I have a song for every day of the week, and the Stones own Tuesday. In part this is because I love the Stones (who doesn't?) paying tribute to them before I make my way to work makes for a happier day spent in Cubicleland. Also, "Ruby Tuesday" is easy listening for people prone to noise sensitivity prior to 10am.
There's no such thing as a bad Stones song, and while it would be wrong to play favourites, "Ruby Tuesday" holds a special place in my heart. Mostly it reminds me of my cousin Kate, who, at a yearly summer get-together, adamantly declared we play it, her blonde head swinging in the hot, still air. I don't remember what comes next -- maybe she got up on a chair and sang along loudly to it. I wouldn't put it past her. But I do remember feeling pretty free and content. And listening to the Stones long into the evening.
This Tuesday is my first day back from Vacationland. The bad news is that my vacation has come to an abrupt halt, not to be resurrected in any way until the holiday season is in full swing. On the bright side, I did a bit of cooking: there's a pot of white bean, sweet potato, kale, and chorizo stew that simmered away in a robust homemade stock; I pulled together some chicken fajitas and mushroom omelettes while my friend was here visiting; and this granola, my new favourite granola recipe.
There's a few things I like about this. It's not a bad way to meet a Tuesday morning. It has this sweet-salty thing going on that I, as a big-time salt afficionado, adore. Like most granola recipes, it's relatively quick to toss together, and if you choose the right peanut butter -- I am dead SOLD on this crunchy Ontario brand, come hell or high water -- you end up with a truly remarkable product. For those who prefer clumpy granola, this should fit the bill nicely.
If you're looking to use up some of those leftover pumpkin seeds, this recipe offers a lovely arena. Although the original is quite good, I've modified it slightly to meet my tastes (and dietary restrictions.)
Peanut Butter & Honey Granola
Adapted from the Kitchn
Yields about 4 cups
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup hulled roasted pumpkin seeds
1.5 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup honey (I prefer wildflower honey)
1/4 cup demerrara or light brown sugar
1 cup natural peanut butter
1.5 tsp real vanilla extract
2/3 cup grapeseed or olive oil
3/4 cup roughly chopped dates (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine oats, seeds, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
Heat honey, brown sugar and peanut butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the peanut butter is melted and well combined. Turn off the heat. Slowly add in the oil.
Using a spatula, carefully mix the hot, wet ingredients with the dry ones. You're looking for a slightly rough, chunky texture. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes, stirring at 10-12 minute intervals, until amber-coloured. Remove from oven and let cool completely before tossing with the dates, if using, and storing in an air-tight container. For best results, use within two weeks.