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A Cause for Clusters

words & photography by Edana Isobel Jamora

FOOD ESSAY/

 

"The image is more than an idea. It is a vortex or cluster of fused ideas and is endowed with energy."

-Ezra Pound

 


 

Often a 'cluster' can occur in life, connoted as a defiant event that takes place, leaving behind its sour taste and angry friends. It is also strongly associated with the frequently thrown around colloquialism - 'what a cluster'. 

For the longest time, I avoided clusters in all forms, the food and the unforeseen trajectory of events of what we call life. I didn't like the idea of clusters, because if they weren't the big oat-y cluster in your mouth they would be the spanner in the works of a smooth sailing day. And, anyhow, who would want a big tough cluster ball in their mouthes? Call it a fluke or a momentous occasion, I accidentally baked my strong distaste for clusters away. In an attempt to create muesli breakfasts for the week, the oven soon presented forth cluster breakfasts for the week. Taking clusters by stride, one morning at a time, I soon came to appreciate (and even love) clusters for their golden nugget like goodness. 

 

INGREDIENTS

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup puffed rice

1 cup almonds

1/4 cup honey

a handful of pepitas

4 tbsp rice bran oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup dried dates

1/6 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

 

METHOD

Preheat oven. Mix all dry ingredients together in large mixing bowl. Heat honey on low heat then add maple syrup, vanilla and rice bran oil. Pour over the top. Line baking tray with baking paper. Bake at 150ºC (300ºF) for 40-45 minutes or till crunchy, golden and clustered.