Memory Lane: Old Stone Fort State Park, TN

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Since I cling to Autumn with a desperate kind of plea to hang on l-o-n-g-e-r, and since we’re likely the last house in the neighbourhood to rake and burn the leaves before winter’s onslaught (and why would we when leaves make for a great trampoline?!), I find I keep needing to post Fall in all it’s splendour.

This must at least be the year 2011 judging by the children (of course, not by the parents, who continue to look 30 something, right?!). Don’t be fooled, we are NOT avid campers, as much as we love nature and all.  Pre-children days were our more rugged, two-man tent, roughing-it-in-the-bush (if one can call Ontario Provincial Parks roughing it?) kind of camping years. The handful of times we’ve attempted camping since then have, of course, been exciting explorations, but we like to keep to our motto that warm beds, physical personal space, clean bathrooms, physical personal space, real stove tops, physical personal space, kitty cats and not spiders and snakes, physical personal space, and normal food rather than the burnt egg and toast  with frozen butter combos are really our preferences. Love the outdoors; love the comforts of home. Tents, and pop-up trailers they say are made for 6 (where’s the frying pan, hit me now!) are just not our cup o’ tea.

But even so, there’s still so much to be said for the hike and nature study that comes with being able to spend greater amounts of time in our natural surroundings. This particular camping experience at Old Stone Fort State Park in Manchester, TN was one of those cling-to-Fall weekends we had, therefore one of the reasons I needed to make that trip down memory lane again. And, truthfully, I just love (and need) to see the kiddos all young again since I hold that tendency to drip with emotion and fill up with “ahhhs” when I look back on family outings and the simple pleasures in life.

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Here’s a breakfast morning recipe to pre-make and take along on your Fall camping extravaganza. It sure solves the burnt egg and toast syndrome. And again, thanks Kim for this recipe! Are you sure you don’t want to start your own food blog?!

Granola

7 1/2 C nuts (chopped almonds, pecans, cashews, pumpkin seeds)

3/4 C sesame seeds

1 1/2 C sunflower seeds

6 C puffed rice

1 1/2 Tbsp ground flaxseed

3 Tbsp sorghum flour

3 tsp cinnamon

2/4 tsp cardamon

3/4 C  Canola oil

1 C agave nectar (though you can use maple syrup instead)

1 1/2 C dried fruit (add after cooked)

Instructions:

Cover pans in parchment; in LARGE bowl combine dry; add oil and agave or maple syrup and stir to coat; spread evenly on pans; bake 350 F for 25-30 mins. Keep an eye on it and stir after 15 mins; let cool; add fruit.

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