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  • Mary Kay

Halloween GORP can be Frightful or Downright Tasteful!

Good Old Raisins and Peanuts! It’s definitely the easiest and fastest way to create a sweet and savory treat for after school, parties, hiking, camping or just for having around the house. It’s a treat that we’ve had in our house for take to football games, long bike rides, extended walks with the dogs, and as a quick snack. It's easy to make!

Your GORP does NOT have to contain just Good Old Raisins and Peanuts. It’s a treat you can easily create according to your own tastes. Mix what you have in the pantry. The mixture doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Add or omit whatever you like or what your crowd likes. Raid the pantry to create your own personal flavors – of course, raisins, peanuts and dried fruit are included many times.

Start adding other flavors like chocolate covered coffee beans, M&Ms, malted milk balls, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, yogurt covered raisins, dried apricots, dried bananas, small caramels, granola bites, almonds, pecans, walnuts, or even gummy bears and Swedish Fish. There is no limit!

There’s no need to use the oven or stovetop unless you plan to toast and cool the nuts before mixing your GORP.

Prepare your pan or bowl:

Use a medium sized bowl to mix your GORP.

Think about the flavors and colors for your GORP:

Remember that people eat their eyes, so colors could make your GORP more appealing. Use colors that are eye appealing.

Ask yourself: Do you want sweet and savory together? Will this GORP be used for a theme party? Halloween? Christmas? Football tailgating? Hiking? Biking? If the GORP is for a special event think about the colors around the holiday, the football game, etc.

Size matters:

- Compare the sizes of different treats you plan to include in your GORP. If some pieces are a lot larger than other treats in the mix, the smaller pieces will probably sink to the bottom of the bowl or pan you serve it in.

Think about Textures:

- You can make more interesting GORP when you offer a number of textures from soft sweets to firmer sweets to firm nuts to semi-soft dried fruits to crisp dried fruits.

Gather up your GORP Ingredients:

- Nuts – choose one or two, whether they are peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamias, etc. They could be salted, lightly salted or sans salt.

- Chocolate type sweets – choose one or more: M&Ms, chocolate chips, yogurt covered raisins, small chocolate covered caramels, etc.

- Dried Fruits – choose one or two from dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried apricots, dried bananas, etc. I prefer dried fruit that have not had sugar added since the sweets added will contain plenty of sugar. Think about the flavors here – some can be sour, some overly sweet, some bland. The contrast of flavors in the mouth can be very pleasant.

- Soft sweets – choose one type that offers a number of flavors and colors such as gummy bears, Swedish Fish, gummy fruit, sugar covered gummy fruit, caramels, etc.

- Salty treats – choose a couple of these such as small pretzels, Fritos, oyster crackers, Teddy Bear Grahams, etc.

How to serve:

- For the Fall season, I’ve put my GORP in a small walnut shaped and covered ceramic bowl. It’s a bowl that my Mother-in-Law made many years ago. She had her own ceramic business by which she had classes and sold ceramics in local events. It’s a cute little covered bowl designed in a walnut shell shape that I could never part with, and remember her whenever I use it.

- Cheering your favorite sports team? At a football tailgating party, maybe you have a bowl of it with your team logo on it. Or, just choose a bowl sporting the color of your favorite team.

- Tying the Knot? For a wedding reception or wedding shower, blend in the wedding colors, and combine some more elegant treats in small take away bags tied with theme-colored ribbons.

- For camping, how a large bag stuffed with GORP and stuffed into a bucket to pass around the campfire.

- When on a bike trip, maybe you tuck your GORP into a handy plastic zipper bag that fits in your pocket.

- In the office, GORP is very easy to keep in a covered plastic snack box in your desk drawer for those days when you miss lunch or when you need a pick me up in the afternoon.

- Going on a long road trip? Keep your GORP in a tall travel mug so that you can set it in the middle console of your vehicle. Make sure your mug is easy to open with one hand so accessing the GORP does not interfere with your driving.

- Sharing? Bag it up in small sealable bags to share with others.

- Traveling by air? Sealable clear plastic bags work well because you can easily fit it into your pocket, purse or carry-on bag.

- Just need a supply at home for an afternoon snack? Keep it in a covered container in the pantry. Keep it out of sight so you're not constantly dipping into those extra calories.

GORP is fun and easy to make. And it’s easy to share. However you make it and whatever you include in your GORP, “Bake your own Memories!”

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