A collection of seasonal recipes and stories

sometimes you eat the bar and sometimes the bar, well, he eats you

This afternoon I made a batch of granola, then I tossed it out into the yard for the birds and tried again.  You wouldn’t think something as simple as granola would pose much of a problem for a girl who can successfully replicate Chicago deep dish pizza in her own kitchen, but the second batch ended up in the yard too.  Some days are like that.

I’m really not very good at not being good at things, but a certain amount of failure is inevitable.  And each of those small failures is, of course, a learning experience: screwing things up may actually be the best way to figure out how to do them correctly. Two burnt batches of granola have ensured that future batches — and there will be future batches — won’t spend more than thirty minutes in the oven, no matter how pale and soggy the oats still appear to be.  Sure, a recipe can warn you of such pitfalls (as, um, I believe mine did), but you might not fully internalize those warnings until you’ve spent an afternoon making and photographing food for birds. 

Our culinary blunders, then, are more setbacks than defeats, each burnt bite nudging us along toward perfection (or at least toward edible breakfast food). Good news for granola girls; bad news for birds.

8 responses

  1. merryberry

    What kind of camera do you use? Your pics (even ones of burnt granola….) are gorgeous!

    January 12, 2009 at 11:08 am

  2. The birds are sooooo pissed!

    Hey, I just got a stand mixer with a dough hook so now I’m going to try your white pizza. I bought high altitude flour though so the first couple dough batches might go in the trash as I’m pretty sure they’ll be bad, even for the birds.

    January 13, 2009 at 6:17 pm

  3. Bubbles

    I’ve been catching up here and it is dangerous. I’ve been on a limited diet for awhile now and your food looks soooooo yummy!

    I have a granola recipe that my mom used to make for my dad. As I recall it was very yummy. I’ll have to look for it – maybe it has an idea or two you can draw from.

    And yes, I recall from a cheeseball coating recipe I have that cooking time for oats was a real issue. Oats are tricky buggers that way!!

    My chickens are jealous of your birds!

    January 14, 2009 at 5:53 pm

  4. Your burnt granola sure is photogenic! Your birds must be very happy.

    “I’m really not very good at not being good at things…” I resemble this remark. Currently trying to learn to knit, and spending a lot of time pissed and frustrated because I don’t have an inborn instinctive talent for it.

    On the plus side, I’ve been baking some awesome bread lately.

    January 14, 2009 at 10:54 pm

  5. Kimmie

    Bleh. Can’t see the pic at work…but I can sure relate. I had a bad experience with pasta making the other night. Started from scratch with semolina, cracked that stuff out by hand, you know.

    They were like biting into cardboard!! I was so disappointed. All that hard work. Trash! :(

    January 15, 2009 at 11:47 am

  6. that is the tastiest looking granola i’ve ever seen.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:01 am

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