Today in The Land of Triple J, it is International Cosmology Day. So let’s discuss the universe.
Scientifically speaking, the universe as we know it, was created 13.7 billion years ago by a big bang.
There was no universe at all prior to this.
There was however, a small…’bit’.
Well, a gazillion degrees is how hot our little ‘bit’ was. The poor little ‘bit’ couldn’t stand the heat any longer. And quite frankly, can you blame it? So he (or this ‘bit’ could have been a female, I don’t know, so we’ll call our ‘bit’ an ‘it’) blew itself up into a couple of hundred galaxies. Well it didn’t become 200 galaxies straight away. There was quite a few billion years of cooling down to do and some whizzing around of photons, bosons, protons and neurones. Something also happened with hydrogen atoms and nebulas…however, I understand it’s not International Cosmology Day in everyone’s land, so I won’t bore you with the details.
This is, in a nutshell (or maybe in a seashell, or any shell for that matter, I’m not biased towards shells) is how the universe was created.
The it ‘bit’ cracked the shits and quit.
600 million years later, galaxies began to form. The galaxy we live in is called the Milky Way, not to be confused for the chocolate bar mind you. Our Milky Way, unlike the chocolate bar, is made up of stars and planets and stuff like that. (Did you know the word ‘stuff’, is actually a very scientific term in the Land of Triple J? She’s being very cosmologically correct in using this term for this piece of writing.)
Which leads me to the topic of Granola.
Granola, believe it or not, can be linked to cosmology. Let me explain why.
Parallel to our galaxy is a galaxy called…
Oats Swiminda Milk.
Approximately 500 million years ago, five planets formed in the Oats Siminda Milk galaxy.
One of these planets is called Cereal.
On the planet cereal, Oat-o-sapians reside. They have ruled since the formation of the planet. Their evolution can be chronologically ordered as so:
PALAEOZOIC ERA (290-570 million years ago) – This era gave rise to hard shelled organ-oat-isms, verte-broats, amphibi-oats and reptil-oats.
MESOZOIC ERA (63-248 million years ago) – Dino-oats ruled planet Cereal.
CENOZOIC ERA (now-62 million years ago) – Prime-oats evolve into modern day Oat-o-sapians.
The Oat-o-sapians were always curious though, as to whether life existed on the remaining four planets. These planets by the way were called Nuturn, Sweetanus, Spicetune, Fruititer and Fatto (although Fatto has recently been disqualified as a planet because apparently it’s too small…lame. Does this mean we should pretend that Gary Coleman, Danny DeVito or Verne Troyer are not real people because they are too small…I tell you, I lose sleep over these technicalities, eesh).
50 years after the establishment of NASO and 100 trillion dollars later…no evidence of extra-teristrial life was found.
The Oat-o-sapians continued on with their lives, still curious about intergalactic life-forms, but safe in the knowledge that their placid oat-existence was not in jeopardy of being overrun by aliens. That is until one fine Spring day…
It was a Monday morning at 8.30am. Professional Oat-o-sapians were heading to their offices, Mum and Dad Oat-o-sapians were dropping kids off at school, hipster Oat-o-sapians were sipping soy cafe lates in cafes, surfy Oat-o-sapians were relishing the offshore southerlies at the beaches…it was just a regular week day morning for every manner of Oat-o-sapian.
Quietly, a single UFO entered the Cereal atmosphere. This UFO was actually a dried apricot (he was from the planet Fruititer). He was joined by his UFO friend…raw almond, from Nuturn. UFO friend number 3, cinnamon quill (a local from Spicetune), then hovered next to the duo. Maple syrup, from Sweetanus, swooped in next. And last to join the gang, was butter (from the non-planet Fatto). They had been sent from their respective planets as spies; they were to assess a safe position to infiltrate the planet Cereal.
It was not however, the foreign aliens goal to seek galactic domination over the planet Cereal. They simply wanted to launch a convivial planet overhaul. The inter-galactic aliens had been watching and studying the dull and lacklustre Oat-o-sapins for hundreds of years. They thought the Oat-o-sapians were too beige and insipid; their lives no more exciting than watching monkey poo turn white as it bakes in the sun. It was the aliens goal to bring colour, fun and absurdity to the lives of all Oat-o-sapians. They wanted to enrich the Oat-o-sapians lives with:
Rainbows of sweet spices;
Sun-showers of sugars;
Circuses of clown cashews and acrobatic pistachios and;
Watersides made slippery by melted butter that dropped you into bubbling spas of warm, gooey sugary syrups.
The spies sent a signal to their corresponding planets. The time had come…
Operation Ridiculise Planet Cereal…
was to commence.
And with the signal, a gazillion (there’s that number again..a gazillion…how much is this? I must look it up.) aliens from all four other planets descended upon planet Cereal. And for six days and two nights (that’s how it works on planet Cereal, nights and days aren’t equally spaced out), the planet was shrouded in a cloud of nuts, sugar, spices, fruits, fats and syrups.
And on the seventh day, a revamped planet Cereal emerged. The oats had changed colour; they were golden and chocolaty in colour, like they’d spent a week laying in the Fijian sun instead of being invaded by oddly named planets. Their population was now studded with a kaleidoscope of vibrant fruits and crunchy nuts who drew the oats into activities involving daring magical acts and triple somersaults. Pools of honey and syrup bubbled effervescently on every street corner and the population swam through the viscous liquid at every opportunity. Blobs of butter waddled down the street and surprised passers by with their innocent practical jokes and light-hearted tomfoolery.
Beige and insipid, Planet Cereal was no longer. Planet cereal was now full of nectar, texture and character…like granola. In fact 121 days and 23 nights later, Planet Cereal changed it’s name to…
So this brings me to the the end of my dissertation on cosmology…I’m afraid I’ve digressed quite massively. But meh, irrelevant, I had a great story to tell you.
RECIPE – Granola
Ingredients – Granola
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup raw whole/slithered almonds
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 TABS unsweetened cocoa (the better quality, the nicer the taste peeps…I use Callebaut…always)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar OR brown sugar if you like it more caramally
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 TABS butter
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Place a rack in the centre and upper third of the oven and preheat to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, toss together oats, almonds, coconut, cinnamon, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar,honey, oil and butter. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla
- Pour the warm sugar mixture over the oat mixture and toss with a wooden spoon. Toss until all of the oat and almond bits ae at least moistened by the sugar mixture. Spoon mixture onto prepared baking sheets and place in the oven.
- Bake granola for 30 minutes, removing from the oven to toss and stir 2 to 3 times during baking. Granola is done when it is toasted around the edges and fragrant.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container, at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.