Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's Dark Out

Is it just me, or did the holidays come on like a ton of bricks this year? I swear it was just yesterday that I was trying to squeeze in the last swim of the summer, and buying pallets of fresh berries to freeze for the winter.

But sure enough, now I’ve got a Christmas station programmed on Pandora, and I’m trying to figure out the best way to heat my house without taking out a second mortgage. This time of year comes with mixed emotions for me. I’ll start with the bad.

The days. Are so. Short.

So short that they don’t even make a complete sentence. You need to string a few days together for a phrase, and a paragraph may take the whole month. It takes all my strength not to come straight home from work, put on my pajamas, and wait on the couch with a blanket until a reasonable time to go to bed comes around.

On the upside, people come up with so many wonderful ways to make up for the darkness. I love the lights and the candles. Even the flashing ones have a special place in my heart. I just bought some energy efficient LED lights that I am very pleased with.

And the parties. I guess people have decided that we’re all in this together, this short-dayed stretch, so we might as well help each other out. My friends and family have kicked this season off in high form. I have been a willing and grateful guest at not one but two amazing Thanksgiving dinners, a strata brunch, a birthday dinner, a Venezuelan hallaca making party, and an amazing five course dinner. And that’s all in the last week.

Thank you, friends and family, for making this time of year something special.

And because I may not get to cooking for all of you this holiday season, I’ll kick it off with a recipe that is designed, from its very origin, to be shared. It’s a granola recipe that my mom first received from a hippie neighbor back in the 70s. It makes a big batch, so if you make some, you should share a bit. That’s what my mom always does. The only problem with this recipe is that once you have some, you'll learn what granola is supposed to taste like, and you won't be able to eat store-bought granola again.

This time of year, I like to eat it with some frozen berries that I packaged up last summer, which I guess wasn't yesterday.


2# rolled oats
1 c usweetened coconut flakes
1 c walnuts
¼ c quinoa
1 c raw pepitas
1 c honey
1 c canola oil
½ cup hot water

  1. Mix the dry ingredients.
  2. Mix the hot water and the honey in a separate container.
  3. Add hot honey mixture and oil to the dry ingredients and mix.
  4. Spread it out on 2 cookie sheets.
  5. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
  6. When you pull it out of the oven for the last time, don’t stir it, and let it cool on the pan. This will ensure that you get some some good clumps, which are the best part.


Kathryn said...

I've missed your thoughts the past week or two but the mood you set today matches mine and was worth the wait. Thanks! I will try the granola recipe before the season is over, may even give it as neighborhood holiday gifts.


Nikki K said...

What a great substitute for cookies this season! I'm trying to be healthier :) Michael's has some really cute "chinese take out" boxes in holiday prints to package in!

Molly said...

Hi Abby! Thanks for the granola recipe - I think I'll cook up a batch for Justin's stocking! I love your blog by the way. Thanks for the inspiration!!

Molly :)

pleasantcompany said...

Great ideas! Cookie substitute and stocking stuffer.

Let me know how it works out. Thanks so much!