It’s eleven o’clock and BF is still under the covers trying to sleep. “Trying” is the key word as by this time on a Saturday I, Roommate, and the cats are all going about our business. The cats are bouncing all over the place running into one room to stop and freak out before dashing to the next, I’m usually cooking with reruns of Sex and the City or Xena blasting in the background, and Roommate may or may not be on the phone loudly chattering away like a chipmunk with a megaphone.
This morning might be exceptionally hard for BF as I sit on his stomach and grin at him, plodding him to finally get out of bed. Of course, it isn’t as bad as the mornings where I rush in in an exaggerated chipper attitude, yank open the curtains to let the light in, and beam in a sing-songy voice, “Rise and shine! It’s a beautiful day! It’s the first day of the rest of your life!” and so on. I’m like Julie Andrews on ecstasy. It is hilarious. At least to me.
My mom did this way too many times to me as a child to wake me up for school. Generally, I would just roll over and throw the covers over my head and dream of her falling down a well. If she was really in the mood to harass me she would go the extra step and whip the covers off me and barrage me with kisses, and hugs, and affirmations of how much she loved me. By that point the only thing I was self-affirming was matricide.
As an adult though, yes, being on the giving end of this is endlessly fun.
BF, however, just sort of gives me empty look and sighs. He resigned himself to my eccentricities some time ago. Now he just puts up with it and settles for getting me back at some point when he’s more awake. This usually takes the form of waking me up in some terrifying manner (that time he pretended to be a burglar easily chopped a few years off my lifespan) or creeping up on me and swatting me on the butt hard with enough force to cause physiscits to study us.
Lucky for me, I have food to mollify him.
“Open,” I command while pushing food into his face.
“What is it?” he yawns. He scrounges his face trying to adjust his eyes and analyze what is being forced on him.
‘Questions, questions. Too many questions. When I have ever fed you something weird by surprise?” (Weird with warning, yes, many times. Never by surprise.) “Now eat.”
He opens and I pop it in his mouth. He begins to chew and I leave before even getting a response.
I know that he is no longer annoyed. In fact, he’ll probably, finally, wake up and start his day like the rest of us.
“It’s homemade granola!” I shout back before he can ask what it is.
I plop back on the couch to watch some more TV as I wait for the granola to cool. The recipe is one of the best out there as far as I’m concerned. I strong-armed it out of one of the line cooks at Grange during my internship there before taking it home and tinkering with it a bit. A bit of vanilla bean, some orange zest, and heavy hand of coconut makes it one of the simplest and most epic recipe in my repertoire. In fact, this granola is downright addictive, which is why I don’t make it all the time. Otherwise, I would be fat from oats and dried fruit.
A few minutes later BF stumbles into the kitchen and begins hunting for the top of the French press. Depending on who unloaded it the night before it can be in one of three places. Today it’s behind the coffee cups. I feel it’s a logical place as opposed to next to the wine glasses where BF puts it, or next to the coffee where Roommate thinks it’s most appropriate. After finding it he puts some water in the kettles and sets it to heat before turning and looking at the tray of cooling cereal.
“That was good granola,” he mumbles out and smiles. He grabs a handful and heads out to the patio for his morning e-cigarette session.
“FANK-voo!” my mouth full of milk and granola. My parents would be so proud to see how those etiquette classes sunk in.
A few minutes later we both sit down for lunch to a bowl of granola and raw, whole milk from the Farmers’ Market. We pop on an episode of Family Guy and let the cats come cuddle up and get a proper start on another Saturday.
4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup almonds, chopped
3/4 cup flaked coconut
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
2 T orange juice
2 T orange zest
3/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried apricots
1. Preheat your oven to 350º and adjust the top rack to the middle of the oven. Place the oats, coconut, and almonds in a large bowl. Whisk together the maple syrup, vanilla bean seeds and pod, orange juice and zest, and brown sugar in a saucepan and place over medium heat until almost smooth.
2. Pour syrup mixture over oats and stir gently to combine and the oats are well coated. Spread out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake for twenty minutes. Cool completely. (If some of the granola is still sticky and wet bake it for another 7-10 minutes.) Break into pieces and add the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container.