Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Did I poison us?

It's about time we heard from the "Amber's Flops and Falls and What She's Learned From Them" category, isn't it? I don't like posting about other people's flops, but when it comes to my own, (though I've been told this shouldn't be the case) I actually enjoy sharing. It seems to lessen the embarrassment if I have other people laughing with me. (Note: not at me!)

Anyway...I'm sure you're wondering about the title of this post. Believe it or not, the title poses a serious question. Did I poison us?

The "us" is my family, and the "I" is me, of course. The poison....well, that showed up in the form of one of my famous recipes.

This is a recipe that I will not be sharing in its entirety, just encase some of you cannot resist the temptation to try any new recipe you read. This is not one you want to repeat.

It's a pity, though, because it tastes so good.

I've recently been put in charge of all breakfasts at this house. It's a nice arrangement because I don't mind getting up early and, believe it or not, I actually like thinking about food early in the morning. This morning I had planned to make granola.

BUT - and this is where I start to blush - I have been reading lately about how hard un-soaked grain is on your digestive system. Phytic acid in the grains needs to be broken down, or "predigested" in order for your body to truly make use of the nutrients. This can be done by soaking grain in a acid medium for several hours. Most grain-soaking recipes recommend using buttermilk or kefir to soak the grains, and to do so overnight.

SO - and this is where I started to get into trouble - I decided that dry-baked, ordinary, un-soaked granola (which I LOVE more than candy, by the way) was not the best thing to serve my family. No, no, not I. No indeed! I was going to serve my family soaked granola!

The plan was quite simple. Soak the oatmeal overnight, then in the morning pop it in the oven until it was dry again, and proceed to make the granola as normal. I knew the texture might be a little different, but figured it would still taste good.

We didn't have any buttermilk or kefir on hand, but I wasn't worried. Wasn't sour cream just as good? It was certainly similar. I dissolved a small scoop of the white stuff in 3 cups of water and poured it over the oats. Covering the bowl with a towel, I left it sitting on the table and went to bed.

This morning, I poured the thick mixture into a pan and popped it in the oven.

THIRTY minutes later, the stuff was still stiff and thick. It was a lot like oatmeal, only a little browner. I gave up on achieving the perfect crumbly texture, and mixed in - as well as I could - butter, brown sugar, honey, coconut, and walnuts. I sampled it. Mmmm, this stuff wasn't so bad! Back in the pan it went, to cook for another twenty minutes.

When it came out, I mixed in some flax seed and crumbled graham crackers (don't make a face - it's tasty this way!), and rang the breakfast bell. (Yes, I realize I've practically shared the recipe with you, but please just forget most of what I've told you.)

Mom dubbed the stuff "chewy granola." I kept the name and proclaimed the title to my siblings when they sat down at the table and asked what "that" was. They good-naturedly served themselves some, and we sat and had our normal breakfast time. One of my sisters and I even had second helpings of the granola.

I liked the taste, though one of my sisters said it would be much better if it wasn't almost too thick to swallow. Also, I couldn't quite figure out where that hint of sour taste was coming from. Two of my siblings asked me if I had put lemon juice in this "chewy granola." I assured them I hadn't.

Slowly, it dawned on me.

Was sour cream supposed to sit out over night? Could that little scoop of it be causing that sour taste in the whole batch of granola? I hoped not.

Breakfast over, we hurried to our tasks for the day. I got busy doing some sewing, and my mother took some of my siblings to the library. About 10:30 I found that I was developing a terrible stomach ache. At first I thought that maybe I had just had too much breakfast, but then it got worse. This was certainly the most painful stomach ache I've had in years. I wanted to double over and groan.

Shortly before noon, my mom called the house on her cell phone, just to see how things were going. When I told her how I felt, she mentioned that one of my younger sisters had been complaining of a stomach ache as well. It just happened to be the sister who had eaten a second helping of granola.

I didn't feel like eating at lunch time, but I ate a small something anyway, hoping to settle my insides. But it took until 3:00 for my pain to leave. My lower insides still feel strange.

My family is convinced that my granola is to blame. Sad thing is, I agree with them! But how could such a noble project go so wrong? All I wanted was to make things easier on our digestive system. I keep thinking there must be some way to make soaked granola. Edible soaked granola, that is. Should I try again?

Sad as the state of things is, I can't help laughing. There is a redeeming quality in being able to laugh at yourself. My life would be pretty miserable if I couldn't.

But you know what is terrible? My older sister, Heather, is taking a turn doing a breakfast tomorrow. She decided on zucchini bread (yes, it's that time of year again!). In the interest of saving time, she has already made the bread.

She's also already cut a slice to sample.

And she gave me a bite.

It's perfect. Delicious. Savory.



Alethea Jordan said...

Aww. I'm sorry all that happened.

It is kinda funny, though. =)

Heather said...

Am, sometimes.....well, I don't know what to do with you! :) I'm glad to now know the details of what you did in the kitchen. :) I also just wanted to say, thank you for not killing us. ;) By the way, you know that buttermilk can be made by putting a little bit of lemon juice into some milk. :) Also, one more little thing....please don't try making that recipe again - THANK YOU! :)

Leah said...

Now I know what NOT to do! :)