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Trail mixes supply ramblers with energy

Autumn is a restful time of the year. It is silent and lazy and beautiful. The trees have donned their richest garments of gold and scarlet, but here and there an emerald green tree will remind us that summer was only yesterday.

With the blue skies above us and the warm sunshine on our shoulders, nature beckons us on one last walk in the woods. The air is scented with a sweet woodsy aroma and beneath our feet we can hear the crunching of the crisp leaves crackling as we walk along a path.

Perhaps it is a hike you would prefer to take. If so, there are some essentials that make a hike a safe one - take a map of the area, a compass, extra clothing in case the weather turns foul, a first aid kit, a flashlight, fire starter, matches, sunglasses, pocket knife, water and extra food.

Whether it is a walk in the woods or a hike to the mountains, it is a perfect family adventure. It can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be, and for sure someone will get hungry. High energy snacks are the answer then -



TAKE-IT-ON-THE-TRAIL

MIX

4 cups crispy corn cereal squares

1 cup peanuts

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup dried apples, cut into pieces

1 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces

In large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Store in loosely covered container. Makes about 7 cups.



ENERGY-FILLED PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICHES

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup shredded carrot

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons raisins

2 tablespoons honey

Combine above and spread on four bagel halves; top with remaining bagel halves. Wrap in foil.



HIKER'S SNACK

Whole grain flakes

Sesame seeds

Sunflower seeds

Nut meats

Raisins

Dried fruits, chopped

Toast the grain flakes and seeds in a dry skillet. Pour into a bowl and mix with nut meats, raisins and any desired chopped dried fruits. Cool the mixture completely. Carry in tightly closed plastic bags.



FRUIT AND NUT

NIBBLE

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ginger

2 cups pecans

2 cups almonds

2 cups cashews

1 quart vegetable oil

salt

1 cup dried apricots, cut in half

1 cup raisins

In a small bowl, combine sugar and spices; set aside. In a large saucepan, mix nuts together. Add water to cover nuts; bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Drain nuts well; pat with paper towels to remove excess moisture. While nuts are still warm, toss with the sugar mixture. Spread sugared nuts onto a tray in a single layer; let dry for 8-24 hours. In a large saucepan or deep fryer, heat oil to 350-

degrees. Fry nuts in small batches for 2 minutes or until sugar caramelizes and nuts are dark brown. Drain well and cool; sprinkle with salt. Add peanuts, apricots and raisins; mix well. Store mixture in an airtight container. Makes 10 cups.



JUMBO TRAIL-MIX

COOKIES

2 1/4 cups flour

2 cups natural granola cereal with oats, honey and raisins

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup flaked coconut

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/2 cup M&Ms

In medium bowl, mix flour, cereal, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, mix sugar, coconut, oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract and eggs until blended; stir in dry ingredients.

With hands, roll scant 1/4 cup dough into balls; place balls on greased large cookie sheets, about 3 inches apart, flattening them slightly. Press several M&Ms gently into tops of cookies; bake 10-12 minutes in preheated 375-degree oven or until golden. Makes 18.



HAM & CHEESE BISCUITS

1/2 pound cooked ham, diced

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

4 tablespoons butter

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

3/4 cup milk

In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and brown sugar. With pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in diced ham and shredded cheese. Stir in milk just until mixture forms soft dough that leaves side of bowl.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead 6-8 strokes to mix thoroughly. With floured rolling pin, roll dough into 9-inch by 7-inch rectangle. With floured knife, cut dough lengthwise into three strips, then cut each strip cross-wise into four pieces. With pancake turner, place biscuits on ungreased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake in preheated 450-degree oven 12-15 minutes Makes 12.

It is the autumn of the year. The time of year that excites, challenges and inspires me, most especially when taking a walk in the woods.



HINT OF THE MONTH

Whether parked in a campground or at home between trips, take a day for dreaming, leaving cares behind, and take a walk in the woods, crunching the leaves and smelling that woodsy aroma.



Marian Platt can be reached at 683-4691 or

mlplatt@olypen.com.



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