30 September 2013

A retreat we hope to repeat

Why does it seem like Fall is running too fast for me to catch up?  The trees, gorgeously green not a few weeks ago, have suddenly popped with colour.  I even see trees without leaves already.  Oh Fall, please slow down for just a moment or too!  I'd like to admire and revel in your blazing beauty before you burn out.  

We had a lovely 4 day retreat at the Dormition Monastery in Michigan this past weekend.  The children unfolded like flowers with the nuns.  In fact, as I recall, they followed them around like little chicks trailing a mother hen.  It veritably warmed my soul to behold!  Our time there was full.  Walks in the forest.  Picking eggs from the flock of chickens.  Helping nuns with their work.  Playing in the grass.  Watching the kids soak up the love each nun showered on them.  Absorbing the words in each hymn during service and letting them sink into our souls.  Meeting new people and seeing old friends.  Each day found us more uplifted, more hopeful.  

The crowing moment was when our children informed us that they didn't want to leave.  Ever.  A sentiment we share despite our return home.  And so, today, when both M and J reiterated their desire to return to Michigan, D and I started looking to the calendar for another visit...

Before I close this post, I just remembered that I was asked to share my recipe for granola.  I believe I mentioned a vague template before, but I shall oblige with proper measurements this time.  :o)  

This recipe makes a few jars worth of granola, so feel free to downsize if you like.  It doesn't last too long in our house.  We enjoy it atop yogurt, or drowned in milk, or even on its own.  It can be tweaked according to taste, so you can add/subtract nuts or dried fruit or whatever you like.  Cheers!


3 cups oats
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecans
1/3 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well combined.  Place on one or two large aluminum foil lined baking trays.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 18 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool before breaking up.  Store in airtight jars.  Keeps well for months... if it ever lasts that long for you!  :o)

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