It could be said that children are the greatest teachers we can ever have. If this is true, then I've got two of the world's greatest living right under my roof, challenging me every day to do better, and to try harder, and once again do more than I ever thought I could possibly do. I've simply always adored being a mother, and it's a job I wouldn't trade for anything.
Today's post isn't complicated, and it all comes down to this: every once in a while you gotta do stuff that is special for the ones you love. They are the ones who are there for you, and they are the ones that you need. Tell them you love them, and give lots of giant hugs. After that, make them their favorite treat and take every opportunity you can to learn from them. We can all learn from each other and love itself is a wise and wonderful teacher.
I sometimes get emotional when I think about my family growing up (okay if you really must know I often get emotional about this), and leaving home. My eldest, my dearest, the little perfect girl who made me who I am will become will be sixteen whole years old this year. For those who know our full story, it's been one hell of a ride, and one I wouldn't trade for all the university education or world travel in the whole wide world. You see, for most of my adult life, I simply never needed to go anywhere else, because my whole entire world was always right by my side. This granola was made for my girl, for my love, and for no other reason than this: I exist to make her happy, and to help her see that her pecan-filled-and-maple-sweetened-granola dreams can come true.
This simple granola was put together to fulfill my first daughter's love for pecans, for to her, everything is better with pecans. I might tend to agree, and I think you might too :) Make you or someone else happy today, and be thankful for the teachers in your life. Whether your own children, or children of the world, they are a gift to be treasured and loved. Let's do right by them, every last darned second of every single day we can. They won't be young forever, and neither will we. My, how the time does fly.
Nik's Pecan Coconut Granola
- (1/4) cup vegetable oil (such as canola or my new fave: coconut)
- (1/2) cup honey or maple syrup
- (1) tbsp vanilla extract
- (1) tsp salt
- (6) cups rolled slow oats
- (1 1/2) cups raw pecans
- (1) cup unsweetened coconut
- (1/2) cup pumpkin seeds
- (2) tbsp sesame seeds
Heat the oven to 325 degrees and get ready two large flat baking trays (no need to oil them). Combine the oil, salt & sweetener in a small saucepan over low heat on the stove. Warm until just mixed and stir in the vanilla.
While the liquid ingredients warm, combine the oats, seeds, coconut & pecans in a large mixing bowl. Slowly pour the honey mixture into the bowl, and stir well until all of the dry ingredients are coated. Transfer the mixture to the two baking trays and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes to ensure evenness (and no burning!). Remove from the oven and stir to prevent clumping.
Once cool, transfer to a jar or Ziploc bag to keep fresh! Will keep for weeks stored in a cool dry place.
I've been having loads of fun trying to find the right yoghurt to granola to fruit ratio for a parfait in the morning with all those gorgeous layers. Of course this recipe can be adapted, and be sure to check out other family favorite granola posted here. It's an oil free version that I've made for years. And it's amazing!
Granola reminds me of many childhood mornings camping, when my folks would pack us all up in whatever used station wagon we were driving at the time, and we would head out into the wilderness or a beach somewhere and sleep and eat camping food. We didn't get that stuff a whole lot which could be why it is still sort of special to me to this day. Kind of like the memories that come with it too.
Top off a bowl with the yoghurt/milk/cream/nut-milk concoction of your choice or toss in your mouth straight from the bag. Granola is a term I'm happy to be called any day, as to me it doesn't get better than this for clean delicious fuel that anyone can make. And of course, to share.