The first rain of autumn arrived this morning, though it’s supposed to creep back into the 90’s later in the week. A fine mist settled on me as I walked to the train and the sidewalks were covered with kapok blooms. The pigeons huddled together on the extended arms of the streetlights and ruffled their wings damply.
I seem to be under the influence of the early autumn, which always makes me productive. I cleaned out the wee house and began cooking. I miss being able to can large amounts of jam and pickles, since the sink in my current house is tiny and the stove is terribly underpowered. To compensate, I made a batch of granola, two loaves of bread and a batch of brownies. I never bake brownies, but I had a large piece of chocolate that had been melting and hardening all throughout the long, hot summer. I also managed to knit a hat for the chill I keep hoping will arrive.
It’s been an odd year. I still feel very much as if I’m marooned on a small island. I drink tea, read piles of books and stroll by the river. It’s a strange interlude that hopefully will come to a nice conclusion at some point. In the meantime, I walk to and from the train, slipping in and out of work while scarcely talking to anyone.
My granola is based on Marge Granola via Melissa Clark’s In the Kitchen With a Good Appetite. The main difference is that I use usually use coconut oil instead of olive oil and the ingredients shift around with my mood. What I made over the weekend was this:
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (white, brown or black)
scant ⅓ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups pecan halves and pieces
½ cup virgin coconut oil, melted
¾ cup grade B maple syrup
Stir together dry ingredients, then mix in the oil and syrup until well blended (it’s good to mix in the coconut oil prior to adding the syrup, since the cold syrup can make the oil seize up). Spread on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 300F for about an hour or until it’s golden and fragrant. When cool, stir in about 1 ½ cups dried, unsweetened blueberries and store in a jar at room temperature.