In August, my husband and I took our daughter (our only child) to college. It was more heart wrenching than I’d ever imagined. I’m not going to lie, I sobbed for an hour after we said goodbye and headed home. My poor husband didn’t quite know what to do with me.
We have a rule in our family called “The Twenty-Four Hour Pity Party.” When something upsets us, we’re allowed to wallow in it for twenty-four hours, but then it’s time to buck up and move on. There are special exceptions to the twenty-four hour rule. Leaving my daughter at school qualified, but deep inside I knew I wouldn’t be a good mother if I didn’t encourage her in this rite of passage. Then another thing happened: soon I realized that not only was this a fabulous time of growth and wing-spreading for our daughter, but it was finally my time again.
She’s been away a month now. In that time, I sat down and made a list of things I’ve been wanting to do but hadn’t had enough time while my daughter was at home. Of course, at the top of the list were writing and reading more. I’m spending more time with my art journal, taking an art class and going on a plotting retreat in early October. This new freedom is also affording me a great opportunity to cook some of the things I might not have cooked in the past because it didn’t appeal to my daughter. Not that she ruled the roost, but when she was home it was more fun to fix things we all liked. I didn’t mind.
The other day I made homemade granola. It was so fun and simple – and yummy – I wondered why I’d never made it before. Oh, wait – I’d never made it because it contains coconut. If I tried to feed dear daughter coconut she’d swear I was trying to poison her. So, that recipe was shuffled to the back of the stack. Until the other day.
Now, here it is, front and center:
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut
- 2/3 cup olive or canola oil (I used olive oil)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon to taste (I used 2 because I love cinnamon)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup of your favorite dried fruit, such as golden raisins amd/or dried cherries
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine the all of the ingredients except for the dried fruit in a large bowl, and toss to coat. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. After about 10 minutes, I stirred the granola so that it browned evenly. Then I let it cook the remaining 10 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet. Add the dried fruit after it is completely cooled. If not using right away, store in an airtight container or Ziplock bag,
My most recent Special Edition series Celebrations, Inc. features lots of food. It’s set amidst a Dallas-area catering company owned by four friends. I had a lot of fun as my heroines cooked up all sorts of delicious dishes in the kitchen. The first book, TEXAS WEDDING, is available this month. TEXAS MAGIC hits the shelves in October, followed by TEXAS CHRISTMAS in November.
I’d love to give a copy of TEXAS WEDDING to someone who posts about favorite ways to spend free time or a favorite recipe. I realize I still owe books to some of my past winners. Thanks for bearing with me as I’ve settled into this new chapter of life. Now that Dear Daughter is settled and I’m starting to regain my equilibrium, I’ll be more timely sending out prizes!