Once and For All: How to make yourself a bowl of muesli, with Tane Andrews

· Thursday December 20, 2012

When they invented the phrase ‘he’s a good egg’, they must have had Tane Andrews in mind. A smooth, perfect, shell of good-lookingness, and inside, a heart of gold. He's also a major art talent, fresh from his second solo exhibition at Venn. Tane plans to keep productivity levels high these holidays - lounging poolside, drinking Pimms, reading Euro fashion mags - you know, the usual. He’ll also be completing some big-time private commissions, working towards a show at Heathcote Gallery next year, as well as developing an iPad app with his creative Dad. That’s right, Tane is going to be downloadable!

You might be wondering what kind of amazing juice keeps this talent running. The answer is not juice at all, but muesli. Home-made muesli, at that. Says Tane: “I have it for breakfast, as a snack while I’m working in the studio, before I go out drinking at night. I first started making my own muesli in high school. I was sick of Nutri-Grain and Frosties for breakfast. I remember watching an ad on TV that said there was more sugar in Nutri Grain than a chocolate cake and being really freaked out.”

So we thought we'd ask Tane to show us how to make the perfect bowl of the stuff (which doubles as a timely seasonal gift if you put it in a jar). Thanks to Tane’s folks for lending us their lush garden, and to Laura Mangen for teaching Tane and I that those giant gold circles photographers carry around are not for tanning your face.

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What you'll need:
- Bag of rolled oats
- Seeds: pepitas, sunflower seeds
- Nuts: almonds, pine nuts
- Natural Honey (Tane likes the fancy Ogilvie chilli-infused stuff from Jack’s)
- Fruit: mango, rasperries
- Yoghurt (Tane swears by Mundella Greek Vanilla)
- Optional festive additions: ‘dried berry mix’, sultanas, cranberries, gojis

Take it away, Tane…

Get half a cup each of olive oil and honey, simmer on stove. Pour your bag of oats into a baking dish, then massage the honey oil mix into the oats. I’m quite tactile, so I like to get right in there with my fingers. Put the baking dish into the oven on a low shelf, and leave it for a few hours. During these hours, your house will smell amazing, like Anzac cookies or something.

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So that was probably the hardest step [Us: ‘That wasn’t very hard at all?’] Exactly! My muesli recipe is basically failsafe, or else we wouldn’t be here. I cannot stress enough that I can’t cook anything. The other week I tried to cook raw cut chilli in a frying pan and ended up with mustard gas!

Which is weird, because my parents are really good cooks, they always encouraged us to do things for ourselves. As kids, they used to do home style alternatives to takeaway food for me and my sister, so instead of going to KFC, we’d have home made fried chicken. One time Mum also made me a home archeologists’ kit, she pulled apart a plastic dinosaur and set the bits in Plaster of Paris then gave me a chisel to chip away at it….

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Next, chop up the almonds if you’re one of those people who doesn’t like eating them whole. Grab a handful of all the dry ingredients in the little bowls, the seeds, the nuts, the berry mix… throw them into the baking dish of oats, give it a good stir. You can pre-roast all the seeds and nuts and stuff if you want.

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The trick about serving muesli is what you serve it with – muesli’s a dry mix so match it with really wet stuff. Put scoops of the muesli into bowls, chop up the mango and raspberries and put on top, along with big dollops of yoghurt and honey, then some more pine nuts. It’s ready.

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You could even put the muesli into cute jars and give them to people as Christmas presents - the jars should keep for a good few months in a cool pantry. Provided there is no moths in the pantry… I had a big pantry moth problem in my apartment a few months ago, I think it’s because I had a pet bird in the house? The moths came with the bird mix or something?

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If you’re eating it now, I like to eat it with a long teaspoon because it feels more elegant. A nice garden setting is good, too.

This article is part of our new series 'Once And For All', made possible with support from Ketel One. Stay tuned for further posts in which local characters teach us how to do things properly.