Sunday, January 11, 2009
There are a small collection of foods in my life for which I have rarely considered the process of creation. Among them: crackers, mayonnaise, cereal, and ketchup. It's not for a lack of interest on my part, it's just a general non-consideration of product development. And I'm sure I'm not the only one for whom these items spring into existence at the point of encapsulation in air-tight packaging on grocery store shelves everywhere. Every time somebody brings it to my attention that said food stuffs can easily be made from scratch, I'm always left wildly flabbergasted and wondering why the hell I never thought of it before. Such was the case when the ever-luminescent Amelia Scheim said to me "We should make granola".
Duh! Granola! From Scratch! Capitals Everywhere For Emphasis! How have I never thought of doing this before?
The great thing about making granola is that there is never a truly definitive recipe; a really good batch will (and should) absorb any number of left over knicks, knacks, oats, and grains from your kitchen. For a leftovers-rehabilitation junkie like myself, it's the ideal recipe. It's also the kind of recipe that will forgive you for the doofus mistakes that one inevitably tends to make whilst experimenting in ones kitchen; if you use too much honey, or too many almonds, or burn a few raisins, it won't really matter in the end. A few imperfections in the final pot always add rather than detract from the over-all quality of the product; another thing that separates the homemade from the store bought. Huzzah!
Also, I splurged and used Walnut Oil in my batch. Its a complex and richly flavored oil, and it was the perfect touch to counterpoint the sweetness of the honey and raisins. I highly recommend it.
You Will Need:
1/2 Cup Walnut Oil
1/2 Cup Honey (more if you like it sweeter)
2 Cups Rolled Oats
Anything Else You Think Would Be Good (that is the best part)
Roughly chop the walnuts and almonds, then scoop them into a large pot. Add the oats, flax seed, pine nuts, golden raisins, and anything else you have on hand.
Combine the walnut oil and honey in a large saucepan over low heat and stir slowly until the mixture comes to a bubbling simmer.
Pour the oil/honey mixture slowly over the granola mixture, turning the ingredients slowly so that they are evenly and thoroughly coated. Spread the resulting mixture over a baking sheet. Spread it thinly in order to ensure that the granola comes out of the oven evenly baked and extra crispy (that means delicious).
Pop the pan into an oven pre-heated to 350°F. Let it bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring/turning occasionally.
Take out and do not even let cool; begin consumption immediately.