Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer’s end. In time’s maze
over the fall fields, we name names
that went west from here,
names that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed’s marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.
(Wendel Berry, "Wild Geese")
Brown Butter Sweet Potato Granola
1 sweet potato (about one cup)
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, browned
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon molasses
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup pecans
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup coconut flakes
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. With a knife or a fork, poke holes all over the sweet potato. Place sweet potato on a rimmed foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes, until soft when pierced. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Slice in half and remove the flesh from the skin. Set aside. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
2) In a large mixing bowl, toss together oats, spices and salt. Set aside.
3) In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stirring constantly, allow the butter to heat until frothy. Continue string and cooking. After a few minutes, solids will begin to form and sink to the bottom. The butter will turn golden brown. Remove from the heat and transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
4) Add the sweet potato, maple syrup, and molasses to the mixing bowl with the browned butter. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
5) Add the sweet potato and brown butter mixture to the oats. Using a large spoon or your hands, mix the oats and the sweet potato until the oats are coated and the mix is thoroughly combined.
6) Spread the mixture out in a single, even layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Keep an eye out to make sure that the edges are not burning. If the granola around the edges appears to be browning more quickly than that in the center, turn frequently, moving the center granola over and toward the edges. After 20 minutes, add the pumpkin seeds, nuts, and cranberries to the granola. Return to the oven and bake for another 20-30 minutes, turning every 10-15 minutes, until granola is golden brown and crisp.
7) Remove from oven and allow to cool entirely before transferring to an airtight container for storage.