It was 1988 and there was a knock at the window of my 8th grade Algebra class. My classmates and I turned to see a large man outside with wild hair and unkempt beard. It was November, it was raining, and we were ready to run.
“Awwww Mountain Man!” my teacher exclaimed, smiling broadly. He threw open the window and Hagrid’s stunt double climbed in. The two smiling men shook hands and then my teacher gestured for him to take a seat. Mr. Man then spent the rest of the period sitting in a lilliputian desk mixing his own granola from small baggies stashed in his field jacket and there is no doubt in my mind that one of them was weed. This isn’t his recipe because I don’t like Weed Granola but I do think of Algebra whenever I make it.
Sadly, kids today will never have their own Mountain Man story without it including the school going into full-blown lockdown, SWAT showing up and parents being interviewed on Fox News.
12ouncesdried fruit of your choiceI use blueberries, cherries, cranberries, apricots, plums, etc.
Preheat oven to 300F. Butter or spray a large roasting pan with non-stick spray - use one that is at least 9x15.
Pour oats and almonds into the roasting pan and stir to combine.
In a small saucepan combine brown sugar, honey, oil, vanilla and salt. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes until sugar is dissolved then pour over oat mixture, stirring gently to coat completely. If it seems dry that's ok - it will be fine as it bakes. Trust me.
Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in the dried fruit while the mixture is still warm
Flatten the mixture out with a spoon (don't push it down, just make it even) and cool completely stirring a couple of times every now and then to break the mixture up. Store in an airtight container up to 1 month.
Adapted recipe courtesy of Cooking With Paula Deen March'/April 2010