Sunday, December 17, 2017

Hippie Granola

It’s early Sunday morning. I thought I would just write some more about my Homestead Pantry. When I first wrote about my pantry yesterday, I had written in the subject line “Homestead Panty.” Oh, I am so glad I caught that! I would never live that down. Annie would tease me for the rest of my life.

Anyway, I wanted to write about Granola. When I was raising my houseful of children, I used to make this a lot. It’s so much cheaper than the breakfast cereal at the store. I made my Granola with whatever I had in the cupboard. If I only had the oatmeal, then that’s all I used. You have to have the “Old-Fashioned Oatmeal” and not the instant or the quick cooking kind. I would take a cup of honey and a cup of oil, put it in a saucepan, and let it come to a boil. Soon as it is good and mixed up and has just come to a boil, then pour it over about 6 cups of oatmeal. Now, if ya have walnuts or any kind of nuts, or sunflower seeds … put them in, and some coconut if the kids will eat it. Put in wheat germ or whatever in it. Don’t put in any dried fruit until after you bake it.

Then I would just bake my granola in a big roasting pan. I like something big that I could stir my granola as it baked. If ya have a lot of Granola, just put the oven on about 300 degrees until the oatmeal is golden brown. If you want cinnamon in it, put the cinnamon in the honey and oil when you boil it. After it was done and cooled, I stored my Granola in a big gallon glass jar.

Sometimes I made my granola with brown sugar and margarine if I ran out of honey and oil. I would put in a pan, a cup of brown sugar and a cup of margarine (butter would be better). Just stir this up and bring this just to a boil. And toss this over your Granola and mix it up good. Anyway, I would make Granola with about anything. When it is done and out of the oven, then just add raisins or dried chopped fruit of any kind. I have dried my own apples, also, and put this in my Granola.

But the recipe, if I knew how to give one, would be about 6 cups of dried stuff like oatmeal and nuts, etc. to 1 cup of oil and honey boiled first. I have put peanut butter in the honey, also … about a half a cup … then reduce the oil to a half cup.

My children would eat this with milk on it for breakfast. I used this granola for other things, too. Like I would add it to bread or cookies. Once it is made, you can think of a lot of stuff to do with it. You could top ice cream with it, or muffins. Or put it in yogurt. I like the idea of Granola because you can make a lot and it lasts a long time.

Granola is like fleas on a dog … fleas for a dog keeps the dog itchin’ and forgetting he is a dog. And granola keeps your kids chewin’ and forgetting about getting into trouble. If you can get your kids hooked on Granola, they will be quiet for at least a half hour … just a-chewin’ and a-chewin’. Granola don’t slip down your throat like the puffy sugary stuff from the store. And if you put plenty of walnuts and big chewy nuts like pecans in your Granola, the longer it will take for the children to chew it up. I mean, I wouldn’t give this stuff to children under 3 … not how I make it … with all the nuts. But just plain with oatmeal and raisins, they could eat it, under 3.

And ya know, we Hippies in the 70s made Oatmeal Cookies the same way, with just about anything. We put in so much healthy stuff that to feed your child oatmeal cookies for breakfast was a good idea. We used a lot of honey and not sugar in our baking. Also a lot of fruit. I would make my oatmeal cookies with cut up apples in them … raisins, peanut butter, and sunflower seeds. And you could buy honey pretty cheap back then.

I used to use a lot of sorghum in my baking. (That’s like molasses.) Honey around here is so expensive now. But I used to buy a half gallon jar for about 4 bucks. I used to make Honey Tea for my children. Just a cup of warm water and a tablespoon of honey.


I was born in the late 1940s, went to high school in the 60s. But I hated the 60s and somehow had my day in the sun in the radical 1970s. My kids can’t figure that out … none of us can. Then Papa was born in 1940 and he had his day in the 1950s and the Elvis era. So he kinda lives out of the 50s, at times, and I live out of the 1970s. So, many times there is a generation gap between us. He has no understanding of hippies and flower children. He wouldn’t drink a cup of herb tea if you gave him a million dollars. Sometimes he looks at me in my long flowered cotton skirt and bare feet and shakes his head. He knows he loves me … but I think at times he wonders why?

My girls sort of run back to the 1970s styles, too. Dan likes to wear the old Harley Davidson shirts from the 70s. Papa can’t figure any of it out.

Also, I wanted to write about the cooking shows I have been watching lately on the Food Channel. Ya know, I think there is a lot of good in them. And if any of you don’t have the first idea on how to cook, I think these instructors are really good. As I have watched them for a few months, I have learned a lot. I don’t watch the men. I just can’t hack that one worldly guy … ick. But many of the ladies, especially Paula, have a lot of good ideas. I love watching Paula, especially.

But one problem I have with it all is that those cooks don’t cook frugally or from scratch. One lady was making cinnamon rolls from a dough she got at the store. She put the dough in the fridge for 2 hours to get cold enough to handle it and make it into cinnamon rolls. Heck fire, I could have made a pan of rolls by then, and been eating them by the time she got hers out of the fridge. And once she got her dough rolled up, she had to throw each end off because it wasn’t as pretty as the other slices. But ya know, if I couldn’t cook at all, I would be watching these shows to learn the basics. But after you learn the basics, it’s good to learn to bake and cook from scratch.

It’s nice if you have a food processor and a big kitchen mixer but you don’t have to have them. All I use to make my bread is a big bowl and a spoon. And sometimes, if I am in a hurry, I will just knead my bread right in the bowl and I don’t even make a mess on my table with the floured surface to knead it. The Pioneer Mothers didn’t even have electricity. And all they had for power was “woman power” and elbow grease. And those women made at least seven loaves of bread a week and sometimes more.

And I laugh at these jokers on TV that say your cooking stove has to be perfect before you can bake anything. Mercy! Think of the Pioneer Mothers who had to figure out their old wood burning stoves. Sometimes, right in the middle of baking a cake, the fire would die down and she would have to know when to add more wood. That was the most unpredictable, uneven heat you could think of. But Mother used her skills and knew how to run her stove. She would output her cheese on the back of the stove, as it was cooler there and just right for the cheese to brew. She knew which part of her stove was the hottest for her fried potatoes. Or she used the top where the warming ovens were to keep the biscuits warm. Mother was keeper at home and she used the stove her husband gave her to make what she needed.

Remember my old stove, Annie? That I had to bake everything on 500? Well, I used that thing for over a year. It did finally blow up and the oven caught on fire. “Nice goin’, Connie, you nearly blew the house up.” Well, I shudda been watchin’ it more closely. My dog who was 15 had just died, and I forgot about the stove. I was heart sick for Daisey. I miss her, even now. But that’s no excuse. I shudda been watchin’ my stove. And if your stove don’t work right, you can still bake in it, but be sure to watch it? My stove would heat up to the highest temp it could go and not stop. So if I was makin’ a cake, I had to know when to shut the oven OFF.

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