Sunday Stealing – Food questions

K-E-double L-O-double good

This week’s Sunday Stealing is a bunch of food questions. I’ve eaten food now and then, as I recall.

1. If you were a vegetable, which one would you be, and would you ever let yourself be smothered in cheese?

Obviously, it would be a GREEN vegetable, and it would be spinach. But if it were to have cheese sauce on it, it’d have to be broccoli because.

2. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be, and how long do you think it would take before you got sick of it?

I answered this recently, and I said either pie because there are many different pies (chicken pot, cherry, etc.) or sandwiches. But if I had to narrow it, it’d be eggs. They can be scrambled, fried, poached, hard-boiled, or soft-boiled. I could probably do that for a year unless I could put things INTO the eggs. Then possibly forever.

3. Would you rather have fingers made of licorice or spaghetti noodles for hair?

Ick. Noodles for hair.

4. What’s the most unusual pizza topping combination you can think of that might actually taste surprisingly good?

I want to try Spam, which is a thing in Hawaii.

Hero of our nation

5. If you were an ice cream flavor, what would be your name, and what would the ingredients be?

Ramjet, with fresh blueberries, strawberries, and peaches in a vanilla ice cream base.

6. If you could make a smoothie out of any three foods, which ones would you choose, and what would you name your concoction?

I’m not a smoothie kind of guy.

7. What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen someone do with food?

We were playing baseball with heads of lettuce. Or maybe it was cabbage—aluminum bats.

8. If your favorite food could talk, what do you think it would say about you?

You’re finally eating your veggies besides me, Spinach would say.

9. If you were a chef, what outrageous names would you give to your dishes to make them more interesting?

I would go through my bookshelf and pick random titles. String Music of Black Composers, which would be spaghetti and various meat products. The Book of Virtues, which would have to be some veggie thing.

10. If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be, and what food do you think they’d be surprised to see on the menu?

Thomas Jefferson and it would be anything that was microwavable.

11. What’s the weirdest or grossest thing you’ve ever eaten just to impress someone else?

Not my style. I’m not a food dare kind of guy.

The battle for Battle Creek

12. If breakfast cereals were characters in a TV show, which cereal would be the comedic sidekick, and which one would be the evil villain?

Tony the Tiger, who’s great, with the Froot Loops toucan. I know that Snap, Crackle, and Pop are engaged in criminal enterprises. They keep their safecracking tools under those caps. Incidentally, I own a set of the bowls shown above because of course I do.

13. If you could turn one vegetable into a superpower, which one would it be, and what could you do with it?

The vegetable doesn’t matter. Whichever one can transport me like they do on Star Trek. But it’d have to be small enough to carry but large enough not to get lost. A radish? A peapod?

14. What do you think aliens would say about our strange Earth foods if they came to visit?

If they travel to Earth, I assume their food might be reduced to pills or another easily storable commodity. So it is the wide diversity of foods that would awe them. Then they’d become disgusted by how much of that food went to waste and how some people didn’t have enough to eat. Undoubtedly, they would be very judgy.

15. If foods had personalities, which two foods would make the weirdest couple, and why?

The potato would have the personality of the Potato Heads from the Toy Story movies, perhaps a bit stodgy. Meanwhile, if you’ve seen those wind dance air puppets, they remind me of celery. They’re flapping all over the place.

F is for Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus

“The first sound adaptation of the story, Frankenstein (1931), was produced by Universal Pictures, directed by James Whale, and starred Boris Karloff as the monster.”

FrankensteinThe novel Frankenstein was written by English author Mary Shelley when she was but 20 years old. It was published with no author credit on 1 January 1818. Her name first appeared on the second edition, published in 1823.

It is a classic tale. Victor Frankenstein animates a creature. By the end, we’re left to wrestle with the question of whether it’s the man or the creature who is is truly the monster.

The recent bicentennial of Frankenstein might be reason enough to note the book. But it is the many appearances in popular culture that have sustained the story’s popularity.

The first film adaptation of the tale, Frankenstein, was made by Edison Studios in 1910. That short piece has been restored, and you can watch it right here.

“The first sound adaptation of the story, Frankenstein (1931), was produced by Universal Pictures, directed by James Whale, and starred Boris Karloff as the monster. The film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry…

“In Great Britain, a long-running series by Hammer Films focused on the character of Dr. Frankenstein (usually played by Peter Cushing) rather than his monster.”

It is these portrayals that have kept Frankenstein in the popular culture. When I was growing up, two sitcoms had characters who had the “look.” Lurch (Ted Cassidy) on The Addams Family (1964-1966) was a standard creature in the Karloff tradition; “You rang?”

Whereas in The Munsters (also 1964-1966), Herman Munster (Fred Gwynne) was “the patriarch of a family of kindly monsters. The rest of the family included a grandfather resembling the Universal Dracula…, a wife that resembles ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’, and a werewolf son.”

In 1971, General Mills put out the monster cereals, chocolate-flavored Count Chocula and the strawberry-flavored Franken Berry. “Since 2010, Franken Berry, Boo Berry [first released in 1973], and Count Chocula cereals have been manufactured and sold only for a few months during the autumn/Halloween season in September and October.”

My favorite iteration has to be the movie comedy Young Frankenstein (1974) by Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder. Borrowing “heavily from the first three Universal Frankenstein films… Wilder portrays Dr. Frankenstein’s American grandson, Frederick, while Peter Boyle plays the monster.” I literally fell out of my seat with laughter – it WAS an aisle seat – when I first saw this in the cinema.

Dustbury posted this recently: “Disabled Valery Spiridonov, 33, was ready to have his neck severed by Professor Sergio Canavero — dubbed ‘Dr. Frankenstein’ — and his head reattached to a new, healthy body.”

Finally, listen to Frankenstein by the Edgar Winters Group here or here or a long version here. It went to #1 in 1973 on the Billboard charts in the US.

For ABC Wednesday

Q is for Quisp and Quake cereal

Quisp was relaunched as the “first Internet cereal”.

I have long been a big fan of breakfast cereal items, as I’ve written about on this blog. But I was fascinated/mystified by the marketing ploy that surrounded two Quaker Oats cereal products in the mid-1960s, Quisp and Quake.

From Nightflight:

“They decided to have the two cereals compete against one another in a kind of popularity contest, broadcasting a TV commercial in which the voice-over announcer, Paul Frees, invited viewers at home to decide: ‘Take sides with either – two new cereals from Quaker, sort of a breakfast feud.’

“Each cereal had its own mascot, but they were essentially the same cereal with different shapes and slogans: Quisp was ‘The quisp new cereal from outer space!’ and Quake was ‘The power cereal from inner space!'”

From the Wikipedia:

“The ads were cartoons created by Jay Ward, who also created the cartoon characters Rocky and Bullwinkle,” – I was a big fan of moose and squirrel – “Dudley Do-Right, and many others, and the ads used some of the same voice actors as the Rocky and Bullwinkle series, including Daws Butler as the voice of Quisp (an alien who was the Crown Prince of Planet Q and, like moon men Gidney and Cloyd of Rocky and Bullwinkle, was armed with a scrooch gun) and William Conrad as the voice of Quake (a miner). ”

From Mr. Breakfast:

“Quisp proved to have much more consumer appeal and traditionally beat Quake in sales. Quaker placed the blame on Quake the character.

“In 1967, Quake the burly miner was transformed into a thinner, only-slightly-more-kid-friendly rendition of himself. The miner’s helmet was traded in for an Australian cowboy hat. The change in appearance was explained in ads by a story line in which Quake entered a ‘new and improver machine’. Gears and automated boxing gloves plummeted the large character until he emerged from the machine thinner (and with a new hat).

“Despite efforts to make Quake less daunting, Quisp continued its reign as the more popular cereal.”

But eventually…


“In the late 1970s, Quisp was discontinued due to low sales. It was brought back in the mid-1980s, then again in the 1990s and in 2001, where it was relaunched as the “first Internet cereal”. Consumers were encouraged to visit the Quisp Web site to view animated endings to cartoons on the back of the cereal box.

“Quisp has remained in limited distribution, with Quaker Oats distributing the product in ‘guerrilla displays’ that would appear in a store and last until the product sold out… Quaker Oats also sells Quisp directly to the public through an online store.” But Quake has never been revived.

I found Quisp on Amazon, in multipacks of 3, 4, 6 or 12 8.5 ounce boxes.

About the product –

Low fat
Cholesterol free
Excellent source of 7 essential vitamins

I’m TEMPTED to order it, out of base curiosity.

WATCH the commercials.

ABC Wednesday, Round 20

K is for Kellogg’s Cereal Bowls

I have NO recollection of ordering these bowls.

kelloggs cereal bowls
This is an odd little story.

Back in early 1980s, my (now) parents-in-law had befriended this older woman named Alice. She became part of their family. I met her a few times; she was a nice lady.

Around 2003, she died, and my parents-in-law were tasked to take her stuff from the trailer in which she lived, plus a storage unit. The items were removed en masse, without looking much at what items were present. They did sorting as time allowed.

Jump to 2014. In the midst of their own move, the in-laws discover this box with Alice’s handwritten note, “A Gift From” my wife. But the box initially had been mailed to ME at my address before we got married, from E.P.I Fulfillment in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Contained therein were four Kellogg’s cereal bowls, the same ones pictured above, with a 1996 copyright date.

I have NO recollection of ordering these bowls. Nor does my spouse remember having given them to Alice. Still, they’ve made their way back to us.

They go for about $20-$45 for the set on eBay, depending on condition, and they appear to be in near-mint condition, so I doubt she ever used them. I’m not inclined to sell them anytime soon.

ABC Wednesday – Round 16

The Lydster, Part 121: The nutritional value of Froot Loops

Raisin Bran is probably the better choice than the Froot Loops, but not so much better as I thought.

I want The Daughter to eat well, but if she wants an occasional box of Kellogg’s Froot Loops, a “sweetened multi-grain cereal,” I might buy it if it’s on sale. The Wife was complaining that she had made that choice for breakfast when she replied that it was healthier than the Kellogg’s Raisin Bran I was eating. Let’s look at the side panels:

SERVING SIZE: 1 cup (FL-29 g, RB-59g)

Calories: FL-110, RB-190. Advantage, FL.
Saturated fat: 0.5g, RB-0g. Advantage RB.
Sodium: FL 135 mg, RB-210mg. Advantage, FL.
Potassium: FL-35mg, RB-390mg. Big advantage, RB.
Total carbohydrates: FL-26g, RB-46g. Advantage, FL.
Dietary fiber: FL-3g, RB-7g. Advantage-RB.
Protein: FL-1g, RB-5g. Advantage-RB.

Then it’s all those minimum daily requirement percentages.

Most of them are the same, with these exceptions:
Vitamin C: FL-25%, RB-0%. Big advantage, FL, although it’s undoubtedly some additive.
Calcium: FL-0%, RB-2%. Small advantage-RB.
Phosphorus and magnesium: FL-0%, RB-20% each. Advantage: RB.
Zinc: FL-0%, RB-10%. Advantage-RB.

Finally, it’s the ingredients. Froot Loops’ first ingredient is sugar. The second is corn flour blend (whole grain yellow corn flour, degerminated yellow corn flour); the first sounds OK, but the other? It has a lot of items I’m not exactly sure what they are, especially for the coloring. Raisin Bran starts with whole grain wheat, raisins, wheat bran before it gets to sugar.

I’ll still suggest that the Raisin Bran is probably the better choice than the Froot Loops, but not so much better as I thought.

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