My sister’s birthday is on Thursday – she’ll be turning 40. So, I’ve decided to have four days of Haddy-inspired posts this week. Naturally, I turned to Rosie Beaucoup for assistance.
movita: I want to do four days of Haddy-inspired posts to mark her birthday. I was thinking I’d share some of her favourite childhood recipes.
Rosie Beaucoup: Great idea!
movita: So, can you tell me about the things you used to make for her? The stuff she would have asked for?
Rosie Beaucoup: Okay.
Rosie Beaucoup: Just, uh… just give me a minute.
(another long pause)
movita: I just need a few things that she really, really liked. Maybe a dessert? Maybe the meals she requested on her birthdays?
Rosie Beaucoup: Right. I’m thinking. Uh…
(tapping a finger on her nose)
Rosie Beaucoup: I mean, I’m sure there was something…
Rosie Beaucoup: In fairness, she was really quite fussy…
(yet another long pause)
movita: Okay, I think my cats are hungry. Maybe just let me know when you think of something?
Rosie Beaucoup: Just. Give. Me. A SECOND. I know there’s something…
(staring out the window)
Rosie Beaucoup: Okay, I’ve got it. She really liked those little boxes of raisins.
Rosie Beaucoup: You remember, those little red boxes of…
movita: I know what bloody boxes of raisins are! But I can’t post a recipe for boxed raisins!
Rosie Beaucoup: But she really liked them.
movita: Never-mind. I’ll keep thinking. I’ve gotta get going, okay?
Rosie Beaucoup: WAIT! She also really liked wieners!
movita: Good grief.
Rosie Beaucoup: AND she almost choked to death on one! I remember because your grandfather had just arrived for a visit, and she turned blue…
So, Haddy, here’s a childhood recipe that contains your most favourite treat – raisins – and absolutely no wieners. It’s a take on the granola that Rosie Beaucoup used to make for us when we were kids. But, since we’re getting older, I’ve thrown in some stuff like ground flax seed to keep us alive. I hear flax seed will also help you deal with hot flashes.
This recipe makes a crapload of granola – 16 cups worth – so you could always halve it if you don’t have a big roasting pan and storage container. Also, you can swap out ingredients. Don’t feel like pecans? Leave ‘em out. Hate cranberries? Find something else to shove in there! I hear prunes and dates are good for the elderly. The options are endless, and just a small bowl of this stuff will keep your belly full until your first coffee break. I’m sure you’ll remember that this is not a crunchy granola – it is honeyed and softer than the stuff you buy at the grocery store. That means you can eat it very quietly when you are at work. Let’s face it, crunching in your cubicle isn’t cute at 40.
Oh, and here’s a photo of you enjoying some of your favourite raisins early one Christmas morning:
Keep it classy, k?
. . .
recipe: adapted from a family gem
Yields 16 cups.
- 6 cups rolled oats (not the quick cooking sort)
- 1 cup wheat germ
- 1 cup bran
- 1 cup ground flax-seed
- 1 cup toasted sesame seeds
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup hulled, raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1 cup hulled, raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the granola goo:
- 1 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Mise en place – begin by getting organized. Measure out all of your ingredients. Ensure that you have a roasting pan/casserole dish that is large enough to hold 16 cups of granola (with room for stirring and turning the ingredients over during baking) and a container large enough to store your granola in.
Pre-heat oven to 300°.
Place the dry ingredients into a large roasting pan, and mix to combine.
To make the granola goo, place the honey, milk, applesauce, canola oil, butter, salt and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until the butter has completely melted, the ingredients are well incorporated, and the mixture is hot to the touch.
Pour half of the granola goo over the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the remainder of the goo, and mix well to combine. This incorporation is important – you don’t want dry patches of ingredients. Insure everything gets moistened by the goo.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. When stirring, ensure that the ingredients get well rotated in the pan – bring the granola from the bottom up to the top to ensure even baking.
The granola is done when it has turned a golden brown throughout. It will be very hot, and still somewhat moist throughout. Remove from the oven and place the roasting pan on a cooling rack. Because the granola is very hot, there will be carry-over baking – keep stirring the granola frequently as it cools to ensure the heat escapes, and the bottom layer of granola doesn’t overcook. The granola will dry somewhat as it cools, but it is not a crunchy, clumpy granola.
Let the granola cool completely before storing in a tightly lidded container.
Note: My roasting pan is deep and not very long/wide. My ingredients fill it to the top. I need an hour to get my granola cooked up nicely. If you use a shallow baking dish, and your ingredients are spread more thinly, you may need to shorten your bake time.