Albuquerque has hosted the world’s largest Balloon Fiesta since 1972. Hundreds of hot air balloons from all over the world ascend the skies, float over the city (and sometimes over your house), and eventually land in parks, school yards, streets, etc… It always happens the first full week of October, when the mornings are decidedly cooler. If you ever plan to visit, book your reservations EARLY! This year it runs from October 5-13. So, it might be too late to visit this year, but you can plan for next year. Dress in layers, bring a camera, and hope to see a mass ascension—chances are good that you will, and it is exhilarating. Bring lots of money and an empty stomach—eating amazing junk food is sometimes part of the experience.
If you’re local and want to bring a “healthy” snack, why not try this hearty granola? And don’t worry; meat will be on the menu next time!
- 2½ cups old-fashioned oats
- 2 ounces pecan halves
- 2 ounces walnut halves
- 2 ounces sliced almonds
- ¼ cup dry roasted salted sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup dry milk powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup walnut oil
- ½ cup honey
- 6 ounces dried cherries
- 3 ounces chopped sugar dates or chopped dried figs
- 3 ounces dried blueberries
- 3 ounces raisins
Preheat oven to 350°. Liberally coat a 13″ by 9″ glass pan with cooking spray. In a very large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. In a 2-cup glass measure, whisk together the oil and honey. Pour over the oat mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon. Pour into the pan (don’t bother washing bowl) and bake for a total of 30 minutes. Stir with the wooden spoon at 10 and 20 minutes. Remove and let cool in pan for one hour.
Meanwhile, combine the dried fruits in the bowl. Break up the oat mixture with the wooden spoon; pour this into the bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes about 9 cups.
Please check out my gallery of previous visits to the fiesta—it’s in the sidebar.
In the future, click this link to make your travel plans: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta