Friday, December 16, 2022

Oh, the CHEXmanity!

We had a catastrophe on Monday. It involved the Chex Mix that I give for Christmas. I have to make four or five batches. Each one takes 2 hours of stirring every 15 minutes. Plus the 20-30 minutes needed to combine the ingredients before popping it into (and out of) the oven. The ingredients ain't cheap! Especially this year.

You'd think I'd have the routine down by now. In fact, I DO. I could make Chex Mix in my sleep. It's not like this ruined batch burst into flames. It looked perfectly normal. The taste was the problem. My Chex Mix requires Cheerios, Bugles, Pretzels, Cashews, Mixed Nuts, Pecans, Corn Chex, Rice Chex, Vegetable Oil, Worcestershire Sauce, Garlic Powder, Garlic Salt. I don't really measure them. I eyeball it. Still, that was not the problem.

I had already made one full batch, which turned out fine. So the next day, I made another. Here's the thing. I had a few ingredients left from last time I made Chex Mix. Which was either last Christmas, or in the spring, when The Pony said he'd like some to take on his route as a snack. Anyhoo... one item I had left was a can of mixed nuts. I looked all over it for an expiration date. Didn't see one. They looked fine. Smelled fine. Tasted fine. But that's the only ingredient that was different from the previous batch. So that has to be the culprit.

I made it between 9:00 and 11:30 p.m. I took a little ramekin to sample as I waited for it to cool enough to put in containers. Hm. That was odd. An off taste. Couldn't quite say exactly what it was. But the ingredients weren't working together for the usual delicious taste. I didn't even finish my ramekin. I left some BY THE BANANA BOWL for Hick to take with him the next morning. I told him it didn't seem right.

"In fact, you can take one of those tubs of it on the counter. I'm not giving it away. But we can eat it if you want."

When Hick got home, he agreed.

"You're right. That's not YOUR Chex Mix! I was gonna take that tub in and share it with the girls at the Senior Center. But I didn't. It's not good."

"We can throw it off the porch for the birds and squirrels. But The Pony says he'll try it. So I have two containers to take him."
I explained my suspicions when I gave The Pony his Chex Mix. He opened it and took a sniff.
"Huh. Yeah. That kind of smells like old nuts."
I thought I was going to pass out from laughing. Yes. My 13-year-old self found that extremely funny! The Pony realized what he said the minute the "old nuts" passed his lips. He tried to play it off like he meant that to be a joke.

The Pony didn't try it until after he made a supper of pasta and garlic bread. He didn't give his review until Thursday.
"I tried it. It's not terrible, but it does have that old nut smell/taste."
"Throw it out. Dad did. I'm just warning you so you don't waste your garlic powder and salt you always add to it."
"Nah. It's still edible. You know me. I'll eat garbage as long as it's one of the things I like."
"Don't make yourself sick!"
"The Chex and pretzels are fine. I don't eat the Cheerios anyway. It's not like I'm pairing a cabbage and Chipotle salad with chocolate wine again! THAT made me sick!" 

I'm hoping The Pony doesn't have to miss work, due to consumption of my Chex Mix.


  1. The old nuts comment made my day! It could be that the natural oil in some of the nuts is old and the heat from the oven released it.

    1. That's a good theory, since they seemed okay when I sampled them before they went in the oven.

  2. Old nuts have an expiration date? Even my 13-year-old self s not going to make a further comment.

    1. Maybe they're fine, as long as you don't put them in the oven!

  3. Nuts are one of those things that taste stale and off even when they look and smell okay. Anytime I'm using nuts for anything, I'll buy fresh, which reminds me I have a bag of pecans that needs to be tossed out.

    1. They tasted fine when I sampled them. Otherwise I would not have wasted 2+ hours and my other ingredients.

  4. Must have been the heat from the oven that brought out the sent and taste and just enhanced it. Old nuts smell bad, both kind!

    1. From your fingertips to my 13-year-old self's eyes... I think your assessment is correct!