Rain, Rain Go Away

Thursday, March 6, 2014


The new neighbors on the block moved in and then a few weeks later, they moved out. Ghosts. One ghost actually - a young Native American girl. What do I care? I don't believe in ghosts. And yet I asked the neighbor who told me the story to please not bring it up again. But no amount of denial has allowed the story to escape my head.

The thing is, these people were normal; a normal couple with two young children and a dog; normal people who got in their car and drove away. When you have a baby and toddler you do not leave your home in the middle of the night just for the sake of it. You do not waste your extra money to hire ghost experts, or whoever it is that one hires in this type of situation. And you certainly do not put your family through the stress of moving all over again.

I am not sure of the exact details. There was something about disheveled clothes drawers, red projectile baby vomit, the water turning on and off. They heard running upstairs when they were all downstairs, the dog went crazy... Two different spirit experts/ghostbusters told them the same thing - there is an angry Native American girl at the house (apparently we live near old Native American burial grounds) and recommend that the family leaves. And so they did. They moved their things out quietly, during daylight hours, without making a fuss. They said they did not want to create hysteria within the neighborhood.

This tale came at the same time as the rain. And while normally I love the rain, suddenly the cold dark skies felt heavy. The wind howled loud and the rain fell in angst. Neither the comfort of my warm bed nor the sleeping baby beside me was enough to shake my anxiety. The trees outside rattled and so did my nerves. Over the next few days the rainfall continued on. I felt overwhelmed.

The skies here are now blue. The new family is long gone. The story however is still dancing around, spreading much further than the confinement of our little block. Clearly the story still dances in my head too. When the walls creek and I hear the distant whisper of kids playing outside in the street, I think about the ghost and the family that moved away. I don’t believe in ghosts, but my heart beats a little faster when I drive by the empty house where the new family no longer lives.


Granola

I have been making a version of this granola recipe fairly regularly for the past ten years. It is a pantry staple that I like to have around ... always. I sprinkle it over yogurt and fruit in the morning and we're all guilty of stealing a handful or two as a pick-me-up snack in the afternoon. My friends and family request it as birthday and holiday gifts and I am happy to comply, as it's quick and easy to make. The recipe originated from one of my mom's seventies health food cookbooks. It was made over the stove in a large skillet. After a few years I moved the cooking into the oven and no longer followed a recipe or measured the ingredients - a bit of this and that until it looked right. Unfortunately this meant that when I passed out any sort of recipe, the results were never up to par. So I carefully measured out and wrote down every extra pinch of this and that. And here it is. Of course this recipe can serve as a base for all sorts of nuts and dried fruit.

A Note about Quality: As is the case with most everything when cooking, this granola is only as good as the ingredients that goes into it. I recommend that you seek out fresh nuts and dried fruits from a purveyor that regularly turns their product. When it comes to the honey, on the other hand, I realized the other day that perhaps I am wasting my pennies (dollars in this case) by using the local, raw type. Cooking the honey destroys its amazing nutrients. With that in mind, I am currently using a decent and more moderately priced honey to cook with, and am saving the good stuff to drizzle over afterwards.


Makes 6 cups


Ingredients

3 cups old fashion (rolled) oats
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup agave
1/2 cup dried cranberries


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.

Meanwhile in a medium size bowl, combine the oats, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts. To help the honey and agave pour out of the measuring cup more easily, measure the two teaspoons of oil into the measuring cup first. Drizzle the honey, agave and canola oil over the oats, and toss together until everything is evenly coated.

Spread out the granola in an even layer on the lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and toss the granola with a large spoon; spread out evenly and return to the oven. Repeat this process every 5-8 minutes, to help the granola cook evenly, until all of the granola is golden brown, about 50 minutes in total. Remove the pan with the granola from the oven and toss in the dried cranberries. Let cool completely before transferring to storage containers. Serve the granola with milk or yogurt and fresh fruit. The granola will keep for approximately 2-3 weeks in metal canisters or glass jars.

3 comments:

  1. the fog-enveloped pictures are prefectly haunting images to complement this what an eerie tale. LOVE your husbands photography skills and i equally enjoy your words. glad to have found this blog!

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