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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
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Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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« The voice of reason is one I left so far behind.* | Main | Happy Friday! »
Saturday
Jan132007

Bow to your crunchy, delicious God. BOW.

Say that you enjoy granola. SAY IT. You do. Don’t lie to me. Or: lie to me.

So you like granola, you say! So do I! But let’s also say that when you buy it, more often than not you find it too sweet. Or too crunchy. Or containing enormous chunks of oat-and-nut clusters that break off large sections of your molars. And why does granola need to contain hydrogenated palm oil?

This granola situation is no good. You are unhappy with this state of affairs. So here is what you will do.

You will go read about making your own granola. You will think, oh, Mark Bittman, can homemade granola really be that delicious? But then you’ll say to yourself, what the hey. I’ll give it a go. You will make only half the recipe because you won’t be sure it will be as good as Mark Bittman says. You don’t really see how it can go wrong, but then, Mark Bittman has failed you before. You are wary. (You are also sadly mistaken and will instantly wish after tasting the granola that you had doubled the recipe. You fool! But no matter.)

Having (foolishly) halved the recipe, you will gather together three cups of oats and about a cup of your nuts of choice (I like cashews, walnuts, and sliced almonds; you should like these, too, and if you don’t, I don’t know what to say to you). You will dump them all into a bowl with a half-cup of maple syrup, a teaspoon of cinnamon, some vanilla extract, and if you like it a few tablespoons of freshly ground almond butter because my GOD that’s good. And don’t forget a dash of salt! You will wish you had purchased some coconut, but you didn’t, so there’s no sense beating yourself up about it.

Then you will find yourself mixing together the granola fixins, making sure the almond butter is evenly distributed so that you won’t have weird mushy clumps in your granola. Before you know it, you’re spreading the mixture on a baking sheet or broiler pan (something with sides is a good idea), sticking it in a 350-degree oven, and for the next for 30-45 minutes, pretending to be working while you’re actually waiting to mix the granola around every ten minutes to make sure it’s not burning.

When it’s all browned and crunchy, you will remove it from the oven. Do not eat it! It will be hot. You will wait. IT WILL BE TORTURE.

Then, when the granola has reached room temperature, you can eat some. Maybe with some milk, maybe soy milk, maybe, I don’t know, plain. Do I have to tell you how to do everything? The point is, you will love it. You will love it too much. You will eat six bowls of granola that first day. You will feel a little sick. And yet throughout the day you will think, I could really go for some more granola.

Then the next morning you will wake up and think, what can I have for breakfast? I can’t bear the idea of another waffle—WAIT! GRANOLA! And there it will be in your refrigerator. I am a person who makes her own granola, you will tell yourself. How should I feel about that? And you will write about the granola on your blog. And your audience will think, Has she lost her mind? And what, is this a cooking blog now?

You will not care. You have your granola. And it has you.

Reader Comments (70)

God-DAMN, but homemade granola is good times. My grandmother's recipe rocks the house -- her granola is dark brown and a little salty and almost seems to have some toasted butter in it. Can you toast butter? In any case, it instantly makes any bland cereal taste so freakin' good. I like mine on Rice Chex. The blander the better, because you don't want anything to take away from the delicious granola taste.

Damn.
January 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterS-Way
I can't believe, after six bowls of granola, you haven't taken up residency on the pot. Granola, granola, the musical fruit!
January 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMignon
Oh my that sounds so good. I might have to be inducted into the cult of homemade granola soon.

Mignon, your comment made me laugh out loud! :)
January 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAbigail
My best friend gave me a bag of homemade granola with my Christmas present, and it was so good I had to hold myself back from eating the whole thing all in one sitting. Dried cherries and chopped walnuts with oats, but not in chunks. It was delicious by itself with milk, and mixed half and half with Grape Nuts , a sprinkle of sugar and milk. Now I want to get the recipe from her and make some more so I can mix it with yogurt. Yep, this granola HAS ME.
January 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
Delurking because I'm so fond of granola!

I used to make it myself back when I lived with my parents, and it is SO MUCH BETTER than store-bought.

And maybe you're not poor like me, but you didn't mention the CHEAPNESS of the homemade! SO MUCH CHEAPER.

January 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMara
I'm loving Mark Bittman these days. Made his twice seared pork last week - a keeper.



January 13, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteranna
I use the same recipe my Mom made and it is DELICIOUS. It makes a ton, I usually mix it in my kitchen sink it's so big, but doesn't last long around here because we eat it morning, noon and night. And sometimes twice a night if you're my husband.
January 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
I have also heard Mark B does wonderful things with no-knead bread. You could also become Someone Who Bakes Bread - wouldn't that be awesome (pardon me, I am from California, so I get to say "awesome.")
January 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSuebob
May the curses of your blog-reading public rain heavily upon you, finslippy, and haunt your shameless home-made-granola-flaunting bad self, world without end, amen.

I'm hungry.
January 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPoppy
After getting Bittman's No-Knead Bread recipe to work perfectly, I think the man is God. I'll try the granola. I've used an old hippy recipe previously, but your take on Bittman's recipe sounds so much better. And I'll be tripling the recipe. We're big on cereal here.
January 13, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermargalit
Sadder still than the fact that I am writing about granola on a Saturday night is that so many of you are responding.

It's 1:30 a.m., and I can't sleep. Snack time!
January 13, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteralice
I'm wide awake because it's 9 am where I am and I'm starting to think about breakfast....hmmm.....
January 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterInas
I was shocked to see a post pop up for you, yet happy that you are posting on a Saturday night and not having cocktails with Capote-like-peoples.

I would probably be the only one in the house to even eat the granola, so I might half the batch. It is one am here and I am hoping you are sleeping now.

and Alice, you should win some award or some cash money for making a post about homemade granola so funny. It is a gift my friend.
January 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterjenB
Saddest yet is that it is now 1:20am here, and I'm thinking to myself, "Can I make this tonight?"

January 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBoulder
What else do you get out of this identity change to a person who makes her own granola? A make your own granola person must also balance her checkbook regularly and file her bills right? And go to sleep early and wake up with the dawn. If this is so, I will do it. Otherwise, I dunno. Do I need more than just granola? Is this why I may never become a make your own granola person?

Suebob--What's weird is I was just talking about the no-knead bread recipe with my friend today--about how six people have told him about it and given him the recipe and yet of those six people, not a single one has actually made the no-knead bread. Maybe it's kind of scary to be Someone Who Bakes Bread.
January 13, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterozma
Yes, homemade granola may be the meaning of life. My mother has been making granola for, oh, 30 years or so--and take it from me, she's not that type of gal. I make my own granola and every night I go to bed thinking, "Tomorrow, when I wake up, I can have granola!" It's like Christmas every day. especially when you have it with whole milk yogurt.
January 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMomVee
Sounds like a yummy slice of heaven. I know what I'm doing next weekend!
January 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl
That's it, I'm making granola tomorrow.
January 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAverage Jane Doe
Alice, you wicked, wanton temptress. Get back with thee! Thee and thy carb-o-licious temptations!





January 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKyran
oh, and this blog post? is there a "secret" ingredient you are leaving out of the granola?;-)

January 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkyran
I, for one, welcome our new granola overlords.
January 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterchristy
Just this morning my husband and I were craving some granola. And then I read this post...granola is clearly my destiny.
January 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkalki
Forget granola, what you really need is the proper granola bar....say one made by your own two hands with sunbutter and carob chips and coconut (because you remembered to buy some) and chopped dates, and MAPLE SYRUP. Now THAT is what is good. And the children will eat them all, all of them I tell you, unless you wrap them individually and then freeze them for some later and fortuitous time.

I must post the recipe.
January 14, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkaren
*Bows in crunchy, delicious reverence*
January 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
I've never made my own, and likely never will, but I do have a problem. I had granola for breakfast and dinner yesterday, and I'm salivating thinking about the bowl I'm yet to have today. Big trouble, I tell you!
January 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLori

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