Friday, June 16, 2006

Hoot-n-Nanny GORP

I was just getting ready for the first of my Scout Camps this summer (Silver Moccasin) by making myself some of my Famous (in my own mind) Hoot-n-Nanny GORP. If you’re not familiar with GORP you don’t live in the mountain west. GORP stands for "Good Old Raisins and Peanuts"... Trail Mix ...to you folks who have never actually seen a trail. The best part about my famous Hoot-n-Nanny GORP is that there is no actual GORP in it. But it’s calk full of Hoot... with just a little bit of Nanny.

So... here’s how you make it.

Start with 3 cups of rolled oats (Hoot). I’ll usually get this stuff called “Cream of the West” out of Montana, because it’s made of oats and 6 other grains (Double Hoot). Good for the heart and cholesterol.
Then get about a cup of slivered or sliced Almonds (Hoot), and another cup of some other nut (Hoot). I like peanuts that have been chopped up a bit. Oops. I guess that there is come GORP in my GORP. Protein, protein, protein.
Now get about ¾ cup of sweet shredded coconut. (Nanny).
Then about ¼ cup of dark brown sugar (Nanny). I usually give it about 2 tablespoons over a ¼ cup (eyeball it, this isn't rocket science for cryin' out loud) for just a bit more Nanny. Now get about ¾ of a teaspoon of salt. (don’t use table salt ‘cause it tastes weird. Use kosher salt or sea salt. Trust me, not all salt tastes… salty.) By the way. I think that this is a Hoot, because you need to replace your sodium when on the trail. Drinking water, especially filtered water is not going to replace that sodium.
Now that’s all the dry stuff, so toss it all in a big mixing bowl, and stir it up. Break up any of the brown sugar or coconut that has stuck together.
Now for the wet stuff.
Get about ¼ cup of vegetable oil. I use Canola oil because it’s pretty low in saturated fats and has no trans fats. Plus it has a really light taste. I guess that’s a Hoot.
Now you need something sticky. Maple syrup works nicely. Don’t get maple “flavored” syrup, go for the real Vermont maple. I’ve also used honey. The regular mass produced Clover honey works well, but for an extra kick of Nanny, get a nice dark Buckwheat honey... oooh... or an orange blossom honey (Double Nanny). You can turn Honey into a bit of a Hoot by tracking down local honey. The reason being, if you have hay fever, like I do, you can lessen those allergies by eating locally produced wildflower honey, which builds up your resistance to the local pollins. Check with your doctor and make sure that doing this isn’t going to make you swell up and die. I don’t want that on my hands. Geez.
Molasses works well as a sticky as well. But I find that the taste is a bit too strong.
Use a little over ¼ cup of the sticky stuff. I take it just short of ½ a cup.
So... dump the oil and sticky stuff into the bowl with all of the dry stuff and stir to combine. It will seem like there isn’t enough wet to cover all of the dry, but trust me, there is. Just keep stirring until everything is lightly coated with the sticky oily mixture.
Now oil a sheet pan (save yourself some time and use Pam) and pour the GORP onto it. Spread it evenly and pop it into a 250 F oven. Let it bake for about 30 minutes. Then pull it out and sir it up and respread it evenly onto the sheet pan, and then back to the oven. Repeat this every 15 minutes, until the GORP is nicely toasted. Get it as dark as you like. I like it about the same color as buckskin.
Then take it out and give it a good press with your spatula (this will get the oat clusters working for you) and let it cool completely.
Once cool, the real Nanny begins. Take the GORP off of the sheet pan and put it in a bowl (big mixing bowl works). Getting it off of the sheet pan may take some spatula work.
Now add Dried fruits. I like Pineapple, Cranberry Raisins (craisins), and that kind of thing. No... I don’t add real raisins... yuck. This here is Mega Nanny. I’ll also throw in a handful of M&Ms and a small box of Good & Plenty, just for color and useless carbs. But then, when you’re on the trail at 9000 feet, is any carb useless?
So there you go. My Hoot-n-Nanny GORP. Looking back over it, I can see, there’s quite a bit of Nanny to go around.
I’ve given you the building blocks, now, build on it and see what kind of flavors you can come up with.

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