Browsing the cereal section of the grocery store is an underwhelming experience. Sure, there are the usual flakes and grains, but the boxes are small and lacking in variety. Muesli variations abound, but somehow the cold, uncooked grain with milk just never made me feel satisfied in the morning. Chewing uncooked oats makes me feel like a bovine, ovine, or other four-legged beast of burden.

Cooked oatmeal was the obvious alternative, and at 35 cents per bag, the economic choice.

But the novelty of cooking oatmeal at 7:30 am every day began to wear off. What I needed was something quick and accessible, but not so crunch-less* as Muesli. (Sorry, Muesli fans, maybe I’m not making this correctly? Is there some vital step I’m missing?) What I needed… was granola.

But where can you find granola in Germany? Probably somewhere. Just not at any of my local grocery stores. Oats, honey, nuts and dried fruit in hand, I set out to make my own.

My recipe called for a) One vanilla bean, b) Dried cherries. c) Maple syrup. d) Pecans. I’m sure granola including those items would be far superior to mine, but when a single vanilla bean costs the same amount as a box of cereal, it’s hard to justify. And don’t even get me started on how expensive dried cherries and maple syrup are. As for pecans, let’s just say Berliners haven’t heard of ‘em. They must not grow very well in Europe.

Here’s how it turned out:

Crunchy and delicious. It was so good that it magically disappeared faster than I could have anticipated. Somehow I suspect that I wasn’t the only one involved in the consumption. Even though I blatantly disregarded many aspects of the recipe, it turned out fine anyhow. There is, however, one direction involving the words “parchment paper” I wish I had followed. The proof is firmly attached to my baking sheet:

*is there a word in the English language that adequately describes the texture of chewing on uncooked, rolled oats?

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