I’ve been thinking about this brilliant passage on the subject of ego and ideals:
“I’ve discovered that people without ideals are like machines. Machines for churning out words, making money and love, degrading others and exalting themselves, machines for supporting their own egos.”
The lines come from the book No Saints or Angels written by award-winning Czech playwright and novelist, Ivan Klima.
It’s so true. People without ideals and principles ARE like machines. But, ideals? Principles? Who even talks about ideals and principles any more?
I think how many times I’ve been in the path of people who, “make money and love, degrading others while exalting themselves,” merely to support their own egos. Much too often! I think many of these people may just be narcissists. And yet, I fear our society, at least our Western society, buys into believing these people who often hold themselves in such high regard.
For me, Klima’s words are life-changing. I know – that’s easy to say. But really, it is so true. His lines make me stop to think about my past, my present, and how I want to go forward. About who I want to associate with. About my own principles and ideals. It’s not that I don’t care about money or success – it’s that I don’t want to be blind to ideals and principles. I want to place value and live my life acting on the things that actually matter – honesty, kindness, fairness, decency, loyalty, compassion, humility, and integrity. I’m sure there are more. But these characteristics often pale when up against success, power, prestige, self-promotion, self-interest, and arrogance.
I think the same values that I like in people, I also like in food. Humble, decent. Food with integrity. Food that takes the high road. So it seems fitting to write about this granola which I merely happened to make this weekend. I didn’t plan this! I’ve been making granola for years but only just discovered that you can cook it in the crockpot or slow-cooker. Humble, decent, delicious AND incredibly energy-efficient!
You insert a wooden chopstick between the crock-pot and lid to vent the steam so your granola does not end up soggy. It only takes a couple of hours to make a batch of this – and with your crock-pot on low – you’ll be using about the equivalent electricity you would be using a standard incandescent light bulb.
5 cups oats
1 cup rye flakes
1 cup coconut (I used unsweetened, shredded)
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins (I used cranberries)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, roasted, unsalted
1/2 cup cashews, lightly salted
1/4 cup flaked almonds
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
Mix all the dry ingredients together. Next time I make this – I’ll add the cashews and cranberries towards the end of the cooking period. Live and learn….
Melt the coconut fat and honey together and stir through the dry ingredients. Place the granola in the crock-pot and insert a wooden chopstick or skewer between the lid and the pot to allow steam to vent. Cook on low for about 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
A word of warning here – crockpots or slow-cookers vary dramatically in how hot they get. I have two – I cooked this batch of granola in my large Rival crockpot on low for 4 hours and it was borderline too well done. I would try again for 2.5 hours to 3 hours. But depending on your crock-pot – it may take as long as 5 hours. Once you make a batch – you will know better how long it will take in future.
When cool, store in an airtight canister.