I have a confession. It’s one I have been denying for a while now. Charlie tells me it regularly, but I have been slightly blind sighted. I shut the cupboard doors quickly, and ram in another hanger in the over-flowing wardrobe.
Yes, I am a hoarder.
I collect things I think will be important, things I am sure I will use again and again. Yes, I do need another pink wig. And a 15th pair of sunglasses. No, I can’t make my trainer collection smaller, and it is absolutely necessary to have that hula-hula skirt I found at a festival. The trouble is, when you live on a boat, you cannot be a hoarder. You have to condense your life down to the very most important things. How am I supposed to do this when EVERYTHING is important. It is a topic which often turns into a heated discussion between Charlie and I. He doesn’t like ‘stuff’, I love ‘stuff’. Here lies the problem.
Every September, we arrive back on the boat after some time in the fields, and I cry and despair because I don’t know how we are going to be able to unpack. I try to have a clear-out, but it never seems to work. All the storage space we have is full, and the boat is a mess. How could we possibly get organised, when there was no room to organise anything? I decided enough was enough. I sat myself down, gave myself a little pep talk, and got my ‘clearing out’ head on.
It took all day, copious amounts of tea, a few tears, and many cookies. I was ruthless with my clothes, anything not worn in over 2 months could go, shoes hiding at the back of the rack were out. The kitchen cupboards were organised, I know now exactly what is in them (we’re going to be eating rice until 2017), and where. Given the fact that we can only have about 3 people visiting at once, I figured we don’t need 20 dinner plates, or 25 side plates! We gave sacks and sacks of clothes to charity, blankets to people in need, and set up a stall on the towpath with a big ‘FREE – HELP YOURSELF’ sign.
There’s still more sorting to be done, but the boat is looking better. What surprised me most, is how good it actually felt. What I thought would stress me out, and the reason I’d be putting it off for so long, actually made me feel so much better. A sense of calm came over me, and it didn’t break me. Plus, now I have MORE SPACE FOR NEW THINGS! (I’m only slightly joking….)
Cleaning out one of our kitchen cupboards, I realised we had a great variety of nuts and seeds. They are great things to keep a good stock of, as we use them often. Perfect for a ‘throw-everything-in-a-bowl-granola-mix’. In my eagerness, none of this recipe was measured, apart from the syrup and coconut oil. Clear out those cupboards, chuck it in, mix it, bake it, and amp up your granola game.
Cacao Cashew Granola (v) (gf)
Rolled oats (I use certified gluten-free)
Large handful of cashews – roughly chopped
Small handful of hemp seeds
Shaking of raw cacao powder (at a guess I would say I used 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon date syrup
2 tablespoons cold pressed coconut oil
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 2 / 160 C
Add all dry ingredients into a bowl, stir to combine.
In a saucepan, melt the coconut oil and date syrup over a low heat, whisk well.
Pour the melted mixture into the dry, making sure you give it a good stir to coat all the granola mix.
On a lined baking tray, spread out your granola mix (you may need to cook it in 2 batches)
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Be sure to stir the mix every 5-7 minutes, to stop it from catching.
Here’s some other Cacao and Cashew recipes: