Tahoe recipe: MoJo’s granola — no magic trick, just straight-up good
Special to the Sun-Bonanza
TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to become reacquainted with Charlene Parish (known affectionately as “Char” or “Charlie”), the woman who was my live-in babysitter during my toddler years.
It was so great to meet her! I got to learn all kinds of things about my young parents but, I have to say, some of it was upsetting. First of all, there was Char’s age.
I was shocked when my dad re-introduced us. She seemed (seems) very young leading to the conclusion she was about eight when she was caring for me and my sister. Secondly, I always thought my parents needed a live-in babysitter because they were both attending college.
Wrong. They were on some bridge circuit and making the rounds. I was a bridge game orphan left alone with an eight year old. But I put all those child endangerment issues aside when I got to spend time with Char in adulthood.
She is amazing! I am grateful she was such a precocious eight year old and is now a great friend in my age bracket. I loved her at “hello” before the granola recipe, but that really sealed the deal.
Now even though Char was a wonderful babysitter, I do not remember her ever serving us this for breakfast or snack. Granola wasn’t the thing in those days.
If we went healthy it meant Grapenuts or cream of something. I am grateful Char’s taste buds have matured so nicely and she was able to share this with me — finally. It is actually her family’s recipe, coming from Mom (thus the “Mo”) and John Henriques (thus the “Jo”) and it has really worked its Mojo on me I tell you.
I feel healthier and vibrant and full of energy every time I eat it — unless I sprinkle it on ice cream. Then I am just happy. With the kids heading back to school it seemed like the right time to bring on the magic, a good way to show the children you love them (“It’s homemade my little darlings!”) and also stuff a bunch in their back packs so they don’t come home for lunch.
Hellooo! School’s back in session, and your real holiday is just beginning.
7 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup pitted dates boiled briefly in 3 / 4 cup water
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup (scant) canola oil
Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Place dates (and water), maple syrup, vanilla and canola oil in blender and blend well. Mix well with dry ingredients. Spread on 2 cookie sheets and bake 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Cool and enjoy. Store in freezer.
Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee-Tahoe home. She welcomes your recipes, kitchen “must-haves” and food news at email@example.com.