Randoms 2.1.18

I have been on a real Stella Parks kick lately and that combined with my lifelong inability to settle on a granola recipe meant that I tried her buttermilk granola. It is super good, though not exactly what I am looking for. I think one thing I have learned is that I don’t care as much about clumps as I am supposed to. They are written about as if they are the holy grail of granola recipes but I kind of don’t care if I have clumps. Anyway, hers does have clumps and some nice light crispness and tang thanks to a buttermilk soak. The recipe is definitely worth trying, but a little too fussy to be a regular in my kitchen. I want to be able to just dump a bunch of stuff in a bowl and run. Also maybe I hate dried fruit? The quest continues.

I’ve been thinking a lot about thinking. Specifically about how it feels like there is no longer the time and space to do the hard work of thinking. The speed of the internet has it all coming at us quick and we’re developing these fast triggers responding to things before we have even had the time to think them through. Tavi Gevinson touches on this, and a bunch of other important ideas in her latest editors letter on Rookie.

  • Whatever you need to do to create that space for yourself, do it this year. Do it now. Fight the new pace of thinking designed to keep us in Facebook fights and make Facebook more money. Resist getting so wound up by every story that you accelerate off a cliff into apathy. Lengthen the circuit between a candid thought and your anticipation of how it will be received, a circuit constantly shrinking in fear. Try your ideas out with people you are not desperate to impress, so there’s less ego clouding your discussion.

I was super late to the party, but the My Dad Wrote a Porno podcast is officially the funniest, stupid/dirtiest, most wonderfully British thing I have ever heard. For the uninitiated, three friends read aloud and discuss a series of erotic novels that one of their dads wrote. Few things have brought me more laughs in these dark times.

Alice Levine is one of the three friends and (for me) the star of the show. She also happens to be a food and “lifestyle” writer and along with business partner Laura Jackson works under the moniker Jackson & Levine. The two have hosted pop-up dinners, written for magazines, and designed a capsule collection for Habitat. They also published their first cookbook Round to Ours (great title!), which is super good-looking, if a little toothless. But you gotta love that bizzarro Pennsylvania Dutch cover!


Curious about the dining basics available through Year & Day. Simple, good-looking and (sort-of?) reasonably priced. I especially like the shape of their tumblers, which can be hard to make feel special. I was into the matte black flatware but it seems like hand washing is probably best for them and who wants to worry about spots.


Alicia Kennedy writing about loss and oysters is some peak food writing, in case you missed it back in November: The First Time I Ate an Oyster


Kim Severson covers Medieval times like only she could. It lead me to some truly bonkers reviews for Medieval Times.


We tried KP! Toffee (no idea what is going on with that exclamation point) on our last trip to Madison, Wisconsin. It might have been the best toffee I have ever eaten. I ended up ordering a bunch for holiday gifts. The milk chocolate is where it is at.

20 comments to “Randoms 2.1.18”

  1. Hello! If you haven’t tried Orangette’s Granola No. 5, I’d recommend it. It’s my favorite, but I’m not sure what you’re looking for in a granola so it may be a miss. ( http://orangette.net/2014/04/maybe-hes-right/ ) At the least it’s pretty unfussy and easy to add variations to – like adding millet when you want to feel like a bird!

  2. Aimee! Thanks so much. The version I usually make is basically that, but I split the sweetener between maple syrup and honey. I’ll give her version a try. I also saw a recipe recently that combined rolled oats with quick cooking which got me curious about that, too.

  3. Thinking about thinking is the best. Boredom leads to imagination and is a huge creativity trigger. :) I’ve started driving to work without any distractions- no music or anything. It’s only 30 minutes or so but it’s been a huge help. Also the Freedom app is worth the $.

  4. I’m with you on the not caring about clumpy granola!
    I always want my homemade granola to taste like stuff Julius Meinl sells. I have made the below for years and love making it with cranberries and cashews in the winter.

  5. Haha, it took me a long time to realize it but I also dislike dried fruit, in granola at least. EIther the fruit is dried to a wood chip texture, or it makes your granola soggy. I’m with Aimee — Molly’s Granola No. 5 is great. I like it with a mixture of almonds, pepitas, and pecans for the nuts component. Sesame seeds are also a good addition. It is almost too sweet for me but I tend to eat it as a snack and not by the bowlful; depending how you eat it you might want to reduce the amount of maple syrup.

  6. Ha! I was just coming here to comment that Orangette’a Granola No.5 is great. I have a batch in the oven right now – olive oil, maple syrup, pecans, walnuts, sliced almonds, millet. Yum!

  7. Okay, serious granola question: So many recipes are like “some combination of nuts and seeds and whatever!” but I find that granola is surprisingly finicky. I can reduce the sweetener or change the oven temp a little and it is a totally different granola. So I am so confused by how laissez-faire everyone is about the recipes. Maybe I just have a very well-developed granola palate? ; )

  8. If you’re like me and don’t care for clumps, you have to try La Farm bakery’s granola, which is more like oat caramel than typical granola. I do a 50:50 split of honey and sorghum for the sweetener. La Farm is a bakery in Cary NC started by a French master baker, and I was hooked on his granola from the moment I tried it. http://lakelurecottagekitchen.com/2010/10/08/la-farm-bakery-and-birthday-celebration/

  9. Jeff! Thanks, that seems great. Will try.

  10. Just wanted to second your comments about thinking about thinking. One of the assignments I gave my students this quarter was to be a flaneur for a day – they had to walk around with no distractions (no headphones, no iPhone) and then go to a cafe and write something down about what they observed. There’s no time for slowness or reflection any more!

    And speaking of slowness and reflection: Will and I went to Galena this past weekend and had dinner at the Log Cabin restaurant (trip and restaurant inspired by your post here!). Thank you again for the tips!!!

  11. I also came here to say that Orangette’s Granola no. 5 is the only granola recipe that’s worth bothering with. One bowl, dump it all on the scale, it’s the best. I too don’t care for dried fruit or about clumps. I never chop the nuts. You’re right about some granola recipes being finicky- I’ve tried a few different ones lately, just to mix things up, and none of them are as good as Molly’s.

  12. The beautiful whisper pink tableware at Year + Day is gorgeous. Heavenly even. The stuff of dreams. It would be stunning on a natural linen tablecloth. I appreciate the tip.

  13. I’m with you on the granola clumps – I don’t get the appeal. However, THIS granola gets me unreasonably excited to eat it every morning: https://food52.com/recipes/15831-nekisia-davis-olive-oil-and-maple-granola – I use only 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/3 c olive oil, 1/4 c brown sugar, and usually use a combination of nuts along with the pecans (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts). It’s SO good!

  14. I second Orangette’s Granola No 5. It’s my favorite too.

  15. 5th-ing Molly’s Granola No. 5! For the nut situation I generally use almonds, pecans, and some sesame seeds. I love walnuts but for some reason don’t love them in granola. Once I have a functioning oven again I can’t wait to try Alison Roman’s savory granola – I envision it as a summer go-to with tomatoes and yogurt.

  16. I use Early Bird’s granola recipe (which is what Orangette’s is based off of: http://orangette.net/2012/01/i-am-here-to-tell-you/). However, I skip the seeds and use quick oats, coconut chips from TJ’s, and pecans or hickory nuts. That ends up being a bit of a cross between the original Early Bird and Orangett’s No. 5.

  17. Hi all! Seems like we all like and have tried some variation of the Early Bird granola recipe (aka patient zero in in the contemporary granola movement) I wrote about that one years ago, too. It isn’t my perfect recipe, so I just keep trying new ones to learn more and refine mine. Someday, granola nirvana!

  18. I quite like Molly’s Granola No. 5 but my holy grail is Sarah Kieffer’s via the Bojon Gourmet. I skip the sugar and chocolate and use butter instead of vegetable oil and it is A++. I cannot deal with dried fruit in my granola and this recipe uses none. And those recipes calling for whatever seeds / nuts you like etc etc drive me batty. Sunflower seeds just aren’t the same as macadamia nuts puh-leese.

  19. I didn’t think I could like you more (in a remotely via the internet way, of course), but the fact that you are a MDWAP fan is just the…granola…on the…yogurt. Eagerly anticipating Series 4. <3

  20. Laura Saffioti says:

    February 23rd, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    The granola made at Ten Thousand Waves in Santa Fe (there’s a big jar of it in the guest rooms) is the best granola I’ve ever had. It is so good. Maybe they would share the recipe with you??


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