Saturday, September 13, 2008
Bumpy, nutty, and a little bit sweet...my year and my recipe
It's finally almost here. Hubs gets back, this Sunday, from a year deployment to Iraq! It's been a long, at times frustrating and lonely, year. At first I was sure how I'd make it through. There were plenty of tears, even the dog went into a major funk after he left. She stayed in the closet for 2 weeks!
My husband is in the reserves, in a very small unit, so we don't have a large military community to turn to during deployment. We all live very far apart. In fact, I've only had contact with one other wives since Hubs left and she lives 5 hours away. So I've had to navigate this deployment on my own. Luckily for me, my parents lives near by so that was very comforting.
Being alone but not single is a strange place to be. It's sort of like being in limbo. There were times I was out of place in both those worlds. You know like being the only single person at a Christmas party of all couples...yuck!
I have to say that all though I hope I don't have to repeat this experience, it hasn't all been negative. I've learned a lot this year, mostly about myself but also about the people in my life. Everyone was great when Geoff left. "Just call if you need anything." was what they all said. One of my neighbors quipped "of course only if we have the time and it's no inconvenience." He was joking, of course, but there is an element of truth in what he said. Many times people just say things like that.
Not of my friends and neighbors however, they have been amazing. They've helped me with everything from a snake in the front yard to just calling and inviting me to dinner. Last Saturday, my next door neighbor rang the doorbell and said he was going to mow the yard because he wanted it to look great when Geoff got home. While he was mowing another neighbor came over and started edging the yard. Our yard is HUGE so this was no small task! Amazing people!
So this year I've learned: I'm stronger than I knew, I can be okay alone, and I know some pretty wonderful folks!
Now for the recipe. It doesn't have anything to do with this post, it's just some really tasty granola.
Silver Palate Outrageous Granola
3 cups Oatmeal (rough cut works best)
1 cup chopped almonds, pecans or any combination of your favorite (I used pecans)
1 cup or any combo dried fruit (cranberries, golden raisins, apricots, dates, cherries, blueberries)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packed Brown Sugar
1 cup Pure Maple Syrup
Mix together in a large bowl. Transfer onto a large baking sheet sprayed with non-stick butter flavored spray. Bake at 325 degree F for 35-45 minutes stirring once in-between. Allow to cool completely on tray. Store in airtight jars or containers.
This is one of the best granola recipes I've ever tried and it's super easy. Crunchy, nutty, lightly sweet...delicious!