Thursday, April 8, 2010

Soon to be famous: Jude Butterfly Granola

Cereal in Costa Rica is insanely expensive. It's not part of the culture and it's considered "gringo" food. Since I was born in Foley, Al and raised/reared in Pensacola and Jay, FL, grits and eggs were always a natural breakfast choice. However, grits are nonexistent in Costa Rica. Occasionally I can find polenta for makeshift grits and okay cornbread, but cornmeal is nada as well.
Fortunately they do have a company that makes some excellent products for granola, ie, oats, wheat germ, bran cereal etc.

So, I came up with Jude Butterfly Old Hippie Style granola:

5 cups oats (old fashion variety)
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup milled flaxseed
1 cup oat bran
1 cup mixed cereal bran
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup walnuts
1 cup almonds
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup oil (I use olive oil)
1 cup honey

Mix dry ingredients and then warm the oil a bit in the microwave (less than a minute)
Combine the oil with the honey and pour into the dry mixture and mix well.

Spread into cookie sheet type pans. I like "clumpy" granola so I pat the mixture into the pans like bar cookies and I do not stir while they are baking.

Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for about 20-25 minutes depending on the oven and the degree of brownness you desire.

The recipe is excellent for improvisation. Add or omit whatever you like or dislike. Different nuts, grains etc. After the granola has baked, let it cool and break into chunks. You may add raisins, dried cranberries, cherries. Whatever you like.
We eat it with fruit and yogurt in the mornings and it is wickedly good at night with the addition of dark chocolate chips.

I still love grits and eggs, but I can't get used to saying in my slow southern drawl, "Honey, we're having po-len-ta and eggs for breakfast."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Monkeys are back.

The monkeys finally made a reappearance after being absent for about two weeks. Lots of Mothers and their tiny babies clinging to their backs like little jockeys. In Spanish, they are called mono titis...squirrel monkeys. They are some of the smallest primates; the largest probably not weighing more than 3 pounds.

This is the season for the Mother's to have their babies. The older siblings tagging along and sometimes preforming babysitting duties. The squirrel monkeys are extremely affectionate. Other monkeys stop to pet and offer kisses to the babies while the mothers stop their almost constant movement and rest for a bit. They never cease to fascinate me.