Thursday, July 06, 2006

For Granola Times' Sake

The rains have stopped for this week, so I've been scrambling madly into the garden every night to pick herbs for drying or for use in other things (like herbal sugars or vinegars).

This burst of energy has also affected the pile of farmers' market produce still in the fridge (now dwindling rapidly) as I've blanched and frozen organic broccoli, eaten salads, and made yet another variation on my favorite potato salad recipe (this time throwing in sauteed garlic, onions, kale, and borage).

The surprising thing is that my little projects haven't stopped there. I've been meaning to make some homemade granola for a few weeks now but have been putting it off repeatedly, not thinking that I had everything I wanted to make it.

Well, silly me. Of course, I did have everything, as I discovered tonight when I pulled out the recipe and started yanking bags from the cupboard and the refrigerator.

I like granola. I've never been wholly satisfied by the granola I can get at the co-op or almost any place else (save for the fabulous wholesome bakery Benevolence in our state’s capitol), but I’ve always been pretty pleased with what I make.

So why don't I make it more often? That I just can't figure out. But after tonight's cooking adventure, using a new recipe (found and sent to me by my Fabulous Aunt) that gives you basic ingredients and multiple suggested twists, I'd have to say it's just too easy not to make more often.

Along with the big bag of locally milled oats I pulled from the cupboard, I tossed into the bowl a sprinkling of Sucanat, toasted wheat germ, flax seeds, coconut flakes, mini diced ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom. After whisking together the requisite oil, maple syrup, and water (with a dash of almond extract thrown in for good measure), I combined wet and dry ingredients and spread them on a parchment-lined baking pan.

Half an hour later, I added the dried cherries, and a quarter hour after that, I had lightly crisped, lightly sweetened, incredibly flavorful, and highly addictive granola.

Not only did I nibble a few morsels as it cooled, but after filling an entire quart jar with the fresh whole grain goodness, I scooped the remaining granola into a dish and enjoyed it for dessert after a cup of lavender berry soup.

I'm thinking maybe I should lock the jar in the cupboard overnight.

Or maybe breakfast had just better get here double quick!


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