Yesterday was a very sad day at our house…. On to that in a minute! You’ll have to read on to eventually find out what happened!
First off! Let me just say that I get very upset and, well, to be brutally honest, angry, with wasted food. Especially if it is due to carelessness; and even more so if it is good, expensive, wholesome, organic, carefully prepared food… ie granola. I like to justify myself and claim it is a righteous anger because wastefulness isn’t a godly character trait! Shouldn’t my children learn that each morsel should be savored and carefully spooned from plate to mouth? Don’t they need to remember there are starving kids all over the world? They should be grateful they even have a meal, much less carelessly tossing it away! Well, some of that may be over exaggerated, but there is a reason to the rant! And maybe these are good things, but there is a right way to address it and go about teaching and training!
I usually have Tonchi and Koa help me with the preparation of lunch and they usually enjoy being a part of it. Especially because they have a say in what is being prepared and they can help fine tune it to their taste! Yesterday the request was yogurt and granola with strawberries from the garden.
Some of the few that are left for us to enjoy!
On this particular day, Tonchi was assigned to getting the bucket of granola and bringing it into the kitchen. I will give him credit and say that the handle to the bucket was broken and he picked it up by the lid. He only made it halfway into the kitchen before the lid came off and granola was all over the kitchen floor. What a mess! I can only say that it was by God’s grace that I didn’t get angry with him. He was so sad. He didn’t cry, but he kept saying, “I so sorry, Mama.” Who could get angry at that??? Well usually I’m very capable and often, sad to say, not just capable, but guilty. This day though, it was God’s goodness that spared Tonchi of my unrighteous, unholy anger.
Tonchi was pretty distraught and wanted to make sure he was still going to be able to have granola with his yogurt for lunch. I told him we would have to pick it up off the floor, but he could still have it if he wanted it. Last Friday I had mopped the floor and had also just swept that morning. I can’t say we often serve granola to guests (if ever), so I decided we would just pick it up and eat it anyway. Really, could it be that bad?
But it just got worse. As I started scooping it up and putting it back I kept getting a whiff of something tart. I couldn’t figure out what it was… Oh no… there were some odd looking clumps in the granola as well. I stuck my nose in the bucket and took a huge whiff… Ugh…. MOLD, and lots of it. I was almost in tears. It was almost a whole buckets worth. I have never had this happen before and I’m determined it won’t happen again. We had to throw the whole thing out. Talk about waste! So, so sad. ;(
So what could have caused this? I know the weather has gotten quite humid here in northern VA, which is a bit earlier than usual, and I also think my last batch had too much water in it and I didn’t cook it long enough. We are making more granola today. I’m determined to try again and figure out what went wrong and pass the info along.
Today I also changed the ingredients up a bit to try something different and I wanted to share that as well! I did remove 1 cup of water and I didn’t soak it overnight this time either. I know it won’t be as soft, but I think that was the main problem the last time. I’m also watching it more closely in the oven and making sure it dries out and gets to be a little on the crispy side.
The following is my updated recipe. I’ll be sure to give a follow up evaluation after a few months!
“Big Batch” Granola – Gluten free Version
9 cups steel cut oats
6 cups dry ingredients: 1 cup coconut flour, 1 cups raisins, 1 cup flax seed, 1 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, 1 cup sunflower seeds, ½ cup unsalted mixed nut pieces, ½ cup chopped dried apricots.
Combine separately and pour over oats and dry ingredients:
1 ½ cups coconut oil
½ cup raw local honey
½ cup maple syrup
1 ½ TBSP cinnamon
1 ½ TBSP sea salt
1 TBSP vanilla
1 cup water
This time I baked it in 3 cookie sheets that had sides at 300 degrees for 45 minutes; stirring and rotating every 15 minutes. I made sure it was quite brown and dry. I also let it cool completely before storing it.
Also, when we were making the granola today I knew I wanted to put nut pieces in it, but I didn’t have any. Not a problem with boys around, and I’m sure there is a girl or two who would enjoy this as well! I just used some of my unsalted mixed nuts, but them in a baggy, put it on a wood cutting board, handed them a heavy ice cream scoop and told them to pound away! I didn’t check on them for a few minutes and I almost had nut butter! I didn’t know they would get in to it so much! I thought I would get a few pieces and they would go back to their coloring… I guessed wrong! I’ll have to remember this as another GREAT activity to get them to help and get some of my work accomplished!