Tuesday, May 19, 2009

If the oven is on...

I spent most of the weekend with the oven on. Not just on, but turned all the way up to 400 degrees. Did I mention it was in the 80s in San Francisco this weekend? Did I mention we live on the third floor and -- the rumors are true -- heat rises?

Why, you may ask, was the oven on for two straight days? I spent the weekend deeply involved in a kitchen caper that required working in fits and spurts: first turn on the stove, boil, strain, mix, then wait awhile. Then turn up the oven, make sure it is nice and hot. Then wait awhile. Then cool what came out of the oven and wait some more. Then start the whole thing all over again.

It made little sense to turn the oven off and on, especially since it was crucial for the oven to be very hot and tuned to exactly the right temperature. So as I was waiting, having swept the floors and emptied the garbage and wandered around a bit, I decided to make granola.

I've shared my favorite granola recipe before. This granola recipe is my mom's and it is even easier. No melting or stirring pots on the stove, just mix, dump, and bake. The granola is low-fat, crispy, and golden colored. Seeing as it is spring, this batch was spiced up with the addition of almonds and chopped dried apricots, though any fruit and nut combo will do. It looks pretty yummy and I am excited to pack some with me as I leave on Thursday for a multi-day road trip/work adventure.

Make some for yourself. You'll like it, I promise!

Mary's Granola
5 cups old fashioned oats
2/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced almonds

Mix with:
1/2 cup honey
2 tbl. canola oil
1/4 cup brown sugar (optional, if you leave it out consider adding a tablespoon or two of maple syrup or maple-agave syrup)
1 Tbl molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla (Elicit confession: I reached for the wrong bottle and made this batch of granola with rum! Oh my! It is pretty tasty...)

Bake at 400 degrees on a large, preferably dark cookie sheet for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring often. Add 3/4 cup dried fruit of your choice.
Stores well in airtight container.

No comments: