Friday, 14 October 2016

How to Make Granola

There is an argument that granola is just as good when made in a factory, like any other cereal. Whoever made 'Special K' at home? But, just think about how a cafe is elevated echelons when there is the promise of 'home-made granola' on the menu.

One of the joys of the home-made version is the feeling of wholesome-ness it yields. The eating is one thing, but you can also feel cosy in terms of both the making: toasting oats and nuts in sweet honey and maple syrup, and the storage: having a nice big jar of home-made granola in the cupboard, ready for a swell breakfast. 

After being treated to some home-made granola by Grace one brunch at her flat, she text me the details of its making, so simple it fit into one short message. Since then I have played about with the measurements and I've done some research – Felicity Cloake basically has it down (although the egg white was superfluous to moi, so emitted).

Here is my version. NB: the seeds, dried fruit and nuts can be varied:

40g coconut oil
60g honey
60g maple syrup
1tbsp fleur de sel – flaked salt I suppose
170g oats
170g rye flakes 
100g peanuts
100g pecans
50g flax seeds
50g coconut shavings
50g dried cranberries
50g jumbo raisins 

Melt the oil, honey and syrup together in a little saucepan. Mix everything else together in a big bowl. Add the melted oil, honey and syrup to the oats, etc and mix it all together (I use two spoons). Spread onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake on gas mark 2 for 30 mins. Leave to cool on the sheet and then decant into your jar.

Eat with yoghurt on a Friday morning and don't even care about being late for work.

Monday, 10 October 2016

The Magic of Miso

The weather is on the turn, and whilst Autumn is mostly a majestic time of year there are some days that catch you off guard when the wind whips at your cheeks and the bones in your fingers start to stiffen – time to dig out your gloves.

I learnt about the healing power of miso last February when our boiler broke. Our new flat was very cold and I felt extremely sorry for myself, hobbling around our capacious new living room that I loved yet couldn't stand to be in – cursing the big windows that let in beautiful light come day but an icy draft come night*.

It is in this chapter that I discover lovely miso soup. I had never believed that a soup so deep could be so easy to make – it has 4 main ingredients! Last week I made the connection between miso and marmite (something I have loved forever), for they're both rich, deeply savoury and sating.

heated chicken stock on the hob (n.b, stock: made the day before, luckily I had a chicken carcass knocking about). Once it boiled I added the miso (about 2tbsps) followed by a dash each of soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. Followed by some shredded cabbage, and pieces of chicken (from the aforementioned caracas), some thick 'straight to wok' noodles. I finished with a handful of coriander.

It really is as easy as that. Henceforth, this will be it the thing that happens whenever I feel run-down this winter.

*Thermal curtains have since been installed.

Miso soup

Lovely windows and pretty Autumn flowers