One Christmas a decade ago a very good friend of mine (let’s call her C) made me homemade granola. It was yummy, and both hubby and I gobbled it up in a blink of an eye. As a matter of fact, it was so good that I vaguely recall being annoyed because hubby eat most of it. When I mentioned this to C, I remember her telling me it was either an Oprah Winfrey granola recipe, or it was a recipe featured in her magazine, O.
From that day to tonight, I always meant to make granola myself but never made the effort to 1) go to the grocery store and hunt out the ingredients 2) commit to the time to make it. Years after we received the granola gift at Christmas, C even went to the trouble of looking up the recipe and emailing it to me. When I decided I was going to make granola from scratch, I thought about the recipe she emailed me, and I was certain by now I would have deleted the recipe, or most likely, I had archived it to the bin called “never to be seen again.”
Nonetheless, for this blog I decided granola was on the list. After all, making granola from scratch can’t be that hard. So, I googled “Oprah’s Granola” and sure enough there was a recipe that popped up almost immediately that said, “Classic Granola Recipe.” And I thought, Surely, that must be the one.
The ingredients looked simple enough: rolled oats, canola oil, some nuts, salt and honey. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
So earlier today I headed to the grocery store and raced up and down the aisles looking for rolled oats (It was in the organic section of Sobey’s. I had to google images so that I would know what packaging to look for. What would I ever do without you, Google?), pecans, walnuts, and some other seeds. Yes, grocery shopping. Definitely one of my favorite things.
Not so much.
Then, after 3 hours of trimming shrubs in my backyard and giving LBM his walk past 8 PM, at 9 PM I rolled my sleeves up. I prepped by pushing the spider webs off my measuring cup, consulted the stove manual on how to preheat the oven, through my ingredients together, stirred, rummaged for my baking sheet and aluminum foil (I needed to line the baking sheet), and then tossed the granola on the baking sheet ensuring that I smoothed it out so that it was in a single layer. I even turned my granola bits half way through as per the instructions.
The smell in my house was AMAZING! It always smells so great when I (or both hubby and I) cook. It’s as if someone actually lives here, is eating well, or that someone really cares about me to have gone through the trouble of cooking. (I believe this is a clear sign that I don’t cook enough. I shouldn’t get this excited over the smell or rolled oats, honey, and nuts at 9:45 PM.)
When it was ready, I pulled it out of the oven. I decided I needed to taste it right away. So, I grabbed a spoon, scooping a little dose up from the baking sheet, and shoved it into my mouth. And it was ….
FLAT. It tasted a little burnt (maybe the raisins were a bad idea?) and then it was kind of like crisy oats, with nuts. I couldn’t even taste the honey.
There in lies my problem in trying to make new things. I spent the money, the effort and the time making granola and I know I could have purchased something far superior from Farm Boy.
What was the point of it all?
And I thought about that for some time tonight. I thought about that question, before I even tasted the granola. Because you know what, I did find that recipe in my inbox that C sent to me. It wasn’t in the bin called, “never to be seen again” and I did not delete it. When I looked the recipe over, there were a lot more spices in it. But it called for a few things I didn’t have in my kitchen cabinets. I made a choice, a choice to go with the recipe that I knew I had all the ingredients for because I had shopped earlier today with the list.
And, my granola flopped.
Then I thought about never wanting to try something because I was afraid of failure. But, I’ve never run my life with the expectation that everything will work out. For example, if I do X, then I know Y will follow. I simply know that there are no guarantees in life.
When all else fails, my life mantra is something like, Oh hell. Ok, let’s see what happens if I do this. It can’t make things worse. And I’m pretty certain I’ll learn something along the way.
Even at this age, I’m still a work in progress. I have a better understanding of who I am, and I’m no longer frustrated, hopeless, and angry about my life. I know what I need to do. I know what I want to do. I just need to figure out how to get there.
And maybe part of the way I get there, is flopping at making homemade granola.
I also tried the granola with yogurt and honey.
It was ok, but still not great. Oh well. It’s not terrible.