by Eric Wharton
My Recipe Book, constantly being added to
I don't use the word gourmet. The word doesn't mean anything anymore. "Gourmet" makes it sound like someone is putting sherry wine in the corn-flake casserole.
— Julia Child
Corn Flakes can be found on breakfast tables all over the world. Today, the cereal is marketed as a healthy part of a balanced breakfast, but Corn Flakes have a long and sordid history. The cereal was originally invented by a fanatically religious doctor as a way to stop people from ... uh ... erm ... solitary sex (trying to keep this rated 13+).
In 1894, the Kellogg brothers were running a sanitarium and health spa in the town of Battle Creek, Michigan. Both were Seventh-Day Adventists, a fundamentalist church emphasizing strict Biblical literalism and clean living by maintaining the purity of the body. One brother, Dr. John Kellogg, was firmly convinced that sex itself was impure and harmful, most especially solitary sex, which he called "onanism." He described the evil health effects to include epilepsy, mood swings, dementia and a host of other medical issues. He proposed many radical treatments and even tried a number of times to make an anti-sex food. He was not the first—that's how the graham cracker started.
One day, while experimenting for an anti-sex food, he and his research staff accidentally over-cooked some wheat after they were unexpectedly called away. When they got back, they ran the cooled wheat through the rollers. Each wheat grain came out flattened into an individual flake. In 1898, they tried the same process using corn instead of wheat and "corn flakes" were born.
Dr. Kellogg immediately began serving corn flakes to his patients. His bookkeeper brother, W.K. (Will Keith), was more business oriented and suggested they add sugar to the mixture to eliminate the cardboard taste. After a long fight with his brother, W.K. was able to purchase from his brother the rights to make "corn flakes" in 1906. He changed the recipe and set up the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company.
By 1930, the Kellogg Cereal Company was the largest breakfast cereal maker in the world. Today, Kellogg's Corn Flakes are the best-selling breakfast cereal in the US. All of which has nothing to do with the candy itself, but the corn flakes are the primary component.
12 cups corn flakes
2 cups sugar
18-oz smooth peanut butter (a little more than 2 cups)
1 16-oz bottle Karo light corn syrup
Pour corn flakes into a large bowl and set aside. Combine the corn syrup and sugar in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the peanut butter to the pan and stir constantly until thoroughly combined.
Pour contents over the corn flakes , stirring rapidly, coating the cereal with the syrup mixture. Drop the mix by heaping spoonfuls onto wax paper and allow to cool. It may help to butter the spoon to prevent sticking.
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