I have this weird half-memory of a story on cassette tape that my teacher would sometimes play to the class when I was like, eight years old, about some kids who were cursed or something and they forgot how to sing Happy Birthday and when they tried to it came out as this disturbing, discordant mumble. (I tried googling the premise and can’t find anything about it but I swear I didn’t make this up.) Anyway, that’s kind of how I feel about blogging right now. I’ve apparently forgotten how. All I’ve been doing, and I mean all, is just working and sleeping and working and sleeping and obsessively binge-watching Frasier, and every time I’ve been like “right you idiot time to do some goddamn blogging, that thing that you love” I just sit there and stare at the screen and everything that comes out is all stilted and mumbly.
AND THEN. On Monday night I hauled myself out of bed and forced myself to write, and managed about half of this very blog post, before a WISDOM TOOTH of all things decided to roundhouse kick its way through the left side of my mouth, causing indescribable pain (and like, my idea of fun is describing stuff) not to mention a deeply vanity-denting swelling of the left cheek and an enormous sense of helpless neediness.
Seriously, I did not expect this at all. Firstly, my teeth are so well behaved, and secondly, wisdom teeth were supposed to be an issue like, a decade ago. All I can surmise is that my extreme young-at-heart nature also extends to being young-at-mouth, either way it’s monumentally inconvenient and painful and horrible. I ended up going to hospital at 4am on Tuesday night because I was deranged from the pain, followed by a dentist visit where the dentist was astounded at the speed with which my wisdom tooth barged in unannounced (and I was like “this is so Aries of me.) It’s very likely I’ll have to have the unwelcome guest to my mouth ripped out and I’m extremely nervous about it, but till then I’m hepped up on a grunty cocktail of antibiotics and Tramadol, and have been a charming mixture of intensely dozy and high as a kite all day. I decided that while I’m vaguely lucid I might as well try to finish this stupid blog post, since the stiltedness of my creativity has been a major cause of anxiety to me and if I can both distract my brain from the pain with writing and also tick something off my to-do list I might feel slightly better about how much time this vexatious tooth is wasting.
So uh, last week I made this granola stuff, and it is really good and I’m going to attempt to talk about it here in the manner of, you know, a food blog. (Imagine several elaborate air quote gestures inserted at various points in that sentence.)
By “granola” I really mean a collection of toasted grains and seeds and whatnot masquerading as breakfast cereal. It’s crunchy and nutty and puffy and really weirdly delicious and filling but also extremely light-textured, with not a single oat in sight: instead I round it out with toasted buckwheat which is super nutty and crunchy, and puffed amaranth, which is just devastatingly adorable – when you put the granules of it over a high heat it puffs up like the tiniest popcorn, like popcorn for bees, like, I don’t know why the sight of tiny miniature stuff doing its best makes me emotional, it’s not even the Tramadol that’s making me get worked up about this, but all we can do, collectively across humankind, is try to accept it. Maple syrup glues it together – an expensive ingredient, hence the “lux” of the granola’s name – and makes it pleasingly clumpy and sweet, and the almonds and sesame seeds give further nutty toasty flavour and crunch. Plus simply knowing about all the superfood-on-superfood action happening in the ingredients is extremely good for the soul, and presumably the bod also.
Also please note that while the recipe looks complicated you’re honestly just toasting all the individual ingredients in a pan over a high heat, that’s like, it, I just for some reason cannot explain it in any kind of succinct manner.
lux maple granola
a recipe by myself
- one cup amaranth
- one cup quinoa
- one cup buckwheat
- one cup sesame seeds
- one cup almonds
- four tablespoons maple syrup
- pinch of sea salt
Get yourself a large, ideally nonstick frying pan, and a large bowl. Put the pan on a high heat, and then pour in a few tablespoons of the amaranth. After a few seconds it should start popping and puffing up. Keep it moving so it doesn’t burn, and don’t worry if all of it doesn’t puff up – as long as most of it does, you’re all good. Tip it into the bowl and carry on with the rest of the amaranth. Then, tip in some of the quinoa – some of the grains might pop a bit but your aim here is just to gently toast the grains. Once they’re sufficiently browned, tip them into the bowl with the amaranth and continue to toast the rest. Then, toast the buckwheat grains until they smell nutty and are lightly browned, followed by the sesame seeds – which should brown really quickly – and finally the almonds. Roughly chop up the toasted almonds before tipping them into the bowl as well. Finally, add the salt and pour in the maple syrup, give it a good stir and then transfer into an airtight jar or container.
I ate it, as you can see from the pictures, layered up with really thick natural yoghurt and freeze-dried raspberry powder, which was a spectacularly good way to enjoy it. I’m just someone who happens to have a lot of freeze-dried powdered fruits around for some reason, but it would be also wonderful in a bowl drenched in your preferred kind of milk, or just served alongside a heaping spoonful of yoghurt with whatever fruit and accoutrements you fancy. You could also layer it up all cute like I did but use IRL fruit or something – jarred passionfruit syrup or tinned peaches would also be delightful here. You’ve got options, is what I’m saying.
All I’ve done today, aside from thrashing about in pain and having extremely dribbly naps, is watch Nigella Lawson re-runs, possibly the most comforting TV I can imagine in these difficult-of-tooth times. At one point I literally dreamed that she put her cool hand on my hot forehead and it was honestly almost worth the entire ordeal just for that dream; but also watching her cooking reminds me that this is what I love to do and it’s something I can do and will do. I’m really hoping that once this useless fang heals up that I’ll be all It’s A Wonderful Life and be completely reinvigorated to write, like, vigorously, but even just feeling something other than nonstop pain would be a real kick right now.
Anyway, I’m feeling the Tramadol pulling me downwards which means it’s time for me to snooze and dribble lavishly on my pillowcase again, but I’m glad I got this done and also I can’t wait for my stupid face to get better so that I can eat the rest of this delicious granola. Currently the simple act of chewing causes black-out levels of pain! Good times.
title from: The Knife, Silent Shout. I love the hook in this song, it’s like the sensation of lemonade bubbles rising and falling in musical form.
Anthems for a Seventeen-Year Old Girl, Broken Social Scene. I CANNOT STOP LISTENING TO THIS SONG. The repetitiveness, especially about halfway through when it really kicks in, is so hypnotic and melancholy. I love it.
Animal Nitrate, Suede. I really like this song.
The Avalanche, Sufjan Stevens. This is the only song of this that I like and it’s not on Spotify and it’s ruining my life! I also have not listened to any other songs by him.
next time: let us hope that I have my ability to write back and also my ability to have teeth in my mouth in a chill manner.