My little baby started pre-school today. And it felt momentous. He has bedding with little piggies on it and a backpack that we suppose says Jia Jia Kindergarten on it in Chinese characters and pinyin. He can say, ‘I am Noah’ and ‘I have to go to the bathroom’ in Chinese. Oh yes, and I taught him how to say he is sorry over the winter holiday. So, I feel if a three year old needed to communicate, those would be the biggest things. And besides, some of the ladies speak broken English.
I was a bit anxious last night (cliché anyone?) as I worried about motherly things like if he would make new friends or listen to his teachers. And I couldn’t even be present at 10 o’clock when my husband dropped him off…one of my 8 teaching hours was scheduled then! So then I started worrying whether or not he would cry.
In strides Juan, ready for his class just as I’m preparing to leave, and he happily reports that Noah eagerly took the “ayi’s” hand (Ayi is the Chinese term for “auntie” and is used to refer to caregivers) and almost as an afterthought told his father he loved him before running towards the playground as ayi called him back so she could take him to his classroom.
Which just reaffirms what I was already thinking, which is that it was definitely time for my little guy to start playing with other little kids of his own age. It’s more for his personal growth than us working jobs that require us to put him into daycare (except it will allow us to get so much more done during the day – for example, me working on this blog).
So, getting to the granola (don’t you worry, this is all tied in). One of the strangest parts of enrolling him in kindergarten was being told that he would eat dinner at 4:10 PM. No, you don’t have to grab a cotton swab and clean out your ears (or your eyes, but you should never do that in the first place). I said 4:10. Our child is used to eating his dinner at 8. Maybe 7:30, and on the rare occasion 8:30 or 9. A l’européenne. The European way.
4:10 is barely even snack time yet!
So, when in Rome, do as the Chinese. And so, we agreed to let him eat at 4:10 even though I am pretty sure he will want a snack before going to bed. So as a mother, what can I give my boy that isn’t extremely unhealthy and that might hit his sweet tooth when hunger comes a knockin’?
I do have a child that asks me for pancakes about three times a week. So, I suppose I can make banana, peanut butter, or pumpkin pancakes and get a little nutrition in there sometimes.
But he also loves yogurt. So, why not made a sweet, nutty, and floral granola to add in it for extra crunch? I love this granola- and it’s taken me a couple of tries to get it right. After my first attempt at making these, I’ve upped the level of nuts, used butter instead of oil, and finally decided that I need to add the blueberries in right before the granola gets put away. You see, granola has this very fine line between beautifully toasted and burnt and black. But when the granola looks toasty brown, my raisins will already be half black…which makes them taste all black. Not a great flavor profile for anything really.
So the recipe I’m giving you today is warm, fruity, and floral. I control what goes in it, or perhaps most importantly what doesn’t. And doesn’t it sound perfect for the spring we all know has to be coming very soon?
In researching for this recipe I came across quite a few granola flavor combinations that seemed like total winners! Do you have a link to a good granola recipe I should check out? I’d love to hear about it and check it out! Cereal in this neck of the woods is totally and completely over-priced…granola at least is expensive because of the rich, protein packed nuts and dried fruits that you use.
- 3 cups rolled oats
- ¾ cup butter, sliced evenly
- ⅓ sugar+1 tsp molasses
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon rose water
- 3 tablespoons crushed rose petals
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ½ cup walnuts, crushed (and candied if possible, mine were honey coated)
- ¾ cup cashews, crushed (salted if possible, mine were not, but I can imagine it being heavenly)
- ½ cup dried blueberries or cranberries
- Preaheat oven to 325°F (160°C)
- Combine oats, crushed rose petals, walnuts, and cashews in a mixing bowl.
- In a saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and molasses with your fingers. Then add the dark brown sugar, butter chunks, rose water, and cinnamon. Turn burner on low and let the butter melt, stirring so the sugar dissolves into the butter.
- Pour over the oat mixture. Distribute evenly on a large, oiled cookie sheet.
- Bake in oven for about 10 minutes. Turn the mixture with a spatula so browning takes place evenly. Let bake for 10 minutes, turn again. And bake for another 5-10’, checking and pulling out once the color has turned a deep golden brown.
- Transfer immediately to a cooler surface of similar size to stop the baking process.
- Once cool, add in your dried fruit and store in an airtight container.
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