Week 18 - 52 weeks without the supermarket

Home is not just the walls we exist inside. It is not the furniture, endless chattels, walls, windows or slick renovations. It is in the smells - freshly brewed coffee, bread straight out of the oven, poached summer fruits, sun dried laundry - well that's how I see it.

One of the things I loved in early childhood, was the weekly visit to the Health Food Store with my mother. Grains, nuts, dried fruits and many other items were purchased, and brought home in our own containers. Mum would whip up toasted muesli, raw vegan blueberry cakes and we drank carrot juice. We also drank "raw" milk straight out of the vat from the dairy down the road. This is now illegal and deemed highly dangerous. We were considered to be "real hippies" - how times have changed ! But I must confess, I often secretly longed for "shop biscuits" and many other items such as white bread and Western Star salted butter - well that's what everyone else had at home, and in their lunch boxes at school.

Making a batch of delicious toasted muesli often brings back these fond memories. Easy, quick and far more cost effective than commercially available equivalents (even with organic ingredients), this is a great staple to have on hand for breakfasts throughout the week. The roasting smell is heavenly !

*The dried fruits and nuts can be substituted with preferred choices.

Maple Vanilla Toasted Muesli            *Pre heat oven to 140 degrees.

Combine - 1/2 cup maple syrup with 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp vanilla paste.

Mix together - 4 cups rolled oats, 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 cup pepitas, 2 tbsp sesame seeds, 1/2 cup shredded coconut. Stir in the syrup. Spread onto shallow oven trays and roast for about 30 mins, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup cranberries, 1/2 cup currants and 1/2 cup dried apricots, finely chopped, and roast for another 10 - 15 mins. Store in airtight jars and enjoy with yogurt, poached fruit or fresh fruit.