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I’m super cereal


I had a silly day today. I was going to stay home and do some chores, but I got a call that the phone was out at work. This is bad because the phone is tied to the security system, so I had to go in (so I could look up the customer number from our last bill) and navigate the help system of British Telecom. The hardest part of that is finding a live human. They’d rather open a vein than give you a phone number.

Anyway. Boring.

As today was screwed, we decided to get the weekly shop out of the way. Aldi had a special on a block of those little miniature cereals, so we bought one for nostalgia. And then the clash of cultures began.

I’m like, “these aren’t scored in the middle so you can use them as a bowl.”
And he’s like, “What?”
And I go, “you used to open them up and fold the sides back and the cereal was in a wax paper bag so you could pour the milk right in.”
And he goes, “didn’t you have bowls where you grew up?”
And I say, “sure, but these were for camping and, like, being in the woods and stuff.”

Long story short, he doesn’t believe me. Do you remember this? Was it really a thing? All I could find was that one picture, from a long-defunct breakfast blog.


Comment from OldNuc
Time: August 10, 2016, 7:48 pm

Yes, the cereal was in a little box and 1 side was scored to open up and fold back. The wax paper bag had to be carefully cut and folded though. Just as you have described. They were packed in multiple box variety packs. These were common in the 40s and 50s for sure and I think I saw some in Navy chow lines in the 60s.

Comment from BJM
Time: August 10, 2016, 8:08 pm

Yes, it was/is really a thing, Kellog’s still sells the perforated mini boxes but General Mills changed to a shrink wrapped plastic bowl.

The little boxes were one of things we looked forward to when camping provisions were procured, and yes, we had bowls.

Comment from weaselwannabee
Time: August 10, 2016, 8:13 pm

Yep, we would get them once a year, the summer camping trip. 60’s and 70’s. And yes, you could use them as a bowl. We loved them. It was the only time of year my mom would buy cereal with sugar in it.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 10, 2016, 8:21 pm

Excellent. Thank you. Wish I could rate you all up.

My memories of this are from the Sixties.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: August 10, 2016, 8:31 pm

Darling Uncle Badger—Stoaty is telling you the truth. My mother only bought them when they were on a big sale, because the price per serving was exponentially higher than an ordinary box of cereal equally parceled out. They are still sold; I saw some this morning, prominently displayed in H.E.B.(where I dropped $170), because school starts next week. However, I didn’t look at them, so I don’t know if the boxes can still be made into a serving bowl. Next time I go to the store again, I’ll check.

While on vacation this past week, I stayed in two hotels (Country Inn and Suites, and Wingate) that served breakfast buffets to guests, and these little boxed cereals were available. Of course I chose scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits, gravy, and a sugar-topped blueberry muffin to go 🙂

P.S. Aldi is now in the U.S. I saw once last week in St. Louis.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 10, 2016, 8:44 pm

Just to clarify, Deborah, we’ve always had the mini boxes – and kids have always loved them ‘cos kids love small things here too. What we didn’t have (as far as I can recall)were boxes you could pour the milk into.

You’ll be telling me you sell ready salted crisps (sorry, I mean potato chips) in the USA next! 😉

Comment from Sigivald
Time: August 10, 2016, 8:50 pm

Yes. Still is.

Here’s a video.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: August 10, 2016, 9:00 pm

Here’s a YouTube video, but it seems to be an historic reenactment rather than actual proof. Still, it demonstrates the process.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 10, 2016, 9:03 pm

Did you catch what he said up there? Their potato chips used to come unsalted, with a little packet of salt.

Weird people. Talk funny.

Comment from Fritzworth
Time: August 10, 2016, 9:22 pm

Oh, yes, that was definitely a thing. It was cool because you were pouring milk right into the box and eating out of it. That, of course, now makes me wonder why kids (including me as a kid) think that’s cool. Probably because there’s a hint of transgressive/dangerous behavior about it. “Look, I’m pouring milk into the box! And it’s OK! And I can eat right out of the box!”

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: August 10, 2016, 9:29 pm

Is Badger House tuned in to the Olympics?

Comment from Gromulin
Time: August 10, 2016, 9:33 pm

I concur. Late 60’s early 70’s the boxes had what could laughingly be called perforations that would never quite perforate in a straight line, but hey, before dishwashers, that was one less bowl in the sink! (Mom, I’m just soaking them, I’ll wash them later! Scooby-doo is on!)

Comment from The Neon Madman
Time: August 10, 2016, 9:42 pm

Matter of perspective, sweasel. From their point of view, us here in the colonies are the weirdos.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 10, 2016, 10:25 pm

Badger House is a gloriously Olympics free zone, Deborah. 🙂

Comment from Tom
Time: August 10, 2016, 10:54 pm

From some deep dark recess of the mind came the name KelBowlPak. Not sure of the spelling, but we used them at my Aunt & Uncle’s cabin in Northern MN. They were cool because you could take your breakfast to the dock!

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: August 10, 2016, 11:27 pm

Re: Olympics. This is the first year that I’ve watched in a long time. But the sports I like never make it to prime time viewing.

Comment from Man Mountain Molehill
Time: August 10, 2016, 11:34 pm

Other decadent luxuries available to us Merkins include sliced bread, twist-off bottle tops and tea bags with a little string so you can pull it out of the cup without getting tea on your fingers.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: August 10, 2016, 11:52 pm

Specifically, the crisps with the salt sachet that I remember were Smith’s Salt & Shake. The salt was in a deep blue envelope. It’s not as dumb as it sounds as you didn’t have to use the whole salt packet if you preferred less saline crisps.

Uncle Badger: do you remember Cresta soft drinks, with the polar bear in sunglasses saying, “it’s frothy man!”

Comment from EZnSF
Time: August 11, 2016, 12:58 am

God, memories.
Grandpa and Grandma use to buy these for our summer trailer trips all over Oregon. (late 70s)

I probably shouldn’t comment though, cause if we ate them out of the box, grandma would have hit the ceiling.

Sugar Smacks are bitch’n.

Comment from xul
Time: August 11, 2016, 1:11 am

Back in the mid 90’s when I was a teen I worked at a golf resort. The breakfast buffet for the guests had those little boxes of cereal with the perforation down the center. I’d say it was probably a little more than half of the peeps who would pour their milk into the box and eat it like that even though bowls were provided. We employees would also eat from the box so we wouldn’t have to restock bowls. 😉

Comment from Niña
Time: August 11, 2016, 1:24 am

Yes, they existed! They were quite the occasional treat back in the 60s!

First day of school here is tomorrow…first time in many years I’m not in my classroom getting ready, which is pretty depressing.

Comment from Mattski
Time: August 11, 2016, 2:03 am

‘Tis true; I remember it as well! 1960s-70s for us. They used to come as a variety package of eight different cereals, all in little boxes. I remember my brother and I practically fighting over certain cereals and that mom wouldn’t buy a new variety until we’d eaten all eight, even the crummy cereals like total (until we’d learned to throw the total away when she wasn’t looking).

Comment from Scott Jacobs
Time: August 11, 2016, 5:19 am

I can confirm that as last as the early and mid 90’s these were a thing, and Stoaty isn’t losing her mind.

Well, no more so than usual. 🙂

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 11, 2016, 9:12 am

David Gillies – indeed I do remember Cresta. But then I’m so bloody ancient I also remember the Corona truck coming round with wooden crates of bottles of pop of all manner of colours (and even a couple of different flavours) selling direct to customers.

Comment from F X Muldoon
Time: August 11, 2016, 10:55 am

“Late 60’s early 70’s the boxes had what could laughingly be called perforations that would never quite perforate in a straight line…”

Yep, and as we occasionally got had them in grade school, we would take out our pocket knives to cut them open. Remarkably, a knife fight never broke out, and no one was stabbed to death.

Comment from tinman
Time: August 11, 2016, 11:53 am

Mmmm … cereal eaten from a box. Standard Sunday night fare back in the 70s for lil’ sis and me after church while the adults chowed down on the last of the cold fried chicken left over from the mandatory huge mid-day meal. Good times, good times.

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: August 11, 2016, 3:25 pm

Twas a thing, my mom made me that for breakfast every morning.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: August 11, 2016, 3:37 pm

Weasel and Cheatwood. I wonder if they are affilated with Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe?


Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: August 11, 2016, 4:42 pm

Comment from Tom
Time: August 10, 2016, 10:54 pm

From some deep dark recess of the mind came the name KelBowlPak. Not sure of the spelling, but we used them at my Aunt & Uncle’s cabin in Northern MN. They were cool because you could take your breakfast to the dock!
That was it — though I *think* it was spelled Kel-Bowl-Pac. I suspect Mom bought them because they were cheaper than one big box of one flavor (Corn Flakes or Raisin Bran or whatever). I think there were six little boxes in one unit, six of Kellogg’s most popular cereals, probably. Haven’t seen ’em in years. But then I rarely eat cereal now.

Comment from F X Muldoon
Time: August 11, 2016, 8:02 pm



Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 11, 2016, 9:09 pm

That’s it! I remember that illustration! Even though milk bottles were long gone before I ever saw it.

Pff! That thumbnail. Nothing less than a sharp knife would do the trick.

Comment from A. I. Icared
Time: August 11, 2016, 11:49 pm

I loved those boxes! We used to do a three day car trip from Northern VA to southern Alabama, before interstates. The little boxes for breakies and Vienna sausages on white bread for lunch. Remember the canister shaped “Scotch” coolers?

Comment from David Gillies
Time: August 12, 2016, 3:51 pm

Uncle B: we kept the Corona bottles and my father used them to bottle homebrew.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: August 13, 2016, 8:57 am

Deborah HH @ August 10, 2016, 8:31 pm:
P.S. Aldi is now in the U.S. I saw once last week in St. Louis.

Aldi Sud has been in the U.S. since 1976. Incidentally, Trader Joe’s is owned by Aldi Nord. (The two companies are separate – created when the founding brothers split up the chain in 1966 – but in some ways still function as one.)

Comment from dissent555
Time: August 14, 2016, 3:32 am

Yeah, I remember the split down the middle and eat out of the little box cereals from back in the day.

mmmmm, Frosted Flakes.

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