Okay, maybe not really. Though the whole "hippie" idea has had resonance for a while - I like flowing dresses, sunshine, peace, love, vegetarianism and being good to the environment - I don't think I really qualify. I don't smoke pot, for one, and I'm, you know, in law school. I've only been to California once. But my mom was a "junior hippie" (this means she is not old, just to clarify) and I kind of grew up with the peace and love thing. Also, granola.
Which brings me to my point. Homemade granola! I'm always really bummed at the prices of granola at New Pi. Their selection is awesome, but it also is kind of hit and miss. I got some ginger flavoured granola once that cost $3.50 a pound and was stale. And if you think about it, the actual ingredients in granola are not that expensive, really. So when I ran out of cereal this weekend, I decided to make my own!
The granola experiment was essentially a success, though I do want to tinker some more. I liked how crunchy my granola was. It didn't cluster quite as much as I'd want for a snack granola, but it works well for cereal. I would like it sweeter. I didn't want to pay for maple syrup, but next time I might either splurge or use some honey. I always forget that molasses has a very distinctive, slightly strange taste. As you can see from the picture, I was very psyched about using my new metal measuring cups. I like the pink plastic cups and blue spoons I have, but the numbers all wore off. These are really nifty - they look like bowls but they stand up! They also come on a little hook but I have nowhere to hang it. I'm considering getting some sort of a hook system at some point for my measuring cups, my cutting board, and my potholders, because that would be extremely helpful in my kitchen.
For the basic recipe, I used the suggestions here. I didn't have dark brown sugar so I used light, and I did 2 T light pancake syrup and 2 T molasses for the sweetener. Perhaps for that reason, my syrup didn't really want to simmer. I got some very small bubbles, but nothing more than that, and ended up giving up. Also, the oil and syrups stayed separated. I went with the cranberry-almond variation, since that's basically what I wanted anyway. I'm kind of like Amelie - I love the feel of oats between my fingers, so I did a lot of the mixing by hand (as you can see). I was afraid to "clump" too much because I wanted it spread out in the pan to bake evenly, but maybe next time I'll do more clumping. I baked the exact time suggested, and it came out a lovely brown colour. Note that it won't be crunchy until it cools. It makes a quart, which is perfect for my square Tupperware!