Day 56. in which there was Raisin Bran.

Boy! Raisin Bran! That's stupendous! Boy, I love Raisin Bran!

My father should be the poster child for Raisin Bran. If I marketed cereal for a living, I would definitely put Bob Brown's image on the front of the cereal box. He even comes with his own slogans.

Raisin Bran! Wow! It doesn't get much better than this!

This is all mine!?

I've got to go get me some of that Raisin Bran! Boy, I love that stuff!

Every morning Dad is overjoyed when presented with a bowl of Raisin Bran. He acts surprised and overjoyed all at once, espousing various odes on the joys of Raisin Bran. I wish everyone was as easily satisfied.

Some mornings, he's more patient than others. Occasionally, Dad will try to get himself a bowl of Raisin Bran before the rest of us are awake. Unfortunately, this often doesn't turn out too well. Fetching the milk can be a daunting task. The refrigerator does not simply contain milk. There's a myriad of options presented when Bob opens the door. Confounded by various condiments, he moves past the soda towards the milk only to be distracted by bologna. Maybe the bologna comes out, maybe it does not. Almost definitely, the milk is forgotten.

Dad wanders over to the counter only to rediscover the Raisin Bran. Yet another bowl is poured. And so on, and so on, and so on...

Early on with Dad, we learned to hide the Raisin Bran and introduce it one bowl at a time.

You can really feed my Dad anything. I don't remember a time when this was not true. He was never a fussy eater. Being the second from the youngest boy in a family with six siblings in post World War II may have had something to do with this. Dad often remarked that he had to "fight for his food", being one of the youngest (and smallest) of the Brown boys. Grandma Brown certainly made some 'interesting' dinners; my father raved about what an excellent cook she was, and how she could make something out of nothing. Having her kidney bean salad (mixed with Miracle Whip), I am not quite certain I can agree with my father on this point.

Food was not to be wasted. Even if it meant eating something truly horrible - like the time Dad put oatmeal in the hamburgers, thinking it was a good, healthy option. I was probably 10 then. It was awful. But I didn't waste it.

I think one of the worst things about living with my father as a kid was that he could not cook at all. He and I were on our own in the kitchen! I remember one of my first inventions - a Bacon Bit and mayonaise sandwich. Eventually, I worked my way up to tuna noodle casserole. Being one of the only things I could cook, we ate it quite a bit. We also ate a lot of Four Brothers pizza and frozen dinners.

Perhaps the cause of the dilemma was that Dad simply didn't know the first thing about grocery shopping. He followed a very standard list of items we would buy at the store, which should get us through an entire week: tuna, bananas, milk, Raisin Bran, something frozen, macaroni, and a jar of tomato sauce. Occasionally, we would treat ourselves with cheese and crackers or a carton of ice cream.

I was approaching twenty before I realized that people do not typically put canned tuna fish into their spaghetti sauce.

Ah yes! Very creative things happened in our kitchen...

But always a safe choice, there was Raisin Bran.