How Many Stores? How Many Trips? Making Granola in France

While it’s wonderful to be living in France where the food, almost everywhere, is better than what you can whip up at home, there are times when you just want to make a batch of something familiar, but moving into a new kitchen means restocking and that takes time.

And there’s the peer pressure to be cooking because that’s what you do. My husband has dropped some not-so-subtle hints about the number of times he’s cooked–more than I have. It’s true and it’s also true that I don’t have a problem with that. At all.

When I tried to dodge the not cooking thing with a friend of mine, explaining that it was taking time to stock my pantry, I was told it was a BS excuse.

So, here’s my story and you tell me what you think…

I wanted to make a batch of granola, something I did regularly at home. Usually it meant gathering the stuff from the pantry, tossing it in a bowl, putting it on a sheet tray and baking until golden brown and yummy. In France, you can’t or don’t want to buy all the ingredients at the same place. The sheet pan was hand carried from the US and there was butter in the fridge.

That just left:

  • Store 1: Parchment paper (just because there’s a sheet pan, doesn’t mean I want to scrub it)
  • Store 2: Cinnamon (which turned out to be so old it was tasteless)
  • Stop 3: Ground ginger from the spice seller at the marché because store 2, the beautiful one was out of ginger.
  • Store 4: Oatmeal and salted caramel sauce
  • Store 5: Brown sugar (or the French equivalent), and coconut

5 stores over 4 days for 6 ingredients. Could have been more. There’s still no dried fruit, or pine nuts to add to the granola, and I skipped looking for maple syrup, figuring the salted caramel sauce might work instead (since the bottle of maple syrup I was going to bring got left behind—no room). The granola was fine—a work in progress.

And to my friend – you know who you are – now do you understand why not having the ingredients is a perfectly valid excuse????

As an update: I just saw a recipe for sour cream coffee cake. It occurred to me that I only have one of the ingredients (cinnamon), but I don’t even have a pan to bake it in!





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