Chocolate City for a Day

Despite Ray Nagin’s efforts to bestow the name upon New Orleans, Washington D.C. is the historical “Chocolate City” – at least if you take your geography lessons from George Clinton.

While, our nation’s capitol may be P-Funk’s choice for most chocotastic US city, the District abdicated its throne for a few hours last weekend when unlikely central valley upstart Woodland, California claimed the title. What happened to make this mostly Latino and white bedroom community so sweet?

A brand spanking new granola recipe. In the course of daydreaming about the life of a breakfast cookbook writer, my thoughts often turn to recipe diversity. Much of what I make here is savory and eggy. If I’m ever going to get to the big show I need to step my sweet game up. I’m not a big sweet breakfast guy, so it is a good exercise for me to diversify every once in awhile. Granola recipes are also good because this whole thing cost maybe four dollars to make. Now that’s fiscally responsible breakfasting.

I got the idea to try to make a new recipe as I was talking with my grandma. She asked what I eat in the morning and I said that if I’m not eating eggs, I’m eating granola. Though I find it hard to believe, she said she had never heard of granola. You can add granola to the internet, hip-hop, automated teller machines and global climate change as concepts my grandma is unfamiliar with and/or skeptical of.

I wanted to give my grandma a nice introduction to eating what she has always understood to be “horse food,” so I thought I might use every available opportunity to put chocolate in it. Grandma likes her sweets. Thus, Chocolate City Gramola was born.

Chocolate City Gramola

6 cups oats
2 cups honey
1 cups peanut butter (CHUNKY)
1 cup chocolate powder
1 cup seeds, be it flax, pumpkin or whatever. Don’t use sesame. Not here, not now.
1 zested lemon
1.5 cups shredded coconut
Teensy bit of almond or peanut oil, to grease the pan
If this is going to get eaten fast, put some dried cranberries in it, or blueberries, also a bar of good dark chocolate, chopped.
Preheat your oven to 350.

Put your goops, the chocolate powder and the lemon zest in a nonstick pan and get it all melty. It makes it a lot easier to deal with and mix up thoroughly. I learned this trick from Margaret, and I owe a lot of elbow grease to her. I used to pour cold honey on the oats and stir for hours. Oh, youthful inefficiency.

Put the oats in a large bowl and mix with your seedage. Stir your honeypeanutbuttergoop and pour over the oats, stirring a lot. Make sure everything is coated. Grease your baking sheet with the peanut oil and remember, the better job you do greasing, the easier cleanup is. Let this be a warning to you.

Spread the granola evenly in the sheet and throw in to bake. Go by color, it should come out a darker, rich brown, not light at all but also not burnt. When its done, take it out and let it sit for awhile. If the pan was greased like I said then it should basically come up in chunks*. Toss with the coconut and any of the extras.

*A note on chunktasticness: Most of the granola I’ve made in my life has been very cereally and loose, but not this stuff. The reason this is so much more nuggety is due to the greater amount of goop and it baking on the sheet. If you want less chunk, use less honey and cook for less time. You can also just break up the chunks, but you’re lazy, I can tell.

So I took the finished product down to grandma’s to see if a woman who loves American Homestyle Cooking could learn to love a breakfast associated with hippies and communists. She takes a bite…

“Oh honey, its wonderful.” Yeah!
“I’d rather not eat any more of it, and you don’t need to leave me with any, but it is wonderful.” OH.

You can’t say I didn’t try.

Hey whose bitchin’ garden is this, looking all eager for tomatoes and stuff?

Oh, that’s right its mine.

Scotty and Lorna Bennett – Breakfast In Bed
Raveonettes – You Want The Candy


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