Sweet-smellin' homemade Granola

I did not grow up in a granola household. No, I grew up in a carnation instant breakfast house, with the occasional weekend crepe feast. My parents being from Europe did the best they could to adapt to this American life, but as there was no boulangerie on our suburban street corner to get our pet't dej, breakfast became a meal that was in a way ignored.

That is not to say that I didn't eat well as a child, between homemade pasta and bread, i was definitely spoiled with good food. And that is not to say that i didn't Love my carnation instant breakfast, and i still kinda do (- it's chocolaty richness, and pebbles of not quite mixed in mix that pop in your mouth. The best.)

But discovering granola was like finding the golden egg of just good for you comfort food. And not just any kind of granola, but home made granola. The kind that fills your home with the sweet aroma that hugs you. There is nothing like it. I have had the store bought variety, and they do not compare, it is a whole different universe in the world of cereals.


Nastalgia with a side of Gazpacho

Summer will always remind me of Gazpacho, and Gazpacho will always remind me of the summer in Barcelona. The summer my husband and I spent learning Spanish (hopelessly), when we were just engaged. Walking to and from the beach, by the powerful smell and intoxicating flavor of white peaches in the peak of ripeness, watching bad American films, playing Gin Rummy, and drinking gazpacho.

Not just any Gazpacho, but the gazpacho that comes out of a milk carton, sold in the oddly scarce grocery stores, that tastes best when grabbed from the fridge door, and drunk straight from the carton.


A Simple Start.

Three bean salad.

I had never heard of it until a friend took me to an independent sandwhich shop where they accompany their wraps with a small serving of it on the side. While the wrap was good, I would have gladly given it up for ten more servings of their three bean salad. For a little salad, it sure packed a hit of flavor. Summer flavors. It awakened and refreshed.

I had to have more. A lot more.

And since going back to Limoni (the sandwich shop) for every meal was not an option, I set to work in the kitchen with a pile of beans. A little tinkering...omit the vinegar, squeeze of lime, a bit more, cilantro garnish, dash of salt, and I got it. Oh sweet heaven, i'm in love.

I am not certain that it is the same salad I first sampled. But I am certain that it is delicious, and madly addictive. And that everyone I mention it to asked for the recipe, and then become addicted as well. Then it spread to their family and friends. A small phenomena that swept my world.