Monday, December 29, 2014

Home again, home again, jiggety jig!

To Grandma's, to Grandpa's! Got everything done, 
Dishes and sweeping and vacuuming some. 

Laundry was washed, dried, and finished just so,
Put into duffel bag, ready to go,

For mom and four littles, for church and for play.
"Everything's ready, let's get on our way." 

Got down past Wadena, we're almost half way! 
"Mom, where's the bag?" we then heard Stella say.

"Did anyone bring the big duffelbag out?"
Nobody answered.  Oh, what a rout!

One hundred and fifty miles in our big rig
Home again, home again, jiggety jig.

There sat the duffel bag, nice as can be, 
Looking so lonely by the Christmas tree.

Kids all to bed and now Mama's done, too.
We'll get up at six to try start number two. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

John's bedtime reading

Although I no longer officially teach most of my kids at home, I do keep some of my favorite children's books on a shelf in our main hallway in the hopes curious or bored little person will pick up something and learn.  After watching the Liberty Kids DVDs all day today, John did just that.  

 Cornerstones of Freedom
  • The Story of the Constitution
  • The Story of the Declaration of Independence
  • Mt. Vernon
  • The Story of The Thirteen Colonies
  • Valley Forge

America's Frontiers
If you grew up with George Washington
If you lived in the time of the American Revolution
A History of Us: From Colonies to Country

The Golden Book History of the United States: The Age of Revolution
Benjamin Franklin, a Photo Illustrated Biography
The Story of Benjamin Franklin, Amazing American  
A discovery book: Benjamin Franklin

Happy Birthday to my birthday twins and their Grandpa Hinderer

Inge and Clara



December 27. A special day for us. Two birthdays in one day. My beautiful Clara turns 15 today. And my beautiful Inge turns 6. 

And as an added bonus, my dad was also born on December 27.   Clara and Inge didn't ever know their Grandpa Hinderer, and truth be told, I hardly knew him either. God called him home at the young age of 45.  But it's fun that they share his birthday.  It gives us an extra reason to think of him and talk about the Grandparents Hinderer.

Donna Leah Follin Hinderer b.Aug. 20, 1927 d. Jul. 13, 1973 
Alfred John Hinderer b.  Dec. 27, 1927 d. Jan. 7, 1973 

We had a quiet-ish birthday day today, with only half of us here at home.   Donna helped me make cream of wheat for breakfast, which is quite a treat, since we don't often have wheat products around.  A neighbor dropped off a box for us awhile back.  We use about 2/3 of a box in a sitting, so the rest of the box was sitting with only about half of our usual sized meal left.  It made a perfect treat for a day when there were only half of us home.

We prayed our special birthday prayers at breakfast, thanking God for our girls and asking His blessing on them the coming year.  And asking Him to grant us many more years with them.

We are all still kind of in recovery mode from Christmas rush and illness, so we lazed around most of the day.  I had placed an order for some Bible story books for some members before Christmas and needed a few more dollars to get the free shipping.  So I added a very discounted Liberty Kids DVD to the order.  I pulled that out today and let the kids sit just about all day watching it.

In the afternoon, I made two cheesecakes at Inge's request.  Clara wanted to make her own cake, but Sophie also wanted to make her something.  So they ended up both doing it.  Clara made some sort of confection atop a flour tortilla.  Inge and Sophie made pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes.

For the dinner I made some gluten free penne pasta with tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms, in a cream sauce.  Very tasty, if I do say so myself.  And Inge's cheesecake was the perfect accoutrement.  I'm sure the other desserts were tasty, too, but I'm a cheesecake kind of gal.  I think I could probably live on cheesecake. 

A new baby doll

"I spy with my one little eye"

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014 Part III : What's in the Bag, Dad?


Inge and the Candy.  Always her favorite.

Where's the dancer?

I have to add a little paragraph here to explain about the jewelry box.  We try to not spend much money on gifts at Christmas.  AS you can imagine, the cost would add up quickly.  We usually buy one "real gift" in the $10-15 range and otherwise fill in with little fun things from second hand stores.  This year all the younger girls got a little keepsake box or chest of some sort.  Inge had seen this jewelry box at some thrift store and I bought it, thinking at the time I'd have one of the older girls rig some sort of something to spin when the music played. 

Apparently I forgot that part.  When John wound the back, before Inge even got it opened, the music started.  Some of the kids noticed that and thought it was strange.  But then when she finally figured out how to open the clasp, after waiting with anticipation to see what kind of do-dad the spinny things was, there was nothing there, they all burst out laughing.  I was totally clueless, since I was snapping pictures and didn't even notice the deficiency. 

Poor Inge!  Oh, well, she liked it anyway, and I assured her that Clara or Sophie could put something cute on it to spin.

Everyone got new gloves this year.  It's hard to keep everyone in decent gloves with our long winters. 


Donna with the snowman ornament Sophie made her

A new game

You can tell in the pictures that Donna is still feeling a tad peaked from her influenza over the weekend.  But her extreme expression in the following picture is because she ate one of Clara's super sour gumballs.  After I snapped the picture, she had to wipe away the tears that started dripping down her cheeks.

Donna modeling her new scarf.

Since Inge is my only little home during the day these days, she ends up getting to do things the others didn't have opportunity for when they were little.  She picked out gifts for the other littles at the local consignment store.  The brightly colored scarf Donna has on in the above picture is from Inge. 


Stella's gives her gifts a thumbs up

The activity book Inge picked our for Stella

You might be a redneck if ...

Sophie made the smaller girls little Christmas ornaments.  She wrapped a few of them in this handy-dandy redneck packaging:  Clay pigeons picked up after the youth group shoot out in the fall.  Perfect for housing small treasures.  Just add a strip of packing tape around the seam.


New gloves and a new book

John's new book is a deaccessioned book from the TRF public library.  Han Solo's Revenge, copyright 1979.  I don't know for sure where I found the book, but it's got a 25¢ sticker on it.  It  looks like a very John-ish book.

The Scooby-doo from Inge.

John's arranging the candy "chunks of coal" Sophie got him. 


Fixtures for her new purple and orange bedroom

Orange bath towel, a trinket box, and a new skirt

New gloves and a book on Medieval Chivalry


Clara saw an antique bedroom set at Community Consignment in Thief River Falls last fall.  It was a great deal, but still more than we'd spend on something just because we wanted it.  In fact, it was more than we'd spend on birthday and Christmas together.  

But Clara really wanted that set.  And I really wanted the store room organized.  And Clara wanted the store room organized, too, so she could move her bedroom down there.  I told her that if she cleaned and sorted and straightened the store room and hauled out all the big stuff that didn't really need to be down there so there was room to bring more stuff in, we'd get her the bedroom set for her Christmas and birthday gifts combined.  

And she did.  

And we did.  

At first glance the pair of gloves she got for Christmas might seem a little sad and pathetic.  But she did get a pretty nice gift.  Just nothing she had to open today.  

The bedstead

The dressing table and night stand

Clara's room at this point.

We still have to sort through and move more things.  But at least she has a little bit of space to call her own.  The curtain hanging behind the headboard is our big storage shelves for boxes and bins and other large items.  That will be removed eventually, giving Clara another two feet further toward the right along the whole length of the room.  The area behind the camera in this last picture is a heaped-to-overflowing closet area that is still inaccessible.   But it's a start.  And I'm happy to spend the money on something that will hopefully be something lasting for Clara. 


Joe usually shops for me sometime in January, since his brain is pretty full of pastor things all through December.  But I did get a few things.  Clara gave me some candy and Matt gave me some bullets for my Bersa.  I had mentioned to him that I hardly ever shoot because I feel like the expense of ammo is such a luxury item.  What a guy!  I also got many fun things from my Sunday school students, but my computer stopped reading my memory card half way through the upload so I don't have pictures of them.   One of my favorites is one of those printed metal family name necklaces.  Among other things, I also got a handmade wall sign from one of my little guys, a goodly selection of candies, a new coffee mug, some ornaments, and a couple of luxurious handcreams by Perfectly Posh.  

What my son got me for Christmas.

What my daughter got me for Christmas  (Man, that's a really ugly picture, isn't it?)

Now I can Eat, Shoot, and Leave.  Kind of like that book from a few years ago. 

Christmas 2014 Part II : Christmas tree photos

Jeremy and his friends were just here for Sunday, so we exchanged our gifts with them at that time.

Louisa and Elsie left in the wee hours of the morning to be with Joe's mom and dad.  Bergetta's father, Stanley, passed away yesterday after several months of gradually failing health.  Joe and Matt left after Joe was done with his Christmas day services.  So those four got to open their gifts last night.  Matt also had some gifts for others that they opened last night while he was still here. 

The six youngest kids and I had a relatively quiet Christmas day today, opening the remaining gifts.

Our tree with gifts for 6/12 of our family

Inge Kathryn

Donna LouElla

Stella Maud

John Alfred Christian

And yes, Sophie Irene's picture ought to be here, but alas, she didn't want to pose with the tree.

Clara Annaliese

Christmas2014 Part I : A Visit from Jeremy and Company

My mama's heart was happy when Jeremy and his buddies finally were able to make a trip up here.  They even managed to come on a special occasion, the weekend of the children's Christmas service at church.  Besides seeing my son and his people who have become our people, I was looking forward to getting a family picture.  The last time we were all together was before Louisa left for Italy.  But we ended up with a passel of sick little ones, so no family picture was forthcoming.  There will be another chance another day.

Jeremy, does not drive, so he's always dependent upon the good graces of others.  This time Peter drove.  Peter and Jeremy went to high school together.  They also shared an apartment outside of Thief River Falls the year after they graduated, so we got to know Peter well at that time.  He feels like one of my children.  Peter's family goes way back with Joe's family.  Peter's late mother, Ellen, was in Joe's graduating class; Ellen's brother, Jon, was one of Joe's late brother's best friends.  Jon's son, Tim also lives with the guys in Mankato; and Jon's daughter Elisa lives elsewhere in Mankato, and so is also one of the gang. 

Jesse also came along this trip.  Jesse attended the charter school with Jeremy and Peter, too.  Jesse lives in Rochester, but frequents the Mankato house.  I've met Jesse on several occasions.   He is also beginning to feel like one of my kids. 

A highlight of this trip was meeting Jeremy's girlfriend, Annie.  Annie works with Jeremy.  She does not share the house with them, but it is probable she does frequent it.  We like Annie.  She seems like a sweet and quiet girl.  But perhaps that's just because we are so loud. 

Jeremy and company arrived around midnight on Saturday night and left after the program on Sunday.  So it was a very quick visit.  But we totally loved having them here.  You are welcome any, any, any time.

Elsie, Louisa, Annie, John, Peter, Donna, Jesse, Stella, Jeremy

Elsie, Annie, Louisa, John, Peter, Donna, Jesse, Stella, Jeremy

Our Christmas dinner

And another dinner shot

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Learning to forgive

Inge and Donna both have the flu.  Not the stomach variety, but the influenza.  The fever, aches, chest congestion, painful cough. 

Inge:  I don't want to play Outburst Junior.  It's not fun for me. 
Donna:  I won't play with you if you don't play with me first.
Inge:  Weeeeelllll, we could go outside first and then decide.
Donna:  Ok.  Well, no, I'm too tired to go outside.
Inge:  I remember last, last, last year when you locked me outside in the winter.
theMom jumps in:  You shouldn't remember things like that.  You need to forgive Donna, and then don't think about it anymore.
Donna:  You can't forget things you try to.  The more you try to forget, the more you remember.
theMom:  But you can forgive, so that it doesn't feel so angry in your heart.
Inge:  Maybe that's why my head and throat hurt so much.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Saturday chock full of homework, cleaning, organizing, sorting, sanding, washing

I am always kind of slow on Saturday morning, letting the kids sleep late if they wish and just kind of relaxing myself.  But I had goals today.  I couldn't help but feel a bit frustrated when I saw how late is was when I finally got moving this morning.  But in spite of that, I feel like I did a good day's work. 

I started with the kids all sitting down to work on their make-up homework from our sick week.  Some of them focused better than others, but I had my head on my projects and didn't monitor them as well as perhaps I ought to have.  I think they all got some work done, though. 

After that I assigned them various tasks and took Inge, Donna, and John and sorted through their dressers.  An added bonus here is that my Louisa helped me with part of this.  It was nice to work with her.  We accomplished much straightening, but also pulling out clothes that were worn or too small.  We didn't get Stella's done, but there's always tomorrow.

I helped Louisa with some organizing in the room that will be for her and Elsie when they are home.  It had been just hers, but I've gradually moved much of Elsie's stuff in there and exchanged Louisa's twin sized bed for Elsie's full.  In general, when she came home for her weekends, it was becoming harder and harder to move around.  She knew where very few of her things had been put.  And she wanted to get it straightened up before Elsie came home for Christmas. 

So we moved Elsie's dresser into that room so that Louisa had room to put some of Elsie's things.  But first we had to sand the top, since the blond finish had gotten dried and cracked during the time Elsie used it.  We had also never gotten the mirror installed on it, so Joe did that, too.  I scrubbed Hannah Montana stickers, crayon, mascara, and who knows what all off the mirror.  Along with the blond finish that was cracked and crumbly, we scraped and sanded off glue, gum, wax, and other assorted build-up from the dresser surface.  Elsie can help re-finish it when she's home.  We might simply spray it with a coat of Krylon or Rust-o-leum; or we might actually redo the stain nicely and coat it with polyurethane. 

About the time I was considering which of my many waiting organizational tasks to tackle next, a friend called to see if we had an extra Christmas tree stand.  I thought we might, since we used to use one with our first artificial tree. 

"But it will take me awhile to find, if I do still have it."

And besides, I thought to myself, it's a good excuse to tackle the messed up confusion of Christmas stuff I have been ignoring and adding to each year for at least seven years. 

A few years ago, we stopped decorating the tree before Christmas.  With all our kids, and all the ornaments they get each year, we simply had too many ornaments.  We have been decorating the tree with lights only, and perhaps a purple ribbon for Advent.  As the kids are given ornaments, they add them to the tree.  And by the time the Christmas season is over, the tree is full.  We have been simply boxing up each years' ornaments and stashing the box in the mess.  And then we start fresh each consecutive year with another empty tree, just waiting for all the ornaments the kids will again be given.

Besides Christmas tree ornaments, as a pastor's family we seem to accumulate a large number of Christmas themed decorations.  Our members are very generous and each year bless us with many decorative gifts.  Way too many to put out each year.  And they too, sadly, tend to be used for one or two years, and then boxed and set in the confusion of the store room.  

But because of that, what used to be a somewhat, kind of well-organized gathering of boxes, has become instead an assorted mish-mash of bits and pieces of Christmas, packaged in small and large boxes, sitting pell mell on the shelves. 

At one time, each child had a box of Christmas ornaments.  Joe and I also had our favorites, some old and some new.   Gradually, we simply had too many to use.  We started by limiting each child to perhaps ten of their ornaments.  And then five.  And then three.  They could choose each year which ones they wanted to use, but each child could only put up the designated number of ornaments. 

Then even that got to be too many.  So we stopped that tradition.  I think it must have been about three years ago.  And since then we add only the new ones we get each year.  

So while looking for the tree stand, I took the time to go through EVERYTHING.  But still found no tree stand.

I sorted and organized.  I kept only the things I really liked, or were very special for sentimental reasons.  This was hard, since so many were gifts from members and we love all our members. 

But really, ... as nice as they are, how many nativity scenes can we use?  How many church shaped candles or light-up angels?  How many music boxes of Christmas carolers?  I'm sorry to say that after the first few years, I tend to just leave them boxed up.  By then I have a whole new supply from which to choose. 

And boxed up, they don't do anyone any good.  So I pulled out the nicest ones to give to second hand stores to share with others.  All of them have been enjoyed for at least a handful of years here and there.  But they do tend to accumulate. 

Just as with children's clothing, I've had to decide to weed out Christmas decorations, too.  And just as with the children's clothes, each has memories of those who've shared them with us.  Some reminded me of friends who have already continued on to heaven.  I found the beautiful snow globe I got from Mavis B. one year at the Ladies' Aid Christmas program.  I found the many crocheted ornaments Gladys H. did for our children. 

I packed away a whole box of things Joe's Grandma made for us or the kids; or things we got from among her things after she passed away.  These treasures I'll save for the kids when they have their own homes. 

After I got the kids ornaments organized, I ended up wtih:
  • only found a couple of Jeremy's ornaments.  I don't know if he has the rest, or if they simply got tucked in a different corner. 
  • Matt has two Currier and Ives tins like the ones Schwan's fills with ice cream at Christmas, plus a couple of things that didn't fit the tins.
  • Louisa has two of the same tins plus a small box.  
  • Elsie has one tin of that same size, and two the smaller size that short bread cookies come in.  Plus she had some other odds and ends that wouldn't fit in tins, so I found an extra large popcorn sized tin that fits her smaller tins plus her odds and ends. 
  • Clara has a popcorn tin.
  • Sophie has a popcorn tin.
  • John has a small box.
  • Stella has a Currier and Ives sized tin and a round tub similiar to what Lincoln Logs or Tinker Toys used to come in.
  • Donna has a shoe box.
  • Inge has a shoe box.
Besides that, Joe and I have shoe boxed sized box of our childhood and young adult ornaments. 

I ran out of steam before I got everything else repacked.  But I think I can get it down to:
  • a box for lights and garland and ribbons.  
  • a box for books and puzzles
  • a box for larger things like candles and creches.
  • and the Christmas tree itself.  
I also still have the foot locker with the things from our early married years.  I haven't had those things out in years.  I did open it to search for the Christmas tree stand, but no luck.  I pulled out a few things I thought others might enjoy.  Maybe next year I'll be ready to go through that one.
 I have three boxes of things to send to the thrift stores.  I think I'll save some of it for consignment next fall.  But most will simply end up at the charity variety of thrift stores. 

But alas!  Sorry, Alison, that we didn't save that tree stand.  After I was thinking about it, though, probably it would have been too small for a church sized tree anyway. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What's that in the dryer?

meteorites?  rocks?  bubble gum?

Our dryer developed a nasty squeak over the last month.  At first it was only at the beginning of the cycle, until it got warmed up.  But gradually the squeak time lasted longer.  And louder.  Until finally this last week or so it was driving us batty.

So Joe decided it was time to take things into his own hands and see what he could see.

"You come, too, please.  I want to show you what's inside there so when I'm dead and gone you will be able to fix it yourself." 


I took my computer down with me, so that Joe would have handy access to various youtube videos and exploded view diagrams of the dryer innards.

But we were stymied right away.  Neither of us could remember how to get the top off.  We undid the screws on the back.  Joe thought the next step was the top, but how?  I thought the next step was the front, but how?  And at first glance the internet was not very forthcoming with the information we needed.  So I got back to my crochet and Joe did a little more searching. 

Joe was right.  The next step was the top.  When he had that off, he called me down.

"Can you bring the vacuum down here and clean this lint out for me?"

Joe saw right away at least one problem.  One of the plastic electrical connectors had melted at some point.  Yikes!  A striking proof of the providential protection of our Heavenly Father.

melted electrical connection
Joe went back to his pastor work while I cleaned out the lint.  It was indeed quite linty.  I found that reaching in and grabbing the handfuls worked better than the vacuum at first.

After I was done, I returned to my crochet.  Joe came back down to remove the front panel.

"Can you come down and get the next section cleaned out?"

Joe went back to his pastor work while I cleaned out more lint.  Handfuls and handfuls.  Some of it nicely felted.  Some of it simply thick pillows.

After I was done, I returned to my crochet.  Joe came down and took the drum out.

"Can you come down and get the next area cleaned out?"

I once again went downstairs and cleaned out lint.  This part was also a bit worrisome, since there was a thick layer of toasted lint on the back of the drum.  Another striking proof of the providential protection of our Heavenly Father.

When I was done with this, Joe came back down.  I did not return to my crochet, but stayed with Joe so that he could teach me all he knew about how this contraption works.  Then we took the drum itself apart to get the lint from all the nooks and crannies there.  We also took the little paddle things our of the inside of the drum, to clean inside of them.

All in all, we came up with about a dollar in change, a couple of foam ear plugs, several bobby pins, some candy wrappers, rubber bands, and a few other small gizmos.

And lots and lots of lint.  This photo is the big chunks that didn't get sucked into the vacuum.  It's hard to tell in this photo, but it fills a plastic grocery bag pretty much all the way.  Notice the toasted lint on top?  That's the part that was between the drum and the heating coil.

lovely bag full of dryer lint, including some nicely toasted
Joe put some grease on the bearing and the felt strip around the edge of the drum. 

He checked online to see about the melted electrical connection pieces and decided there was no place in town that would be likely to stock that variety.  But he's pretty good with electrical know-how, so he figured out a way to fix it without having to order anything.  But his wire cutter tool seems to have wandered off.  After making a few phone calls, Joe found one at Ryan N.'s.  He sent me over to get it while he returned to his pastor work. 

When I returned with the wire cutter, Joe said, "You come, too, please.  I want to show you how to do it so when I'm dead and gone you will be able to fix it yourself." 

Joe clipped melted pieces off, and stripped a scant half inch of plastic off the wires.  This part was a little tricky, since the plastic insulation near the melted connectors had also melted, and was stuck into the bundled copper wires underneath it.  But with some finagling, Joe worked them off.  Then he used one of those handy-dandy twisty cap things and put the wires back together without the plastic connector pieces.  He showed me how to do one wire at a time, so as to avoid reconnecting them wrongly.  He even let me twist one of them together.  But I did notice he kind of tugged on it after I was done to make sure it was going to stay.  I didn't notice him doing that to the one he twisted.

Then we put the dryer back together:  baring, drum, belt, front, top.  And we started it up. 

And still, it squeaked. 

Time to order some parts.  Joe found new bearing pieces online for about $35.  He thought the heating element looked kind of sketchy and that could be ordered for $90. 

That was getting close to the amount that causes one to ask if the repair is too costly.  We have a ten year old dryer.  A ten year old dryer originally estimated to last seven years.  And a ten year old dryer originally estimated to last seven years for an average sized family. 

And were there other parts that warranted replacing, too?  

Joe decided on soliciting a second opinion from Kyle  N. 

Good news!  Kyle thought every looked fine except the bearing.  Even the heating element.  Kyle is a tinkerer.  He knows such things.  What great news!  A striking proof of the provision of our Heavenly Father.

The most interesting things we pulled out of the dryer came from inside the paddle or fin things inside the drum.

The action of constant spinning combined with the shape of the inside of the fins seems to be conducive to creating unusual spheres of lint.   Mostly spheres, but also some other fun shapes. 

dryer detritus

in order of size 

Bulk Granola Goodness!

I've been making my own granola this last few months.   I used to make it quite often, but for many years, we've just never had granola very often.  Over this last summer I started buying granola.  But it always seems like such a waste to buy it when rolled oats are so inexpensive and the granola process is so simple. 

After all these years, I've kind of forgotten how I used to do it.  So it's almost like I'm learning a new skill.  Plus I'm making it in my big blue enamel turkey roaster these days, and the ingredients I use have changed somewhat. 

Here's what I did today and it seems to be very good.  I think I'll do up a small batch with my gluten free oats for Joseph.  He was looking piningly at the last batch I made. 

Bulk granola
Yield: about 2 ½ gallons
Preheat oven to 350 °F 

30 c. oats
2 tbsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. cardamom
1 tbsp. cinnamon
Stir together in roaster

3 c. fat (I used 1 c butter, 1 c coconut oil, ½ olive oil, ½ c lard)
3-4 c sweeteners  (I used 1 ½ c. honey and 2 c sugar; or try maple syrup or a touch of molasses).

Stir together in saucepan over low heat until honey and oils are pourable and able to be mixed.
2 tbsp. pure vanilla extract (I forgot to put this in today and it was still good; some recipes call for almond extract instead.)
Stir vanilla into sugar and fat mixture.
Stir very thoroughly into oat mixture, saving ¼ c or so to use on the nuts later. 

Bake, stirring every ten minutes, for 40 minutes (or for 15-20 minutes after heated through evenly).  Be sure as you mix to scrape the bottom and corners of the roaster well.  Those areas can build up a sugary layer that is prone to scorching.

8 c dried fruits and nuts (I used chopped pecans, dried cranberries, cherries, coconut, and raisins.  I didn't think it looked like I had enough nuts, so I also included about ½ c of almond meal.)

Stir nuts into reserved oil.  Then stir them and the dried fruit into granola. Cook another 15 minutes, stirring half way through.  

Note for this step:  Since melted sugar and fat doesn't combine very well, I was left with mostly an oily somewhat melted sugar. I was afraid it would cool into a candy before I was ready for it, so I stirred the nuts and almond meal into it and right away.  Each time I stirred the oat mixture, I stirred the sugary nuts, too, breaking it apart and crumbling it as it cooled.  The almond meal combined with the pecans and sugar to form sweetened nutty clusters.
Let cool completely, then package for use.  

  • If you don't have any large storage containers, some ideas are ice cream buckets, gallon jars, or zipping storage bags.  Or you can usually find some nice canisters or cookie jars at second hand stores.  
  • If you expect your granola to last longer than a couple of months, you might consider freezing some of it.  I had my last batch for a couple of months, and it was fine the whole time, but some recipes suggest only keeping it for a couple of weeks at room temperature. 
  • If you don't need this big a batch, you can easily cut it down, but the cooking times need to be adjusted.  
  • Most recipes recommend baking granola in thin layers on cookie sheets to get a crispier end product.  The roaster method does gets dried and toasty, but it is a slightly different texture than that done in thinner batches.