“Let’s go camping!” he said, soaking in the glorious sunshine of late October.
“Sure!” said I (still optimistic about the Summer that was to come).
“Maybe you can bring some snacks? And then write about them on your blog?” he replied, imagining a trip devoid of instant rice and tinned tuna.
“Well, I’ve always wanted to make my own muesli bars…”
And then Summer came, with its wet, wild and windy days and its damp, humid nights.
We went camping (oh yes we did!) but only once instead of the every-other-weekend originally envisaged.
(And on that occasion, we ate Indian for dinner, a platter of bacon and eggs at a cafe for breakfast and a larger than life pie for lunch after ditching said camping ground each and every meal time in favour of a cooked meal).
I discovered, some months later, that my planned snack menu probably wouldn’t have gone down particularly well in any case as the aforementioned boy has (save for our common love of all things fried potato) a vastly different taste in snacks to mine.
Snack aversions notwithstanding, he ate one of these fairly happily on a Saturday morning past.
As did the Bean, Mr Shepperdoo and my muesli bar ambivalent mother who, on hearing my (spoken-aloud-to-myself) confusion as to the sudden depletion of stocks admitted to pinching a bit off one every time she walked past.
These are a chewy muesli bar (or as the say in the ‘states, “granola bar”) – chewy oats, chewy dried cherries and chewy toasted coconut. A cherry ripe in a museli bar, if you will, but with more heft and less guilt. Sort of.
They’re best stored in the fridge, but I think they’d make a good camping snack regardless. If we ever make it back out there, that is.
(ps: what doÂ you bring for eating on a camping trip?Â I’m not sure Indian and pies will cut it the next time around.)
coconut cherry chunk granola bars
makes 10 or so muesli bars measuring about 4cm x 12cm
you will need:
1/2C brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
2tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 C coconut flakes
200g rolled oats
1/2 C dried cherries
2tbsp chocolate chips
how to do it:
1. Place the butter, brown sugar, golden syrup and cocoa powder in aÂ large pot orÂ saucepan. Heat, stirring every now and then, until it is all melted together and brown and liquid.
2. Place the coconut flakes in a saucepan. Heat, stirring from time to time, over a low heat. You will start to smell the coconut – it will be slightly nutty. WhenÂ the coconut resembles a mixture of light brown and golden flakes, pull it off the heat.
3. Tip the cocount, oats, cherries and chocolate chips into the golden brown liquid and stir thoroughly. You want all of the ingredients to be covered in the liquid.
4. Line a 25cm x 25cm square tin (or similarly proportioned tin) with baking paper, making sure the paper travels up the sides. Pour the mixture in and press it down so that it is nice and compact. Bake in aÂ 220C oven for 12-15 minutes.
5. Let the bars cool in the tin. When they are still warm, but cool enough to touch, chop them into bars before letting them cool completely. I drizzled some melted white chocolate over the top after trying to take photos of them and realising they looked a lot like bit logs of poo. This step isn’t strictly necessary. Also, they taste pretty good and not at all like poo.