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!

13 comments:

TeaLady said...

Congrats on the hubby coming home. You made it thru' and so did he. Have a great life together from now on.

RecipeGirl said...

When you described your neighbors coming over to help, That totally got me teary. I just love to see people sharing of themselves like that. You sure don't see that everyday anymore. Enjoy your Sunday!!!

Manggy said...

I'm so happy for you!! And your neighbors are lovely :) Maybe you can shower Geoff with all sorts of bakes when he returns :)

I love the granola recipe in that it has no oil in it-- that always turned me off :)

Bellini Valli said...

I wish we could get back to a time when everyone did just that. My mom talks about her neighbour bringing in her laundry if she has gone into town, or bringing over baking.People helped each other out and it didn't take a tragedy or in this case someone being gone for an extended period of time. If you live in a community like that you are so very lucky!!!I'm sure your husband will be very happy to be home!!!!

Megan. said...

this recipe sounds excellent! i am always looking for different variations of granola to try. thanks for sharing :)

Grace said...

your attitude is incredible. i wish more people could find that sort of optimism within themselves and appreciate the good things! meanwhile, i love your title and your recipe. :)

el-nic said...

I'm stronger than I knew, I can be okay alone, and I know some pretty wonderful folks!
Ditto on that. Jealous that you're with G and I still have a few days until I get Big D home, but THRILLED for all of us :) Here's to happy reunions!

The City Sage said...

You're so very strong---I don't know how I would make it through a year without my husband! I'm glad to hear that you had the support of your friends and neighbours while he was away. You must be so thrilled to have him home!

And thanks for the recipe, too. Don't you love the silver palate? I just posted their Brioche bread recipe: www.annesage.com

they're stuff is always so tasty and foolproof!

Sandie said...

This post makes me smile, on multiple counts. And good for you (also on multiple counts)!

I hope you enjoy your time getting reacquainted with your husband. Tell him I said, "Thank you," for going to Iraq & serving our country, and then tell him I said, "Welcome home."

Camille said...

I am so happy for you! When we were stationed in NC my husband was gone two years out of the three that we were there..one year in Iraq. I am truly so happy for you!!

When we were in CA and my husband deployed a kind neighbor, that I hardly knew, must have been watching as I tossed (well more of a football type slam in the end zone) the weedwacker onto the sidewalk in utter frustration. I left it there, went in the house and began baking to calm down. I heard a weedwacker close by and looked out my window. This man was edging my yard. I was so grateful! (I despise weedwackers to this day.)

Meg said...

Wow what a great granola recipe! I will have to try this!

Rosie said...

Isn’t it really lovely when you can count on friends and neighbours! I am so happy for you that your hubby is coming home soon :) Enjoy sweetie :)

Rosie x

Half Baked said...

Thank you all for your kind comments! They mean a lot to both of us. You all are some pretty wonderful folks as well!!