Of course, what I really mean is, great to see you again. As lovely as the weekends are, I’m always happy to come back to this little corner of the world and say hello to you again. Hello! Are you in a crap mood? Are you still glowing from the weekend? Whatever your state, it’s good to see you.
Today I am having some thoughts about granola. Is there ever really a healthy granola? How can oats and nuts add up to 7 million calories? And then there is the matter of burning. I am thinking of taking up a second career as a professional granola burner. I can bake springy custards and roll out homemade puff pastry, but I can’t seem to make granola without having to throw away lots of browned bits. Oh well. As my mom says, “God isn’t finished with me yet.”
With these questions in mind, it was with great enthusiasm that I came across a particular recipe for granola that didn’t seem to be an oil-sugar sponge disguised as a health food with so much reputation it’s become its own slang. There was a relatively small amount of oil, the intriguing addition of egg whites, and the option of using a sweetener like agave nectar. This seemed like a very good granola to me, and the jar of only-slightly-burned stuff that I passed on to a friend last week got good reviews.
But I can’t help but think that the granola I really like is the one my mom makes. It’s full of shredded coconut and slivered almonds, and the recipe is written on a sheet of notebook paper tucked inside a yellow binder. There is a coffee can on the top shelf of her fridge filled with it. So on Mother’s Day Eve, I sprinkled a bit over a little bowl of strawberry yogurt. It felt good to be home.
When it comes to my own homemade granola, though, I’ll probably stick with this version. (Or this one, which I have yet to make myself but a friend brought to book club and was heavenly.) While there are some family recipes we carry on unchanged, there are others we have to discover and write for ourselves in order to suit the people we’re becoming, or want to become. There’s a place, though, for the recipes that transport us to another time and another age. I’ll keep my hunger for mom’s granola confined to trips home and those care packages I happily lug back to the city.