Tahoe recipe: MoJo’s granola — no magic trick, just straight-up good | SierraSun.com

Tahoe recipe: MoJo’s granola — no magic trick, just straight-up good

Simone Grandmain
Special to the Bonanza
MoJo's granola's is easy to make, but if I were you, I'd double the recipe. It works its magic and disappears quickly.
Courtesy Simone Grandmain |

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.

Ingredients:

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

Preparation:

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 simonegrandmain@gmail.com.