Beginning the week of Thanksgiving and going through New Year’s Day, I make numerous batches of Chex Mix. It’s a holiday staple—come to be expected. “Is Gran making Chex Mix?” expected.
We eat it for breakfast and snacks. When we’re hungry, sometimes when we’re not because we just like the flavor. Our little 1960-ish hand-me-down Tupperware containers (compliments of Aunt Gladys) hold just the right portion for one. You’re free to eat all you want, but you can’t pick out and eat only pecans. (You can eat all the pretzels you want.)
I’m not sure of the exact year Chex Mix came into our lives, but I can remember making it in our first house which dates it to the mid-70s. It’s long enough ago for friends and family to look for it when they come by or when I put together gift baskets. I send the kids and grandchildren off with big ziplock bags of it after the holidays.
Over the years, I’ve stuck to a simple version of the recipe that appears on the Chex cereal boxes, which I always double.
Rice, Corn & Wheat Chex
Pecans (several handfuls)
Redskin peanuts (couple of handfuls)
Pretzels (couple of handfuls)
Butter and Olive Oil
Nope, no onion or garlic powder, not that we’d turn our noses up at yours if you include them. We just like our simple basic mix. If the first recipe I followed included them, I must have not had the ingredients on hand, or I left them out in deference to a husband and children with less than adventurous taste buds.
The one change I usually make now is to use half butter and half olive oil. I read about substituting olive oil for all the butter several years ago in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette “Idea Alley.” I like the flavor the butter adds, so I made my own adjustment. (If I’m feeling particularly health conscious, I use 1/3 butter to 2/3 olive oil.)
This year, I put my first double-batch of Chex Mix together the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in preparation for our Georgia bunch and our college-age grandchildren coming home. I had planned to keep count of the number of boxes of Chex I used between then and New Year’s Day, but I’ve lost count. (I cut out the Boxtops for Education and will send them to the first person who gives me her address.)
During that visit, Maria told me that my granddaughter, Caroline, had been surprised there was no Chex Mix this summer when they were in Little Rock. That brought home to me the strong association she’s made between Gran and Chex Mix. My reply was “If you’d told me, I’d have made a batch.” And I would have happily done so.
Maybe someday my grandchildren will reminisce about how Gran always made Chex Mix during the holidays.
Now that’s a nice thought, isn’t it?
Does your family have a favorite treat you make each year?
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8