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Things are falling—leaves, needles, acorns. Some trees are already bare (more and more these days), some are alight, some are turning. The evergreens are staunch, saturated with green color. We were out moving the beams last week and we all got covered in seeds. Flowers drying and turning to fuzz on the stem, in the ground. Ferns drying, curling, turning brown and dark red.
I made GRANOLA last week and made it extra FALL-Y (by adding nutmeg)—the recipe is below. We also went berry picking again last week; it may have been our last time of the season, depending on how late the season goes. The photos below are from the time before last that we went, several weeks ago. And Will built a compost bin at the end of September out of scrap wood, which we started to use outside. See both below! At the end of the newsletter I share some recommendations to get you in the spooky spirit 🎃.
Mostly Stovetop Granola
I cooked this granola partly on the stove and partly in the oven. I started by cooking it in a pan on the stove, and then—since I had the oven on for something else (hopefully coming your way soon!)—I put the granola in the oven and let it stay in there until the oven cooled, tossing the granola every few to several minutes. This worked well! I think making granola can be flexible—you can cook it entirely on the stove, or entirely in the oven, or via a combination of both methods, depending on what else you’re making and what you prefer!
A couple tablespoons coconut oil
2 cups rolled oats
~1 cup raw nuts & seeds —> I used ~1/2 cup chopped almonds and cashews & a scant 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon honey*
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
few dashes nutmeg (less than 1/4 teaspoon)
good sprinkling of sea salt
dried cranberries (or other dried fruit if you prefer—chopped small if not already bite-sized)
*Note: If you opt for 3 tablespoons of maple syrup instead of 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of honey, this recipe can be vegan. 🥬
Serve with milk, added chocolate chips, on yogurt, with ice cream, etc.
1. Melt the coconut oil in a large pan.
2. Add dry ingredients to the pan: oats, nuts, seeds. Then add the sweetener (maple syrup and honey) and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, salt).
3. Stir to coat everything (oats, nuts, seeds) in spices, sweetener, and oil, and continue cooking, stirring and tossing the mixture. Cooking will probably take about 8 to 10 minutes at least in a pan, depending on how hot you run it (aim to cook on medium heat). You can turn up the heat near the end of cooking to really toast/dry out the granola on the stove. I found that flipping and tossing the mixture worked well to stir it, as well as spreading it out in the pan, flattening it a bit, every once in a while, leaving it like that for several seconds, and then flipping and tossing the granola again. Repeating this helped cook the granola, and it was a nice, intuitive way of making it.
4. If you are only cooking on stove: Cook granola as above until desired texture—till toasted, crunchy, and crispy or a little less if you like it slightly underdone. —> If you only bake: Skip cooking the granola on the stovetop, and combine all ingredients, spread in a parchment-lined baking tray, and bake for 21 to 23 minutes at 350F, stirring halfway. You may also want to up the oil if you are only baking—for example, to up to 1/4 cup. —> When I made: After cooking on the stove, I put the granola in the oven (which had just been turned off) on a parchment-lined baking tray and let the granola bake a bit/dry out in there while the oven cooled (down from 400F), stirring it every few to several minutes. This worked well, and was very convenient!
5. However you cook/bake, let the granola cool completely when finished on a parchment-lined baking tray.
6. Once cool, add dried cranberries (or other dried fruit if you prefer)—I spread them out over the granola in the cooled pan.
7. Transfer granola to an air-tight jar for storage and enjoy! (Tip: turn the parchment paper into a sort of tube in order to transfer the granola neatly to the jar.)
To get you in the spirit
Listen to (our) Denmark’s cover of “Ghost of John”!
Read Issue 2 of END TALK - last year’s Halloween special! (END TALK is a multi-media newsletter/podcast also on Substack that I collaboratively work on with a few others!) Last year’s Halloween ET issue features an original re-telling of the 1812 Grimm’s fairy tale, Snow White; excerpts from Marilynne Roach’s collected chronicles of the Salem Witch trials; and some other spooky recommendations.
Listen to Witch, Please! - a fortnightly podcast about the Harry Potter world hosted by the charming, intelligent, and expressive Marcelle Kosman and Hannah McGregor. I have listened to the classic episodes (in which they discuss each Harry Potter book and movie in a series of conversations) more than once and they are a delight! Highly recommend.
I hope you try the granola and check out some of the other recommendations above—happy fall and almost Halloween. Subscribe for more issues of Sundays are for baking; follow on instagram; like, comment, and share! ♡