I attended an intro to fly fishing clinic through Wilderness Voyagers in Ohiopyle, PA a few years ago. The two-day weekend clinic was held on the banks of the Youghiogheny River where I learned, along with six other brave souls, the basics of getting out on the water and landing a fish. Each morning began sitting outdoors at wooden picnic tables where we discussed insects and learned how to tie knots. For the second half of each day, we would put our newly acquired skills to practice. First was dry casting on a grassy landing pad away from potential obstacles. We then shifted to wading in the river with the goal of landing a fish or two.
Somewhere between learning about caddis hatches and casting instruction, we broke for lunch. I decided to stop by the outfitter shop and what kind of gear they offered. The Racing Weight Cookbook, tucked in a stack of other books on a shelf, caught my attention. The photos were so vibrant it seemed like the food was leaping off the page. I couldn’t stop flipping the pages to see what was next. While the book was geared toward lean recipes for athletes, I didn’t feel intimidated. It felt like a cookbook that focused on healthy eating without feeling like I was being sold a diet plan.
While I only caught a couple of tiny trout during the fly fishing clinic, the experience reminded me of how rewarding learning a new skill can be. I’m looking forward to many more fishing opportunities in the future. Plus, I got a handy souvenir in the process. This is one of many recipes I have prepared from the book since the clinic.
Almond and Fruit Granola
Makes 3 cups of granola
Almond butter (peanut butter is also fine) – 3 tablespoons, smooth
Honey – 3 tablespoons
Vanilla extract – ½ teaspoon
Kosher salt – ¼ teaspoon
Rolled oats – 1 cup
Sliced almonds – 1/3 cup
Dried apricots – ¼ cup (about 4), chopped
Dried figs – ¼ cup (about 4), stems removed and chopped
Raisins – ¼ cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper
Combine the almond butter and honey in a medium, microwave safe mixing bowl. Heat in the microwave for 20 seconds, or until the almond butter is melted and can mix easily. Add the vanilla and salt. Stir to combine.
Gently add the almonds and oats to the wet ingredients. Fold to combine.
Scoop the mixture onto the sheet pan and spread out, it will form small clumps. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn off the oven and allow to cool completely with the oven door slightly open. The granola will become crunchy as it cools.
Mix in the dried fruit when the granola has cooled. Store in a sealed container.