Chloe's Famous Granola

With a cross-country move already in progress (especially one that coincides with the new year), this feels like an obvious time to reflect not only on the past year, but the past demi-decade that I’ve spent here in Portland. I suppose it would also be apt to give some thought to the year ahead, where I’ll be putting my freelance practice on hiatus indefinitely to work at a music product in the city I swore I’d never return to when I left it the first time. But I make an effort to keep my personal life out of this space unless framed by things I’ve made, so, granola recipe.

Before I get to the granola recipe, I just want to mention that I did start quietly keeping track of things I like this year. I was only tracking songs initially, but the web is a rich medium, so why hold back? I suppose it does describe the time period for which it’s relevant. So there’s your (my) zeitgeist.

Anyway, granola. It is so natural and good for you, so why not do it up right and make your own. I adapted this recipe from Passionate About Baking. I’m sorry there are no photos, but I’m at an inflection point and I don’t own anything right now.


1 tablespoon unsalted butter or coconut oil if vegan
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup if vegan
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
at least 1 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut (go crazy)
1/4 cup flax seed

Oregon Blast Variation

1/2 cup hazelnuts, crushed
1/2 cup dried sour cherries, minced

Hawaiian Extravaganza Variation

1/2 cup macadamia nuts, crushed
1/2 cup dried goji berries

Holiday Cheer Variation

1/2 cup pecans, crushed
1/2 cup dried cranberries, minced

Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C and cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan, combine the water, honey, sugar, butter, salt and vanilla. Bring to a simmer and stir until homogenized.

In a large bowl, combine the oats and sunflower seeds. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and fold until evenly coated. Fold in shredded coconut and the specified nuts from your selected variation.

Spread the mixture evenly over the baking sheet. I like to tamp it down real hard because I get better clusters that way, but being consistent is the key for even baking. Bake for, depending on the fidelity of your oven, 25 to 45 minutes (lol), until fragrant and golden brown. As a former student of chemistry, I must remind you that things continue to cook even after they’re removed from a heat source, so don’t try to be a hero. Sprinkle the flax seeds and the dried fruit from your selected variation over the granola and fold in, breaking up the granola sheet into clusters to your level of comfort. When cool, funnel into an upcycled container and reuse the parchment paper to line your pizza peel.

Tagged with food

The Best of Everything

→ An audio version of this article is available.

Still image from the music video for Laid by James

This is not a Best of 2013 list; it’s just that this year was different. I don’t listen to a lot of contemporary music because everything was better last century, and since music is not social for me, there’s nothing to keep me current. I listened to a lot of college radio this year, and through it I discovered a lot of new music and new-to-me music. Crucially, I was able to support many of them on Bandcamp, and now I’m addicted to Bandcamp like people are addicted to Kickstarter.

I’m just sharing these, and not trying to convince you that they’re the best because this is not that. So instead of reminding you again for the nth time this December that The National released an album this year that is a great name for a racehorse, I’m going to anachronistically mention that I heard some songs on the radio so I made a mixtape and, like, support your local scene.

Rearrange Me by Criminal Hygiene

I’ve written 101 words about how much I love this song. Key points: downtempo Replacements, Bruce Springsteen, sprezzatura.

Kibitzer by Tall for Jockeys

The song that yearns for the early-to-mid ’90s as much as I do.

Puke by Mumblr

I was exposed to Mumblr through Josh Kelly’s show Puppy Love. Even though I put their name on my list of words that make me feel old, they make me feel like I’m 17, which was the one year of my teendom that wasn’t stolen from me.

Mayonnaise by Woolen Men

This song makes me wistful for the family vacations of families that are less neurotic than mine.

Derek’s Song by The Coathangers

These ladies have a sense of humor and are from Atlanta like The Black Lips.

Wind Up by Pity Sex

It rocks as hard as it is catchy.

The World Fell by Vår

This is coldwave. Reminds me a little of Siglo XX, the Belgian Joy Division if you need a laugh.

Crush Em by Serengeti

I think this song qualifies as installation art. Serengeti raps in character as Kenny Davis, a 50 year old dude from Chicago.

Sister by Kate Nash

I’m not a fan of Kate Nash’s music, but this song is so volatile, so unapologetically honest, that it makes me feel like Hole’s “Violet” was undercutting me.

Shuggie by Foxygen

Foxygen are chimeric. They shift precipitously between their influences within their songs. I saw them in October, and while they were inconsistent, those inelegant seams in their tracks are heart-stopping.

Tagged with music

The Long Goodbye

→ An audio version of this article is available.

  1. Wicked Game by Chris Isaak
  2. Cattle and Cane by The Go-Betweens
  3. Alex Chilton by The Replacements
  4. Thirteen by Big Star
  5. Love Vigilantes by New Order
  6. Pineapple Face (Big Day Out mix) by Revenge
  7. Getting Away with It by Electronic
  8. Rearrange Me by Criminal Hygiene
  9. Sea of Love by The National
  10. The Mercy Seat by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  11. Never Again by Slumber Party