"This is where your leftover oranges meet their mushy end"
The red packets have been collected, the pineapple tarts and shrimp cookies finished, and only crumbs remain at the bottom of the snack jars. Those red packets remain on your desk - opened and emptied. Chinese New Year is officially over.
It signifies the end of something else, too - holidays. The last two months have been a constant series of holidays, one after another, where everyone seems to have fled the country and getting good seats at diners is guaranteed. Now, its hello to work, hello to school, and hello to reality. Welcome back.
Despite this, the little signs of Chinese New Year remain - the last few oranges lingering at the bottom of the basket, gone soft. The decorations still tacked to the wall, and the nearly-full bag of pineapple paste in the fridge, a by-product of pineapple tart-making. Pineapple paste-pooling (like carpooling) should totally be a thing.
Still, no time to lament. Granola remains to be made, and ingredients used. Pineapple paste, when combined with butter and orange juice, proves to emit a fragrance not unlike pineapple tarts - light, buttery, with a hint of citrus cutting through. And while the orange may be a bit of a challenge zesting, fret not, since they do tend to be a little soft. Simply squeeze the orange over a bowl as it disintegrates into a pulpy mush, with juice dripping through your fingers. Two tablespoons of the OJ is sufficient - any more and the granola becomes too soft - and drink up the remainder. I've found baking this to be the perfect wake-up call, but if baking granola in the morning isn't your thing, do so the night before and have a fresh batch of granola waiting for you first thing in the morning. Bon appetit.
Chinese New Year's Leftovers Granola
Makes: quite a large batch of granola
Takes: 1 hour (45 minutes standing time)
To be continued.