Tuesday 24 April 2018

Recipe: Grain of Truth

How Sophie White turned into a milk-dribbling granola addict when her taste buds suddenly went haywire

Sophie White

So there I was, tucking into my third bowl of granola of the day when I received The Text. It was the text we had all been waiting for. He had arrived: our brand-new nephew.

We were summoned to the hospital for some "Ooohhing" and "Ahhhhing". Himself collected me on his way. I hopped into the car, dribbling milk and oats down my front and prompting him to smirk, "Another granola day?" "Maybe," I replied, a bit irked that he had caught me.

Of late, I had become enamoured with this extremely tasty, but very, very expensive granola. I had taken to stashing boxes around the house to try to conceal the sheer volume I had been consuming. In Himself's eyes, this was a luxury item -- especially as a box costs €6.50 and contains roughly three bowls' worth in each.

At the hospital, being the semi-newly wedded girl and, therefore, apparently gagging to be impregnated, the baby was thrust at me. I was terrified and profoundly intimidated by just how tiny he was. I kissed his head and then had a flash of where, until quite recently, his head had been. I signalled helplessly to Himself, who casually took the baby and rocked him like some kind of seasoned wet nurse. I should have been suspicious, but was actually just relieved to have been relieved of baby.

A few days later, in work, I was seasoning a big batch of hollandaise sauce. It tasted awful and I was on the verge of ditching the whole three litres (and anyone who's ever made three litres of hollandaise sauce knows just how heartbreaking starting from scratch was going to be) when my colleague tasted it and pronounced it delicious. Curiouser and curiouser.

I then spent the next two days in the worst mood of my life. Well, you all know where this one's going. Nine months later, and Himself and I have abandoned the social experiment that is society and have started making our own people.

I'm writing this column from the desk in the corner of my room, as we never did quite get around to turning the second bedroom into my 'office'. Stalk (as the baby is known) got dibs on the room. We suspect Stalk is going to have very expensive tastes in breakfast foods. As for the hollandaise, thankfully, it tasted delicious for the rest of my pregnancy -- as did hotdogs, All-Bran, tuna, pastrami, gherkins, scrambled eggs with raspberry jam, Tabasco and oranges . . .

Obviously, we couldn't afford to keep me in granola after we realised that we needed to start saving for Stalk's iPhone 8, so I started making my own.

Maple and Cinnamon Granola

Serves 6.

You will need:

100ml (3½fl oz) sunflower oil

100ml (3½fl oz) maple syrup

30g (1¼oz) dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

500g (1lb 2oz) jumbo oats

150g (5oz) desiccated coconut

100g (3½oz) dried cranberries

100g (3½oz) toasted pecan nuts

Preheat the oven to 200°C, 400°F or Gas 6. In a pot over a medium heat, combine the sunflower oil, the maple syrup and the dark brown sugar together. Stir to combine well and melt the brown sugar.

Put the ground cinnamon, the jumbo oats and the desiccated coconut in a large bowl and mix well. Pour the sunflower oil, sugar and maple syrup mixture over the cinnamon, oats and coconut mixture and stir well to evenly coat the oats.

Line a roasting tin with baking paper, pour in the granola and spread it out evenly. Toast the granola in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, giving it a good stir every 5-10 minutes. It should be golden in colour when it is ready. Allow it to cool completely before adding the cranberries and the pecan nuts. Store in an airtight jar or a Tupperware container. The maple syrup and the cinnamon give this granola a more wintery vibe, and it is also nice served with hot milk on a dark January morning.

Irish Independent

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