Memoirs and Granola

I want to live a memoir worthy life. At 85, I want to have too many chapters to write. I want a whole section dedicated to heart breakers, past lovers and how wading through a sea of men led me to some brilliant discovery.

I want to fill pages with adventures. Scribble out notes on paper napkins in the dive bar of some back alley town I happened upon. I want to remember to carry around notebooks so I can channel that artist that is in me somewhere and write about those moments that we think we’ll remember, but we always forget.

I will write about finding myself in New Zealand, about seeing the Northern Lights on a darkened road in Iceland. I will write about late night cemetery wanderings with the one that got away, and how this boy in Texas showed me what it meant to be loved properly. I will sprinkle in humor and a dash of self-deprecating sarcasm.

My grandma, who is my role model and soul mate, is currently working on piecing together the story of her life. Sitting over her typewriter, she pulls her memories out of thin air—her four husbands, losing the love of her life, having a slaughterhouse as a backyard during the depression. Her life is a Gauguin painting, a John Coltrane song, a large glass of wine… my grandma has lived every second to its last drop.

I can only hope for the same.

I have big dreams and tiny seedling plans. I will take my bicycle across the country and work on farms along the way. I will hike the Pacific Crest Trail with my sister. I will learn how to be better at failing, and tackle my stubbornness head on. I will let my walls down someday, for someone. Or I will let a portion of my walls down for a whole lot of somebodies. I will learn to build something important, successfully grow tomatoes, learn to brew beer and turn most last night trysts into star-gazing opportunities.

To start, I will climb a mountain. The other morning I decided I needed to summit Mt. Baker. So, on July  25th , I will climb to fight breast cancer. I am climbing for my aunt, for all the young women out there who came into this cancer and are fighting tooth and nail to beat it. I am climbing for myself, to test my strength, to raise money for breast cancer and to start collecting stories. Climbing a mountain… there’s something worth writing about.

Quinoa, Coconut and Chia Seed Granola

This is the like super healthy fat kid granola. Honestly, once you start snacking on it, you can’t stop. I had it for dessert one night, it’s that good. Pace yourself, or you’ll end up eating the whole batch.

  • 1 1/2 cups GF rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 1/3 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine all of the ingredients (except the fruit and coconut). Spread the mixture out in a thin, even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and stir to distribute any browning. Place it back in the oven for 10 minutes more. Remove and stir in the fruit and coconut.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes longer or until the mixture is a deep golden brown. Allow to cool. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

I realize this isn't a picture of granola OR Mt. Baker, but it sums up how I feel about the next chapter of my life. Grand things, my friends... Grand things, indeed.

I realize this isn’t a picture of granola OR Mt. Baker, but it sums up how I feel about the next chapter of my life. Grand things, my friends… Grand things, indeed.