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Granola and the red apron

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

I have told this story before, in June of 2008 actually. I wanted to run it again (with a bit of editing, I think I write a wee bit better now!) because it touches my heart, also because my daughter makes wonderful granola and today I am making granola. Then again, possibly no one read it in 2008, so it is just like a new story!

The Red Apron-  
I have always been a "get in and get it done" sort of person. If my clothes get dirty along the way, and they usually do, so be it. When done with what ever job I might be doing, I will put on a clean pair of jeans and a fresh shirt. Run a comb through my hair,  and away we go.

Aprons always seemed like a good idea, but I never remembered to put one on. After a few years (like 30 or so) I no longer had aprons. I gave them all away. Then last Christmas, my daughter made me a beautiful red apron. It was a wonderful gift, red just like my kitchen, and from her.


It now had a permanent home, folded neatly next to the big  standing mixer. A couple of weeks ago, my daughter asked me if I used the apron. I had to confess, no I did not. She remarked that no one, she had made aprons for at Christmas, used their gift.

At the time, I did not feel bad about not using the apron, because I knew why. But I did feel sadden by her disappointment. I had not even used the apron, I had folded it neatly and placed it in the kitchen, just like a decoration. You see.............

As a child I had been taught that something "too pretty to use everyday" was saved. The red apron, is certainly that, too pretty to use everyday. And so I did what I had always done, I put it up and saved it!

But saved for what I still do not know, and "it" was never ever explained to me when I was a kid growing up.

Certainly not saved for a rainy day, we have hundreds of them here in Vancouver. Certainly not for a dinner party, I really don't have dinner parties. I do have "company" and when company comes, it is my pleasure to make them feel comfortable. I just never found an apron is required for that.

This morning I threw a pan of rolls into the oven, and before I began the dough, I reached for the apron. I slipped it over my head and began working. It felt comfortable, much like time with my daughter. I completed the pan of dough and placed it into the oven to bake, knowing what I would blog about this morning, wearing my red apron.

My daughter is a fighter. A quiet, but strong fighter. She is tall and beautiful and dedicated. She is fearless. She is accomplished, because she is  always willing to try. She makes me proud. I say all this, without taking credit, because many of the skills she has, were learned on her own.

She will be 30 on her next birthday. I had a long labor with her, 30 hours actually. Our running joke has been she "owed" me a year for each hour of labor. She knows it is a joke, but still I have gotten many a cup of coffee delivered to me, using that as a ploy! But you see, I owe her and  my Son, for it is they who have taught me, how to grow love............
.

Today I still do not wear the apron when I cook, that is just me and how I roll! The apron however has a new residence, it is folded neatly over the handle of the stove. A very handy spot actually, and when the lovely Jess comes to help in the kitchen, it is right there for her to use.


And now let's make granola. I had asked my daughter for her recipe and she said simply, "it is just granola mom, I like to bake it longer." And that is, the way it is! I loved the flavor of her granola, bold and baked to a deep golden brown, yet wanted to keep the softer crunch of using textured oats.

So what are textured oats? Oats that have had a whirl in your food processor or blender. Having a variety of texture in your granola will give a softer crunch, if you like a super crunchy granola, leave the entire measure of oats whole and proceed with the rest of the steps. I have set up the information on this recipe to be used as a master recipe, which really means, use what you already have in your kitchen or pantry.

Granola, (but not Jessica's recipe!)
by the seat of my pants!
325 degree oven

The base:
2 c regular oats
2 c regular oats - pulsed in the food processor
1/2 c regular oats - ground into oat flour
1/4 c flax seeds - ground

You can see the 3 different textures of the oats: straight out of the box, pulsed until about 1/2 regular size, and coarse oat flour.

Creative interpretation or using what is available:
1/2 c seeds - pumpkin, sunflower, sesame or ?
1 c nut pieces - walnuts, pecans, almonds or ?
1 c something else (or more nut pieces) coconut, millers bran or ?

Place the oats and textured oats into a large bowl, add the seeds and nuts mixing well.

3 T oil
water
1/2 c sugar
1 t vanilla
dash of salt
1/2 - 1 t sweet spice if desire - cinnamon, nutmeg or ?  


Add the oil to a measuring cup, add water to make a total 1/2 c fluid. Combine the water mixture and the sugar, heat to boiling  stir to dissolve sugar. Add vanilla, salt and sweet spice if using. Stir again. Evenly pour over oat mixture, folding over and over until everything is evenly dampened.



Prepare a jelly roll pan, I have been using coconut oil for this, it works wonderful and the oils is good for you.


Evenly spread on a jelly roll pan.

This granola contain slivered almonds and pumpkin seeds along with cinnamon. The total measure of the nuts and seeds equaled 2 1/2 cups. This is what I had and equals the nuts, seeds and something else.
 Granola is a great way to be frugal and use up those little bits of nuts, seeds and dry fruit. 

Bake 20 minutes, stir corners into center and bottom to top. Smooth into an even layer.

 The change in toasted appearance is subtle, but the house sure smells delicious!

Bake 10 - 20 minutes more, again stir as directed at each 10 minute mark.

Turn oven off, let sit in oven 20 minutes to finish cooking and dry completely.

Sprinkle over the top of the finished granola:
1 c dried fruit - raisins, diced apricots, or cranberries. You could also use some chopped chocolate.

Stir to combine, and let mixture come to room temperature before packaging up.

Makes about 10 cups.

Enjoy!

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This post is being linked to Hearth & Soul blog hop.

This post is being shared at: Potluck Sundays@Mommy's Kitchen.

16 comments

  1. What a sweet story and I do wear My Red Apron so often my blog was affectionately named with it in mind by my husband!

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  2. Hi Mylenda,
    Thanks for dropping by and the lovely words.I totally agree with your observation and it addition I also know that they always either forget to clean up or they dont want to clean up :)
    Your write up is lovely.enoyed it immensely..I also bought a white apron (how stupid) with lots of enthusiam...After a week I found it really irritating me on the neck with my hair messing up and all that so mine too sits exactly where yours does!!!!
    :)

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  3. Your lovely post makes me want to put on an apron and bake granola. I used to wear aprons all the time and not sure why I stopped. I'll be re-thinking the idea.

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  4. I love the story about the red apron. Beautifully written. The granola sounds delicious. I love granola on yogurt in the morning. Thanks for your comment.

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  5. What a healthy recipe! I love your granola recipe and your story, thanks for visiting my site and leaving your lovely comment..

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  6. Lovely Post Mylenda :)
    Can't wait to make the granola...

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  7. The story about the apron was well told. I regularly eat granola with yogurt but I never realized that I could actually make it for myself. Thanks for this, I will be giving it a try as soon as I can get all the ingredients together.

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  8. I bought two vintage aprons on ebay years ago. One I use more often in the kitchen because it goes on and off easily and the other I wear out in the yard because it wraps around my hips to the backside, so I when I prop my hands on my hips and they are full of dirt, I'm not getting my pants dirty.

    Great story and thanks for the tips on the granola. I always feel I have to follow a recipe exactly, but you're showing us here it's pretty loose and fast!

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  9. What a beautiful post!! Very heartwarming...plus, the granola sounds amazing!! I love granola =) Thanks so much for sharing it w/ the hearth'nsoul hop this week.

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  10. Beautiful story! Love the sound of the granola too.

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  11. What a lovely post! I have a 25-year-old daughter and this touched me. You write very well. I add granola to my yogurt every day, I bet yours is delicious! Thank you for visiting my blog today. I hope you're having a lovely day.

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  12. Your story is lovely and so is your granola. So touching.

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  13. Mylenda - thanks for stopping by my blog - I love getting new visitors. Hope you'll call again.
    Your granola recipe looks great and I love your story about the red apron. I always wear an apron when I'm cooking - putting one one is always the first thing I do when I go into the kitchen. I would seriously love a beautiful red one - that would really make me smile :-)
    Sue

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  14. It's true that you have found your voice as a blogger. This is such a lovely post, just the type of thing that I adore reading. Thanks for sharing it with Hearth 'n Soul.

    For the longest time, I wore an apron that my mom had made for me as a teenager. When she became very ill, I felt so sad that it was so beat up and stained. When my mom felt well enough (something I had never thought would happen), I bought a patterned fabric that won't show stains, and begged her to make me another apron. Not only did she make me an apron, but matching potholders as well. And I wear that apron every single day, feeling that she's literally close to my heart.

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  15. Melynda! You cant keep doing this to me! I am bawling my head off here! This goes on the hearth and soul hop highlights on thoughts on friday at a moderate life for sure! You really have a wonderful voice my dear and it is so terrific to get to know you in your posts. I have three aprons, all made by the same woman who made my wedding dress and all my clothing as a child. Mrs. harrison. I dont often use them now, she passed at 108 happily carving pumpkins with her grand kids. But aprons are so full of love, and glad you keep yours in that place of honor. The granola looks spectacular too! Thanks so much for sharing on the hearth 'n soul hop! HUGE hugs! now pass the kleenex :) Alex

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  16. Well thanks a lot for making me sit here and cry like a big baby on Friday night!! Very, very touching post! I linked up to Hearth and Soul too but found you through the Friday linky love at A Moderate Life. Have a wonderful red apron weekend :-)

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