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.
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.
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:
toasted shaved coconut (I toasted mine in a pan on the stove)
slivered almonds (I was out of these, so I used walnuts)
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.
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.
PS - This is a great holiday gift!!