Hippies, Use Side Door

We do apologize for the radio silence over here, but my dear mother and sweet little sister were in town and I was busy walking them from tip to tip of the island, and a little beyond. Matthias's luscious citrus spiced kebabs made a second appearance for their visit, as did Molly's lemon yogurt cake and our adapted version of Jen's bee's knees. After a wonderful and refreshing visit with my family we were thoroughly, but happily, exhausted all weekend and I have been hovering under the weather ever since. But I cannot stray from our tiny (and suspiciously uncalibrated to the hotter side of Hades) oven for long...

So I am giving you and Matthias a lifeline out of the winter doldrums of oatmeal, toast, and bacon sammiches with a mildly crunchy little bit of seasonal change, perfect with a piece of fruit and some french press coffee. Not too sweet or oily, not so clustered that your teeth break off (I will take the blame and spare you the recipe for the granola adaptation that nearly destroyed my three years of orthodontia and Matthias's naturally perfect smile), more toasty than fruity, I humbly give you

Hippies-Use-Side-Door Granola

It is at this point that you should note Matthias's deep and abiding hatred for hippies. Admittedly, he has gotten much more accepting since I have joined him from my west coast tenure, but still, he will have you know that this granola is not for people with 'patchouli stink' (quoted from John Cusack in High Fidelity, a film that marks a momentous occasion in our relationship, thus making this breakfast even more cause for celebration than it would normally deserve).

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raw almonds, vaguely chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
or 1/4 cup pumpkin and 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup walnuts, vaguely chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup orange blossom honey
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup dried apricots, diced
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried dates, pitted and diced

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, seeds, and spices; mix with a wooden spoon.

Melt butter, honey and vanilla over medium heat until just foamy.

Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with wooden spoon until coated
spoon granola onto a foil or parchment lined baking sheet (your sponge will thank you).

Bake for 20 minutes*

When cool, slide the foil/parchment lining into your container and shake it off. Add dried fruit and store in an airtight container. You may find this takes some crunch from your granola, so store it in the fridge if texture is of paramount importance to you, but if it is the flavor that matters in the morning, we recommend you abstain from the flavor zapping mechanism of the magic box.

*we have a teeny tiny oven, which requires a half-sheet rimmed baking sheet. if you are using a full sheet, 20 minutes should do it. if you use a half-sheet, you should go for about 20 minutes, stir up, and give it another 10 minutes, give or take.



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