February 24th, 2003

crane

Granola Recipe

As a couple folks asked for it in email, too...

This recipe evolved from Alton Brown's recipe and several other granola recipes I looked up. It was shaped by my oven, which has some hot spots, and by Jet's preference to use just one measuring cup for all the nuts, sugar, and the maple syrup. Since I couldn't get the cup out of his hand, I used it for everything.

I found that putting the sugar/syrup on the stuff before toasting it let the stuff clump and got it good and crispy, which just toasting them alone won't do.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees, line a half sheet pan with parchment paper, or use two cookie sheet pans and line them with parchment paper.

Mix together in a large mixing bowl:
3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup cashew pieces
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/4 cup pecan meal or pecan pieces
1/4 cup of any of the nuts you prefer

In a small glass (or just a cereal bowl) mix:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbs honey
(optional, if you don't have parchment paper) 2 Tbs canola oil

Nuke the liquids for about 30 seconds, 'til warm and easily mixed together, and the sugar can dissolve a bit. Mix in
1/4 to 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.

Pour the liquid onto the dry and stir/fold together until the grains and nuts have gotten coated with the goo. Then spread onto your pan(s) and toast in your oven. I like turning the mixture every 15 minutes or so, and with my oven about 40 minutes of toasting, all together, makes it what I want it to be, i.e. crisp but not burnt. Take it out and cool it to room temperature.

Then I mix in about a cup of mixed, chopped, dried fruit (whatever happens to need to be eaten at the moment), and store it in an airtight container and it'll last a good month if you don't eat it sooner.
crane

Weird Weekend

So the weekend was mildly weird. Both John and I were severely sleep deprived, and both of us slept in three hours on Saturday morning, in shifts. Then Sunday we both slept in for another two hours in shifts, and we got to church barely in time.

Church was... weird. Turns out that Liam, the two-year-old who died, actually died of a congenital defect that no one had picked up on until this time. It just failed him. So there was no accident, no lack of watching, and in some odd 'best' way, no guilt for anyone. Maybe it was just oddly reassuring, in some way, that it's not impossible to keep track of a two-year-old and keep them as safe as humanly possible. There were simply things no one could foresee. That left 'just' the loss itself.

And everyone felt it. The whole congregation was depressed, and Jet surprised me by trying to cheer *everyone* up. He clowned, he threw kisses, he hugged people that he normally shys away from, he smiled, he waved, and he played peekaboo with everyone that looked down in the mouth. He ate powdered sugar donuts and ran around with a huge, white grin.

Wow.

It's odd seeing in a two-year-old the drive to make other people feel better, when so many adults were so wrapped up in their own sorrow. It's very cool, too, to know that he knew he could make people smile by doing all that, and that it was a good thing. He seemed to enjoy getting people to feel better.

The family who had lost the boy wasn't there. Probably a good thing, they didn't need to have everyone *else* be depressed around them all the time. Instead, we found them, on Sunday, after church, at the Longmont Rec. Center swimming. *grin* Their older boy was having a blast in the pool and that seemed a very, very wise thing to be doing.

Jet had fun, too, and in the car, afterwards, he was very happily, very still, and very tired. It was really funny having him grin big at me, even with his eyes closed while he was half asleep. A very busy, very happy, very tired boy.