Burnt Granola and a Return to More Natural Living

As part of my attempt to reconnect with my “younger self” (a.k.a. rediscover things I used to do before I went to college…), I’ve been making granola. I didn’t even know you could make granola when I was younger, but if I had, I would’ve been the first one on the bandwagon. Anything that was natural and more self-sufficient was worth trying in my book (hence my willow-stick broom I made, just like the one in Little House…needless to say it was used once and then lovingly retired to a corner of my bedroom).

I know I’m not the only person to make granola, but oddly, it makes me feel pretty good. Mixing the oats, almonds, pecans, honey. It’s the yummiest, least-expensive, healthiest alternative to store-bought cereal I’ve found. And it’s not like we have a shortage of honey – we jarred around thirty pounds yesterday after church, and now they sit gleaming golden on our counter.

After I bake the granola and let it cool, I break it up into chunks. I mix in dried cranberries and chopped up apricots and put the whole thing in large glass container. Not only does it taste delicious, it looks delicious, and it’s hard for me not to slap my mom’s hand when she reaches in for “just another taste”!

Yesterday, I went to the store and got all the ingredients. I hate going to the grocery store, so this in itself was a feat.

Then I mixed everything up, patted it into a lined baking sheet, and popped it in the oven.

Forty minutes later, a charcoal mess emerges from the oven, stinking and black and horrible. I just kind of stared at it.

This isn’t my first time around the block. What happened? I broke off a piece and tentatively tasted it – Disgusting. What a waste! Maybe I should eat it anyway? I could hide the burntness with lots of fruit and yogurt, maybe? I’d decided my last granola was a little too sweet, so this time I mixed in extra honey and no brown sugar at all. That was the only change I could think of, and I don’t even know if that’s enough to burn a perfectly good granola.

I’m hoping my next installment of Natural Living will have a more positive result, but right now there’s a slab of black granola on my counter. I think I’ll feed it to the chickens. They’re not too picky.

I could’ve posted a photo of my burnt granola, but I figured you could imagine it pretty well… So here’s Otis with the girls.