I spoke with my grand-mère last night. We settled on soup, mostly. Vegetables and a few spoonfuls of lentils or split peas. And citrouille [pumpkin] cooked with its skin on in a light bouillon.
Yes, the approaching winter means soup for dinner. It also means a half-past-three dusk and long evenings at home.
Kalle has been tying flies and installing new operating systems on his computer (he does that, weekly, if not more). And I’ve been baking, reading, and embroidering.
If I had been told that I’d find the one person on this planet who loves to spend evenings at home as much as I do, I wouldn’t have believed it.
But I once read something that went along the lines of: “Everything falls into place”. And like many other words, I think, these have stuck with me ever since. Not unlike my collection of old Pyrex glasses.
It does, indeed. Fall into place.
At times, you’ll forget what place even mean. There will be chaos, and hopefully, laughters too. And then, there will be mornings like today.
Depending on what day you’d come here, you’d either encounter autumn – the dark light, the raindrops against the windows of our patio; or winter – the crisp blue air, the frost.
Today is of the latter sort. A walk right after dawn, where the sky was purple and the ground glimmering under the street lights. A cup of tea, which I always end up forgetting about. A couple of rice cakes topped with avocado and more lemon pepper than you’d think is necessary.
But no matter how much I love to talk about breakfast, I think avocado on toast has been discussed enough (although I can only urge you to try it on rice cakes).
Muesli bars have too? Yes, I have no excuse for the recipe I’m telling you about today. It is what it is. And perhaps more; a staple in our house.
Raw muesli bars
I’ve been making these bars for a couple of years. In fact, more often than not, you’d find a few stashed in an airtight container in the second draw of my freezer.
The recipe itself is more of a bare-bones: oats, dates or some other dried fruits, nut butter, agave (although maple syrup or honey make an excellent substitute), nuts and seeds.
You could switch the cashew for pecans, or the pumpkin seeds for coconut flakes. Add a tablespoon of cocoa powder, or even a handful of cocoa nibs (you should try with apricots instead of dates; in which case, I’d also throw in a few pistachios).
In any case, I hope these bars will fill your freezer and your quatre-heures [literally: four o’clock (as in afternoon tea)].
Raw muesli bars
300 g pitted dates
300 g oats
200 g whole almonds
100 g pumpkin seeds
100 g sunflower seeds
10 g flaky sea salt
180 g (raw) nut butter
120 g agave syrup
375 g cashew nuts
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Soak the dates in boiling water for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, combine the oats, almonds, seeds, and salt into a large bowl. Set aside until needed.
Drain the dates and place in a blender, along with the nut butter (I love to make it with raw peanut butter) and agave syrup.
Blitz until smooth. Then, add the cashew and give it a quick blitz, juts enough to break them down into smaller pieces.
Scrape the date mixture over the oats and using clean hands, mix until it comes together. It will take a little while, but eventually will! If the dough feels a little bit too dry after 5 minutes of mixing, add a tbsp or two of extra nut butter. Or if it feels too sticky, simply mix in a little more oats.
Tip the muesli over the prepared baking tray and flatten into a rectangle, around 2 cm thick. Place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, then slice into squares.
These will keep for up to a week in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer.