The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Dec 2010

Big Shots

Bivouac jam sessions. A young Yvon Chouinard at work in Yosemite. Topless climbing in Mexico in the eighties. A generation of Patagonia Inc.'s iconoclastic photography comes packaged in the new coffee-table thumper Unexpected: 30 Years of Patagonia Catalog Photography (Patagonia, $50). The highlights are too many to count, but Corey Rich's photo of climber Fred Beckey hitchhiking with a will belay for food sign is worth the price.

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Behind Enemy Lines

For New York Times reporter David Rohde, being kidnapped by an Afghan Taliban commander he had arranged to interview in November 2008 was both the worst-case outcome of a reckless decision and a fantastic opportunity—he survived, after all. "In Iraq and Afghanistan ... the reporter who took the greatest risk often received the highest acclaim," writes Rohde in the resulting memoir, A Rope and a Prayer: A Kidnapping from Two Sides (Viking, $27). "Ambition had gotten the best of me." Co-authored with his wife, former Cosmopolitan photo director Kristen Mulvihill, the book is actually three narratives: the war history Rohde had nearly completed when he was abducted; the story of his captivity; and Mulvihill's stateside dispatches, which tell the story of the futile U.S. government campaign to negotiate his release. Rohde's account of his escape is thrilling: he and his fixer, Tahir, slipped over a wall with a rope in the night. But the book is most valuable for its rare look into the lives of the Taliban fighters who kept Rohde captive. Few Americans have ever been so deep and lived to tell about it.

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250 Santas Take Over Maine Ski Resort

Santa
Photo courtesy of nightthree on Flickr.

Hundreds of skiers and snowboarders donned Santa costumes and took over Sunday River ski resort in Maine on Sunday, the AP reports.

The resort offered two free lift tickets to the first 250 people to pre-register and promise to wear the following items: "one red Santa hat including a white pompom, one red Santa jacket, one pair of red Santa pants, a Santa beard, and a $10 (or more) cash donation for the Bethel Rotary Club's annual drive to provide gifts for the area's needy children."

The eleventh annual "Santa Sunday" event sold out in eight minutes. Click here to see photos of the Santas swarming the resort.

--Erin Beresini

 

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Recipe: Healthy Apple Pie

Pie
Photo courtesy of whitneyinchicago on flickr.

My dad is a wannabe pie-a-holic. He's also a Type 1 diabetic. So in an effort to prepare an holiday pie that he can indulge in, I've been baking a "sugar-free" apple pie for the past nine years.

And you know what? It's pretty darn tasty. In fact, it's an easy way to get your "apple-a-day" fix.

So if you're looking for a healthier way to nosh on this holiday favorite, look no further than this quick recipe. With this recipe, there's no guilt in munching while preparing.
--Erin Beresini

(FYI - I'm pretty sure I got the recipe from Equal.com in the early 2000s, when websites were ugly and fake sugar that measures like real sugar was a novel concept.)

"Sugar Free" Apple Pie (Apples have their own natural sugars, so it's not entirely devoid of sugar.)

Ingredients:
8 cups baking apples (like Granny Smith) sliced, cored, peeled
1 cup fake baking sugar (like Equal or Splenda granulated sweetener)
3 tablespoons cornstartch
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 pre-made pie pastries (If you have a crust recipe you like, you could make this from scratch. I just use Pillsbury refrigerated crusts.)

What to do with them:
Preheat the oven to 425. Mix everything but the apples (and pie crusts) together. Put the apples in a large bowl. (I like a big salad bowl.) Toss the apples with the fake sugar mix. Put a pie pastry in a nine-inch pan. Put the apples in it. Cut out Christmas trees, candy canes or whatever you want from another pie pastry. Slap that on top. Put the whole shebang in the oven for around 40-50 minutes or until the apples are tender. Take it out. Let it cool. Eat. If you really want some extra sugar, squirt some whipped cream on top or pair a slice with vanilla fro-yo.

If you cut the pie into 8 pieces, Equal.com estimates each slice has 253 calories, 42g carbs and 10g fat. If you don't eat the top crust, you'll save on calories.

 

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