Archived Story

Remember Milnot?

Published 8:19pm Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I don’t know for what reason, but sometimes out of a clear blue sky something will come into my mind, like how we used to use Pet or Carnation evaporated canned milk in the 1930s.
I can recall how we punched a couple of holes in the top of the can with a beer-can opener.
We diluted some of this with water and used it on our morning cereal.
I remember this as a 5- or 6-year-old boy back then.
I remember just two cereals that came in boxes.
One was the popular Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Nabisco Shredded Wheat, which came in a box of pretty good-sized bars that were separated between each layer by a printed small cardboard sheet with pictures you could color.
Another old breakfast standard, especially in the winter, was old-fashioned oatmeal that had to be cooked on top of the stove.
None of that one-minute kind you can buy these days.
Also, there came a substitute called Milnot that was cheaper than Pet or Carnation.
We were able to buy Milnot in Michigan for a while, then, for some reason, Michigan could no longer sell it and one had to go to Indiana to purchase it.
Here is something else I remember — those pancakes my mother used to make on her big, old-fashioned round griddle.
These were enormous in size, as I recall. It used to sit on top of our gas kitchen stove.
I don’t remember if it was so big that maybe it took two burners of the stove.
For some reason, I don’t know why, but pancakes today don’t taste as good to me as I remember those of my mother’s years ago.
Another thing back in my days, there were restaurants that you could get a breakfast, but there were no McDonald’s or Burger King then.
I can recall in my early growing-up days, I think I now love liver and onions, as we used to have them when I was a kid, probably because liver was one of the cheaper meats.
On our kitchen table we used to have an oilcloth pretty-flowered table cloth.
Oilcloth table covers were popular. We also had one with little red and white squares.
These kind of table covers were good for when I worked on my 10-cent balsa wood airplane kits and spilled some of the glue I used.
It was no problem because the table was not covered with a linen table cloth, like what we had for our dining room table.
1959: Fifty-nine years will crumble with the razing of the second and third floors of the old Reshore building to make room for Fair Store expansion. This brick building was the one that replaced the old wooden one in 1900.

“Cardinal Charlie” Gill writes a nostalgic weekly column about growing up in the Grand Old City.
E-mail him at

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