Monday, July 19, 2010

"i'm content to walk a little slower because there's nowhere that i really need to be"

the food: Easy Granola
the song: "The Difference in the Shade" Bright Eyes

I have truly been enjoying these last few weeks of joblessness. I've been able to go out with the husband, which is something I was rarely able to do when I had to be at work by 7. We've hosted cookouts, traveled, and been able to say 'yes.' Yes, I'll volunteer for my favorite organization in Austin! Yes, let's have friends over for dinner! Yes, let's spend all day on a pontoon boat! Yes, I'll go to the Farmer's Market! Yes, let's go see a movie! Yes, I'll help trap the feral cats that live in my backyard! (By the way, does anyone need want a kitty? She's 1.7 pounds of cute!)

I've also been enjoying the wonderfulness of time spent in my home. One of the reasons I stopped working is so I could devote more time to our home and figure out how to take my interest in domesticity beyond helping raise other people's kiddos. Working at the daycare was a wonderful experience that shaped who I am. It is nice, though, to devote a little time to figuring out what's right for me and what I want to devote my efforts to. I'm still working on that one...the picture is a little blurry, but I'm getting a better idea.

For now I'm appreciating the freedom to be here or there or anywhere I please. I have energy to give to my friends and family. I am meeting new people and trying new things. I have time to myself and am able to cook, clean, look out for the animals, watch the garden grow, write and read. I am enjoying saying yes.

Believe it or not, my tangent is leading to granola. When I'm feeling especially home-makery, there are two recipes that always come to my mind. Recipes that take a little time, but are very easy. Perfect for starting on the stove, then cleaning up the kitchen. The first of these things is homemade vegetable broth. The second is granola. If I have these two items, homemade and fresh in the house, I feel pretty on top of things. Maybe these two things and slow cooked beans in the freezer for an easy meal. Ok, make that three things.

But today, let's focus on granola. This granola is so good and so easy. This granola makes me scoff at the boxed stuff and giggle at how expensive the bulk bin granola is. It's true...this granola makes me snobby. This granola makes me buy and eat yogurt, which I do ONLY for this granola and the occasional yogurt sauce for falafel (yogurt freaks me out a little bit).

You can make this recipe fancier if you like. I'm sure it would be yummy with a variety of nuts thrown in. Dried fruit can be added after baking if you like fruit in your granola (none for me, thanks.) And I'm sure there are a lot of different spice combinations you could play with here, too. I like my granola simple. I had to make this a time or two before I got the hang of how to flip and transfer the granola to keep the big pieces. Don't be afraid to get your (clean) hands involved in the process.

Without further ado, here is an easy granola recipe for the next time you're feeling homey. Consider making it for your homies.

Easy Granola
adapted from The Amateur Gourmet

2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
small pinch sea salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large handfuls nut of your choice (almonds, walnuts, hazlenuts...I like pecans)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with butter wrapper. 

In a large bowl, toss the oats with the cinnamon and salt. In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.

Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture and use your hands to combine them: Gather up some of the mixture in each hand and make a fist. Repeat until all of the oats are coated with the honey mixture. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it out evenly, but leave a few clumps here and there for texture.

Bake for 10 minutes, remove and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Sprinkle the nuts over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven.

Bake for 10-15 more minutes, being careful not to burn the granola. Remove from the oven, let cool completely, and use your hands to transfer to an air tight container. Will store for up to one week.


P.S. My mom sent me this article about "femivorism" that was on my mind while I wrote this post. I'm not sure about the term femivore (do they eat females?), but I do think it is interesting to trace the value society places on homemaking with the rise of local eating and food awareness. I don't think it is feminist issue as much as an issue for all of us interested in eating real food. It takes time and effort for people to eat well and be healthy, and whomever is putting in that time deserves recognition.


  1. Emily!

    YES, I adore your blog!! Good for you, woman. For all of it. For making room for the things you love, for teaching us how to make granola (mmm), for brightening my morning with this adorable kitten. Mama wants!!! (except my current cat would probably eat it. Sigh).

    Thanks so much for coming out last night. :) Wish we coulda chatted a little more!

  2. Aww, thanks Tolly! We had fun last night, and yes I would have loved to talk to you more. Next time...

    Thank you for organizing such awesomeness. The first Bleet Up actually inspired me to start this blog. :)