When we had our own business, the responsibility of the banking used to go to me. Visiting the bank hasn’t been fun since I was eight and got a green plastic dragon for a money box and I dreaded it and would stand in the queue and pray that I wouldn’t get one lady in particular. She used to delight in being pedantic, denying anyone their wishes and just being very smug and unpleasant. She was fierce looking with mad eyes and I overheard one customer in the queue call her “muesli face” to another as she had pock marked skin. To me she really looked more like the clown from IT.
Then I reached the counter. “Oh hellooooo” she said, a smirk curling unpleasantly in the corner of her mouth. And then she proceeded to keep me there for 45 minutes while she checked every single thing with her manager who admittedly looked like he was going to throttle her. Every time she came back I would think that we would be finished but that was just a chance for her to be condescending and generally unpleasant between consultations with her manager.
I finally learned to offer the next customer my spot at the front of the queue whenever I was next in line and it was her turn. One day I was at the bank when a customer stood in front of her trying to do the very same transactions that I had. “Good luck” I mumbled under my breath. But the customer had other ideas. “What’s that on your face?” she said loudly to the teller. “Your make up looks strange” she said to the teller. The teller hurried her along and the customer was back through the doors in about 2 minutes flat. Who knew that you just had to be rude to get good service from her?
I don’t see her any more but I do think of how glad I am that I don’t have to see her any more. And unfortunately, I think of her when I eat muesli – which is probably why I don’t eat it enough. I went through a phase of buying granola clusters until I realised how easy they were to make. The secret ingredient is egg whites which bind the oats together and make them crispy when baked. These are wonderfully addictive and I eat them dry as a mid morning or late night snack while working. They take about 5 minutes to prepare and the recipe makes a large batch of nutty, crunchy, oaty clusters. I like these with some cranberries to give them a bit of tartness and of course the best thing about this is that you can substitute the nuts and fruit with whatever you have on hand.
So tell me Dear Reader, what is your least favourite chore either at work or at home?
Cranberry Almond Oat Granola Clusters
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Baking time: 20-25 minutes
- 2 cups oats
- 3/4 cup nuts (almonds, pistachios, whatever you fancy)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 2 egg whites
- 2/3 cup icing or confectioners sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line two large baking sheets with parchment. In a large bowl, add the oats, nuts, cinnamon and salt and mix together. In a bowl add the egg whites and icing or confectioners sugar and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add this to the oat mix and stir mixed together. Spread out on the two trays, leaving some lumps or clusters of mix.
2. Bake for 10-15 minutes and then using tongs, turn them over and bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden and crisp. Add the cranberries and store in an airtight jar.
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