[Warning: Text-heavy post. There’s a recipe buried beneath this, but you’re going to have to work for it. Sorry.]

A lot has happened in the ten days since my last entry. First off, my friends and I made a magazine (and I may or may not have modeled topless for its cover…). It is the last magazine issue of my student newspaper career, and possibly the best I’ve been a part of. I’m so pleased with the way it turned out, and feel completely honoured to have been able to work with such an awesome bunch of folks.

Early last week, I also put together a little feature on a site that allows kids to make comics in the classroom. That can be read here.

Then, last Wednesday, my choir and I sang with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to debut the final work of a very recently deceased Quebec composer, Jacques Hétu. His entire family was there that night, decked in mourning black and listening attentively. While I don’t believe in life after death or reincarnation or ghosts, etc., there was a palpable sense of electricity in that room as our last note reverberated through the hall and I couldn’t help but feel a little supernatural something-or-other in the air. The experience was really something.

Then, Friday morning, I awoke with a hacking cough.

When I get sick, it takes a long time to get better. Why? Because I suck at resting. Anxious person that I am, I need to be doing at least three different things at once to keep panic attacks at bay. You know, to distract myself from myself. Anyway, being sick is the worst because I am forced to sit and be still with myself until I am better. Usually I simply neglect to do this and, as a result, it takes weeks to get over the most pathetic little colds. But, since I am going on a massive 3 week trip to Europe TOMORROW(!) I took this one seriously. There was bedrest, OJ, oil of oregano, Cold FX, echinacea tea. I made my bean and kale soup with chicken stock for double cold-combatting power. And, there was granola.

I make my own granola because I am particular. I like things a certain way, and if no one else can provide me with what I want, I will do it myself. This is the case with granola; store-bought varieties are either too sugary, too greasy, too complicated (granola should NEVER contain more than a handful of ingredients, and modified milk products should NEVER be among the list), or too expensive. That’s garbage; I like my granola to be hearty, wholesome, oaty, and nutritious. It should pack a nice crunch. It shouldn’t be too sweet.

So I make my own, because mine is better. Besides, it gives me a sense of purpose–and, when ill, I’ll take whatever I can get.

Purposeful Granola

  • 4 cups oats
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (any nuts work)
  • 1 cup shredded, unsweetened cocount
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (any seeds work)
  • 2/3 cup dried apricots, quartered (any dried fruit works)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (or any fruit puree)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (safflower, canola, whatever)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cinnamon to taste
  1. Mix everything except the dried fruit in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Chuck your mixture onto a couple of cookie sheets. Spread a thin, even layer on each. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until everything is golden brown. You will likely need to give your granola a nice stir halfway through so that it bakes evenly.
  3. Once granola has been baked and cooled, add your dried fruit. Voila!