Starting my day right

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I used to hate breakfasts. I know, I know, my mom had to nag on me every morning and she has “the look” that forced me (or any one of my siblings for that matter) to dump some food on my plate. To clarify, Indonesians eat rice for breakfast, especially fried rice, and funnily enough, that was my least favorite breakfast food. Ugh. So I would get the smallest amount of fried rice, possibly mounting up to three tablespoons tops, and call it a day. In my defense, school starts freakishly early at 6.30am in the morning that I had to wake up at least at 5.30am and had 15 minutes to eat breakfast.

Nowadays, whenever I go home from college during winter breaks, breakfast is a big thing at home. We would sit around the table after having the regular, hour-long morning walks and chat while having a slow, hearty breakfast. This past winter break, I invented the “daily special,” where I would make something special for breakfast that day. Whenever I don’t have enough time, I would make this granola. It’s a basic template recipe that I got from Faith Durand at thekitchn.com and you can try out other variations. I incorporate fewer nuts because nuts are expensive, specifically in Indonesia, which is why I scale back on the salt. You can try out adding more nuts and salt but always better to err on the less salty side. You can also try substituting some of the oil for other nut butter by 1:1 ratio. Ah, thinking back to those mornings makes me miss home and being able to have a talk with my parents every single morning.

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Basic granola

Adapted from thekitchn.com

3 cups oats

1 cup nuts and seeds, chopped

100 ml honey (a bit less than half a cup)

100 ml oil (a bit less than half a cup)

¾ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp cinnamon

pinch of both nutmeg and allspice

Preheat oven to 330 F. Toast the oats for 10 minutes, stirring once.

Combine all the dry ingredients. Mix dry ingredients with the rest of the ingredients.

Decrease the temperature to 300 F. Pat the mixture down on the baking sheet. Toast the mixture for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes (the more you stir, the less clumps you have) until brown and toasty. Let the oats out to dry, the oats mixture would be wet when it first comes out of the oven.

Serve with milk, yogurt, or even just the plain granola.