Thursday, March 13, 2008

Volkswagon Summer Post #4

I couldn't believe that the beginning of my first high school summer was starting out so drastically wrong. Wasn't I supposed to be poolside, working on a tan, wearing rayban sunglasses and oogling over boys drinking blue Slurpees? I never envisioned that I would be hiding my underwear from strangers and forced to babysit my little brother on my first weekend of summer vacation. "Sissy. Get my bweakfast," said Craig as he toddled into the living room, breaking into my moping section. "Hey buddy, what's up?" I said as a smiled at my toe-headed little brother and mustered a smile. "You want some oatmeal?" I could never understand how my family couldn't buy regular cold cereal from the store like normal people. Cold cereal was a special treat at our house and reserved for family vacations, holidays or birthdays. At our breakfast table, it was hot, brown and crunchy. In that order exactly. My dad took it upon him to fix us kids breakfast since he was already up and had to report early to his principal's desk. He made us cracked wheat, which was basically wheat boiled until it burst open, like little larvae giving birth. We poured milk and honey on the dish and I thought this was what all kids ate for breakfast until my first sleepover when I was eight and I discovered that other kids ate cold cereal everyday! On alternate days we ate oatmeal or whole-wheat pancakes that crunched a little to loudly even after being doused in a gallon of watered-down homemade syrup. My dad had a wheat grinder in the basement, along with about ten 50-gallon drums of whole wheat. He loved that grinder and made sure that our food storage was always in rotation, thus the large consumptin of wheat products. Along with cereal, I never ate store-bought white bread until my first sleepover. I couldn't believe that I could mash that bread into a ball and chew it like cheese. I think I ate a whole loaf of bread at Janet's that night, concerned that it would be the last time I would get to eat it. The one thing I did love about my dad's obsession with wheat products was the smell of the house when he was baking bread. He would grind, knead, raise and bake the bread. When the bread was baking, the entire house would fill with that heavenly smell that would even bring onery teenagers to the table begging for the first slice.

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