For Dakota and DJ who want a savory breakfast cereal.



It was 7 o’clock in the morning.

The table was set:      

Bowls. Cups. Spoons.

Cereal of all types. Puffs. Squares. Mushy stuff.

Glistening sugar. Sticky honey and syrup.

Milk and juice.


Slowly we all trickled out of our rooms, down the stairs, to gather at the table. Leoni waddled to the table tightly carrying her dolly Precious under her arm and stood waiting for Mama to lift her into her highchair. Next came Catalina, who rolled right out of bed but thankfully made it there safely too. Filippo scrambled out of bed raced past Antonio in the hallway, skipped a few stairs and beat Antonio to the table. It was as if there wouldn’t be any food left by the time he got there.


Together we sat at the table and bowed our heads while Papa gave thanks for the day no matter how it turned out.


Breakfast time. “The most important meal of the day”, Papa said as he circled the table kissing each of us on our forehead between sips of espresso then rushed out the door, cheese Panini in hand.


Mama said, “Papa can’t eat cereal on the GO.” then Mama followed Papa out the door to kiss him as if we didn’t know she did.


“I’m tired of this same ol’ same ol’ breakfast. I want something new. Something rich and creamy, but crunchy and zippy with flavour,” complained



“Twy the puffs with cimanim and honey. They’re my favewite,” babbled Leoni.

Filippo shook his head no.


“How about having the hot oatmeal with fresh cream and maple syrup glaze?”

Filippo shook his head no.

“You can add fresh berries,” Catalina tried to convince.

With his hands on his hips Filippo shook his head no.


“I know what you would like,” Antonio said confidently because he knew everything, “a pannini just like Papa’s except with mortadella and cheese.”

With his hands on his hips and a smile on his face Filippo shook his head no, “good idea, but NOT today. TODAY I am going to have CROUTONIOS!”


“CROUTONIOS?” we all said in unison.


Filippo walked over to the pantry stretched up on to his tippy toes and grabbed the bag of croutons from the top shelf. The ones with the melted butter, roasted garlic and parmesan cheese. The ones Mama just might be saving for tomorrow’s delectable Caesar salad.


We all watched as Filippo went to the fridge and carried the creamy ranch dressing back to the table, poured himself a heaping bowl of croutons, slathered them with dressing and dug in.


Enter Mama.


“What is that smell? That delicious garlicy buttery savoury parmesany smell?” she asked.


One by one we looked down into our own boring cereal bowls then turned our heads towards Filippo who seemed lost in his bowl of CROUTONIOS. The crunch was loud. The smell was amazing. Our mouths were all watering.


With a confused look Mama sat down at the breakfast table. She peered into her empty bowl then looked up and in her ‘you’re in trouble’ Mama voice said, “FILIPPO!”


“Yes Mama,” Filippo sheepishly responded.


“What ARE you eating?”


“Mama, I cannot tell a lie. I couldn’t resist those irresistible salad croutons. I’m eating Croutonios!”


“Filippo? Will you please pass the CROUTONIOS?”


Filippo looked up with a wide grin that dripped ranch dressing.


~La fine