Bart's dad is a professor and, as professors sometimes do, he went on leave last year. Right after we returned from London, he had an entire year off of teaching, and he (along with Bart's mom and little brother) spent a lot of the year traveling. One of those trips was to Vermont.
You know what Vermont is famous for, don't you? If you said "maple syrup," you win! On Christmas morning, we opened up two large jugs of real maple syrup and a little cookbook of recipes that used maple syrup. I was pleased to arrive home and find the jugs still each in one piece, even after being checked and flown home by the not-so-gentle Southwest baggage folks.
Last night, in a fit of after-dinner productivity, I decided that I wanted to make something to take to Ralphie as a thank-you for taking us and our thirteen suitcases (I kid!) to the airport. Also, she had my house key.
In the little cookbook, I found a delicious looking recipe for "Apple Granola Loaf." It needed granola (as you may have guessed from the title) and, lo and behold, I had several cups of homemade granola that I'd whipped up before we left for Christmas. Then I noticed that it needed applesauce. Well, I had some oldish apples in the fridge. I could make my own applesauce.
(Yes, I'm bragging about how awesome I am - making homemade bread with homemade granola and homemade applesauce - what is a blog for if not to tell everyone how awesome you are? After all, only Bart and I know about my giant success last night, and you don't all read his blog, do you? Also, he doesn't talk about my cooking skills as I believe they need to be talked about. So I'm telling you about it here).
Anyway, after making the applesauce and putting together the bread (and using nearly every dang dish in my cupboards), I shut the bread in the oven to bake and soon it started smelling fabulous. I have to admit that good smells sometimes make me nervous. Too often the smell has lulled me into thinking the recipe is a success (coconut bread, I'm looking at you), only to discover that the smell was the only good part of the food.
But this bread was even better than the smell. Bart ate nearly half a loaf last night (with some help from me, if you must know). I just had a piece. And then another piece. You might want to make it and then have a piece or twelve yourself.
Also, you can tell yourself, as Ralphie assured me she would, that it's a health food since, technically, you don't put any sugar in the recipe.
Apple Granola Loaf
Adapted from The Official Vermont Maple Cookbook, Third Edition
In a bowl, mix:
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup granola
1 cup diced apples (I peeled my apples first, although it didn't specify)
In a separate bowl, mix:
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup oil
Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Eat yourself sick. And congratulate yourself for being so healthy.