For most of my life, my maternal grandparents have lived up the road from me. It’s been utterly wonderful to be able to walk to their place for a chat, a cup of tea, a hug, and/or a game of 500 or Cribbage.
However, I also experienced many magical times with my grandparents before they moved to Canberra. I could talk for hours about my school holiday visits to their place in Sydney but, instead, I’d like to tell you about the breakfasts I enjoyed while visiting. There were two (breakfasts, that is); one made by my grandpa, and one by my grandma.
Some mornings, I would wake up and rush to the kitchen to find my grandpa pottering around with a cup of tea. I would clamber onto one of the chairs at the kitchen bench, then watch as he pulled two piping hot slices of white toast from the toaster before buttering them for me, lavishly, lavishly. Grandpa would then cut the slices of hot buttered toast into square quarters (not triangles! Never triangles!), and place them on a plate patterned with green-and-gold flowers. I still remember nibbling the crusts first (to keep my hair curly), pulling off the toasted butterless base of the bread to eat next, and then, lastly, savouring the crispy buttery top of the toast in all its salty glory.
It was bliss.
Sometimes, however, breakfast would come courtesy of Grandma, whose special secret muesli recipe never failed to make my heart skip a beat as she poured me a bowl. I had no idea what was in the muesli. I only knew that it was more delicious than any boxed cereal at home, and that one of the ingredients was most certainly my grandma’s pixie dust (it’s a positive must).
Last weekend, with my grandparents both finally home from hospital, I suddenly decided to make my grandma’s muesli for her (she hasn’t had the time to make it for herself in a long while). I secretly got my hands on the recipe, but found I had to adapt it substantially to make it safe for her to eat (no wheat germ, honey, raisins, or milk powder allowed).
I’m utterly delighted to say that this Jewelled Maple, Cranberry and Coconut Muesli (or Granola), despite being rather different to my grandma’s original recipe, is utterly exquisite. The smell of it toasting in the oven caused me to dance around the kitchen, and I’m proud to say that I received a text from my grandma, the morning after I delivered it to her, thanking me and saying it was delicious.
But go on… try it for yourself. It might just make you dance too.
Jewelled Maple and Coconut Granola
- 3 cups (270g) rolled oats
- 1 cup (100g) oat bran
- 1 1/3 cups (100g) desiccated coconut
- 3/4 cup (heaping; 100g) sesame seeds
- 3/4 cup (heaping; 90g) sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup canola/sunflower/coconut oil
- 1/3 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar, which I would very much like to try one day)
- 3/4 – 1 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 – 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
- Preheat oven to 170°C (340°F).
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, oat bran, coconut, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.
- In a small saucepan, stir the maple syrup, oil, and brown sugar together over a low heat until the sugar is mostly dissolved (or completely dissolved; my point is don’t stress about it) and the mixture is combined.
- Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry and stir to combine, trying not to faint over how magical the aroma is. (Or, if you faint, make sure someone is there to catch you when you fall.)
- Spread the granola mixture between two large baking trays and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
- Stir in the dried cranberries and apricots, then bake for another 10 minutes, until the granola is starting to turn golden but isn’t burnt. Leave to cool, and then enjoy, enjoy, enjoy, again trying not to faint over how magical the taste is.