When people ask where I am from, my answer is usually a little complicated.
It goes something like, “Well, I was born in Detroit, but mainly lived in Lansing, until I moved to Ohio. But, then I moved to Nebraska. Now I guess I live in Kansas.”
Stupefied? Confused? Join the club, because I am, too.
But, the thing is, with all the moving around I did while growing up, I never used to think it was a big deal to be away from family and friends.
In time, though, I’ve come to realize just how special the relationships that I share with my parents, my sister and my friends truly are. Cliché as it may be, they truly support me through good times and bad.
For that reason, I am thankful to only be about three and a half hours from my home. Still, that is a little too far to make an impromptu visit, especially since my schedule has been packed this year.
Instead, I feel like a need a really good reason and a good amount of planning before I made the haul up north.
This weekend provides such an excuse: It’s the annual Nebraska v. Kansas football game and my birthday is tomorrow. I mean, if that’s not a reason for an excuse home, then what is?
My anticipation for this visit was building all throughout the week, but hit an extreme climax on Friday when I was eagerly waiting for Dan to get off work.
Rather than twiddling my thumbs too much, I decided to be productive with my time.
Road Trip Granola Bars
- 2 1/4 C uncooked oats
- 3/4 C chopped almonds
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 T cinnamon
- 3 T brown sugar
- 3 T honey
- 2 T unsweetened applesauce + 1/4 C unsweetened applesauce (divided)
- 1/2 t vanilla extract
- 1 T whole-wheat flour
- 1 flax egg
- 1/2 C peanut butter
- 1/2 C dried fruit (I used blueberries)
- In a large bowl, mix oats, almonds, cinnamon and salt.
- In small bowl, combine brown sugar, honey, 2 T applesauce and extract.
- Pour sugar mixture into oat mixture. Stir, evenly covering.
- Spread it all out on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in 250 degree oven for 40 minutes, stirring a few times for even cooking.
- After removing granola from oven, turn up the temperature to 350 degrees.
- Pour hot granola back into the large bowl. Add in whole-wheat flour, peanut butter, flax egg, 1/4 C applesauce and dried fruit. Combine everything.
- Line two loaf pans with aluminum foil. Divide granola mixture into two parts and firmly press into the bottom of loaf pans.
- Bake in the heated oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool in loaf pans for about two minutes, then carefully remove aluminum foil and turn bars out onto a cutting board. Peel away aluminum foil and cut into even bars. Then finish cooling on a cooling rack.
I packed these granola bars into some Tupperware, loaded up the car and drove over to pick up Dan. Although it was just a little after 5 o’clock when we got on the road, it was already completely dark. Just to make it more fun, it was also really rainy… Which turned into snow when we got into Nebraska. Suffice it to say that it wasn’t my favorite drive ever, but we did make it to my home alive.
Even though it was getting late by the time we got in, we still spent some time catching up with my parents and sister. I turned in fairly early, because I was, #1 tired and #2 preparing for a morning run with Katelyn!
Some of the snow stuck through the night, I was less than enthusiastic about the thought of running.
I’m glad they get along. I’m even more glad that by going on a bike ride, it gave me the chance to go out shoe shopping with my mom and sister!
We did end up meeting back with Dan and my dad at The Venue, one of Lincoln’s few great restaurants.
After scanning the menu, I was stuck on some butternut squash pasta rolls, but I didn’t really wan a whole order to myself. Fortunately, one of the benefits of eating with family, where everyone is extra comfortable, I was able to split the entrée with my mom and add on a side salad.
But I was more than willing to return the favor by splitting a little dessert with her (and the rest of the table).
Plus, the festivities had just begun. Still to come is the KU-UNL game, a get-together with friends and some more time with family for my birthday.
Questions: What do you do to prepare for a road trip? Did you go away for college/live away from home now?
Granted this wasn’t a very intense road trip, but Dan and I are driving down to Texas for Thanksgiving, which will be a bigger haul!