Messy Delight

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Tonight I made granola. Boring granola. Easy granola. Cheap granola. Freakin’ amazing granola! Seriously, this was THE best granola I have ever had or made. I’ve made granola before and failed miserably, so my standard wasn’t too high. Store bought granola never fully satisfied my tastebuds, so I assumed granola was just a subpar breakfast option. Of course, I chose this recipe (“Mom’s Granola”) because it looked pretty easy. More so, it looked like it would take the least amount of time. I have a work event tomorrow, so two-day recipes were out of the question.

Tonight’s grocery store endeavor was quite simple. No mishaps, no constant wandering. Elam felt comfortable enough to smile at the cashiers and take a sticker (I’ve had to take them for him in the past). He was cute and I was successful as a grocery store consumer.

Unlike nights before, I randomly decided to start baking before Elam’s bedtime. I was being brave, hoping it would all work out. Elam insists on watching me cook, and he insists on watching as I hold him. You can understand my predicament every time I cook “with” him. But I was too tired to realize that, and I went for it. Although there were a couple moments of whining, wanting to see everything up close, the little man did a superb job of playing next to me while I poured and mixed. And a little mom bragging here: the guy acted like he was cooking something himself with a bowl, sunflower seeds and a sifter. It was so cute, I felt like I was going to explode.

Pouring and mixing went smoothly. Everything seemed perfect. Until I popped it in the oven. I mean, I should have known. After Joanne specifically commented on the importance of NOT overbaking the oatmeal cookies, I most definitely did. I created hard, oatmeal bricks. There is a small batch of success AFTER making my mistake, but then I repeated the mistake while I was chatting with my mom over the phone. So I ignored my own lesson from just 3 hours ago and left that granola to burn. Thankfully, it only burned on the sides, but the rest of it still has a bit of a smoky flavor. Not only that, a lot of it stuck to the wax paper, so it took about 10 minutes to rip the burnt granola off of the paper, into the bowl. Some of it was too stubborn to come off, so I’m letting it rot in the trash (I was a tad frustrated).

Despite the sad incident and my extremely low expectations, I fell in love with this recipe. I hate coconut. And I don’t enjoy dried fruits. This recipe has both. But I LOVED it! Again, this granola is the best granola I’ve ever had in my entire life. Maybe it’s the sesame seeds. Maybe it’s the almonds. Maybe it’s the honey. I don’t know. But I even enjoy the slight coconuty flavor.

Conclusion: don’t underestimate Flour and the mighty Joanne Chang. Lesson learned: my oven cooks faster than my previous one. Moral of the story: sometimes the messy things in life produce the sweetest stories. I only made the granola to keep my promise to bake one thing a day from Flour. I ended up finding a recipe for a snack I’ll probably enjoy for quite a few breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

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Sad…just sad.

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My sweet gooey goodness next to my brick bites. Sigh.
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