I'm three batches deep in the Christmas Chex Mix, with two left to go. I only make one batch a day, because it takes 20 minutes to put together, and 2 hours to bake. You can't rush Chex Mix. It must roast at 250 degrees, and be stirred every 15 minutes. Chex Mix, like a baby or a rich socialite, must be pampered.
There was a bit of a hiccup in my usually smooth routine on Friday. I've only had 20 years to perfect it. I set out my two non-stick 11x13 pans, and the big black-and-white speckled roaster pan. I had some ingredients on hand from the last time, and a few I'd picked up at Country Mart just in case.
When it was time to add the pretzels, I saw that the bag had expired in October. OF THIS YEAR! Don't assume the worst! I opened it and gave a sniff. NOPE! That wouldn't work. They smelled like cardboard. I tossed them in the wastebasket. The dogs don't like pretzels, and the squirrels are going to need an appointment with Dr. Nowzaradan if they get any fatter.
Lucky for me, I'd found ONE bag of pretzels left on the shelf at Country Mart. Since I only make one batch of Chex Mix a day, I took it, knowing I still had that one at home, and planned on getting more on my next trip to Save A Lot. I got the new bag of pretzels, ripped it open, and had shaken them into the two 11x13 pans when I noticed something was amiss.
Yes, those pretzels were thinner. But they were brand-name, Rold Gold, when I always use the store brand of pretzel twists. But they were also ORANGE! I picked one up. Ate it. Dug out the bag to read it. They were CHEESE flavored! Huh. Well, too late. That's all I had. How much difference could a pretzel make?
There was another deviation from the recipe. I used to add pecans. My mom bought them in bulk from a town over on the Mississippi River. The ones I got from her have been used up from my freezer. So I only add them to the special batch I make for my best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel. HOWEVER...
Hick got a bargain at the auction. He bought four 16 oz bags of walnuts for $6. That's $1.50 apiece! I saw them in Country Mart, 12 oz bags for $3.98. Anyhoo... Hick said to use the walnuts in the Chex Mix. The Pony agreed. So I put in almost a whole bag.
The results were not gift-give-able. :(
I also didn't put in enough vegetable oil. I was confused after making just the Chex and nuts for The Pony to take as a work snack. So each pan had a deficit of 1/4 cup of oil. You wouldn't think it would make that much difference, but it affected the flavor, and the amount of garlic powder and salt that stuck to the ingredients.
Hick and The Pony liked the walnuts in the Chex Mix. I did not. They change the flavor. Or maybe it was just those cheese pretzels. We have two of the big tins full for them to enjoy. I will pick around the nuts and pretzels.
The subsequent two batches are DELICIOUS! Of course I had to sample them. Three down, two to go. The house smells great. Like Christmas. We're not a cookie family. We're a Chex Mix family.
First time we had Chex mix, we were about 8 or so, and our g-ma Peck made some and brought it out. It was Christmas time, and we inhaled the entire bowl.ReplyDelete
I think I'll give it a look see.
I use my mom's recipe, written in cursive, on a scrap of paper. It used to be on the back of the Chex boxes, and it was called "Scrambles."Delete
I must say the only thing I miss since I retired is the chex mix our boss would make. He was a man thru and thru but that was he one thing he would make every year for us girls. It was wonderful He also did many wonderful things, buy our families a honey ham, take us out for lunch at fancy restaurant give us a generous christmas bonus. And last send all the girls out for lunch on our own and a trip to the mall with his credit card. He would stay at the office and get the phones. Now that is what I call a great boss.ReplyDelete
That's what I call a FANTASTIC boss! We used to get a little cup of assorted candies, from our principal. We were thrilled!Delete
What else goes into the mix besides pretzels and pecans? Just because I'm curious, not because I want to make any. I don't think I'd like it.ReplyDelete
Cheerios, Corn Chex, Rice Chex, mixed nuts, vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, garlic salt. AND by popular demand, though not an original ingredient: Bugles.Delete
Texas reminded me of my first boss when I first started working. It was a long time ago. I was his secretary,and the other lady in our group handled the more complicated jobs with sales orders, etc. My boss was so good to the other lady, me, and the sales rep who worked in our office. My boss would bring expensive chocolate candy in for us whenever he went to one of the best department stores in St. Louis, He brought us small gifts from every country he traveled to selling and engineering aircraft windshield wipers. He always gave us nice Christmas gifts, I think his wife may have chosen them for us. I don't know if they make bosses like that anymore. Having been a secretary seems like a lifetime ago. They aren't even called secretaries anymore.ReplyDelete
I have had so many screw ups when making foods to take to Christmas gatherings, mashed potatoes that managed to turn themselves into a thick potato soup when reheated at the host's home. That was the worst. And sometimes I have a health problem that will cause me to have shedding hair. I used to wear one of those blue hospital surgery hair covers when I would start cooking. I had a fear of someone finding one of my long blond hairs in the food I cooked. I finally gave up on bringing homemade items for others to eat. I go to the store and buy something already made. I only feel a little guilty that it isn't homemade, but anyone who was there when I ended up with the potato soup instead of mashed potatoes is probably glad I skip the homemade now.
They don't make bosses like that any more! Then again, workers today are a bit... um... DIFFERENT. One of Hick's friends said her just-graduated daughter got a great job in Florida, but after a month, she quit, saying, "I can't believe they expect me to be at work every day, for the whole day!"Delete
I'm sure you made a better choice in bringing store bought items than our one guy at work, who always brought a loaf of bread! And made sure he told everybody, "I brought the bread." At least the gal who brought a bag of frozen peas didn't brag about it.
Unbelievable. What DID she expect??Delete
I'm pretty sure she expected to come and go as she pleased, and work when she felt like it! Hick said The Pony made a comment once that he didn't see why people should work, that the government should give them a monthly amount of money to live on! WHO DOES HE THINK WILL BE STOCKING THE STORE SHELVES WITH HIS WINE???Delete
I blame college for this indoctrination. The Pony sure never got that idea from US! And according to Hick, I doubt that little gal ever got the idea from her mom that work shouldn't be WORK.
I have always used butter, not oil. I know that butter would go rancid quicker than oil, but with 5 kids, that was never a consideration. Oil is cheaper, though! There is a huge difference in the taste between walnuts and pecans. My dadused to send me 10 lbs. of shelled pecans every year from the trees in his yard. I miss that. I miss him even more.ReplyDelete
I tried to tell Hick and The Pony that I didn't think the walnuts would work. They're more for cookies! But Hick and Pony say they like that version of Chex. So they can eat it!Delete
The Pony is sad that Hick cut down the pecan tree at Pony House. Well. MOST of it. Of course Hick had to say, "We have tons of pecans over there in the yard. You just have to shell them." No thank you.
I definitely understand. I miss my mom more than her pecans, too!