An exaggeration? I think not.
So our daily rhythms around here have been under construction. A park walk at 7 pm? No fun anymore. Afternoon nature walks? Just asking for heat stroke. Lazy evenings and late to bed- our usual fare- means we sleep late and waste the only part of the day worth being outside.
(The pool? Yes. We need to get to the pool. We've only been once this summer. It's just a bit difficult by myself with 3 little people at a pool that doesn't allow floating toys or children out of arm's reach of a parent. Yes, really. It makes it a bit complicated to enjoy the water when the husband is busy at work.)
Aaah, mornings. At heart I am a morning person. And a night owl. If only I could sleep from noon to 4 and 2 am to 6, life would be good. Haven't figured that one out yet, though.
So as exruciating as it is to turn off the hose and come inside
Which has us all up by 7 or 7:30 and out the door by 8 or 8:30 to play at
the park or take a nature walk. Today we walked an extra-long way to Sleepy Hollow Park. Which used to be a lovely little haunt with a flowing brook.
We talked a bit about pollution and littering, but I couldn't bring myself to photograph it.
Everyone begged for a slide pic.
We arrived home at 10:20
Snacks, water, read-alouds. A good morning.
Later on we made granola. Well, I made it. The other people who live here were out in the yard under the hose. All four of them! Plus some neighbors, even.
Granola takes practise. I like mine very crispy and crunchy. I don't like it at all chewy or soft. And there's a fine line between crunchy and rock hard- or just straight burnt. I've been working on my granola for a solid 7 years.
This granola is a good substitute for our morning ritual of porridge or oatmeal with all the fixin's. It heats up the kitchen just once and SHOULD last for a week's worth of breakfasts. Should. But usualy doesn't. Store granola- even from the healthfood store- contains shocking amounts of sweetener- as in a couple or several tablespoons per cup. To me, that makes it dessert. Not breakfast!
Here's the 'recipe' I used today. My granola ingredients are generally whatever I can find in the fridge and pantry. So it rarely comes out the same twice.
In a BIG bowl mix:
7 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw sunflower seeds (pumpkin, sesame, whatever)
2 cups raw walnuts (Note: I generally avoid whole almonds, though, because they don't crisp well. Crushed or sliced are fine.)
1 c whole wheat flour (I used pastry)
1 c raw wheat germ
1 t cinnamon
1/2-1 t salt
In a saucepan melt:
1/2 c maple sugar
1 1/2 c water
stevia to taste
1/2 c raw coconut oil (butter, even olive oil works if you use more cinnamon)
1/4 t baking soda (enhances sweetness)
vanilla- the more the better around here
Dump wet into dry and work it till it is crubly and evenly wet. If your granola is sopping, add more flour. It will take forever to crisp if it's too wet.
Spread on multiple baking sheets, casseroles, whatever you've got. If it's spread too thickly it will take a long time to bake and the clumps will stay soggy in the middle. Cooked up properly crisp, this will keep weeks in the pantry. Well, it would, if we didn't eat it all in a couple days!
Bake at 325 for 45 minutes, turning and respreading the granola every 10- 15 minutes. It should be pretty dry and somewhat crisp. It will continue to crisp as it cools. If you have the patience, cook at 250 for 2.5 hours to retain better nutrition. I'm usually in a hurry, myself. You can dehydrate this, too, for maximum nutrition, if you are lucky enough to own a dehydrator. Sigh. Lucky you. Sigh. Pout. I
And here you have
"Wherever you go, go with all your heart."
"I will walk with integrity in my house."