Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Following the leader

If all my friends jumped off a bridge, I would take photos. I would stand at the railing and watch their fall, with fear and curiosity. I would gauge their arc, the fall time, and wait hopefully for them to reach the shore. Later, I would hand out towels and congratulate them in their exhilaration. If my friends jumped off a bridge, I would not follow.

If all my friends made granola… well, that’s a different story. I read Molly W’s post about Nigella Lawson’s granola recipe. I related. I silently congratulated her on finding her favorite recipe. But, I stuck with my granola routine. Then David Lebovitz wrote about Nigella’s granola. And I was torn. Do I follow the crowd? What does it hurt? It’s only a batch of granola. Everyone’s doing it.

For years, I have been using my old roommate’s granola recipe. She varies her ingredients, but always includes oats, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, coconut oil, and a little honey. The coconut oil makes it smell wonderful, adds this sweet, nutty, fatty flavor. And I follow this tradition, adding spices, nuts, maple syrup and honey at my whim. If you like granola and have never made it, I encourage you to try and recreate your favorite blend. And if you still like the store-bought better, stick with it. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

I did have fun trying Nigella’s recipe, but to be honest, I wasn’t wildly impressed by the end result. I wanted to be. It just didn’t taste that much better than any other granola. I like that she uses applesauce in her recipe. Puréed fruit is a clever way to incorporate the needed wet ingredients. I might have to branch out on the fruit though. Perhaps some apricot or pear would broaden the flavors. It is crunchy enough that you can let it sit in milk for a couple minutes, which does make it taste better. This recipe makes a good breakfast cereal, but the best? Decide for yourself.

On a side note: Just because Nigella’s granola didn’t change my life, does not mean she isn't delightfully inspired. I can’t wait to try her Doughnut French Toast.

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