Penn Station, Poughkeepsie, Richmond Main Street, Union Station, New Carrollton, Wilmington, Wilmette, Lake Forest, 14th Street, Times Sq., 72nd Street, Dupont, Metro Center.
I feel like I am always on a train, in-between two homes, two people I love, two versions of myself. I look forward to it. I prepare. Penn Station is a Hunger Games Arena of transportation hubs. Kill or be killed, get a seat alone or endure a stranger’s B.O for the next 3 hours – it’s a hustle.
Over the years I have refined my approach; but, there is one train station tradition that never changes – the granola bar. Yes, the humble, fiber rich treat you think is good for you but maybe isn’t, granola bar. It isn’t the who-knows-how-old lunchbox they serve on the train. It isn’t a regret-me-not TGIFridays BBQ Chicken Quesadilla you find in the station. It is portable, it is essentially guilt-free, and wicked yummy.
After nestling into my seat on the train, whatever train it may be, I text my dad, “window seat to myself,” I put in the headphones, and open that little Hudson News bought granola bar. I am immediately comforted knowing I’m heading somewhere, toward something. As gorgeous landscapes or rat-filled but familiar gutters whiz by, I munch my granola bar, happy to be in-between, happy to have a moment’s pause, and a simple pleasure.
Maybe it is a stretch to say I have an emotional attachment to the granola bar. But every time I take that first bite, the crunchy snap reminds me of where I’ve been and that I’ve got places to go.
I hope this take along treat will serve as a moment of calm and of comfort during your busy day.
Here’s my recipe!
Place peanuts and oats on a sheet tray and toast in a 350° F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until fragrant.
Combine honey and peanut butter in a sauce pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until combined.
Set aside to cool slightly.
Pour honey/peanut butter mixture over the toasted nuts and oats.
Mix it together.
Press into a square. It should be a 1/4 of an inch in thickness. Place in the fridge and cool for about an hour until firm.
Slice in to bars or whatever size you want – this is granola – there are no rules here!
Wanna make them extra special? Drizzle ’em with dark chocolate.
Eat them IMMEDIATELY or be reasonable and let the chocolate set, about 10 minutes.
Is your purse as crazy as mine? Purse, bag, pants pocket, suitcase, rucksack, whatever you carry, make sure you’ve got a few of these with you!
Always In-Between Bars
1 1/2 cups of oats
1/2 cup of unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
salt, to taste
4 oz dark chocolate
Preheat your oven to 350° F.
Place the oats and peanuts on a sheet tray and toast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
Place the honey and peanut butter in a small sauce pan and cook while stirring until smooth.
Remove the sauce pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Place the oats and peanuts in a bowl. Sprinkle with a little salt. Add peanut butter and honey mixture and toss until oats and peanuts are evenly coated.
Press into a pan and shape the granola into a rectangle that is 1/4 inch thick.
Place in the refrigerator to cool for about an hour.
Remove the bars from the refrigerator and cut into 8 even rectangles.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double-boiler. Using a spoon drizzle the chocolate over the granola bars. Let the chocolate set, about 10 minutes.
Granola bars will stay good up to a week if kept in an air tight container.