This recipe dates waaaaaaay back to 2002 when I ran my first marathon. My friend Hannah and I decided to train for a marathon while we were living in “Western South Dakota” a.k.a. Eastern Montana. There was little to do but craft and run on long gravel roads.
We trained for the 26.2 mile excursion by driving from our house for 10 miles, parking, and running from home to the car. There was nothing out there to see but pasture lands, horses, and big, big sky. Hannah and I decided to go cheap and planned our run for June in Denver because a) we could drive there, b) her parents lived there and could put us and our cheering crew up for the weekend, and c) there was enough time to train.
Hannah and I had a large cheering crew and the obliged by wearing our signature KAHGB (“Karen and Hannah Going Ballistic), bright pink shirts imprinted with their names. My dad agreed to run the 1/2 marathon with me and proudly sported the 100% cotton shirt on the run.
I will NEVER forget mile 18, parched and cranky. The race was poorly run and didn’t have enough water. Up in the distance, like a mirage on the desert, I saw a tall man in a bright pink shirt. At the ever-so-mature age of 23 I thought, “Oh, there’s my daddy.” And there he was with a bottle of water and a hearty “GO Karen! You can do it!”
The run itself was pretty miserable — a marathon in the “mile high city” and at least 98 degrees at the end which also coincided with one of the worst forest fires the region has seen (I believe it was started by a forest worker who randomly burned an old love note??). As a result, after surviving the run, we had to shuttle back in doors immediately because of all the smoke. Being Denver, there isn’t a whole lot of air conditioning because the HOT days are so rare. Hannah’s parents didn’t have air conditioning and normally relied on open windows to cool off. That wasn’t an option with grey skies and soot!
Fortunately — there was Panacea Granola to snack on! Hannah’s parents had collected this recipe on a trip to the San Juan Islands which are north west of Seattle. They had stayed at a lovely, quaint B&B and found this recipe. We ate it – or rather inhaled it – quickly, and it was non-existent, save a few crumbs within hours.
I normally snack on this by the handful. I don’t know that I’ve ever compromised the flavor with milk, but that’s just me.
3 Tb of canola oil
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of molasses
1/4 cup of honey
3 cups of oats
1 cup of sliced almonds
1 cup of dried cranberries
1/3 cup of sesame seeds
1 cup of almonds
1 cup of walnuts
1/2 cup of pecans
1/4 cup of wheat germ
1/4 cup of ground flax seed
Combine the oil, sugar, molasses and honey in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Combine oats, nuts, and grains (basically, everything else) in a large bowl. Carefully, pour sugar mixture over the oat mixture and stir to evenly coat. This should not be “goopy” or overly sticky. There will probably still be a good deal of dry mixture left over — that’s just fine. Line 2 rectangular cake pans with foil or parchment paper. Distribute the granola evenly between the two. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, stir, and bake an additional 10 to 15.