Two weekends ago held an earthy day... It was Friday and I'd finished classes and resolved to stay on campus to do some things. However, five minutes into settling in at one my favorite quiet places, I realized I just couldn't do it. Resolution? Go home and nap. Reality? Not so much. The progression of actual events went as such: Enter the house and notice the unfortunate scent of damp towels. Swiftly waltz to the little building in my backyard that houses the laundry machine. On my way out, notice a broom. Snatch. Sweep. No more pollen on my porch. Or my steps. Ponder about a rake. Found. Commence removal of pine needle layers. Discoveries made: fresh, perfect dirt and once-treasured stepping stones. Also roots too robust for my hands, finally halting this wild hair of mine.
And then I proceeded to pick fresh rosemary from my parents' garden whilst chatting with my best friend about life, dreams, and the remarkably no-longer-surprising fact that we are always working through the same things, even though we haven't lived in the same town for five years.
And then this happened. It was an earth-day on Summerville Avenue for sure.
I had never made homemade granola until about a month ago, but had wanted to since I discovered how much sugar is in the store stuff. This batch was my second go-around... And way tastier than store bought!
Some of my best friends live in a house just a couple of blocks away. Since I moved into my own house, theirs has been my second home... The place I can walk, ride my bike, or drive (if I'm feeling lazy) to if I need some company or wisdom or just want to relish in friendships. These friends have been some of my dearest since I've come to college- sweet souls who love Jesus and life and joy.
Last week, my second home temporarily became my first. One of these sweet sisters was out of town and offered her bed and space while she was gone. I jumped at the offer, excited to spend the week elsewhere from my home, which easily is lonely. And my goodness, the Franklin girls couldn't have blessed me more than they did.
I lugged all my stuff over at the start. Clothes. Food. Books. Dishes. Sprawling anywhere and everywhere throughout their home. I kept running home for this or that, adding to the piles. But they didn't care. Instead they cleaned my leftover dishes. One night they fed me fajitas. Another day I forgot my key and they came home right way without hesitation to let me in. While I felt like a burden (and I hate feeling like a burden), they kept loving and saying the opposite. What I thought was going to be a lovely week simply because I wouldn't be lonely turned into a rejuvenating week of unexpected blessings. Countless thanks to you, Franklin girls!
This granola was my breakfast everyday for that week's stay. Man it's great. Sweet. Savory. Crunchy. Filling. Full of superfoods. Toss a banana in and splash some almond milk and you're set. Or don't- you're still set.
One of the things I loved about having this at the Franklin house was the ability to treasure it while on their porch... They have this beautiful front porch with a swing that becomes gradually lit up by morning rays. Combine that with the warming weather of last week and I felt like I was in heaven. Those cool, exhilarating summer mornings when you know it's going to be hot and you're going to have a full day, but nothing about that seems unpleasant because at that moment all you can dwell on is the pure gift of the waking birds and the blissful air. That. My soul delights in that. Especially with homemade granola.
Please. Go enjoy this for yourself.
Recipe adapted from Dinner With Aura
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup dried fruit* (I used raisins and cranberries)
- 3/4 cup nuts and seeds (I used raw sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, and flax seeds)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla. Add to oat mixture and stir until fully combined. Spread evenly onto two greased baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes for lightly-toasted granola or 45 minutes (my preference) for darker, crunchy granola. Remove from oven and allow to cool on sheets for 30 minutes before storing.
*My dried fruit ended up to be too hard, void of moisture. Especially if baking for a longer amount of time, leave dried fruit out of mixture and add with 10 minutes of remaining baking time.