Well, it must not be that ridiculous, because we love it enough to do it every year. It’s mostly ridiculous because it takes us more than 9 hours to drive there (one way!), a drive that normally involves car sickness, and once we get there, we tent camp, often in the cold and snow, in a campground that has the worst smelly no-flush outhouse toilets and no sinks or kitchen facilities. AND we only stay two nights.
Some families have their reunions at Disneyland. Or a big cabin on the beach. But this family camps in the Big Horns.
I know it sounds like I’m complaining a lot, but in reality, we love this ridiculous trip, because we love this family. This family has lots of great people, and few arguments. It has lots of singing and hugging and few black sheep. When one cousin made some highly suspect life decisions, the family rallied around to support and help him. They worried and prayed and sacrificed. Every time we go to this reunion, I think I picked a good family to marry into.
I’d love to jump in here with some amazing camp food, delicious dutch oven recipes or fun open flame desserts. But the extensive traveling and ever-changing fire restrictions and inadequate available refrigeration means that meals must be planned (and prepared, if possible) ahead in order to manage the general mood of the crowd.
Or the general mood of yours truly.
Enter granola. It might be the perfect camp food, because #1) it does not require refrigeration #2) it does not require heating or cooking of any kind #3) everyone likes it. They like it or they starve.
You can be boring and eat your granola with milk, like cold cereal only better. Or, you can be awesome and eat it with a big dollop of greek yogurt and some sliced bananas or strawberries.
I recommend being awesome.
Oh, and speaking of awesome… when you bake this granola, be sure to take it off the baking sheet as soon as it comes out of the oven. Dump it into a big bowl or container to cool. If you wait until it starts to cool, you run the risk of finding your granola stuck to the baking sheet. Then you might try to scrape it off with a pancake turner, and accidentally let granola fly all over the kitchen. Several times. Then you have to immediately sweep up the floor, because you are deathly afraid of mice…
… which would be super awesome.
Or so I hear.
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup chia seeds or sesame seeds
- 2 cups shredded coconut
- 4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1½ cups quick oats
- Heat oil, sugar, and honey to dissolve sugar and loosen honey. (This can be done on the stove or in the microwave in 30 second increment, stirring between each.)
- Remove from heat and add vanilla and cinnamon.
- In a large bowl, combine honey mixture with remaining ingredients, and stir to coat.
- Spread mixture on a large baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove from baking sheet immediately, and allow to cool before serving.
If you enjoy this recipe, you might also enjoy:
Coconut Ginger Granola from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
Pumpkin Spice Granola from Annie’s Eats
Gingerbread Granola from Kitchen Simplicity