Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easy Granola

One of the things I love about staying home is that I can get a fair bit done without stressing about any of it or planning it.

Have you heard the alzheimer joke that's been going around the internet for years? I can't remember it exactly, but basically a woman starts off with one task in mind. Let's say it's taking out the garbage. While reaching for the garbage bag, she sees that the bin needs cleaning, so she reaches under the sink for the cleanser, and notices that she's almost out of bags. She goes to the basement to get new bags from her storage room and passes her laundry room. She remembers that her husband was almost out of clean socks so she goes back upstairs to get the dirty laundry basket.... And so on and so on. By the end of the day she hasn't taken out the garbage (her original task) but she's too tired to do it and goes to bed.

That's how my days can go sometimes, and it's totally okay.

While looking in the fridge for something for breakfast, I noticed two things - an overabundance of eggs and two almost empty pickle jars. So instead of making breakfast, I started some eggs boiling. The girls could have used something extra in their lunch today, but it will have to be tomorrow's lunch.

While they were boiling, I continued to think about breakfast. This morning I didn't feel like having oatmeal and we were out of granola. I decided to make some before I ate.
Having laid out all of the "extra" ingredients, it looked very much like what Alice calls the "Power Snack Pack". I put extra on the cutting board and divided it into two piles. Half got put into a jar and I added a handful of chocolate chips and some Cheerios. Power Snack Pack done and ready for lunches.
I added oats, vanilla and honey to the rest and fried it up for granola. I used two frying pans and had it all done in about 10 minutes.

Sometimes I add an egg and some extra honey to a couple of cups of the final granola and further bake them, turning them into granola bars. Beth gives hers away usually, to a friend who says "Oh-my-gosh-is-that-your-Mom's-homemade-granola-bar?!" because she's nice that way. I pack two for her in her lunch so that she can share. Today I didn't do that though. Remember, I still hadn't had breakfast.

Remember the eggs? They had finished boiling, so I peeled them and put them in the two almost empty pickle jars. However, there wasn't quite room so I removed a couple of pickles. Now I had two small jars of pickled eggs, but some pickles on the counter and two eggs that really didn't fit in the jars.

Hmmm, there were some leftover roasted potatoes and mayo in the fridge. I quickly diced the pickles, potatoes and eggs, added mayo and salt and now I had some potato salad ready for dinner.

Finally I had my breakfast (with some peaches that were already out since packing the girls' lunches), but I'd also made snacks, granola, pickled eggs and potato salad. Not bad production and done by 9:30.

Now I had egg shells that needed to be scattered for the ladies and since it's windy, maybe a load of laundry.

I love it when I allow myself to do what feels right rather than dealing with my list of things. It's much less stressful when it just falls into place and is no less productive really. It feels jarring sometimes to go from one item to another on a list without a natural progression.

Unfortunately, I do have taxes to do and that never fits into my day without forcing it to. Pooh.

Oh, do you want the granola recipe? It comes from Julie Van Rosendaal's book, Grazing, but I altered it a bit.

6 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 - 1 cup chopped nuts or seeds

1/4 tsp salt pinch of cinnamon

1 cup dried fruits (I just guess the amounts)

1 cup honey (I just guess that too because I hate making the cup all sticky)

1 tsp vanilla

Toast it in a dry frying pan for about three minutes on medium, stirring all the time. Done. It's pretty easy and quick if you're not sidetracked by eggs, potatoes, pickles, etc.

1 comment:

Gina said...

Your day sounds exactly like mine. I like to have a plan so I don't end up wondering through the day aimlessly but usually I end up just doing the thing before me which leads to the next and the next...