My Sister Paige lindell, homemaker and inspiration for seasoned. I bought her that bathing suit.
I am fixated on the idea that my domestic shortcomings are affecting my life. I feel like if I only knew how to make granola I could find love. Please help.
Granola can be many things, but it will not secure a partner.
Making granola can be a frugal act, an acknowledgement that less is more. It can show you that stirring can be financially empowering, that oats are incredibly affordable and more crispy from your oven than you have ever tasted out of a bag.
Granola can be a political act, a push back against Big Ag and GMOs. Granola can be a position against the ridiculousness of cereal prices and empty nutrition. Granola is an incredibly dense food, high in fiber and calories.
Granola can be an act of growing up, just as eating cereal can be a stop gap on the way to adulthood. You eat cereal when your get home too late from a party. You eat cereal while playing a video game on the computer, but you eat granola on your way up a mountain, however metaphorical.
Granola can be an exercise in frustration. Incredibly simple, yet a pandora’s box of questions and answers. It is a long term pursuit to find out how to make granola darker, lighter, sweeter, crispier, or with bigger chunks. If you let it, Granola can make you feel bad about yourself. You will over bake it at one point, I promise. And when you do, it makes excellent bird food, flung with abandon over a grassy park.
While granola makes excellent bird bait, it is less successful homemaking bait. I haven’t met anyone that wooed a partner with a bowl of granola, homemade or not. Granola is not a fast fix. It is a low slow bake: the quiet understanding of the joy of caretaking.
Caretaking can take many forms in the kitchen. It can look like remembering how someone likes their coffee or returning home to the kitchen counter with a choice take-out bag. Caretaking can mean cleaning dinner dishes out of the sink, yours, and, maybe-not-yours, so that each morning the kitchen can welcome a new day.
Granola is emblematic of home-making. A process of caretaking expressed by enjoying where you are. This can be a powerful practice for someone who is unhappy with where they are in life. The home can be a frustrating container reminding us of all our shortcomings or it can be a refuge from all the things in the world that make us feel less-than.
Home-making is the act of creating a relationship with your home, however imperfect. It is in this home space where we can create loving habits - to our things, and to ourselves. It is in this recognition of self-care that we can decide whether making granola makes us feel good or whether it makes us feel enraged at our new understanding of the uneven heating element in our oven.
Care can take many forms, but it begins with care of ourselves. A breakfast for one, that may or may not include granola.
This is how I make my granola. You will probably make yours differently. Finding the right granola recipe is a little bit like trying to find true love.
Stir together 5 cups of oats, 1 cup of nuts, ½ cup olive oil, ½ cup maple syrup, and ¼ tsp salt. Sometimes I add one egg white. It makes for bigger pieces, sometimes so big you can’t fit them in a jar. I bake it in a 300 degree oven for 40-60 minutes. I do not stir.
Paige Lindell, has worked in restaurants in California, Louisiana and New Hampshire. But the kitchen she has worked in the longest is her own, spending time washing dishes thinking about love and food, and how they are one in the same.
Send her your questions about Food and Relationships to email@example.com
Cake Breakers were a kitchen tool popular in the 1950s. They look like decorative combs and were used to cut slices of delicate cake with the least amount of pressure.
This article first appeared in ELF, a publication of the Keene, Sentinel. Keene, New Hampshire.