My journey of reinvention is firmly rooted in DIY sensibilities. My thinking, my approach to challenges, and things that hold significant value for me–like my publishing–all emanate from an ethos that says, “I can do this.”
Perhaps the seed for that was planted back in Crown Point, Indiana. I was 21, with a pregnant wife, no job, and I was 1,500 miles from home and extended family support. Unemployment was over 14 percent and I didn’t have much in the way of life or employment skills.
Mary and I had to figure some things out in order to survive. Obviously we did. We also realized that our little self-contained unit could weather some pretty significant adversity.
Over the past 30 years, I first ran away from my DIY tendencies, thinking they screamed “tightwad!” Then, I found out that DIY actually held cred with the punkers and indie rockers I was hanging with in the mid-1990s.
Mark, our son, who is definitely a DIY’er, has been encouraging us to consider ways that we can detach from the corporate food chain, limit packaging, and live more simply when it comes to our daily bread.
DIY culture isn’t a fashion statement anymore. It makes sense in a world where knowing how to fend for yourself will continue to enhance your value and maybe might allow you to survive.
Rather than bread, my focus today is on granola.
You can buy all kinds of varieties of this popular food, one that has been called “the perfect food.” A few weeks ago I bought a bag from The Providence Granola Project, and it was really, really good. I polished it off in a few days.
This got me to thinking. Mary used to make granola in Indiana; not because it was boho to do it, but because we couldn’t afford to buy it in the store. She still has the original cookbook she used–now old and tattered–Doris Janzen Longacre’s More-with-Less Cookbook. Mary special-ordered it back in 1982 before we launched westward. It made the return journey with us to Maine, in 1987.
She last made the granola recipe about five years ago.I’m using a variation of that recipe today, with a few added things that I like, such as almonds and raisins.
Looks good, doesn’t it?