Given my inability (or lack of motivation) to write anything coherent, let alone interesting or relevant, I have taken inspiration from that utilitarian structure of elementary school, that handy inspirational framework that helped me produce many a vapid and dull piece of poetry: the acrostic poem.
Really (oh that was bad), it is the writing of the posts that has become the bottleneck of the blog; I have countless (i.e. 40+) drafts of recipe + photos, without a single other word written.Anonymity in ways holds me back as it is sometimes hard to say where the line lies with the blog–lately I’ve found that I prefer to avoid the personal, even in the vague terms of extended metaphors representing my emotional state (mostly sleepy) or anonymized descriptions of exchanges and encounters.
Nor is a purely food-focused post always that desirable; I find it’s hard to carry off without falling into the usual pattern of childhood memories unless I actually have some new insight into what I made.
Oddly yet obviously, now that I think about it, there is something to say about granola: it’s so ridiculously easy for homemade granola to be better than the ultra-sweet and dull mincemeat that is storebought.
Laden with dried fruit and nuts, I’ve been working with Alton Brown’s granola recipe for probably the last 8 years, and over time I’ve made adjustments that I’m quite fond of–eliminating an excess of completely unnecessary sugar, and altering the baking technique to retain nice large clumps.
And now get ready for a final line of profound simplicity…
pistachio, coconut and apricot granola
Adapted from Alton Brown, and the flavour profile from Chez Moi. I quite like the level of sweetness. For large clumps, only break it up near the very end–it’s fairly delicate so it will easily separate into clumps when you pour it into a jar.
300 g rolled oats (3 c)
95 g (1 c) slivered almonds
87 g pistachios (which can be given a rough chop) (3/4 c)
70 g dried & shredded unsweetened coconut (scant 1 cup)
3/4 tsp salt
60 mL oil
90 mL maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract
large flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 250F. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the oats, nuts and coconut. Separately, whisk together the oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract until emulsified. I find for better distribution, it is best to add the salt to the liquid ingredients, though I did forget to do that this time around.
Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Distribute between the two pans and spread into a thin even layer.
Bake for 30 minutes, then rotate the pans, and bake for another 30 minutes. I like the granola to be quite chunky, so at this point I used a wide offset spatula-type instrument to go through and flip over the granola, keeping it in as large pieces as possible. Bake for another 15-30 minutes or until completely dried and lightly browned. Let cool.
Mix in the chopped apricots and store in a jar.