the granola years

I grew up in a "crunchy" (all natural health freak) home after it was hip to be crunchy and before it became hip again.

There are times when I vividly remember what this was like. When I was very young I didn't know any different so it wasn't something I really noticed. As I got older and spent more time at other people's homes the differences practically slapped me in the face. When I moved out of the house, there were even more things I noticed and now that I have kids, I find myself reminiscing often about the types of foods I ate.

Today, as I was baking bread, I was thinking about some of the things I resented about my crunchy upbringing as I got old enough to know different. (in the interest of full disclosure, as I got older we did get the occasional twisty cone from McDonald's or blizzard from Dairy Queen as a treat on the way home from church or something).

Top 10 lessons from someone who grew up crunchy and lived to tell about it:

1. Carob IS NOT, in ANY way, under NO circumstances a valid substitute for chocolate
2. Baked sweets (like cookies) SHOULD NOT, under ANY circumstances be made with whole wheat, rice or other flour
3. Over the counter medications – especially pain and cold meds. – are indeed a gift directly from the Almighty.  Heating pads and cold packs cannot hold a candle to ibuprofen for taking away growing pains or menstrual cramps and vicks vap-o-rub does not help a cold unless sniffing menthol fumes makes you happy
4. Most people do not have an industrial strength wheat berry grinder in their home for the purpose of grinding their own whole wheat flour
5. I completely get the phrase "it's better than sliced bread"
6. The best hiding place for vitamins is behind, under or between the couch cushions
7. Carrot Cake made with whole wheat flour and honey is not a valid birthday cake
8. And just to drive point 1 home – Carob chips in a zip bag do not count as an Easter/Christmas/Fall Festival (we did not celebrate halloween) treat
9. Food co-op pick up warehouses smell of body odor, cod liver oil and dirt…just sayin'
10. Distilled water (and yes, we actually owned a distiller) tastes funny

those are the ones I thought of today while kneading dough. (only 35% whole wheat which I bought at the store with a quarter cup of ground flax tossed in…ok, so maybe SOME of those habits stuck a bit)

4 thoughts on “the granola years

  1. LOL … oh, Mak … this takes me back to my childhood. We grew up semi-crunchy … in Vermont, everyone is semi-crunchy. Point number 1 … should be posted in every food co-op everywhere. Someone told me that lie one time. I tasted carob exactly once … and spat it out. YUCK!! The only substitute for chocolate is better chocolate. And I don’t understand why anyone would need a substitute anyway. As an adult I now enjoy more texture in my food and love whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc. And I add oats to some cookie recipes or use King Arthur white whole wheat … which is indistinguishable from white flour … in baking sweets. I remember that going to friends’ homes was such a huge treat because … they got to eat Wonder Bread! and drink whole milk!! and eat Skippy or Jif peanut butter. We had the natural kind.

  2. LOL. I got sick almost every time I went to a sleepover from eating pizza and candy.OMG, I can't believe I forgot the peanut butter – that's what originally prompted me to write this since I had natural PB for lunch. I was shocked to discover there was PB out there that you didn't have to stir and refrigerate.

  3. Refrigerate? OMG … then it would’ve stayed somewhat mixed. Don’t get me wrong. Now I love natural PB and won’t eat anything else. But when I was a kid? Gack … getting that oily slime all over the place everytime you wanted a sandwich was just vile. And … it never came in jars, but plastic tubs because of course we got it from a co-op. [sigh] Here’s the funny thing … one of my all time favorite treats now … is a PB&J made with skippy or jif, on white bread with a glass of 2%. It feels like the ultimate in decadence. It’s soooo silly.

  4. I hear ya Sonja. It's funny though, I went the complete opposite for a long time and I find I'm now returning to a lot of that. As you said in your other comment, returning to a lot of that wisdom but in our lifestyle and with moderation. It's also kind of funny that my parents are nowhere near where they were back then….but still VERY crunchy

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