Crunchy Granola

I am in an Experiential Education class this semester (if you don’t know what that is, think of YMCA, OYA or any other outdoor adventure program, ropes course, or team building activities and you have the quintessence of experiential education). This week in class, we are learning about lesson outcomes, so that we can effectively plan and teach groups through the experiential model. We played a game, called Creation Squares, that might help exhibit a specific outcome that we could use in teaching. I learned a very significant lesson as we played the game and then had a discussion about it.
 
How the game works: There were 5 envelopes (1 for each player) each with a few shapes inside. The objective of the game was for each of us to make a square with shapes, that were equal in size. We could use other pieces other than those which were in our own envelope, but we could not ask for pieces in any way whatsoever (verbally, written or physically signalling). We could not help others place their pieces. We could only give pieces to others. The last rule was that we could not talk for the activity.
 
As we opened our envelopes we realized that the shapes we were given would not, on their own, create a square. We needed pieces that other people had. Oh wait… we couldn’t as for them. A few people offered pieces to others, when they realized that their piece was needed elsewhere, but we still had several people who were unable to create squares. 
 
I had a completed square, but one of the other players was unable to complete his square. I could see that he had the piece he needed, but he just didn’t know where to put it. I couldn’t ask for it, nor tell him where to put it. I started getting frustrated because I was unable to do anything, until I realized that I could give pieces to him. I didn’t have any pieces that would help his square, but I did have my own pieces, that formed a complete square. I gave him all of my pieces and waited silently. He thought for a moment and then gave me his pieces. I was then able to complete the square. 
 
When we discussed the game I had a significant realization and personal application (which was the whole point of playing the game – aka the point of Experiential Education). The lesson was that sometimes in life and in the gospel we have to give everything we have to others before our own needs are met. We cannot demand what we want and expect others to give it to us. In the game, I had to give my pieces up before the other player gave me anything and the same is often true of life.
 
A perfect example of this is found in 1 Kings 17:8-16, in the story of the woman and her son who were about to eat their last meal and die. Elijah came and asked for water and a cake, and the woman explained her situation. He insisted that she feed him first, and as she did so, she was blessed with a continuous supply of meal and oil. The woman literally gave up her last meal before she was blessed with endless food.
 
I realized how profoundly this applies to my own life! Sometimes it seems like my needs are endless, but I cannot just demand what I want from others. I can only give what I have and what I would hope to receive myself.  Yes, essentially this is the Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would have them do to you) but it goes so much deeper than that. We can’t just make a selfish effort to get what we want through half-heartedly serving others. We have to genuinely give all we have, like the woman who gave her last meal to Elijah, having faith that we will receive in return. 
 
Just one last scripture to ponder about is Mosiah 4:16. It instructs us to help those in need, with our own substances. It comes back to the idea of giving what we have to help others, without a guarantee but only faith that our own needs will be met. Just a little thought to chew on this week. I hope you also find a personal application as I did.
 
Well it is about time for a recipe, isn’t it! Not just because of my long post today, but because of the lack of posts lately. I cannot make any promises for this semester, about how frequently I will be posting. It has been much crazier than I anticipated. 

This recipe is one that I actually came up with months ago, but it is probably one of my favorite granola recipes. It is reminiscent of Honey Bunches of Oats, which we love, but it definitely has it’s own flair. I hope you enjoy it too!


Ingredients:

⅓ cup maple syrup
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
4 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon table salt
½ cup vegetable oil
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup almonds, chopped
1 cup dried blueberries
4 cups corn flakes
 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Spread wax paper over a baking pan.
Combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and oil in a large bowl. Add the oats and almonds in to the syrup mixture and mix to coat.
Pour the oat mixture onto baking sheet and spread it out in an even layer and compress it until it is very compact. Bake for 30-35 minutes rotating pan once halfway through baking.
Once baked, remove it from the oven and let it cool,  for at least 1 hour. Break cooled granola into pieces and mix in the blueberries and corn flakes.

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