Food on Friday: A cereal cheater

By Julia Westhoff

Growing up in Minnesota, when my parents went out, they’d leave us at home to heat up frozen french fries and chicken nuggets. My mom called this dinner “Grease Fest,” and we were wildly giddy over it. For hippie kids raised on tabouleh and carob, chicken nuggets were as good as it got.

About that time in Prairie Village, my friend Pete’s dad had a weekly bowling night. His mom used that as an excuse to institute “Pete’s Pizza Night”, during which they would order Minsky’s and watch tv. Jay’s family did something similar during their weekly “Cosby Cuddle Night” (so cute, right?).

Now that I’m a parent, I’ve come to realize what those nights were really about – saving time and sanity. In our house, Thursday nights aren’t easy – it’s the end of the week and the fridge is empty (I usually grocery shop on Fridays). Jay goes to yoga after work, so the girls and I arrive to an empty home on empty stomachs. For a while I tried my best to throw something together, but even the easiest meals seemed like a lot of work with two cranky girls. Then one night I decided to forget about cooking altogether. Instead, I pulled out cereal and milk.

Thirty seconds later we were sitting around the table, slurping Puffins and enjoying our dinner very much. Since then, it has become official – Thursday nights are cereal nights in our household. All I need now is some catchy title to jazz it up, (thus turning it from lazy parenting to a cute and fun tradition). Any ideas?

Does your family have a “cheat night”? I’d love to hear about it!