Sure you can buy yourself a bag of pre-made Chex-Mix at the supermarket, but I wouldn’t bother. Yes, I suppose I like making most things myself (in and out of the kitchen) but, the sprinkled on flavors really don’t compare to the baked in goodness that Grammy used to make.
I grew up on the Chex-Mix around the holidays, and it holds a special place in my heart. (As does cranberry/southern comfort punch, but that’s another blog). Last year I was having a hankering, and I just couldn’t wait until Christmas. I wouldn’t suffer the pre-packaged variety, so I set off to the market to buy the goods – 3 boxes of cereal, 2 tins of nuts, bagel chips, pretzels, worcestershire and so on. Save the seasonings, I had none of the ingredients in the pantry. Doing some quick math in the store, I decided to make a double (or perhaps a triple) batch. I like to make the best use of things I didn’t have another use for – and besides, I don’t usually bother with single recipes. If I’m going to fire up the oven, and make a mess of the kitchen, then by golly I was going to make the time worthwhile!
We had plenty to last the coming weeks, It tasted exactly as I remembered. The holidays came and went, and the craving subsided, until this week. So off again to stock up and make more. Not having the recipe onhand I guessed at “chexmix.com” and was surprised to see so many variations on a theme. I used to frown at other versions I’ve seen as a child – with cheerios, cheeze-its or balogna. I’d been a chex mix purist, but apparently these were all legit, but still not for me.
I would still make my batch the way Grammy did – despite the fact I used to pick around all the bits and pieces I didn’t like as a child (just about everything except the corn and rice chex). The difference now being I’ll eat the lot (Even the harder wheat chex). One variation I’ve made is opting for mixed nuts instead of only peanuts. Peanuts, cashews, brazil nuts, pecans, hazelnuts… mmmm….
But I found myself looking at some of the other versions – curious to see what I could do with any ingredients we already had on hand,…. and I think we have a new favorite, Chex School Fuel, and found more worth trying. I’ve been snacking on the School Fuel on the drive to work. Crunchy/chewy brown sugar and chocolate goodness! Now I’d be all set if only I believed the “vitamin and nutritional” claims of this cereal, sugar and chocolate combo!
We’ve nearly polished off the batch of our new favorite, and we’re pining for more,. Meanwhile we’re forcing ourselves to eat the remaining 5.5 quarts worth of good old fashioned version. A chex mix purist no longer.