Every year for about the past 20 years, my husband’s family has held an annual extended family reunion and campout. We just celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary, and so this year marks the 12th campout that I have attended.
New Allergy Diagnosis
We were married in 2006, and our oldest child that has the peanut and shellfish allergy, was born in 2007, and attended his first campout in 2008. He later had his first anaphylactic reaction prior to our 2009 campout… still with me?!
Education and Awareness & Reducing the Risk
So at any rate this campout has been going on long before we were married, and also long before my son was born and we found out he had anaphylactic allergies. They had a fun tradition, where everyone would make up their most favorite and delicious treats, and then they would set them out buffet potluck style for all to enjoy. I loved this tradition. It was so much fun to try different things that others liked, and to see others enjoy your yummy treats.
Once we found out about his allergy, we knew that we needed to communicate to our family to ensure that he could be safe at these campouts because the nearest hospitals were about 45 minutes to an hour in either direction. That made me super nervous. So we did our best to communicate in as loving a way as possible. We asked that everyone now keep their treats in their trailers to reduce the risk of our then toddler from having a potentially fatal reaction.
The Crack, Crack, Campout Crack
Circling back to my recipe… This recipe has been made by several of our family members and is lovingly known as “The Crack”, “Crack”, and “Campout Crack”. Slightly inappropriate, but because it’s so addicting it’s like crack haha!!
Gluten Free, Dairy Free & Almond Free Options
You could make this completely gluten-free by using another Rice Chex flavor in lieu of the Golden Grahams (I think chocolate Chex or cinnamon Chex would taste great in here!), and you could also make it dairy free by using your favorite go-to butter substitute. Subbing as aforementioned will get you peanut free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, wheat free, and gluten-free. Keeping the recipe in its original form will get you peanut free, egg free, and soy free. You will notice in my pic’s here that I don’t have the almonds in this batch, and that is because I have a niece that attends the campout that is anaphylactic to almonds. If you only have a peanut allergy, Blue Diamond brand is peanut free, and I like to chop up their roasted salted version, and put them in when we are just eating with our family at home.
Cereal Box Sizing Changes Through the Years
A note on the cereal … it seems they are always changing the size of the cereal boxes, and we’ve been using this recipe for so long that now I just estimate. Recently the box of Golden Grahams I got, for example, was 19oz, so I just estimated and put in about 3/4 of the box based on what the recipe calls for. It’s a somewhat forgiving recipe when it comes to estimating the cereal, just don’t put too much cereal in or you will not have enough gooey yumminess. Less cereal would be better than too much in this situation.
- 1 14 oz box of Rice Chex
- 1 12 oz box of Golden Grahams or gluten-free sub
- 1 C slivered or chopped salted almonds see notes for subs above
- 2 C shredded sweetened coconut
- 2 C sugar
- 2 C light karo syrup
- 1 C salted butter
In a large mixing bowl toss the cereals, almonds and coconut together, and set aside. In a medium pot melt the butter on medium low heat. Add the karo syrup and sugar to the butter, and bring it to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and drizzle on top of cereal mixture. Toss until everything is well coated. Spread out this mixture onto wax paper, and let sit 8-10 hours or overnight. Store in an airtight container.
Note: Do not refrigerate (it will make it "soggy"). Tips & Tricks: This is a fun recipe to make for family gatherings, but it is also great for making big batches and then packaging for neighbor gifts around Christmas time.