My in-laws’ house is the comforting smell of granola, baking golden in the oven. It’s Mom Gentino’s floppy aluminum pans that I think she’s re-used years past the point any normal person would and that I’ve scrubbed my share of times. It’s a snack of the nutty-crumbly goodness in a tiny china bowl with milk, or tucked in plain yogurt with a drizzle of honey.
His mom’s everyday granola is one of the things my husband most anticipates about returning home, and something I’ve promised myself to get in the habit of making for the past eight years.
One day, one day I’ll do it. In the meantime, David took matters into his own hands this week, and when the kids and I returned from the zoo yesterday, the house was full of that familiar, happy smell, the smell that says all is right in the world.
Shari and David and I crunched on it by the hand-full straight from the pan yesterday evening. David and I poured ourselves a bowl as an 10:00 snack while watching Chopped last night. And all four of us gobbled it up with yogurt first thing this morning.
Mom’s Maple Granola
(original recipe from King Arthur Flour, with lots of modifications)
8 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (if you’re avoiding gluten, buy gluten-free oats to be safe)
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup almonds, whole or sliced
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk the wet ingredients. Pour syrup mix over dry mix, stirring and tossing till everything is very well combined.
Spread the granola over 2 large bakings sheets with rims and lined with parchment paper.
Bake one hour. Turn off oven. Stir and return to oven for another hour or overnight.