Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Giving Them What They Want

This morning Precious opened the kitchen pantry cabinet looking for something. Not finding what she wanted, she says, "Next time you go to the grocery store, can you get some cereal?"

Occasionally, we buy boxed cereal in the health food aisle. We stopped buying the stuff in the regular cereal aisle a very long time ago, and unfortunately, the healthy stuff has a lot fewer choices of manufacturer and flavor. My girls' favorite is some cinnamon biscuit kind of thing. Personally, I don't like cereal, and I don't eat it. As such, I never remember what it's called until I see the box in the grocery store, and yes, I do hate it when they change the package design, because then, I can't find what I'm looking for.

The cereal is incredibly expensive, and even though the box says "organic" blah, blah, it's still a packaged convenience food, and too often the companies that make the "organic" foods are owned by the same guys that bring us the chemical-laden, sugar-coated delights that line the regular cereal aisle. Who knows if what I'm paying for is what I'm getting.

So, I just prefer not to buy it, but then, there are days, when my girls want ... something. Like today. Precious wanted cereal, but we don't have any.

I have a pretty well-stocked pantry with a huge variety of stuff to eat - most of which requires some preparation. I knew I had all of the fixings for granola, and so that's what I made. My daughter wanted cereal, and while I couldn't give her the cinnamon crunch stuff she wanted, I could give her the texture experience.

The recipe is very simple:

1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c syrup (I used our maple syrup)
vanilla extract (or I used almond, which adds a different depth of flavor)
3 1/2 c oats
optional: 1/4 c chocolate chips or nuts or fruit

Mix butter and sugars. Add vanilla. Mix. Add oats. Mix. Add optional. Mix. Put on a cookie sheet and bake at 350° until it's lightly browned.

Some recipes call for eggs, too, which might help bind it all together better if one is hoping for bars.

This morning's granola was going to be used, specifically, for cereal, and the plan was to crumble in a bowl and add milk. On cold mornings, we even add warm milk for a crunchy, warm, hearty meal.

It may not have been exactly what my daughter wanted, but in my opinion, it's better (probably healthier) than the pre-packaged stuff in the store, and it's significantly cheaper.

Now, if I could just be organized enough to always have it on hand ... :).

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