And yet I do. I make a batch of you, and I sing your praises while we eat every last crumb of you, promising to make a fresh batch every few weeks until I'm senile. Then we move onto other foods, and the next thing I know, it's eight months later and I'm suddenly remembering how nice it would be to eat granola. And since store-bought granola is, as far as I'm concerned, priced out of reach of most mere mortals, this means we simply don't eat granola.
So now I have a solution. I've just made myself a new grocery-type list, only this one is not for shopping. In the spirit of continuing to move towards a "making" mentality and away from a "buying" mentality, this morning I started a second food list on the fridge for things I need to make sure I always have made. So far it only has three things on it (because I have a terrible memory and can't think of what else I make to keep around): bread, chicken stock, and granola.
Bread is a no-brainer since I make about 95% of our bread. Chicken stock is somewhat obvious, but I don't pay too much attention when we're running out--I just make it every time I roast a chicken. So I'll do a better job keeping up on that so there's never a need to reach for that last 1/2 square of bouillon I have in the cupboard. And now, granola. This batch made three big jars, but this time when it runs out, I'll remember to make it. As the weeks go by and I start thinking of things I make or would like to make to keep around (as opposed to making on the spot, for a meal), I'll add them to the list. Can I tell you how excited I am about this?
I realize that for many people, this is probably the most obvious thing in the world. I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this on my blog, but cooking is a relatively new thing in my life. Sure, I thought I was cooking, but up until 2 1/2 years ago, I didn't even realize that humans actually made risotto from scratch or that they roasted whole chickens. I didn't know you could make pancakes without pancake mix. Feel free to laugh. In addition to cooking, the planning of cooking is also new(ish) to me, something I only started once I became a mother, but still need improvement on, hence my ridiculous excitement about my "to have made on hand" list.
For those interested, the granola above is an adaptation of the basic granola recipe in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, one of my go-to cookbooks. Here's the general gist of what I included:
6 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
3/4 cup coconut
3/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon cinnamon
heaping 1/2 teaspoon ginger
heaping 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
heaping 1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup maple syrup
In the interest of making this affordable (still much more so than store-bought granola), I did the following:
- cut down the coconut from 1 cup to 3/4 cup
- used the tiniest amount of dried cranberries since unsweetened cranberries are not only hard to find, they're also expensive. I added just enough to get a little sense that they were there.
- used the minimum amount of sweetener, 1/2 cup of maple syrup (he calls for 1/2 cup to 1 cup). I made up for the lost flavor by adding lots of spices. It's still so delicious that I'm certain I can go even lower next time, so I'll perhaps try 1/4 cup and even more spices next time.
- used only 1 cup of nuts and included inexpensive seeds for the rest of the "crunch" factor