Oh you guys, I’m so sorry. I feel like I’ve been depriving you of this. I was planning to share this before the holiday, but of course we had about five life detours the week of.
I’m not going to lie, this was an incredibly hard and emotional Christmas. It’s hard not to think what this holiday would have looked like. My dad’s family would have been celebrating here with us this year. Christmas Eve, Mom and dad would be doing a whole serf and turf dinner. Grandma would have her cranberries and helping mom with a salad. After dinner, we’d watch Christmas Vacation while we nibbled on all grandma’s treats. Before it was too late, my dad would sneak off to wrap last minute presents and mom would stuff our stockings. The next morning the excitement and anticipation was enough to fill 10 coffee cups. Dad would put on the Santa hat and pass out presents. The big gifts were from Santa, didn’t matter how old we were. The energy in the room was always full of love, light and such gratitude.
It was my absolute favorite.
Our reality of any of that happening was far fetched and because of that, we debated canceling Christmas. We didn’t, of course. It was important that we make it special for mom.
Leading up to Christmas, my mom’s helper came and put all the Christmas decorations up, her handyman dropped off a tree (AND decorated it), a few people left food and one person even offered to put together and drop off stockings for everyone. I tell you, it’s amazing all the love that surrounds this home.
To keep tradition, dad made his dad’s sheep dip (I still don’t know why the name, but it’s the best!) and I made his mom’s nibbling chex mix. I actually made two batches – one for here and the other for my in-laws.
This is a really special recipe (created by a very special person). Ever since I can remember, my grandma would bring an old tin full of her chex mix and a few other tins with her cookies every Christmas. It was always the same mix and cookies every year, and every year we’d with the biggest smiles plastered on our faces. It would be gone before the week ended.
Several years ago, I had my grandma show me her secrets with this mix. As we stood in my parent’s kitchen, my grandma was holding out a measuring spoon over the pan and the Worcestershire would just overflow. After she measured one spice, she’d put down the spoon and continue to add more. There was no measuring, but eyeballing. I started making this on my own when Ben and I couldn’t make it up for Christmas. I would always make a big batch and it would always bring me comfort. I’ve now done it enough with proper measurements that I can share the actual recipe.
Okay, so what makes this different from most chex mix is… curry powder. Yep. That and a bunch of love makes this mix the best.
And I’m sorry I’m not giving you a healthy new years recipe or resolutions. This is in fact the opposite. Lots of BUTTER.
I’m going into 2014 with family traditions, compassion and a hell of a lot of hope.
Happy New Year!
Grandma Toy’s “Nibbling Chex Mix”, Gluten-Free
If you’re not gluten-free, you can use all regular ingredients. Grandma’s traditional mix includes a box of wheat chex cereal.
Makes 10-12 cups
- 1 package Gluten-free Corn Chex (sometimes I’ll double. Our family loves the corn chex the most)
- 1 package Gluten-free Rice Chex
- 1 package long Gluten-free pretzels (Glutino)
- 1 package Gluten-free Cheerios (Nature’s Path GF O’s)
- 1 jar dry roasted peanuts
- 1 pound salted butter
- 4 tablespoons Gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
- 3 heaping teaspoons Curry powder
- 2 ½ teaspoons Chili powder
- 2 ½ teaspoons garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon Tabasco – add more if you like it spicy
*Need 2 large roasting pans or disposable foil pans from the grocery store (1 CT.)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Mix together corn chex, rice chex, pretzels, cheerios, and peanuts large roasting pan. Note: I’ll divide the cereal mix between two large pans so it’s not overflowing.
In a small pot, over medium/low heat, mix together the butter, Worcestershire sauce, curry, chili powder, garlic salt and Tabasco.
Using a ladle, pour the warm mixture a little at a time (stirring in between) slowly over cereal mix. Go back and forth between the two pans. Make sure to stir and scrape the sides so you don’t miss any of the sauce.
Bake for 2 to 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Remove when it begins to golden slightly. … To brown the top a little more, increase the heat 250 degrees F and cook for the last 30 minutes. It will crisp up after it sits
Note: I used both our upper and lower oven, one pan in each. If you have multiple tins or just one oven, do one at a time or your cooking time may double)
Store in airtight container – good for about 3-4 weeks.
December 31 2013