Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Mix

My name is Lynn, and I have an addiction. I can't hide it any longer. I need to come clean.

I am addicted to...Chex Mix.

And I'm not talking that wimpy, weak shit they try to pass off at the grocery store as the Original Chex Mix.

I'm addicted to the hard core stuff. The buy three boxes of cereal, melt the butter, add the spices and cook it over low heat for an hour, stirring every fifteen minutes good shit.

It all started last December. The holidays. Time for mucho baking. Following the recipe printed on the side of the Corn Chex box, I whipped up an old fashioned batch for one party or another, forgetting how good homemade Chex Mix tasted until I took my first handful. Dang. Ambrosia.

After the holidays were over and that first batch loooong gone, I figured, hey, why save it just for parties? That might have been an advertising slogan at one point. I don't recall, in which case they might just have something with that subliminal messages theory. I'd make batch after batch, and we'd scarf it down like it was nectar of the gods.

I got a little crazy and started messing with the original recipe. Seems nobody really liked the pretzels because they were always left at the bottom of the tupperware container along with the shreds of crumbled cereal squares. Too, my daughter isn't a big fan of nuts, nor did they really add anything of consequence to the mix. I love to snack on those crunchy La Choy chow mein noodles, so I threw in a cup or so of those, delighting in that surge of bad-girl rush for being such a rebel. And I - hold on to yourself - increased the quantity of each cereal from three cups to something a little closer to four while at the same time melting all 8 tablespoons of the stick of butter instead of just 6 so I could make a bigger batch in one baking.

Crazy, I tell you!

So now I've got it down to a precise mixture of cereal and addins plus butter and spices that tickles my family's particular fancy.

Not that the family ever gets to eat any of it. See, Chex Mix is the perfect snack for me to have sitting in a bowl while I'm writing. It's not too greasy as to cause problems with my keyboard (or at least, swiping my hands on the leg of my jeans doesn't cause stains that don't come out in the wash). It isn't too sweet, nor is it so salty that I'm constantly having to refill the Diet Coke and subsequently making endless trips to the bathroom. Plus it has a delightful crunch and the bonus of every mouthful coming as a surprise. Will I get mostly Wheat Chex? Maybe more Corn than Rice. Or how about an unusually large helping of chow mein noodles?

I have to confess to General Mills that I've discovered the much cheaper store brands of chex-like cereals work just as well, so I'm not going to be personally responsible for keeping them in the black despite my addiction.

And I would greatly appreciate anyone out there who can assure me that this processed flours and sugars snack isn't really probably the worst food possible I could be eating while simultaneously sitting on my butt for hours because it is all carbs, carbs, and more carbs.

Some addictions are better left unexamined too closely. Just pass The Mix.


Anonymous said...

Ouf... I must confess that I'm addicted to the wimpy, weak shit. BUT, that's only because I've never tried the real stuff... I think.

See, my great grandmother used to make what she called "Nuts and Bolts" (which was probably just her variation of The Original Chex Mix... Chex, pretzel sticks - bolts, peanuts, cheerios - nuts *g*). We'd eat gads of the stuff every time we trekked out to Michigan for a visit, and we were also lucky to get a batch in the mail at Christmas time. Sadly, she's since passed on.

I'll have to attepmt making this on my own someday when I'm feeling brave, but in the meantime, Chex-Mix Peanut Lover's is a really good substitute for "Nuts and Bolts".


meljean brook said...

I eat out all of the saltyyummy cereal pieces and leave all the other stuff. I always looked forward to the holiday season, because that would be the only time anyone in my family seemed to make it. I haven't had it in a long time, though -- and I'm afraid to make it at home, because I think I would be too weak to resist it, and just eat pounds at a time.

Anonymous said...

Lynn, General Mills probably makes the generic cereal at the same plant...that's why the generic tastes just as good.

Ronn said...

Nuts and Bolts, I haven't heard it called that in years. Not since my great grandmother stopped making it. I too am somthing of a Chex Mix junky. I like the pretzels, but have added Cheerios, Goldfish crackers, and corn chips on different occassions.

I actually bought a five-gallon, clear, plastic barrel to hold my super-sized batches of the stuff.

Healthy, I'm sure it's not. But who cares when it tastes this good.

Lynn M said...

Oh, I'm so glad to see that I'm not alone!

Krafty - I have had the pre-made stuff, and honestly, the reason I don't like it is because it's actually stronger than the homemade stuff. The spices seem to be more spicey or more intense or something. I like mine a little bit lighter. So actually, my description was a misnomer *g*.

Meljean, you've got the right idea. Just don't start making it. Enjoy it at the holidays and leave well enough alone. If only I'd known what I was getting into...

I suppose that's true about GM making all the stuff and just selling it to the stores for house brands. Really, in a blind taste test there is no difference at all.

And Ronn, hmmm...a five gallon jug. Do you know where I could pick one of those up? I've been using a giant Ziploc throwaway plastic container...