Strangers + Granola = Happy

Granola 2

I'm not even sure how the conversation got started, but last Friday morning, I found myself laughing about cooking woes with another woman in line getting coffee.  I told her about the batch of granola I had burned the night before because I didn't realize how much hotter this oven is than my old oven.  She was amazed that anyone even made their own granola, and after I assured her that it was just about the easiest thing to make (as long as you don't get into a long phone conversation with your mom and forget to check on it), she asked for the recipe.  We exchanged emails, and I sent it to her when I got to my desk.  She emailed back that she was looking forward to making it and would let me know how it goes.

Oats 1

Connecting with strangers is, for me, one of the simplest and most delightful pleasures of life. Sharing a laugh or a smile with someone I've never met breaks through - if only a little bit - the barriers that we put up around ourselves every day.  Here in the city, especially with Navah gone, I feel pretty walled off.  I take the bus to work, sit in my office, take the bus home, play with Jammer.  I talk to people at work about work stuff, I talk to my friends and family on the phone, and I usually hang out with friends on the weekends.  But I realize that my in-person interactions are exceedingly rare these days.  And interactions that involve laughter and lightness are even more rare.  The result is that a conversation like the one I had with that woman last week can brighten my whole day.

Granola 1

I don't know if she'll make the granola, but I thought about her as I made mine, making sure not to let it burn this time.

Easy Peasy Granola
From the Vermont Ladies

3 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup each:
  wheat germ
  toasted shaved coconut (I toasted mine in a pan on the stove)
  slivered almonds (I was out of these, so I used walnuts)
  pumpkin seeds
  sunflower seeds
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil (I used olive oil - I bet it'd be delicious with coconut oil)
1/2 cup maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  Mix everything together on a baking pan, and bake for 2-3 hours, stirring every hour or so and checking on it every half hour.  Let it cool and then store in an air-tight container. 

Granola 5

If you want to add in dried fruit, like raisins or craisins, do that after you bake it so they don't get dried out.

Funny story:  This is a half-recipe of what I normally make, but I forgot in the middle that I was splitting it, and I poured in the full amount of maple syrup and oil.  It looked like a lot, and I realized - woops! - too much maple syrup!  But then I thought, Hey, what the heck.  :)  So this batch is extra decadent.

 Granola 6



PS - This is a great holiday gift!!