26 October 2010

26 October - Charles W. Post; Grape-Nut Pudding

Today in 1854, Charles William Post, founder of the Postum Cereal Company, and inventor of breakfast foods which eventually became Post cereals, was born in Springfield, Illinois, to Charles and Caroline Post.

In poor health, he entered the sanitarium of the great food faddist holistic healer and vegetarian Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek, Michigan, where he learned and later expanded on Dr. Kellogg's gospel of proper food and nutrition.

He founded the Postum Cereal Company in 1895, which first offered Postum, a roasted grain beverage touted as a healthful alternative to coffee [the black broth of Satan].  "Improper food and stimulants like coffee and tea create unnatural appetites", said one of his early advertisements, and in 1897, Post developed his first breakfast cereal, Grape-Nuts.  In keeping with his vision of healthy eating habits, the cereal claimed to have "nothing left out that could build strength and health", and that it "enriches the blood and builds sound, healthy bodies"; the cereal, which could be eaten hot or cold, was also said to increase the flagging appetite, and even cure a liquor habit.

Well, I don't know how much we want to be cured, but on a day like this, (New England) thoughts turn to GRAPE-NUT PUDDING:

Scald 1 quart of milk; pour over 1 cup of Grape-Nuts cereal in a bowl and let stand about 15 minutes.

Beat 4 eggs.  Add the milk mixture to the eggs a little at a time, stirring constantly.  Stir in 1/2 cup of sugar, a dash of salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Pour into a casserole (lasagne-pan size) and sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg on top.

Place the casserole dish in a large pan that has 1 to 2 inches of hot water in the bottom (not so much that it is higher than the sides of the casserole).  Bake at 325 degrees F. for about 1 hour or until set. A knife inserted in the center will come out clean if the pudding is done.

Now, that is the way to eat Grape-Nuts!  That is, if you can't have them mixed in your ice cream.

Meanwhile, a good read on healthy breakfast foods is Saki's Filboid Studge: the Story of a Mouse that Helped (scroll down for the contents).