Sesame granola with Greek yogurt, apples and Morello cherries (recipe here)
At the end of the summer, I found myself in a long-distance relationship with my “one who got away” (because I’m the kind of totally-sappy hopeless romantic who would refer to a past could’ve-been-love as “the one who got away”). We were on opposite sides of the country and hadn’t even seen each other in going on three years, but it wasn’t long before I’d happily devoted much of my time and most of my energy into Making It Work through Skype, letters, phone calls, etc. — until this week when it ended and left me feeling like I’d been socked in the stomach a bunch of times. Canadian singer/songwriter Julie Doiron is great at writing songs that feel like that, especially on her 1999 album Julie Doiron and The Wooden Stars. In “In This Dark” she sings, “Every time things go so well/ I think of all the things that have gone this wrong/ Timing’s never been worse” and in “The Second Time,” “Reckless restless feeling I’m unsure/ Trusting anybody anymore/ And sometimes when I am so unsure/ What difference, anyway.” I love that she doesn’t hold back in putting her entire heart and life into her relationships, however tumultuous they might be, which comes through even in her songs that aren’t quite so dark. Her 2009 album I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day, has some of the same — in “Heavy Snow” she sings, “Oh, heavy heart, forgive me/ Make me feel like it’s all okay/ Living through the night and living through the day” — but it’s also home to plenty of happier moments in songs that are so simple, but they can put my best moods over the top. The playful opener “The Life of Dreams” starts, “I’m living the life of dreams/ I’m living the life of dreams/ With good people all around me/ I’m living the life of dreams” and the closing track goes, “Every day, every night I tell myself in this beautiful light/ That I’m glad to be alive.” So, here I am, somewhere on the low-ish side of Doiron’s spectrum, but looking up. As my boss so eloquently said to me over IM yesterday: “New years, new beginnings, etc. Fish, sea.” (Really, guys, I’ll be fine.)
As for the food, it’s a recreation of a breakfast I had a couple of times on my last visit (at this Chicago coffee shop). Overall, it’s a filling, comforting breakfast that doesn’t feel too heavy; the sour cherries, tart granny smith apples and tartness of Greek yogurt are pretty much how I feel right now, but the sweetness from the granola is a reminder that things certainly will get better, and hopefully soon.
Makes about 4 1/2 cups.
3 c rolled oats
1 c almonds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp flax seeds
1/2 c honey
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Morello (sour) cherries
Chopped granny smith apple
• Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
• In a large bowl, combine oats and almonds. Set aside.
• In a small saucepan, combine olive oil, honey and sesame oil and bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Stir in cinnamon and remove from heat.
• Pour honey mixture over oats and almonds and mix thoroughly. Stir in sesame seeds and flax seeds.
• Spread evenly over two foil-lined baking sheets. Bake for 30-35 min, mixing the granola and rotating the pans halfway through.
• Serve with Greek yogurt, cherries, chopped apples and honey.