Butter and Rest: Earth-Shattering Granola

Overstatement? Maybe. Let’s assume not.

So the Quail have had icky gross unhappy coughs for a week. Perhaps I already mentioned that. A few days ago, I decided to cure them by making oliebollen, a Dutch donut hole of sorts, full of candied orange peel, apple (or pear, because it is what I had) and dried currants, rolled warm in powdered sugar. Of course, my planning abilities (or lack thereof) showed their ugly colors early when I realized that the orange peel I had so fastidiously candied (over the course of TWO DAYS) last Christmas had not stored well and instead had been growing warm fuzzies in their jar and were no longer a delight to the senses… at least, not the senses I was trying to delight. So I did a fresh and ridiculously fast and unofficial candying job, flinging them in the fridge to dry them out so that I could chop them up to use in my batter. The point of this rambling narrative is that I was able to offer fresh, warm oliebollen to my Quail for their school snack, absolutely convinced it would cure all that ailed them, but I forgot one key component to the cure…

You have to eat it for it to cure your cough.

Yes, my children did not eat the oliebollen. So instead of curing their coughs, the Beloved and I had to take 1 or 14 for the team and our love handles will probably never be the same.

(Quail the Second is offended by my insinuations, which, incidentally, is what you get for reading over my shoulder, and would like to set part of the record straight: “I did too eat the oliebollen! Maybe there should’ve been more powdered sugar involved, but don’t harass me with lies! AND! My cough is better than my siblings. SO THERE!“)

But I pressed on! Later in the week, the coughs continuing to plague, I wracked the little grey cells for a different snack to make that might actually get a few calories down their poor fatigued gullets and stumbled providentially upon an old granola recipe in my Sophie Dahl cookbook (best cookbook ever. Seriously. Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights and before you roll your eyes at the idea of the probable absurdity of any cookbook that I think is brilliant, trust me and go buy it for the story alone. It is the only cookbook that I have ever sat down and read like a novel and I laughed my head off. And it is pretty. Now I will wait while you go to Amazon and order it…) that I had not adopted and couldn’t remember why. I made a tiny tweak and the result blew my mind. Like, I might have nibbled more of this granola than I did of the oliebollen… which should cause your imagination to reel a bit.

Miss Dahl’s Mildly Adulterated Granola

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup honey or agave syrup (I used a mixture)

2 tablespoons apple juice

a few good shakes of cinnamon

a sound smidgen of freshly ground nutmeg (stop laughing. It is fun to buy whole and it smells really good and I personally think it stores better than buying it ground. Ha. So there. Frugality meets practicality and the nutmeg wins.)

I have a pet peeve about ingredients that are listed at the top that you are not supposed to add til later, because I am terrible at reading the instructions first, so just know there is a bonus MAGICAL ingredient that shows up at the end of this recipe. Do me a solid and don’t lose interest before you get to that, or this just becomes normal granola.

Turn on the oven to 350 degrees if you have a life and don’t want to sit and stare for an hour. Turn it lower if you have a good book and nowhere to be.

Toss everything into a big bowl and stir it up. Spread it on a baking sheet that you have astutely dressed in parchment paper first (Miss Dahl says an oiled sheet, but I like parchment paper better. Easier cleaning, nicer granola texture). Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring it every… ehhhh, let’s say 12 minutes. I thought I burnt mine, truthfully and scribbled furiously on the page that 40 minutes was way too long, but then it tasted sort of perfect, so just be a dear and watch the stuff. When it is golden and your house smells so good that the Barefoot Contessa sort of wishes she had mad skills for domesticity like you, pull it out and let it cool for maybe 15 minutes. And then…


Stir in, while it is sitting pretty on the baking sheet, a wollups worth of dried blueberries. Seriously. I cannot describe how amazing this works. They soften just a teeny tiny bit in the warm granola, and they are the perfect pop of flavor, sweetness, acidity…. blueness… I don’t know why. But I know it is the happiest, most munchable granola recipe and that your Sabbath breakfast would be blessed by setting out a bowl of it, perhaps with milk or Greek yogurt and honey and a side of pan-fried chicken apple sausage. It feels light, but filling and has the added benefit of being thoroughly respectable as a weekday breakfast (which, let’s be honest, is not always the case with Butter and Rest fare)… assuming you have any left. If you do (like, maybe when you were heading over to eat the granola, one child started screaming about a missing sock that it turns out the older child used to try and fix a rotating fan which then managed to start a fire that required the fire department to come visit and maybe a strapping firefighter had to use the firemen’s carry to haul you kicking and screaming away from the granola? That is about the only reason I can think of that would be plausible for having leftovers), store it in a jar. It will probably keep better than candied orange peel, but as I have suffered no sock-induced house fires, I cannot claim this with absolute certainty.

Anyhoo… go make this. The Lord is risen. Make ready for His rest.

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