Lisa’s homemade granola

032415 homemade granola

Have I already confessed how many hours I am spending watching videos or reading articles about backpacking food? Which, of course, sometimes segues into watching other people’s adventures, instead of planning my own.

One of the videos I watched suggested mixing granola with dry milk at home, then simply adding water for breakfast on the trail. So I purchased some fresh (not four years old) dried (not fresh) milk and tried it out. The milk tasted great. The sogginess of the granola is not for me, though, so I guess I’ll enjoy mine dry.

Later that same week, my friend Lisa was making homemade granola with our students at school. She generously shared the recipe. This is actually my second batch and the recipe as it has evolved so far. Lisa’s original recipe called for more salt and the raisins (or chopped dried cherries) were optional.

Ingredients:  3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (900 cal), 1 cup sliced almonds (480 cal), 3/4 cup shredded coconut (210 cal), 1 cup golden raisins (436 cal), 1/4 cup brown sugar (209 cal), 1/4 cup maple syrup (210 cal), 1/4 cup vegetable oil (520 cal), 1/2 t. salt

Combine all ingredients except raisins in large bowl, mixing well. Spread on greased baking sheets and bake for 1 hour at 250 degrees, stirring every 15 minutes for even toasting. Cool on wire racks, then add raisins and store in airtight container or plastic bag. Lisa says it lasts quite a while.  So far I have eaten it too quickly to know! Total calories would be 2,975 or around 250 calories per 1/2 cup serving.

The best things come in small packages

My collection of small packages from the Richmond trip…and, yes, the hotel desk clerk did give me all of those tea bags when I asked for just one. Isn’t the True Lime cute? I discovered that minimus.biz also has crystallized honey in packets equivalent to one teaspoon.

Spring has arrived, at least by the calendar.  Yesterday’s new snow was just playful flurries, dusting the road and recording the passing of some deer.  The ice is still thick on the lakes, though, thick enough for the snowmobiles to go roaring by.  Last year, ice-out was April 12, so open water will soon be here.  Until I can paddle again, I am walking a lot and am ready to start some upper body strength-building now that I have dug out my hand weights from the barn.

On my Jet Blue flight home the other day, I ordered tomato juice, something healthy to balance out some poor but delicious weekend food choices.  (Like the supper of tater tots smothered in cheese and bacon, with cake for dessert…and nothing else, unless you count the beer).  Anyway, with my tomato juice came a tiny packet of True Lime, the equivalent of a lime wedge in crystallized form.  Now there’s a condiment I had never met!

Almost any backpacker or paddler will tell you that’s exciting!  I’m sure none of us have ever deliberately taken any extra jelly or mayo or those lovely little packs of honey, but sometimes they just load you up with extra condiments and it’s like heaven.

Although this collecting of condiments can still continue, there is another option, one I just discovered.  It’s http://www.minimus.biz and it is wonderful.  Here you can find an amazing assortment of tiny packages, priced individually, which even ship for free if your order totals $20. My shopping cart is getting full…so far with orange marmalade, apricot preserves, honey, sunflower butter, sweet relish and mayonnaise (for my tuna), hot sauce, and even first aid items like anti-fungal and anti-bacterial ointments.

interlude

031615 capitol in Richmond 031615 megan 031615 tiffany lamps              Found my green grass on Richmond’s capitol lawn, found Megan in her new cubicle, found beauty at the VMFA

Loving RVA (Richmond, Virginia) more with each visit.  Megan was tickled with my excitement over the public buses, particularly the app on my phone that would send me walking two blocks ahead, then 500 feet left until I met the proper bus at exactly 2:14 p.m.  Thanks to Jacob for treating us to an IMAX film on prehistoric monsters of the sea and to Megan for some awesome Thai food.  Also enjoyed the First Freedom Center, a tribute to our nation’s history of religious freedom, a historical treasure right across from the Randall Branding office.  I promise more news later when the box arrives from our shopping excursion at REI!

Spring awaits…

Winter world waiting for more snow tonight
Winter world waiting for more snow tonight

I promised myself and I try to keep my promises. I would start my new blog at the beginning of March and not a moment later. So here it is, a blank journal to fill with my thoughts and adventures, a chance to share my life with you.

If you have been a recipient of this epic winter deluge of snow and frigid air, perhaps you share my joy at finding myself on the doorstep of March.  Spring and longer days are assured and such wistful dreams as green grass, new leaves and gently lapping waters are drawing closer.  Late this afternoon I crunched my way over the crisscrossing snowshoe trails in the woods behind my house.  They are my winter creation and my tether to the outdoors in this bitter cold.  As the light dimmed homeward, the calming rustle of beech leaves gave way to the heart thump of an owl’s sudden flight from above.

March also brings me ever closer to my summer journey, a solo through-paddle of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.  This 740-mile trail winds its way from Old Forge, NY to Fort Kent, ME, following historic paddling routes through waters large and small, still and turbulent, all connected by good old-fashioned portages. The half in Maine I have paddled before (except for seven elusive miles) and half I have never seen. Trip planning is gaining momentum, as I shop for a boat, test new recipes, upgrade equipment, and try to picture the NY, VT, Quebec, and NH portions of the NFCT.  Much more on all that later!