Thursday, August 27, 2009


This is the original recipe. And that jar is probably older than I am. Makes a generous quart or so without the fruit added in for storage.

2 ½ cups uncooked regular or quick cooking rolled oats
½ cup flaked or shredded coconut-unsweetened if possible
½ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup untoasted sunflower seeds
¼ cup honey
¼ cup molasses
4 tablespoons hot water
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped pitter dates
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the cereal and nuts in a large bowl. Combine the honey, molasses, hot water and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Pour the liquid over the grain mixture and mix thoroughly until mix is completely coated. Spray a large baking sheet with vegetable spray and spread the mixture evenly. Place in a 325 oven and bake for thirty to thirty five minutes. Stir the mixture every five minutes or so until the cereal starts to turn brown and the mix dries out. Stir in the dried fruit and vanilla the mix will crisp as it dries.

Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. This is a very crunchy granola.

239 calories per half cup serving following the recipe.

Ok, my variations. You can use any rolled grains. I just got a batch of Bob’s Red Mill Five Grain Mix for the next batch. And mom doesn’t much care for sunflower seeds so I leave those out. I used cashews in one batch because I wanted to make it “now” and didn’t have any almonds. If you aren’t big on nuts you could try using more cereal and skip the nuts entirely; or add the nuts and fruits you want when you serve it.

All honey works just great. For the last batch I made a simple syrup of ¾ cup each brown sugar and water. Boiled it for a few minutes and mixed it in the cereal mixture. It tastes just fine; in fact I can barely tell the difference. And I don’t add the fruit until we actually eat the granola. It stays crisp longer.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Also posted in Women On.

This entry says about half of what I’d like to say. I’ve got it in my head but getting it on paper is a problem sometimes. Oh, well, enter rant, stage right.

I know Lisa and I knew just a little of what her family went through during her dad’s final illness. Damn little it turns out.

In a twisted way, a very sick twisted way, what happened with her dad makes perfect sense. When our fellow Americans referred to in the media it’s as consumers, not citizens and our mis-named health care system is not set up to deliver health: as if you could buy five pounds of health at so much a pound, but tests, procedures and surgeries. When Lisa’s dad was sent home, he was no longer a consumer of tests, procedures and surgeries.

At that point what he needed was human on human care. And when it comes to face to face, hands on interaction with another human being you have to fight like hell to get it. And the people who provide that care are lucky if they make a little above minimum wage. No reflection on them, the men and women in the trenches do the best they can with the little they get.

Dean Ornish made the comment in one of his books that a patient’s insurance company was willing to fork over at least twenty five thousand bucks to pay for by pass surgery but wouldn’t pay for office time for a doctor to counsel the patient on diet and exercise changes he/she could make to avoid needing the by pass in the first place or to avoid needing another one five years down the road.

“Reforming” health care won’t work until we rethink how we see the other human beings who live within the lines on the map labeled the United States. And that rethinking goes far beyond the cost of an office visit. It's everything from access to clean locally grown food to cleaning up the toxic left overs that don't appear on corporate balance sheets. We’re human beings, not "consumers" and we have the right to be treated as human beings and to take the time to be human simply because that is what we are whether we choose to consume what the corporate culture wishes it could sell us or not.

The system, as it exists now, doesn’t support our humanity. So ladies, how do we remake the world?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009



2 packages active dry yeast
½ cup warm water; approximately 110
1 ¼ cup boiling water
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
½ cup molasses
1/3 cup shortening
1 tablespoon salt
5 3/4 to 6 cups all purpose flour
2 beaten eggs

Soften yeast in the warm water. Combine boiling water, 1 cup rolled oats, molasses, shortening, and salt; cool to lukewarm. Stir in two cups of the flour; beat well. Add the softened yeast and two beaten eggs; beat well. Stir in enough of the flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (8 to 10 minutes). Shape dough into a ball.

Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the surface. Cover and let rise until double. May take and hour to an hour and a half. Punch dough down, turn out on a lightly floured surface, divide dough in half and let rest for ten minutes. Shape into two loaves and place into two greased 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½ inch loaf pans.

Cover and let rise until doubled (45 to 60 minutes). Bake in a 375 degree oven for about forty-five minutes. Loaves will sound hollow and be evenly browned. Turn out loaves and let cool on wire racks.

My variation. Add 1 ½ cups of raisins to the dough. After dividing the dough after it rises and letting it rest roll it out into a 9 x 15 rectangle. Spread the dough with two tablespoons of softened butter and a quarter cup of brown sugar and one teaspoon of cinnamon. Roll into a loaf, pinch the ends together to seal and place in the loaf pan. In this case I used larger loaf pans the ones that start with 9 1//2 inches etc. And allow to rise until doubled. Make sure those pans are well oiled; the filling has been known to leak. And melted brown sugar cinnamon makes really good glue as it cools. Makes a really good cinnamon swirl loaf. A really good cinnamon swirl loaf. I also substituted milk for the boiling water in the loaf. Makes a lightly chewy, slightly tangy loaf of bread.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I guess I have my proof that Winco's bulk yeast is very good yeast indeed. I started a batch of oatmeal bread this morning (recipe later) and used the molassesy (is that a word) measuring cup to proof my yeast. Good thing I didn't get called to the phone or something while the little yeast beasties were starting to grow. When I looked over at the cup the foam was at the three quarter mark and rising. By the time I was ready to add the yeast to the other ingrediants the yeast was getting ready to head for the bowl all on it's own. LOL The yeast that almost ate the kitchen; sort of.