Truth, building a longer table isn't what I had in mind. However, my idea of a longer table has always been to squeeze in just one more chair, or two around an already crowded table. There's always been room for one more, especially when food is on the table.
This was what I grew up knowing. Food grown and prepared with love was something we looked forward to. And my sister and I extended our tables to include family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and strangers. Even if it meant eating on a folding chair, picnic bench or makeshift stool, we knew how to make space.
Someone asked me recently if I ever run out of ideas of what to make with granola. I haven't, thankfully. Whether it's enjoyed from a bowl, glass, mason jar, sprinkled on a bagel, sweet potatoes, apple galette or a peach half, I'm always tinkering to see what is a possibility. And I approach meal preps with a mindset of creating something delicious that me and my family will enjoy, just like my Mom did.
First and foremost, I consider taste, then ease of prep and lastly, visual appeal. Sometimes it doesn't always come together this way, however, that's my intention. I took a few cooking classes many years ago, and the chef asked us to close our eyes so we could taste the food. It's helped me learn how to adjust seasonings or cooking times for the best dish. Just another pinch, smidgen or dash will often be just what's needed to make a dish indescribably delicious. And when my family closes their eyes and savors every bite, I know I'm on to something good.
Making food comes from a place of deep love and caring for others. A customer described the Tropical blend as tasting like "a hug in a bowl" which reminded him of his grandmothers kitchen. He'd wake up early to the aromas of foods which had been lovingly prepared. And even with his eyes closed, he admitted, he just knew something wonderful awaited him. I'm flattered that Pat's Granola elicits such a powerful memory.
Creating real food for others to enjoy is a privilege. Sending you a hug!
Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland based food company. Pat's Granola is sold online at www.patsgranola.com and is also available at several Northeast Ohio businesses including:
Troubadour Coffee Roasters www.troubadourcoffeeroasters.com
Sports and Spine Physical Therapy www.sportspine.com
Local Flavors Shoppe www.localflavors.net
Rittman Orchards and Farm Market www.rittmanorchards.com
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport www.clevelandairport.com
Locle Box www.loclebox.com
Market Wagon Northeast Ohio www.marketwagon.com
Made Cleveland www.madecleveland.com
Mister Brisket www.misterbrisket.com