Embrace the Day

My world is calm again. We wake up and snuggle in the sunlight. I sit on the floor, cradling my cup of sencha. We gather in pools of sunlight, and celebrate the coming of the light. I know why my people have prayed to this light for millennia before me. It banishes the dark and soothes our fears. The very force for life. The kitten guards the corners and sleeps at my feet in the night. Nothing that creeps or crawls or flies can escape her her sleeping ears. I am reminded that my fears were not even as tangible as those imagined bugs. I visualize those fears and that lingering sadness evaporating in the sun’s warmth. We are happy in these moments, when the Earth is new again and the whole day is before us.

There must have been a ferocious wind that night. A wind that carried away the old me, that other person, frightened and uncertain. It tossed me about for a few months, small as I and helpless as I was. Throwing me into a new life. It is cliched because it is true: time heals all wounds. Enough mornings have passed now, I am at peace with it, with that night. As I am with another night, many years ago. I have grown from the span of these nights. If the universe should throw another one of those nights my way, I shall vanquish it, like my kitten with a bug. And we shall grow stronger. No night lasts forever, morning always comes.

And each morning, it has been just one little step at a time. I am beginning to believe that we are lucky, to be given this world, and the chance to dream and aspire. The pursuit of happiness, our shared human goal. I am but a tiny particle sharing in that goal. But that sharing in the strife and striving makes me feel that just maybe everything will be okay.

Here, I offer you my tribute to the morning – granola. If we are what we eat (or ingest), I would be about 60% tea, and at least 15% yogurt-granola-fruit. My favorite breakfast (and snack!) by far.

I use the same base of rolled oats, wheat bran, powdered milk, butter and honey and vary the nuts, spices, and dried fruit. That base is deliciously wholesome, complex with wheat bran and invisible milk, comforting with butter and honey. 

This is one of my new favorite variations. It has a vaguely Indian feel, with the coconut, pistachios, and that spicy kick. Don’t fear the garam masala and cinnamon’s ferocious smell while you’re mixing it, it will mellow with the oven’s heat. It tastes lovely eaten out of hand, but throwing it into a bowl of yogurt or milk will tame the spices to a bare whisper.

Darjeeling Granola
4 1/2 cups of rolled oat
1/2 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup nonfat powdered milk
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1/3 cup cacao nibs
1/2 tbsp garam masala
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cut into cubes
3/4 cup honey
Optional – 1 egg white (for more clustery, glossier granola)

Preheat oven to 300°F. While it heats, grab a large bowl and combine oats, wheat bran, powdered milk, shredded coconut, pistachios, cacao nibs and salt. Mix thoroughly. In a small saucepan, combine cubed butter, honey, garam masala, and cinnamon. Heat over low heat until the honey is just melted. Slowly pour over the oat mixture, stirring while you pour (with large spoon or rubber spatula). If you are using the egg white, gently stir it into the mixture.
Divide the mixture evenly between two large baking sheets or jelly rolls pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or checking and gently stirring every 10-15 minutes for more even browning. Stir and check less often if you want a more cluster-studded granola, but you may find yourself checking more often if you’re paranoid about burning your granola (as I am).
Allow the granola to cool before snacking or packing away.

p.s. Dear lovely, lovely readers… thank you for your sweet comments. I was literally teary-eyed as I read some of them while I waited for a class to begin (not the best place to get teary…). Thank you for remembering me, and thank you for your kind, kind comments. I have no words to tell you how much they mean to me.

 

81 comments:
  1. thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. i read this and thought: we are probably friends at heart.

    wishing you a wonderful day – to continue with the blissful morning.
    xo
    scarlett
    http://www.forkandflower.com

  2. Priya,

    So glad to know that you are feeling better Joyti.

    Your kitten sounds exactly like my dogs back at home. Imaginary bugs, birds and millipedes rule their world :)

    The granola look so good. I must try it sometime. Love that last pic:)

  3. notyet100,

    Ummmm perfect bowl for me

  4. You sound like a wonderful poet…well written…Darjeeling granola looks delicious… :-)

  5. manu,

    What a lovely post ♥

  6. Foodycat,

    What a beautiful post and what a magnificent granola recipe! Thank you for sharing.

  7. Baby Sumo,

    Thanks for dropping by at my blog. What a wholesome breakfast. :)

  8. Your writing is beautiful! As is the granola – I love granola any time of day!

  9. divya,

    Looking so yummy & gorgeous…. Lovely presentation. :-)

  10. Anna,

    I’ll raise a glass of milk to many more happy shiny mornings :D I find the garam masala in granola intriguing, I’ll have to give this a try.

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, and this gorgeous granola recipe.

  12. Cheers to peaceful mornings and continuing to grow stronger. Garam masala in granola is a superb idea. Thank you.

  13. Love your writing and the photo of the granola!

  14. Gloria,

  15. Emma,

    “If we are what we eat (or ingest), I would be about 60% tea”

    Me too!!

    Deliciously crunchy looking granola, love the addition of cacao nibs, I never know what to do with those.

  16. Serina,

    Thanks for your comment, I’m now following you because your food looks delicious!! x

  17. I love the opening of this post. Sounds like you are much happier and you are ready to absorb life more. :) I love granola but never made my own…(call me lazy). I love how you take pictures of simple things yet it seems like each one has a story to tell.

  18. My dear friend, I am so glad you’ve found peace. I read your last post and thought, “How apt that while she tends her wounds, she’s still thinking of our bellies.”

    What a beautiful soul you are.

  19. Juliana,

    I am so glad that you are finding happiness and peace…I always love your pictures.
    The granola sounds awesome Joyti…hope you are having a wonderful week!

  20. Love the granola recipe. Have never thought of making these, with this recipe, I could try as it does look really easy.

  21. Beautiful thoughts, and your granola looks absolutely hearty! Thank you for stopping by and for your sweet comment <3

  22. Your granola looks and sounds amazing!! I must give it a try. Have a wonderful week!!

  23. The cocoa nibs would be a lovely inclusion for sure

  24. Krys,

    As I sit here, reading your post, I’m also eating granola…well, granola cereal, but it’s very close. Thanks for sharing your recipe and your thoughts ^^

  25. Jess,

    Joyti- Beautiful post. I’ve just discovered the wonderful things that happen when spice is added to granola, and I will never be able to go back. Can’t wait to try your version.

  26. Mmmm love the masala addition in here. Must make granola stat!

  27. Beautiful post and even more beautiful blog!
    Granola is one of my favorites; especially cereal! And the addition of pistachio nuts is wonderful!

  28. First visit to your blog, congratulations it’s charming, meaningful and the granola recipe looks delicious!
    What a wonderful way to start the day :)

  29. First time your space beautiful blog .yummy granola .recipe .am following u . glad if u will follow me back dear..

  30. Dear Joyti,
    Reading your post has filled me with a sense of peace. Thank you! I am so glad you are doing better now and things seem to be falling into place again in your world.

    Thank you, as well, for visiting with Thursday, Charlotte Framboise and I at The Tearoom today! They were so happy to meet you!

    I hope your Valentine’s Day was a special one.

    Betty

  31. Hi Joyti! I am loving your blog and seriously glad that you popped over. Now I get to catch up on all your amazing clicks and posts. Hope all is well and wishing you a Happy Belated Valentine’s Day. Stay in touch.. xoxo, Jo

  32. Love your charming blog and thanks for your thoughts and cool pictures. Hope you had a great Valentine’s day.

  33. Your writing and photos are so beautiful and thanks for sharing your thoughts. Be strong and study hard!

  34. Phong Hong,

    Hi Joyti! Am paying you a quick visit. Yum, granola with garam masala! Now that must be so full of flavours. Will definitely try it because I just bought a bottle of garam masala last weekend. I will come back to explore more. Thanks for dropping by my blog!

  35. what beautiful words, i hope 2013 brings many wonderful things. this granola is the perfect way to start off each day, it certainly would make me smile with each bite! i bet it would also be wonderful with coconut oil or olive oil- to harmonize with the pistachios and garam masala!

  36. It warms my heart, Joyti, that you’re finding peace. That feeling is like a delicate spice that lingers on life’s tastebuds. And your granola recipe is yummy! (Love granola; love blueberries; avocados, too-but not for breakfast.)

    Thanks for stopping by. But both golf tournaments will be in 2014.

  37. It warms my heart, Joyti, that you’re finding peace. That feeling is like a delicate spice that lingers on life’s tastebuds. And your granola recipe is yummy! (Love granola; love blueberries; avocados, too-but not for breakfast.)

    Thanks for stopping by. But both golf tournaments will be in 2014.

  38. Sissi,

    Thank you for this soothing, positive post. I sometimes lose hope in the winter and start being afraid spring and sun will never come back…
    The granola looks lovely and intriguing with the spices’ addition. What would we do without green tea? I’m also a big fan.

  39. kankana,

    I enjoy your writing so much. You have a talent to make people visualize!

  40. What beautiful words. The mooring brings such promise for this pursuit, doesn’t it? I adore it. This granola looks just beautiful, thank you for sharing.
    Heidi xo

  41. Wonderfully written post ! Even the intro of your recipe sounds like a poetry :D The granola sounds as wonderful as your post ! Yum !

  42. This granola sounds superb! Love all the interesting flavors that you’ve incorporated into it. And your photographs are beautiful–particularly love those speckled eggs :)

  43. beautiful post Joyti. Your words have such a melodic peacefulness to them.

    Granola I make all the time, and am currently playing with raw ones. The garam masala I would never have thought to put in so I will have to try that (toasted or raw.) Give me spices any day :-)

  44. This is a lovely looking granola and I love the combination of all the different nuts. This must have great texture xx

  45. Sorry, I meant not just the nuts giving it texture but the combination of all the lovely ingredients xx

  46. Glad to hear you’re feeling better. Thanks for the visit to my blog. Your granola recipe looks and sounds delicious!

  47. Yasmeen,

    This post embodies all the reasons I have come back to Darjeeling Dreams for more, more, and more. I love and share your attitude, your gratitude for life. It’s a beautiful thing to behold, that feeling of luck and happiness to just be here and experience it.

    Beautiful recipe as well. We love granola and I will definitely be trying yours.

  48. Oh glorious post….happy to discover this blog…granola recipe sounds yum…

  49. Oana,

    What an absolutely lovely post. I had goosebumps all over. It is so wonderful of you to share this part of yourself. And such lovely photos :)

  50. Cakelaw,

    I would love to sit down to a bowl of this granola every day – it looks absolutely perfect.

  51. Joanne,

    I do love to think of each new day as refreshing…and a chance to start again. This granola is the perfect way to kick it off. There are so many beautiful flavors in here.

  52. I love all the ingredients you used… Yum!

  53. I’m so happy you stopped over to my blog and commented, as it led me here. I love your space, and your writing is honest and beautiful. I will definitely be returning!

  54. Sarah,

    wow! that granola sounds like a party in your mouth… what a great way to start the day… your description of dawn is simply awesome… Made me wish that I could just learn to enjoy my mornings… instead of running around like a headless chicken as I am being overwhelmed by a 100 different worries of the day ahead….

  55. Mallika,

    I love the way you write. Its beautiful and heart warming! That granola looks delicious!

  56. Yum! I’ve never had Granola but yours looks fantastic!

    Thanks for the recipe :)

  57. HI Joyti, I am happy that wind blew away that old self, and left you embracing the dawn. all is well.

    there are many granola recipes in the world, but I know that I can count on yours to be among the best of the best.

  58. debajyoti,

    Hey, this is such a lovely post!! it’s poetry in the garb of a prose. Absolutely loved it!

    Was searching for your blog link.

  59. sangeeta,

    Hi Joyti, it’s so endearing to read about a positive change in life something that we all look forward to. Lovely post and a yum granola recipe.

  60. I loved your post…it gave me a sense of joy to feel that I am lucky to be a part of this world! Your breakfast recipe sounds wonderful, Joyti!

  61. Krystal,

    i love your writing. i hope your path keeps going uphill.

  62. Jyoti ,this is a beautiful piece of writing I have read it after a long while. Each morning begins with new hope and may you get what you aspire to be.
    Loved the beauty of the prose and oh yes the granola too

    Sukanya

  63. Amy,

    What a beautiful post. I really enjoy your photography and writing. :) I love granola too. I’ve gotta give it a try and add cinnamon and garam masala next time. Thanks for sharing.

  64. Hi Joyti, I’ve just stumbled on your beautiful blog, and very much enjoyed reading your posts!
    p.s. nice granola recipe, I have it almost every day too, but never thought of putting garam massala in it.

  65. Debs,

    A beautiful post. I’m glad the night beasts bother you no longer. The power of kittens are amazing. xxxx

  66. Yasmeen,

    Hi Joyti! I’m back once more, but this time to tell you that I made this gorgeous granola and loved it.

    The coconut, cacao nibs and garam masala elevated this to another level. It should be no surprise to you that I just adore your style, but now I’m even more sold :) Keep up the beautiful work. Can’t wait to see what this year has in store for you.

  67. Amelia,

    Hi Joyti, excellent posting. Always enjoyed drop by your blog. That granola look healthy and yummy. Thanks for sharing your interesting recipe.

    Have a nice week ahead, regards.

  68. Lady Grey,

    If we are what we eat, I seriously might be a whopping 40% granola! During my pregnancy all I wanted to eat was granola and soymilk. It was almost ridiculous. I still joke about how my baby is made of oats & honey ; )

    I’m looking forward to trying your version one day. I love the idea of garam masala in it.
    xo

  69. I’m pinning the granola recipe… I live for this stuff!!!

  70. beautiful blog! and beautiful post and beautiful recipe :)

  71. Thank you for such a fresh perspective. :)

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  73. grace,

    what an interesting batch of granola! i love the coconut and pistachios in there, and the garam masala must provide such a complex and delicious flavor!

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