this post did not come easy. first of all, you have no idea how very bad i wreck all things tech. many times i leapt onto facebook and frantically messaged my friend with the panic of a fish floundering on the banks of a strange, new land, gills flapping gormlessly. and many times i was referred, with increasingly saintly patience as the times added up, to sites with patronising addresses along the lines of “…for dummies” or “…for noobs” or others amongst the same ilk. wandering from the safe boundaries of blogspot–oh! how tame and kind blogspot was, but now the kid gloves are OFF, friends–to wordpress was a tumultous wander, but after many hiccups and with some hiccups still trying to be smoothed out (especially the amateurish photoshopping and the clownishly large font) we have arrived. like moving into a new house though things will be tweaked here and there as i go along–maybe the couch needs to be adjusted just a little, maybe a chair doesn’t look right here–but anyway here we are.
at any rate–welcome to So Fine was The Morning!
originally i wanted something with more…fanfare and sensation, y’know? i mean, new blog…new leaf…new beginnings… is that not deserving of a celebration? aren’t layered cakes more apt! tall frosted cupcakes! something giant and splendiferous, towering and impressive. but here i stand with a simple jar of granola, after much calculation and consideration (and more frantic messaging to my saintly friend). why granola, then, besides being one of the darndest creations ever construed using oats? (oh, i have GOT to do an oatmeal post. poke me if i forget.)
well take this evening. i clunked into the empty, musty house, skin cold from the freshly rain painted air, with raindrops webbing my hair, brain numbed from physics studying. being the only one at home and in need of a quick fix to the snack attack that hits me around fiveish, the moreish crisp of granola sounded like a good solution. and the good thing about this recipe–which i have made quite a few times before (and yes, only shared now, shame upon me) that it is endlessly adaptable. don’t like raisins and dried fruit in your granola? you can do without! don’t like how some nuts get stuck in your teeth while chowing down? replace them with something else! plus oh boy does it taste good. like many other dishes, granola tastes exceptionally delicious homemade. and it helps that it takes next to no time to throw together, and a minimal of dishwashing to do too! (aha, sucked you in have i not! less dishes is a cause dear to all of our hearts, i know)
granola is also a great breakfast food. used as a garnishing crunch of texture, or layered with lovely fruit and rich creamy dollops of yogurt, or simply showered with a dribble of cold, deliciously chill milk alike–it is an ingenious creation, it is. i like next to all breakfast foods, to be honest, but i’m particularly partial to pancakes and oatmeal, which are a breeze to whip up and so, very, good. which brings me back to the title of my blog–So Fine was The Morning, derived from this particularly lovely quote by Virginia Woolf:
“So fine was the morning except for a streak of wind here and there that the sea and sky looked all one fabric, as if sails were stuck high up in the sky, or the clouds had dropped down into the sea.”
i love breakfast. it’s the best meal of the day. some, if not all school days, where crawling out of the warm soft haven of blankets and pillows to be delivered the cold hard slap of ungodly hour wake up timings and the long school day yawning dreary and dank ahead is such an immense challenge, it is the thought of fresh bircher muesli sitting in the fridge thickened and plumped up waiting for me or the gorgeous loaf my mum bought the previous day that gives me the energy to take that first step out of bed. and when weekends and holidays arrive, delicious with extra time, it is the mornings with my breakfast i treasure most–the particular pearliness of the golden sunshine, the fresh crispness of a new day. so i hope i can channel these good feelings, the special sparkle of mornings to you through my blog and the food i create–the promise of something new, the excitement of what lies ahead.
so yes, back to the granola. one of the things i love most about baking is the smell–oh, the aroma of baking goods can’t be beat. and this one was a slow crescendo of golden crunchy fragrance, roiling in warm cinnamon caramel sweet steam from the oven door, with the rich buttery toasty waves of coconut oil and crisping nuts. it filled the house, illuminated each previously musty nook and cranny, and it took all the willpower i had not to pick off little clusters now and then as i stirred the baking granola within intervals. absolutely amazing, it is.
i’m not too big a fan of raisins and dried fruit and all that whatnot, so i simply stirred in gorgeous cubes of orange peel once the granola came out before leaving it to cool (see, customisable!). the little element of sharp, zingy clean yet sweet citrus colors the nutty wholesome granola palette nicely. once it cools the oats will crisp up into brittle, crackly, crunchy goodness and finally, finally you can eat.
here i had mine with cacao nibs, yogurt and raspberries. i sat back on the sofa, spoon and glass in hand, and tucked in–a simple but very pleasant pleasure indeed.
try this–i promise it will be a staple to your recipe list, and one you will be able to whip up again and again with next to no fuss at all!
-1.5 cup oats (i used a mix of rolled oats, baby oats and quinoa flakes)
-3/4 cup nuts and seeds of your choice
-generous sprinkles of cinnamon
-1/4 cup apple juice
-1/4 cup honey/maple syrup/agave nectar
-2 tbs coconut oil, melted
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-3/4 cup dried fruit of choice
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a baking sheet with parchment. Toss ingredients together except for dried fruit in a mixing bowl until all combined and coated, then spread out evenly on baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring once every 10 minutes. Once out of the oven stir in dried fruit and leave to cool completely. Keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks–if it can even keep that long!