While I was on Book Depository a cookbook mysteriously jumped in my basket. How did that happen? With a name like Whole-Grain Mornings, it was always going to happen. Breakfast is my boyfriend, my jam, my thing. I couldn’t pass this one up. Megan Gordon is the creator of the beautiful blog A Sweet Spoonful, and of Marge Granola, a granola company based in Seattle. She’s been my granola recipe go-to girl for a while now. I may have decided to go to Seattle on an upcoming USA trip purely so I can sample the stuff first hand. That’s a totally normal reason to go to a city right? Truth talk. Food moments are usually my main impetus for travelling to any particular place. I’m not sorry.
As trite as it sounds, you simply haven’t tasted granola until you’ve made your own. It’s crunchy, salty, nutty and sweet. Put it on yogurt, eat it with almond milk and sliced up fruit, or pick up clumps by the warm fistful straight from the tray and shove them in your mouth while scrolling food blogs. Crumbs will fall on your nice new shirt but that’s okay. I tried making granola with buckwheat groats instead of oats last week, inspired by my favourite local café’s version, which they serve on vanilla flecked labne with a bountiful amount of colourful seasonal fruit. The experiment was a resounding success. Ultra crunch factor. Using buckwheat also means you gluten free guys are sorted. You’re welcome.
The point of granola is to change it up to suit your tastes. Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, cocoa nibs, coconut, whatever’s your jam, chuck it in. Just make sure it equals 2 ½ cups at the end. Below is the combination I used last time, but no doubt it will change as my winter I-want-chocolate-all-the-time mood kicks in. Then I’ll be adding some cacao nibs, hazelnuts and extra salt. Nutella granola…
Go-To Granola, Buckwheat Style. (adapted from Apricot Pistachio Granola in Whole Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon)
2 cups buckinnis or activated buckwheat groats (I get mine from Loving Earth) or regular rolled oats
1 cup millet (either normal or puffed. I used puffed)
1 cup almonds, whole and unblanched
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup shredded or flaked coconut (added in the last 15 minutes of baking so it doesn’t burn)
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp sea salt
¼ cup coconut oil or butter
¼ cup maple syrup (or another liquid sweetener)
1 tbsp almond butter
¾-1 cup dried fruit (added after baking. I used crimson flame raisins because they’re juicy and delicious)
I just love how subjective granola is, malleable to all our different tastes and obsessions. Favourite granola recipes? Let’s share the love.
Three years ago, I sat at my kitchen table with a cup of tea and a book. The book was The Kitchen Diaries by British food writer and journalist Nigel Slater. I turned page after page, the steam from my cup curling in wispy tendrils towards the ceiling. I was enthralled. The book’s quiet beauty, the solitude and intimacy of the prose, and the understated deliciousness of the recipes enchanted me. Most of all, I was moved and inspired by the philosophy that was being lived out through the thick matte pages that detailed, month by month, a year of Slater’s life in the kitchen and garden. The recipes and ingredients change in tenor throughout the year, melding harmoniously with the seasons. Heavier stews and soups in winter that wrap you in comfort like a warm, worn woolen shawl meld gradually into sharp, cool flavours in summer, enhanced by a wafting breeze, when Slater makes a point to eat every meal outside.
“The right food at the right time.” The words nestled into a vital part of my brain. I weighed them in my hands, rolled them around my mouth. They felt right.
This simple sentence now governs my eating philosophy, providing the foundation for what, where, how and why I eat. The right food at the right time as a concept has undoubtedly been undermined by the way we live now. As a society we have become profoundly disconnected from our food, not even needing to consider its provenance or seasonal availability. There has been a resurgence of simple food and seasonal eating over recent years, a kind of ‘back to basics’ revolution. After all, eating is among the most basic, fundamental and intimate acts. If we’ve become distanced from our food, we’ve become distanced from a crucial part of our humanity.
A suggestion to begin to close the gap. Contemplate this deceptively simple sentence: The right food at the right time.
Here’s mine. Fish and chips on the beach, salt on your lips and sand between your feet. Sweet watermelon salad, sharp with feta and red onion, eaten outside in the sunshine. Champagne for every occasion, happy or somber. Sweet, sticky mangoes from a roadside stall in Queensland, the stifling heat attaching itself to your skin and assaulting everybody in the car as soon as somebody opens the door. Roasted root vegetables and red wine by an open fire, or less romantically, an electric heater, when rain is lashing the windows. Respecting the seasons and respecting yourself. Mindfulness. Provenance.
Right food. Right time.
I’m new to this blogging business. Here, have some buzzwords: Food. Travel. Winter sunshine. Old Buildings. Walking. Peanut butter toast. Black buckle ankle boots. What? This feels weird.
Stick around if you curious about what I’m reading, what I’m cooking, what I’m seeing and loving and living. Let’s share. See some corners of Melbourne. Stick around if you like recipes that work. And photos of food. Lots of them. Stick around if you’re into kale and sweet potato. Stick around if healthy, natural baked goods, dark chocolate, roasted vegetables, roasted everything, melty cheese and red wine are your things. Definetely stick around if you’re obsessed with peanut butter. Welcome to the club. Let’s get jackets made.
Here, have a random photo of a sunset from my balcony. Colours.
Well. Blogging journey starts now. New things. Challenges. Hope to have you along for the ride. Oh, and you can follow me on Instagram for day to day deliciousness and pictures of sunsets. I seem to be obsessed with sunsets. And trees.