I Got Into A Fight The Other Night...

Man, people will argue with you about anything. The other night I got into a fight with a guy — not physical, fortunately (he was even older than me, though it would’ve been an awesome sight, at a swank gala in Beacon, NY) — about granola.

Granola is essentially rolled oats toasted in a pan or the oven with stuff in it. Some of that stuff is sweet, and some of that stuff is crunchy — usually. If there is a food in the world that is best adapted to your taste, this is it.

But people will insist that the $8-dollar-a-pound granola they just discovered is The Best. In my experience this means one of two things: It’s either the sweetest — with sweeteners in unrevealed amounts that you could never bring yourself to use unless you closed your eyes — or it has some particular balance of ingredients that they like: Lots of coconut, for example. (That’s me.) That’s fine, but taste varies.

It takes ten minutes to make granola. If you keep the oats at a high percentage, around three-quarters of the total — which is about right — it costs two or three dollars a pound, and that’s with expensive nuts and organic oats. You can adjust the sweetener to your taste, and you can use maple syrup or honey, both of which are superior — that is, natural and almost unprocessed products — to anything you’re going to get in commercial granola. (Making sugar or brown rice syrup is a bit more complicated.)

I’m encouraging you to experiment, and I’m further encouraging you to stock your pantry, not only with oats but with nuts and seeds, which you want to be eating in any case. If you have all that stuff, you can make granola in less time than it takes to make pancakes. This is how I do it; it works, and it’s The Best.

—Mark


THE "BEST" GRANOLA


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