Friday, June 24, 2011

Solstice Camping

My oldest son W wanted us to go on a group camping trip with some of his homelearning friends.  I've had lots on the go lately and, since W is 15, I thought it would be a good idea to challenge him to get us all packed for this camping trip including our food preparation.  He got a lot done while I was at work and then when I got home we made some calzones together.  This had me remembering all our camping trips when the boys were very little and me trying to madly pack everything by myself - I much prefer this way! ;-)

We'd decided that none of us wanted to cook or do dishes while we were camping so we needed to prepare everything ahead of time.  We wanted to make things we could eat with hands only so we would each only need one bowl and spoon to take care of (for our morning yogurt and granola). 

We made our regular pizza calzones for one dinner.
And then we decided to try making a brocolli, mushroom, potato filling with a cheddar sauce for the next night's calzones (we like to buy something similar to these in our favourite health food store in the town of Paia on Maui - Mana Food's). 
We needed another batch of our latest favourite granola bars too.  I got a recipe from a friend's blog and converted it a bit to suit us (and then have proceeded to make it once a week since).  The original recipe is here if you'd like to try it.  My converted recipe is here.
Easy (and Delicious!) Granola Bars

4 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup walnuts
1/3 organic cane sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Put these 4 ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

In small pot put -

1/2 cup coconut oil (that I melt with the peanut butter and honey)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup natural peanut butter

and melt at med heat.  (Watch carefully so as not to burn - ask me how I know!)

Press into a 10X15 cookie sheet(do use this size pan because if you use too big of a cookie sheet then it gets spread too thin - we know lots about being spread too thin, don't we! and it ain't a good thing!)

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of chocolate chips on top.

Bake at 425 for 5 mins turn the pan then bake for another 5 mins.  Keep a close eye on them so they don't get too browned.  Honey browns quite quickly in baking.
Take out of oven and let cool (do let cool first, if you are impatient to eat them - like me- then they go all crumbly and you think that they didn't work well but they do...if patient!) Cut into bars.  Eat.  Make another batch. ;-)
So with all the food prep out of the way there was nothing to do but enjoy -

the lake...
the persistent Columbian Ground Squirrels (which I do not feed but they never did seem to get the message )...
(here he is trying to get into my pack to get my trail mix)
our friends, lots of time to read and....
Hammock Time!  Bliss!

Edited to add (since a few asked about the A Pace of Grace book)-

Yes, I think it is a fantastic read. I had this book out of the library in the wintertime and really loved it. I've recommended it to all my friends (and even a few moms I don't know well) and they've all really loved it too. It is filled with all kinds of thought-provoking ideas and potentially life-changing information. The first time I read it I read it through quickly and didn't have time to do the exercises in it but this time I am making time to do them. One of the first exercises is to consider the questions - "What stresses me?" and "What blesses me?". The book really gets you thinking about what is important in your life and how we can live our best life without spending on energy (and time) on less important things.

I highly recommend it and would love to hear if you enjoy it. It is actually one of those books that I would like to buy (I almost never buy new books) so that I could read it with a highlighter pen and go through highlighting all the especially meaningful bits. ;-)


donna!ee said... surely are blessed! :)

daisy g said...

Wow, what a view! You sure know how to travel! ;0)

sheepish said...


Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

What a brave and terroristic squirrel. Cute as a button though.

Nikki Starcat Shields said...

Sounds like a lot of fun! Hey, that book looks really good. How is it so far?


Sarah said...

Oh, I was missing you! But well worth the wait with all thoses awesome goodies to make now!!! Might have to check out that book too!

cargillwitch said...

the book title looks intriguing- is it a good read?

Heather said...

Starcat it IS a great read. I didn't have your email address to reply directly but I've added a bit about the book in my post. Do check it out of the library and see what you think.

Jacqueline said...

Looks like a great camping trip. And how wonderful that W is taking on some of the prep work! Fun to see you're reading Pace of Grace again. I brought it with me but haven't opened it yet. It's def. one of my favorite books. xoxo

Julie Wallbridge (feminist farmer's wife) said...

home made calzones. What a great 'grab out of the freezer' homemade meal option! I am prone to running in from the fields for a handy lunch - this is brilliant.

Sue said...

Wonderful...thanks for blogging! I love reading your posts!

The Artsy Oils Girl said...

My boys will love the granola bars. We will have to take these on our next camping trip!