If you like camping or if you're just going on a road trip, then you will probably love this nifty trail mix.
I heard that trail mix was made because when you're backpacking or hiking in the forest or mountains you need foods that are high in calories and fats and that are easy to carry. Now we eat trail mix as a snack when traveling even to the park for a few hours.
Trail mix is basically a mish-mash of nuts, dried fruits and anything that gives it a little sweetness, like small candies like M&Ms and chocolate chips.
I don't think chocolate chips are a very wise choice because they can melt in a the hot summer sun, so that's why I chose M&Ms because they have that hard shell.
I like M&Ms, but I also wanted another sweet thing in my trail mix. At first I wanted Swedish fish, but the grocery store was out so I picked Twizzlers Bites. Twizzlers give it a surprising fruity taste and chewy texture.
A word from Mom: Gorp. That's what we called trail mix back in my Campfire Girl days. I'm not sure why it was called gorp and Webster's dictionary is no help on that subject, saying only that its first known use was in 1968.
Anyway, I never cared for the stuff as a kid -- I had a wierd aversion to peanuts and chocolate together (still do, really). But as an adult, I've learned to create my own blend.
That's what makes trail mix so great: it's so easily customized. Before your family heads out on its next high-energy adventure (biking, kayaking, rock climbing), pour your favorite nuts, cereal, dried fruits, shredded cococut, mini marshmallows, M&Ms or other candies (Gummy Bears, perhaps?) into individual bowls. Give each person a sandwich bag and let them scoop out what they want.
• Jerome Gabriel, a high school freshman, has been helping in the kitchen since he could hold a spoon. His mom is Daily Herald Food Editor Deborah Pankey.