I am not a superstitious person. But I am also no fool. So yesterday, when my friend invited me to come for a walk at a time when I was hoping I might receive an exciting phone call, I sent a quick email to the person I was hoping would call me. I told her I was going out, but would keep my cell phone turned up.
But because, as I have said, I am not a fool, I deliberately did not mention the real reason she might have to call. Instead, I offered her, and the Evil Eye, various alternatives. Maybe she would want to share a funny story about her dogs. Or she would need me to help her remember the words to “Ripple” (we’re a pair of old Deadheads). Or she might like my recipe for granola.
Then I drove across town to meet my other friend, which seemed like a much better way to spend the afternoon then sitting at home staring at the phone.
It was a really nice walk. The temperature was just right. The rain held off. My friend and I had a lot to talk about. We saw the mustachioed, identical-twin walkers I had previously only seen around my neighborhood. And I got my phone call.
The call made me very happy. But it was not entirely what I had been hoping for. When I answered the phone, one of the first things my friend said to me was, “Do you have a recipe for granola?”
As it happens, I do. It’s a damned good one, perfected in the course of many months and many batches. And since I can’t say anything about what we actually did discuss in the course of that phone call, I will give you what we did not discuss.
That Granola Recipe
1 part sweetener (such as brown sugar, maple syrup, honey or some combination thereof)
.75 parts oil (I use peanut or olive, since those are the only ones we ever have around)
4 parts rolled oats
seasoning to taste (I use vanilla, salt, black pepper, powdered cinnamon and powdered ginger)
3 parts chopped nuts (I have used walnuts, pecans, cashews, slivered almonds — usually all of the above.)
1 part seeds (flax, sunflower, sesame – again, usually all three. But the sesame are the most essential.)
1 part raisins
1 part other dried fruit, chopped (I like figs and dates. More figs in the mix than dates)
— Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
–Combine the oats with the sweetener, oil and seasoning. Spread it evenly on the baking sheet and bake 30 minutes, stirring once.
–Add the nuts and seeds to the oat mixture and bake another 15 minutes. Be careful not to burn the nuts.
–Remove from the oven and add fruit when cool.
I store mine in the refrigerator, so the nuts and the oil don’t go rancid. In mason jars, because they’re pretty.
I love this granola because it’s not too sweet and it’s full of goodies. The sesame seeds provide a slightly bitter counterpoint to the sugary parts, and the black pepper gives it a subtle kick. I eat it with plain yogurt and jam or fresh fruit for breakfast, or straight from the jar, as a snack.