Say that you enjoy granola. SAY IT. You do. Don’t lie to me. Or: lie to me.
So you like granola, you say! So do I! But let’s also say that when you buy it, more often than not you find it too sweet. Or too crunchy. Or containing enormous chunks of oat-and-nut clusters that break off large sections of your molars. And why does granola need to contain hydrogenated palm oil?
This granola situation is no good. You are unhappy with this state of affairs. So here is what you will do.
You will go read about making your own granola. You will think, oh, Mark Bittman, can homemade granola really be that delicious? But then you’ll say to yourself, what the hey. I’ll give it a go. You will make only half the recipe because you won’t be sure it will be as good as Mark Bittman says. You don’t really see how it can go wrong, but then, Mark Bittman has failed you before. You are wary. (You are also sadly mistaken and will instantly wish after tasting the granola that you had doubled the recipe. You fool! But no matter.)
Having (foolishly) halved the recipe, you will gather together three cups of oats and about a cup of your nuts of choice (I like cashews, walnuts, and sliced almonds; you should like these, too, and if you don’t, I don’t know what to say to you). You will dump them all into a bowl with a half-cup of maple syrup, a teaspoon of cinnamon, some vanilla extract, and if you like it a few tablespoons of freshly ground almond butter because my GOD that’s good. And don’t forget a dash of salt! You will wish you had purchased some coconut, but you didn’t, so there’s no sense beating yourself up about it.
Then you will find yourself mixing together the granola fixins, making sure the almond butter is evenly distributed so that you won’t have weird mushy clumps in your granola. Before you know it, you’re spreading the mixture on a baking sheet or broiler pan (something with sides is a good idea), sticking it in a 350-degree oven, and for the next for 30-45 minutes, pretending to be working while you’re actually waiting to mix the granola around every ten minutes to make sure it’s not burning.
When it’s all browned and crunchy, you will remove it from the oven. Do not eat it! It will be hot. You will wait. IT WILL BE TORTURE.
Then, when the granola has reached room temperature, you can eat some. Maybe with some milk, maybe soy milk, maybe, I don’t know, plain. Do I have to tell you how to do everything? The point is, you will love it. You will love it too much. You will eat six bowls of granola that first day. You will feel a little sick. And yet throughout the day you will think, I could really go for some more granola.
Then the next morning you will wake up and think, what can I have for breakfast? I can’t bear the idea of another waffle—WAIT! GRANOLA! And there it will be in your refrigerator. I am a person who makes her own granola, you will tell yourself. How should I feel about that? And you will write about the granola on your blog. And your audience will think, Has she lost her mind? And what, is this a cooking blog now?
You will not care. You have your granola. And it has you.