Thursday, April 24, 2008

Work in Progress: I'm Crabby, So You Get Granola

I’m too crabby to blog officially today because yesterday I severely pulled my calf muscle doing the dangerous and exciting activity of…stepping off a curb. Yes—one minute I’m walking on a little errand instead of driving there, perhaps whistling (okay, not really), congratulating myself for lessening my carbon footprint while at the same getting exercise and enjoying a lovely spring day—and next thing you know, I’m in the middle of the street in immense pain after stepping off the curb (not even a high curb).

Being from Iowa, a stoic place, I continued on my errand, which wasn’t a good plan. (Stoicism can be so over-rated.)

Now, I’m lurching/hobbling around like Frankenstein with a peg leg. That was a fun way to ride the metro last night at rush hour, let me tell you; those hordes pause for nothing! To top it off, I’m supposed to go out to dinner on Saturday AND Sunday, and now I can’t wear my cute new shoes.

A moment, please, as we contemplate how tragically difficult my life is.

So, no writing about writing today. Instead, I’ll pass along a recipe, and since the last recipe I shared was for stuffing (mmm), here’s something that sounds more healthful though it probably isn’t; granola is tricky that way. I think this might be from Better Homes and Garden magazine, but I’m not sure; I’ve been making it for quite a while. Don’t be afraid: it’s easy.


4 cups old-fashioned oats (NOT the one minute kind; NOT instant)
1 ½ cups sliced almonds
½ cup packed light brown sugar (I actually like the new, loose brown sugar for this if you can find it)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup cooking oil (i.e. canola, vegetable)
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups raisins or dried cranberries (a half-and-half mix is nice, too)

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl, mix the oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. In a saucepan warm the oil and honey. Whisk or stir in vanilla. Carefully pour liquid over oat mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon; finish mixing by hand.

2. Spread granola in a 15x10x1 inch baking pan. (I suppose two regular cookie sheets would work also, as long as they have a rim; also, I spray the baking sheet with Pam to keep the granola from sticking.) Bake 40 minutes, stirring carefully every 10 minutes. Transfer granola-filled pan to a rack; cool completely. Stir in raisins/cranberries. Seal granola in an airtight container or self-sealing plastic bags. Store at room temperature for 1 week or in freezer for 3 months. Makes 9 cups (24 servings). 186 calories/serving


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.