Saturday morning, and the sun is shining after a week of cold weather and gloomy skies. It seems like ages since I woke up to actual sunshine streaming through my window, and just the sight of it is like a double shot of espresso slamming into my brain. I’m up and at ’em, and despite eating a huge Valentine’s day meal last night, I find myself possessed by a powerful hunger. I want food, something light and good to match the clear, cold morning. Dunkin’ Donuts and the like just ain’t going to cut it — I need sustenance.
The answer to my hunger was pretty obvious: head to the Hillcrest Farmers Market. It’s actually been awhile since I made a trip up to Pulaski Heights Baptist Church for their weekly line-up of local growers and food producers, and I was excited to see what was new. My first stop was at the Willow Springs booth, where the always-smiling Robert Lashley was hawking some of the first fresh spinach of the year and some lovely baby carrots. A quick trip over to the Freckle Face Farm table scored me a pork roast to go with my veggies, and just like that, tonight’s dinner was taken care of.
But the problem of my immediate hunger remained, and that’s when I spotted the Geek Eats table, where I was immediately drawn to a large bucket of tasty looking granola being sold for the bargain price of $4 per 1/2 pound. I recalled Dan’s writing about this stuff in his profile of Geek Eats from last year, but somehow I’d never gotten around to trying the stuff. I quickly remedied that and walked away with a decent sized bag of granola that I thought would be more than enough to satisfy me. It turns out that I was right and wrong on that assumption.
I was right in that this is a truly satisfying mix of oats, nuts, and other tasty bits, mixed with just enough real maple syrup to give everything a touch of sweetness without losing any of the delightful crunch that’s the hallmark of truly excellent granola. Where I was wrong was in thinking that just one bag would be enough, because this stuff is seriously good, and I could probably embarrass myself with the amount I’d be able to put down. Mixed with yogurt, the granola keeps its texture and doesn’t get soggy; adding some to a bowl of cereal can make even bran flakes transcendent. But my favorite way to eat it is the simplest: by the handful, straight out of the bag.
Geek Eats also has a wide variety of hummus that’s worth taking a look at, but it’s this granola that’s going to keep me coming back time and time again. Geek Eats operates at several of our local farmers markets, and owner Jeremy Rhodes is always ready to hand out samples and tell you all about how he makes his fresh, natural foods. Granola may be a simple thing, but it’s often the simplest foods that bring the most pleasure — and it certainly brightened my day.