Even world travelers need to bring along a few homemade snacks

info@islandpacket.comAugust 27, 2013 

TS-BAKEGOODS 8 MCT

HANDOUT — MCT

Those of us who are trying to see the world one trip at a time usually begin our planning a year in advance.

India and Nepal were two countries on my bucket list. When I heard a group trip was in the works, I began to pray. There were 10 of us who planned to make the 13-day trip, and we attended an orientation to learn about what we could expect.

India is hot, humid and rainy in the summer, we were told. This didn't bother us as we were all very familiar with South Carolina's wet, muggy summers.

The food might be spicy, but adjustments could be made. Enjoying the local food is one of my favorite things about traveling, so I have a ritual I perform that helps keep all systems working well when I'm trying new cuisines.

When the discussion of packing began, I wasn't surprised when someone wanted to make extra sure I was listening. I am known to overpack. Margie Mitchell explained how to mix and match and said it was important to just be comfortable. When she displayed the items she would be carrying, Loretta Herrin replied, "My medication might be heavier than the shoes you are carrying." As it turned out, my baggage came in under the allowed weight -- even with all the snacks I'd packed.

We needed two visas for this trip. As I was packing for the trip, I received a call that my visa application to India had been denied because of an error on the form. This would have to be corrected. The call came Monday; I was to leave on Wednesday.

That night, I traveled to Columbia to get the new documents. Then I headed to Atlanta on Tuesday for an appointment at the Indian visa office, where I secured the necessary paperwork.

On the trip I managed to listen and follow directions and not to worry. I learned so much from the experience.

Needless to say, my baggage did not stay underweight. It seems as if I did not take enough vitamins, cod liver oil or eat enough snacks to balance the weight coming back to the United States.

Here are some great homemade goodies to bring along on a trip.

CHOCOLATE LAYER BARS

1 12-ounce package Hersey's Semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

3 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine chocolate chips, cream cheese, and evaporated milk in medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat, stir in walnuts and almond extract. Blend well; set aside. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, eggs, and almond extract in large mixing bowl; blend well until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Press half of mixture on greased 13 x 9 pan; spread with chocolate mixture. Sprinkle rest of crumbs over filling. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool; cut into bars.

COCONUT OATMEAL COOKIES

Makes: 4 dozen

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed firm

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats

1 cup flaked coconut

Sift flour with baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cream butter. Gradually add sugars and cream again until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat well. Add flour mixture in 4 parts, beating until smooth after each addition. Mix in rolled oats and coconuts. Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-12 minutes or until brown.

Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at features@beaufortgazette.com.

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service