The Harvest Festival on November 10th and 11th at the Bangor Auditorium and Civic Center is a celebration of the farms, foods and local products of Maine. For me, to enjoy all that is Maine means to be outside in its beauty and our amazing Maine scenery deserves more than your average trail food; the views in Acadia are just on a higher level than a crumbled stale granola bar. On Sunday from 2:30 PM to 3:00 PM at the Harvest Festival, Aislinn (One-Minute Hikes) and I will be talking about hiking and trail food as our way of celebrating all the bounties of Maine.
Late fall and winter hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing on our Maine trails can provide many advantages that just don’t happen in the more popular summer season. From a foodie perspective, you can enjoy chocolate and cheeses without the fear of melting that happens on an 85 degree July day and, since you burn more calories during winter outings, bacon is back on the menu! Of course there are some challenges, like eating while wearing primaloft mitts and choosing foods that don’t chip a tooth in cold temps. During our chat, I’ll share some of my favorite hiking foods and packing tips. Included here is a recipe for a treat especially good for the colder hiking season because it is good room temperature or frozen and I call it The Dark Sea Turtle. A sprinkle of sea salt on dark chocolate is the secret to these simple to make treats so don’t forget to pick up some sea salt at the Harvest Festival!
Dark Sea Turtles
- 2 dozen mini round pretzels
- 2 dozen chocolate covered caramels
- 2 dozen pecan halves
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1 Tbs. sea salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper
Put pretzels on the baking sheet and place one chocolate covered caramel on each of the pretzels.
Bake for 4 minutes and remove from oven.
Just after taking out of oven, place a pecan half on top of each chocolate and press down lightly to secure the pecan.
In small bowl, microwave the bittersweet chocolate at 10 – 15 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Drizzle the bittersweet chocolate over the top of each pecan chocolate-caramel.
Sprinkle with sea salt while chocolate topping is still warm. Cool, refrigerate or freeze.
To pack, I like to cut a 4-inch wide strip of aluminum foil and line up 3 or 4 Dark Sea Turtles on the strip. Fold over aluminum foil to form a small packet. Keep in fridge or freeze and pop in your pack.
Also, make sure to pick up some pepper jellies, spicy fruit spreads, cheeses and cured meats while touring the Harvest Festival, as these are perfect ingredients for hiking sandwiches. I’ll share my kale wrap recipe too at the Harvest Festival; they make an everyday sandwich special enough for our Maine vistas and are easy to eat even when you are wearing mittens!