There’s something about watching my sister become a mother for the first time that floods me with nostalgia. My mind is suddenly filled with hundreds of tiny moments and vivid memories from our childhood, and I’m aching to be back in the branches of our favorite tree, covered in sap and bark.
We were both wildly imaginative young girls, always outside catching fireflies, dreaming up other worlds or racing downhill on roller skates. She was the leader of our tiny pack, the strong and fiery one, and I was the sensitive, gentle soul just happy to be along for the ride.
For as long as I can remember, it was just the two of us. We were a family who liked to move a lot, and for most of my childhood, she was my only friend. But I never needed anyone else. She protected me, cared for me and was as loyal as they come. She loved me the way only a big sister does, with all her might, and with complete authority. And I did whatever she asked because I loved her right back.
Even after our interests became different, and even on days when we fought and were horrible to one another, I always knew she was right there behind me, waving my flag and wearing a suit of armor marked with a capital “M”. Because that’s what it means to be sisters, to be warriors for one another, even when it’s ill-deserved.
Last weekend we celebrated my sister with the sweetest of baby showers, filled to the brim with dear family and friends and a lemon cake wrapped in blue icing. We adorned her head with a crown of flowers, kissed her sweet belly and soaked up every last minute of this joyous time together. And while I know I’ll always have a special place in her heart, it dawned on me that we aren’t kids any more. That it’s not just the two of us for much longer and our tiny pack is expanding.
I’m so excited to be an Aunt, to welcome this darling baby into our family and to love him with that same undying love she’s offered me all these years.
Oh, and I haven't forgotten about the granola :) The idea for this granola recipe came to me during one of those nostalgic moments, when I longed for the days when breakfast meant a simple, cold bowl of cereal. It's incredibly delicious, simple and refined-sugar free! It's the perfect foundation for fresh summer berries and can be modified to include your favorite nuts or dried fruits. I like to make a big batch on the weekend, just like my mom used to, and graze all week long.
Homemade Granola with Toasted Coconut and Pecans
- 3 cups organic, rolled oats
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds or pepitas
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup juice from an orange
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1.) Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
2.) Place the oats, coconut flakes, pecans and seeds in a bowl and stir to combine.
2.) In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, place the syrup, orange juice, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon and whisk to combine. Then, slowly whisk in the oil.
3.) Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and toss to coat. Then, spread the granola mixture onto a baking sheet in a single, even layer.
4.) Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden and toasty, giving it a stir or a shake half way through.
5.) Once evenly toasted, remove from oven and let cool. Store in your favorite glass jar or container and enjoy with fresh fruit!