It's the only cookbook I own, and I've had it for years and years. I don't think there's a recipe in it that I haven't changed, altered, substituted, rewritten . . . whatever works, right? After all, you can't really go wrong with vegetables!
But the real reason I've kept the book so long is for a recipe that isn't even part of the book. Instead, it's one I've handwritten onto the inside front cover, and its a recipe I do follow (pretty much) to the letter. And that is for:
THE COLONEL'S MUESLI!
This is a recipe I got from my late father-in-law, a larger-than-life character straight from the pages of any runaway bestseller of a novel. Heck, they could make an entire mini-series from his life: hunting tigers in India for his 21st birthday (yes, yes--it was a different world back then); fighting with distinction in the second World War and being highly honored for his service; continuing to serve in Libya and Malaysia (where he took my husband and his siblings into the Malaysian jungle to meet with headhunters) . . .
Eventually he moved to New Zealand where he became a strict vegetarian, one of the reasons he could go on yearly European skiing vacations well into his eighties. (He was also very kind to cats of all shapes and sizes.)
One of his daily rituals was to eat a bowl of his own homemade muesli every morning. He gave me the recipe when he was staying with my husband and me in California one year, and I wasn't able to find ANY kind of muesli for him to eat. I could find Fruit Loops, Coco Pops, cornflakes--but noooo muesli.
After searching every store in my area, I realized I was going to need help and just make some myself, hence the need for a recipe. The Colonel scribbled one down for me, and guess what? It was so good, I've continued making it to this day:
The Colonel’s Muesli
4 cups of oatmeal
3 cups of bran
3 cups of wheatgerm
1½ cups coconut
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sesame seed
1 cup stoneground wheat flour
2/3 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Melt the oil and honey together in a saucepan over low heat.
Mix the remaining ingredients in a deep oven-proof casserole dish.
Add the honey and oil. Stir well.
Bake at 350 degrees for half an hour, checking occasionally,
stirring to rotate the ingredients.
When cool, place into a large lidded container.
Lastly, add 1-2 bags of your favorite trail mix. (You have to open the lid for this.)
Note: be careful not to overcook. This isn't granola
so you don't want it too dark or crunchy.
"Lightly-toasted" is what you're going for.
And there you are! Now just keep an eye out for those tigers . . .