Monday, March 18, 2013

Yesterday was a slow Sunday.....

 The other day Mark went out to check on some smoke that was coming our way. It was coming from the direction of a neighbor who does not have the best judgement on burning.
It was about 2 years ago that during one of his spring burns the fire got away from him and blew up an old car on his property. The explosion and billowing black smoke did make us a bit nervous that he could burn down the woods between us and him. We thought it might be best to go over and check the smoke out.

While Mark was walking over to check on the smoke he walked right up on these deer antlers.
It is so rare to find these in a pair that we think they were dropped the night before or even early that same morning.In all the years we have lived here this was the first ones we have seen.
Antlers are a source of good calcium for the critters and are usually carried away or chewed on by the time you do find them.
Mark cleaned them up and now the conversation is what to do with them?
I am voting hat rack while he tried to talk me into a chandler. Uh, I don't think so.
 On Sunday I was making some granola and remembered this trick that I had learned many years ago and thought I would share it with you.
I always buy bulk almonds and when using them in granola and some other dishes they need to be blanched. All you do is get some water to boil and throw them in for about a minute or two.
Then put cold water on them to cool.
When cooled you just pinch the skins and out pops the almond. 

I like to dry them off a bit by tossing them in the warming oven that is waiting for the granola. Preheat your oven to 250.

It has been awhile since we were on the granola kick but we are back at it.
It is so easy and taste much better than any store bought I have ever had. The store bought is just too sweet.

I start with 4 cups of good old fashion oats. Then I add about 1 TBS. cinnamon and a hit of allspice.
Then I add 2 cups of any variety of nuts.
Walnuts, pecans, almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and wheat germ can be added.
This round had walnuts, pecans, almonds and sunflower seeds.
After you have at least 6 cups of dry you will need at least 1 cup of wet.
I use 1/4 cup of oil and then I add honey, molasses and maple syrup to measure 3/4 to 1 cup.

Honey, I use good local, is my base with about 1 TBS. good vanilla, about 2 TBS molasses and then top with good maple syrup.
Beat it well and then pour on top of oats and stir like crazy to coat the dry.

Put the whole mess on a large cookie sheet and toast 15 minutes, stir, 10 minutes, stir, 10 more minutes stir and then add dried fruit. I use a combo of raisins and dried cranberries. You want to put the fruit in for only about 10 minutes or it will burn. ( don't like fruit don't use it, don't like raisins use what you do like, this is not rocket science.)
 Let the granola cool about 2 hours before you put it in a glass jar or something that will keep it air tight.
Then just enjoy.

Late Sunday afternoon I spotted this Osprey feasting on a fish while sitting in a tree close to the pond.

I thought for sure he would be gone before I could find Mark and tell him but he was there for about 30 minutes eating away.

This was the best picture we could get from a distance. A minute after this was taken he/she was gone.

We will be loading tomorrow after a few delays. I will get some pictures as we load.

Soon new pots will be on the shelf.


Michèle Hastings said...

LOVE the dear antlers!! What a great find. I think they would be great coat hooks. I have a few skulls hanging in the house. They don't serve a purpose, other than that I like them and remind me of Georgia O'Keefe.

As for granola... most store bought is not very healthy. Yours sounds delicious and nutritious.

cookingwithgas said...

thanks we sure enjoy it.
and the antlers are a real find.

angela walford said...

where there's smoke there's antlers....

Mr. Young said...


Write pie in capital letters, hold it up to a mirror.
Coincidence? I think not!

smalltownme said...

I found one antler in my backyard. I put it on the shelf next to a cat skull and a chunk of wood chewed/carved by a beaver.

Laurie said...

You're inspiring me to make granola again. I used to do my almonds that way when I'd make almond milk. I've found one antler here. To find two is special, for sure.

smartcat said...

They obviously are part of the Baratheon sigil from Game of Thrones.....I would be carrying them around with me!

Sandy miller said...

What a great find! I used to make antler baskets years ago. They are shaped like the old baskets. I still have one around here somewhere. My Dad used to give me his antlers after hunting season, none so nice as your set. Had moose antlers on the porch one year, had a ball watching all the chipmunks and squirrels "tasting" everyday.

Great almond tip! Thanks. At the moment almonds are more expensive than meat here! Yesterday walnuts were $9.99 a pound! Time to plant filbert trees :)

Richard Hattaway said...

Antlers.. put a nice sign on Mark's desk, attach the antlers, and inscribe "The Buck Stops Here" ..

I'm over run with deer and I've only seen one in many years. Nice find.

Now I wanna make Granola..

cookingwithgas said...

I like the buck stops here. That would make us both laugh. I hear they are hanging in the clay studio now....better than over my eating table.

It would be fun to watch critters taste these but we have so many critters I try to keep some away from the hose.
We have had some taste the house before. Then we have to figure out how to discourage them.
I think I will see these as a good luck sign.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

hey, I love making granola too! I have 2 recipes, not all that different from yours, although I go with the bulk almonds straight in with no blanching :) AWESOME antlers!

Cynthia said...

I was about to vote with Mark for the chandelier, but then saw Richard's idea - "The Buck Stops Here" - teehee.

Amy said...

thanks for the granola pic! can't wait to see the new pots.

cookingwithgas said...

yea, I think the buck stops here wins... and the granola is the best.

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

I just saw a recipe that adds one egg white to the granola to make it clump together. I'm on a granola kick here too. So good...I can't believe I went years without making my own.

Love the antlers!