We brought a lot of our food to eat along the way, as some of the islands we visited are uninhabited--i.e., no restaurants and no grocery stores either! Since I am no sailor and had never done anything like this, I relied heavily on my sister's suggestions. Though when the idea of breakfast was floated, I offered to make a double batch of my favorite granola. (And the enormous bag of chocolate chip cookies--but those were your basic and reliable Toll House recipe.) I had served this granola at a family wedding brunch a couple of years ago and it was a huge hit.
Though there was one day when I couldn't face breakfast at all (Note to self--start the Dramamine earlier, much earlier), everyone else was crazy about this recipe. There was not so much as one oat flake left by the end of the week. I like to buy organic ingredients as much as possible--because if you're going to do the work of making something special, it should be good for you too! (So go organic, as much as your budget allows.)
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup broken pecan pieces
3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup (use the real stuff!)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup dried cherries (or raisins if you like them better)
Preheat the oven to 250. Mix oats, almonds, pecans, sugar, and coconut in a bowl. Combine syrup, oil and salt, and then mix into the grains and nuts. Now comes the only time-consuming part: spread the uncooked granola on baking trays. Bake for and hour and fifteen minutes, stopping every 15 minutes to stir the mixture so it browns evenly. Cool and add cherries or raisins. Store in an airtight container, but don't expect it to last very long. It also freezes well. Serve with milk or yoghurt.
Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. DEATH IN FOUR COURSES will be released in September. Please follow Lucy on Twitter, or "like" her on facebook, or sign up for her mailing list!
In the great news department, her story "The Itinerary" (written as Roberta Isleib) has been nominated for an Anthony award.