Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chex Mix - Cathy

I don't know how it started that I always make this around Halloween time, but it has become a family tradition.  I make massive quantities of it and send it off to our kids in London, San Jose, Oregon or wherever they might happen to be.  Most of us Old Folks grew up calling this Nuts and Bolts, but it seems to be more commonly known as Chex Mix these days.  

This is a version that is rather heavily adapted from a Canadian cookbook that Lynn Kestle gave me; it's easy and it is definitely our family favorite.  Feel free to add in or adjust whatever you like to make it to your taste.  We like it with extra Worcestershire sauce and lots of hot sauce. 

We tend to not eat the cute smiling goldfish due to an unfortunate incident involving a long, hot car trip to California when Erin was a toddler that forever scarred Kevin and I from eating any kind of cheese cracker.  I shall not elaborate here, but I still put the goldfish in because they are cute and colorful and lots of people like them.  Besides us.

what you will need:

Cereal Mix:

Mixed salted, roasted nuts
1 box each of Corn Chex, Rice Chex (or Crispix cereal which is half corn, half rice)
1 box of Wheat Chex
1 box of Cheerios
1 box of Kix
1 or 2 packages of Bugles corn snacks
Pretzel sticks (NOT other shapes! That would just be wrong)
1 package Pepperidge Farm Goldfish

 Seasoning Mix:
1 to 1-1/2 cups oil (canola, corn, whatever you have)
6 Tbsp. or a very generous 1/3 cup (or more to taste-it mellows a lot as it bakes) Worcestershire sauce 
1-1/2 Tbsp. Lawry's Seasoned Salt (or to taste)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1-3 Tbsp. hot sauce (I use 3 Tbsp. Tapatio brand)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a very, very large bowl (I use one that is a 2-1/2 gallon capacity) dump in half a box or so of the Chex cereals, then just add in handfuls of the other cereal mix ingredients until you are happy with the mix.  (Heavy on the pretzels for Kevin, heavy on the Bugles for Erin). 

Combine the seasoning ingredients in a medium-ish bowl with a pouring spout if you have one.  Stir up with a whisk or fork until very well mixed.  Pour over the cereal mix and stir gently but thoroughly, making sure to keep scooping up from the bottom where the liquid seems to settle.  

If if seems a little dry, you may need to make up a smaller version of the sauce mix and add in to make sure it is seasoned enough if you accidentally made a gigantic batch.  Hey, it happens to the best of us. Will taste way too Worcestershire-y (isn't that a real word?) right now, but it'll calm down as it cooks.  It's easiest to mix well with your hands. It's very yucky, but does the best job of distributing the seasonings. 

Spread out into 2 or 3 large pans, leaving enough room to stir the mixture while it's in the oven.  You may need to do this in more than one batch. 

Bake for about 1 hour or until beginning to brown, stirring well from the corners every 15 minutes or so. 

  Eat. Lots. Repeat.

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