And now a moment of silence

I flew solo yesterday, waking up to a crisp, quiet dawn with no husband, children, car or toothpaste. I lent my oldest daughter my car for the week, saw my husband off to deer camp and Molly off to a four-day field trip in Bemidji, Minnesota and, apparently, tucked our last two tubes of toothpaste in with them.
Baking soda, incidentally, tastes terrible but makes an excellent paste in oral hygiene emergencies.
I chuckled about my situation with a neighbor as I walked to work. She chided me, clearly appalled.
“I will drive you anywhere you need to go and there will be a tube of toothpaste on your front porch by the time you get home from work today,” she said sternly.
I waved her off. The truth is, I am really enjoying this period of quiet solitude and forced ingenuity.
I puttered around the house, clearing cluttered and singing the entire soundtrack of Kris Kristofferson’s Me and Bobby McGee. I walked to get my favorite sausage and mushroom pizza for dinner and I made granola.
By Wednesday my entire family will be home for Thanksgiving and I will revel in the happy chaos. This morning, though, I am savoring the peace…and a big bowl of tasty granola.
Ingredients
  • 8 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cherries chopped
  • 1 cup dried apricots chopped

Directions

1.      Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with foil.
2.      Combine the oats, sunflower seeds and almonds in a large bowl. Let stand.
3.      Stir together the salt, brown sugar, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.
4.      Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 20 minutes. Stir once halfway through. Cool, then stir in the apricots and cherries. The granola will crisp as it cools. Store in airtight container.
I’m pretty proud of myself for remembering to gather and
photograph all of my ingredients before I started. I’d have been
prouder if I’d remembered to chop my apricots in time.
I love this picture as much as I love the word Bemidji. Here
are your dry ingredients just taking a breather.
Big old clump of brown sugar goes right in the saucepan.
Add honey after you add the oil to make it easier to pour.
I don’t want to brag or anything, but I am pouring honey
here and shooting pictures and my camera seems to have survived.
A tablespoon of cinnamon sounds like a lot but it’s just perfect.
Someone needs a manicure. A tablespoon of vanilla goes in too.
Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
Pour over your dry ingredients.
Spread the mixture out on your pans.
These little guys can’t join the fun until after the stuff comes out
of the oven. Nobody likes a crunchy apricot.
Here is your lovely granola. Admire it while it cools.
Yeah, I’m going to need some help eating this.

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