Happy National Trailmix Day (8/1)!

With a timeline that, in my lifetime, has travelled from Boy Scout camping trips, to health stores, to truck stops, you are a phenomena to be sure, trail mix! Of course, I’m not attributing The Boy Scouts with the invention of the trail mix. Seriously, how are you supposed to put an origin date on mixing together seeds, grain and some dried fruit? Ancient nomads were likely eating some variation of trail mix while gossiping about this Moses guy, they had heard of, who had a freaky fascination for pyrotechnics.

A portable, nonperishable snickity snack has been something that the “on the go” traveler has surely needed since the beginning of time. The necessity of such an invention is what inevitably gave us beef jerky, candied fruit, and power energy bars. But it’s most likely that first, it gave us trail mix. Trail mix is a funky little device. No one ever craves it, but set a bowl of it out, and people are going to dip in to it like potato chips, chili cheese fries, or oatmeal cookies. Of course, the kind you set out at a party will usually include M&M’s or some variety of candy, but chocolate candies wouldn’t really old up real well on “the trail,”mixed in a hot bag with all that other stuff, so they don’t really count as trail mix.

This holiday gave me pause when it came up because recently I discovered that I am susceptible to many new and exciting allergens that, every time I’m forced to mention them, I get a “what the hell are you talking about?” look from whoever I’ve told. They’re not life threatening allergies, like that freaky peanut one, but they’re irritating. My throat gets all itchy and closes up a little, just enough to bug me. Some of the things that make me itchy are fresh apples, peaches, cherries, and why else would I be bringing it up if not for an additional reaction to trail mix.

Composition of the trail mix.

I discovered my allergy included pre packaged gas station trail mix many road trips ago, and for some reason, for me, Chex Mix just doesn’t ever find itself included in the trail mix category. For this reason, I was forced to be inventive for National Trail Mix Day, and come up with my own version trail mix.  To do this, I went to the weird organic section of the grocery store. You know, the bins? I’m not positive what the source of my allergy is, but in those bins, there’s no chemically gook, so I thought my chances of a reaction would be lower. Of course, I had to try a little bit of each thing before I poured it into my mixture, so I’m probably pretty fortunate that I didn’t get tossed out like a bum. It turned out good. The dried blueberries were a nice touch. Pretty cost effective too, only $9.00 for something that I was still eating at the beach on Labor Day.

And you know what? Now that I know that the grocery store won’t toss me for sampling the organic bins, next time I think I’ll try a “trail mix” from the candy isle. Thanks National Trail Mix Day!

See you Monday for National Welsh Rarebit Day!

About Jim Clark

"If it was worth doing, then it is worth writing!" -- Jim Clark -- Someone else probably said that before, and I'm sure that each semester she starts her Creative Writing 101 class by writing it on the board, but I never took that lady's class so I am taking her quote! I work in the world of advertising, but I write for a living. Here in the second decade of the '00s, we find ourselves in a culture where virtually everyone writes for a living. With all the clicking and clacking on Facebook, Twitter, emails and texts, our lives are more than ever intertwined with writing. At the same time, it's also become increasingly more important to shorten our thoughts down to as few characters as possible. So, now, more than ever, I think it's also important to hold a place in our lives for expanding and honing our thoughts through writing. This is my place for that.
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