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Cooking with Scotty: How to pour a bowl of cereal

Well folks, it’s finally happened.

You’ve dreaded this day your whole life. You’ve lost hours upon hours of sleep lying awake in bed, drenched in sweat, anxiously awaiting its most dreadful and terrifying arrival, and now, at long last, it has arrived.

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A bowl of Lucky Charms. (Lucy Morantz | The Collegian)

You finally have to learn how to cook for yourself.

*Dun–dun–DUNNNN!* *Cue stock footage of screaming blond woman in old B-horror movie*

Yes, it’s horrifying. I know. But like learning to drive or going through puberty, it must be faced eventually. And once you get over the initial crippling fear that comes with having to scoop different foods into a bowl and mix them together to make new food, you find that cooking is a piece of cake.

Unless, of course, you’re making cake. In which case cooking is hell on Earth. I’m serious — next to childbirth, baking a cake is probably the most agonizing and stressful activity any human can partake in. No matter how well you measure and mix and bake, the whole thing almost inevitably comes crumbling to bits the second you stack all the layers together, leaving you blubbering miserably on the floor in front of your oven, surrounded by a pile of smoldering cake crumbs.

However, cooking in general — that is, cooking dishes that are not cake — is far less traumatic and needn’t be feared nearly as much as it is.

Indeed, when approached with confidence and self-assurance, cooking can be quite a rewarding experience. There is something very satisfying about enjoying a meal that you prepared yourself: a meal you understand how much work, effort and blood, sweat and tears went into the creation of. 

Once you get over the initial crippling fear that comes with having to scoop different foods into a bowl and mix them together to make new food, you find that cooking is a piece of cake. Unless, of course, you’re making cake. In which case cooking is hell on Earth.”

But that kind of satisfaction only comes from making food that actually requires blood, sweat and tears — which, as still-budding chefs, we are not quite ready to tackle. So, today, seeing as we’re all just starting out, we’ll be focusing on the much more shrug-worthy basics: namely, how to pour yourself a bowl of cereal.

“But,” you may ask, “how hard could it be to pour yourself a bowl of cereal?”

A bowl of Lucky Charms with milk being poured over it. (Lucy Morantz | The Collegian)

It’s a fair question. But the truth is that pouring a bowl of cereal is actually a quite ancient and complex art form that requires years and years of skill and research to properly master. It requires a delicate and precise balance of —

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“But,” you may interrupt again, “all you do is pour the cereal into the bowl and the milk over top and voila — breakfast.”

And to that I say fine. OK. I see how it is Mr. Smarty Pants. Yes, you think you’re sooooo special now, don’t you? You’ve mastered the ancient art of cereal pouring. YOU don’t need ANYONE to tell YOU how to prepare YOUR breakfast. YOU’RE already an expert. I bet you also know how to toast your own toaster strudel too, don’t you?

“Actually,” you say, “I do know how to toast my own—”

SHUT UP! Just shut up! I don’t care. I DON’T CARE! Whatever. Great. So you just know everything. Fantastic. I’m SOOOO glad that you know how to adult better than the rest of us, that being a grown-up just comes SOOOO naturally to you.

Your parents are probably SOOO proud. You don’t need to learn these things from a newspaper. You’re just a naturally independent and mature person who has your life perfectly in order. Well, goodie for you!

I guess you can just ignore the rest of this article then. Yeah, I spent all this time hunched over my computer, agonizingly constructing a methodology for pouring the perfect bowl of cereal, and you just waltz right up here with your fancy shmancy “common sense” and show me up by saying that you already know how to pour a bowl of cereal, that you don’t need me, my help or my expert guidance and opinions.

A bowl of Lucky Charms with milk being poured over it. (Lucy Morantz | The Collegian)

Well EXCUUUUSE me! I guess I just wasted all of my time writing this article out then, didn’t I? Is that what you’re saying? Is that what you’re telling me? That my life’s work is all just a waste of time because what I’m teaching you is, as you say, just “common knowledge?” Are you really going to stand here and tell me that? Hmmmmm?

I see how it is Mr. Smarty Pants. Yes, you think you’re sooooo special now, don’t you? You’ve mastered the ancient art of cereal pouring. YOU don’t need ANYONE to tell YOU how to prepare YOUR breakfast!”

“I mean,” you might say, “yeah, sorta.”

FINE! JUST F*CK IT! I’M THROUGH! YOU KNOW HOW TO POUR YOURSELF A BOWL OF CEREAL?! FINE! GO POUR YOURSELF A BOWL OF CEREAL! DO IT! As a matter of fact, go ahead and toast your own toaster strudel too. Or pop your own Pop-Tarts. Or scramble your own eggs. Don’t listen to me! What do I know?!?! I’m through.

Next week, we’ll be baking a cake. Then we’ll see how smart you really are. THEN WE’LL SEE HOW SMART YOU REALLY ARE!

Scotty Powell can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com, on Twitter @scottysseus or via telegraph at dot-dot-dash-dot-dash-dash.

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