At least I'm trying. Mondays can go either way for me. It is usually the day I buy groceries and attempt to organize myself in such a way that the rest of my week goes smoothly. Occasionally, I do a pretty good job. And then there is the rest of the time.
Let's just leave it at that.
Weekends are always so hectic for us. This past weekend wasn't any exception. My mom and I attended a Ladies Brunch with some delightful friends and church ladies. The food was good and the company even better. Don't you love when you leave somewhere feeling better than when you went?
After the brunch we toodled our way over to a Mennonite grocery. Have you ever been to one? Lots of bulk and natural foods. Baked goods, deli meats and cheeses, homemade soups....Yum!
Anyhoo. Being there inspired us to make some granola that afternoon. I used to make it all the time (my mom made it a lot when I was a kid & I just continued the practice). I hadn't made any in a while. This was a great project for Josiah to be involved in. Lots of measuring and learning about different kinds of ingredients. Good times.
One big benefit about making it at my mom's house is that she has a whole pantry full of granola friendly ingredients. They have an orchard and garden. Which means lots of persevering. She also has a bigger kitchen. They have been in the middle of a kitchen remodel for longer than is decent. But, that's a whole other blog post.
The recipe I used as a base is from Skinnytaste.com It is Skinny Pumpkin Granola. We used the basic measurements and made it times 6. And added a few more ingredients. Modified a few ingredients. Because what's the fun of having barley in your pantry unless you can use it, Right?
(just a little aside...notice the microwave stand/pot rack? It is a toolbox of my Dad's that used to be my brother's that Mom confiscated for her kitchen during the remodel. She is a resourceful woman. And patient.)
Josiah spread the oats and barley on cookie sheets. This is a pretty fun recipe for kiddos.
We toasted them for 10 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
See. I told you. 10 minutes.
While we waited for the oat mixture to toast we got together some of the other ingredients. The Pumpkin in the oats adds a nice touch. We mixed in molasses. You could use honey, maple syrup or agave nectar. Just don't add a bunch of sugar. And that's my 2 cents.
The oats are toasty! Josiah and Ama (what the grandkids call my mom) poured the toasty oats into a large mixing bowl. There is an art to it.
Now some more of the good stuff. This is flax seed meal. I put flax seed meal in everything. We also put a little bit of sesame seed.
Our bowl is filling up!
Ama is opening up soy nuts. You can use any kind of nuts. They add a nice bit of texture and protein.
Can you guess what this is? Dried melon. My enterprising parents had a lot of melon from the garden this past summer. They dehydrated it. It's pretty yummy. Surprisingly so.
Pay no attention to those dirty boy fingernails. I know he washed his hands. We just need to review what that means exactly.
There is nothing like taking your aggression out on some innocent dried melon.
These are plums that came from my parents' orchard. They were also dried in the dehydrator. Does that make them prunes? All I have say is that you need to guard your stuff when Dad starts dehydrating. He'll try to dry anything.
Added in with the melon and plums were some raisins. Which didn't come from the garden.
Into the pumpkin/molasses mixture we added cloves and cinnamon. I thought it would give the whole thing a little bit of pumpkin pie taste.
Best. Vanilla. Ever. It comes from Mexico.
And a little bit of oil. This is some nicer grade olive oil. You could use coconut or whatever you feel is healthier.There really isn't too much in the whole recipe.
A little lesson on measuring spices with using a teaspoon. The boy is still pretty much a "throw stuff in the pot" kind of measurer. I have no idea where he gets that from (she says with a sheepish smile).
I've always found that if I stick my tongue out I can cook better, too.
Ama is showing Josiah how to stir properly in a large bowl. Then she starts singing to him.
I think he kind of liked it.
After the granola mix was good and stirred (I had to get involved...nothing like using your hands to make sure everything is good and mixed) we put it back on the cookie sheets (covered with parchment paper) and baked it for 20 minutes in a 300 degree oven.
After it had cooled we bagged it up. Not bad for a Saturday afternoon.
While we were waiting for Granola to cook and whatnot, Josiah grabbed the camera for a few random shots. There were a few inevitable nostril shots. Some blurry ones of the cat.
He did take a interesting picture of the window. The trees, bent and tired of winter (I'm stretching here), remind me of alien arms. Not that I've seen any alien arms. Except in movies. Does that count?
And an odd one of me holding an apple. I'm not quite sure why I am holding the apple like that. Maybe it makes it healthier? I would say something about alien arms, but I figure I've used up my "strange" quota for this particular post.
What. At least it isn't a candy bar. Shew! That girl needs some mascara or something. I told you our Saturday's are hectic!