, they are almost as thin as the Vicar’s legs!”) , his message sums up how risky a cereal like porridge can be, maybe the reason he likes it is ‘the danger’, the not knowing if they will taste great or go AWOL, here is what he said:
“I feel a personal connection with your quest now that you have embarked on the porridge section of the journey. I don’t like most cereals but the cold, winter months see my searching the more obscure parts of Sainsbury’s shelves for Scott’s Old Fashioned Porage Oats. Why do you suppose they spell it like that? Might it be that it saves on the cost of the letraset? With last week’s Spring-like weather I had resumed my home-made muesli (itself worth a diversion on your quest) but this arctic north wind numbed and changed my mind. I came in from my morning prayers at church and opened a new box (it’s never a ‘packet’ – why’s that?) of oats. I measured them out: a particular small mug two thirds full. My method is then to add similar amounts of milk and water. I put the mixture on the oven hob (why ever would you expect someone who eats Scott’s Old Fashioned porridge to have a microwave?) and had an uneasy feeling I had omitted the water, but couldn’t feel certain and felt confident I could remedy that if it began to look a little too thick. Because, predictably, my wife says I can’t muli-task I, predictably, try to do so, and set about recording a piece of music from one cassette tape to another, a process now as weird and antiquated as Scott’s oats or not having a microwave. Then the phone rang. This entailed my leaving the room, as the loud African beat of the music might sound rather unprofessional in a vicarage at 8.45am. It was an unlikely person calling who, it turned out, was hoping I would provide a reference for a job application. That the conversation was a little involved meant that on returning to the kitchen the tape had over played disastrously, and the porridge had boiled nearly dry. Now I felt certain about the failiure to add water. I should have given in at this point. I even considered throwing it away, but how do you do that with burnt porridge? Into the bin seems disgusting, but putting it down the toilet always reminds me of being sick. So, instead, I added water and hoped it would mix together and restore a nice consistency. This works while it’s cooking but I wasn’t sure about when you have over-cooked it. Then the door bell rang. It was my administrator arriving to help me with work. I apologised and she returned across the permafrost to the cold office in the church hall while I completed my own small, increasingly desperate quest to have some breakfast. I ran back to the now boiling experiment. My fears were realised. Over done Porridge and water do not mix . Why is that? And who would have supposed that porridge contains so many mysteries? I poured it into the dish, but it just looked like a collection of lumps floating in hot water. So I braced myself and headed for the toilet with the bowl, when the door bell rang. It was your mother, Phil. And I thought, I’m not man enough for even one day’s quest. Leave it to the expert. God bless your onward journey, friend, and bring back the answers to these and other breakfast mysteries.”
What a legend.