We all have that go-to meal – the one Grandma used to make, the one we bring to parties, or the one we whipped up using leftovers that turned out to be a keeper. In this series, we’re sharing our community’s go-to recipes, along with the memories and stories that make them worth making again and again.
Throughout Content Director Micah W.’s childhood, the holiday season was synonymous with gatherings at his grandmother’s house. “Gran” was famous for her signature dishes, and the holidays never truly began until they’d gathered around one of Micah’s favorites: her homemade chex mix served in a Christmas tin.
Though Gran lost her sense of smell to cancer, which affected her taste, her love for cooking became muscle memory. She knew the dishes she’d perfected over the years by heart – so much so that Micah knew what to expect every year, the same amazing and delicious menu that became a tradition itself.
Though Gran never cooked from a cookbook, she hand wrote each of her recipes on index cards, which she organized alphabetically in a box. After she passed away, Micah’s family reorganized the cards and typed them up so they have them all captured in writing.
“It’s just the right amount of slightly sweet, slightly salty, and perfectly toasted,” says Micah. “It isn’t just dusted in flavor, it’s baked in so it has this unique homemade taste to it. It’s simple, comforting, and addictive!” It’s the perfect post-Thanksgiving snack to get in the holiday spirit while decorating for Christmas.
“She passed shortly after meeting my son, her first great-grandson. While no one makes it like her, we plan to keep making it in her memory each year,” Micah says. In his version, he adds pretzels and walnuts before roasting. “Passing down stories of our family was always very important to her. We try to honor that by celebrating her life through her recipes while also forming new traditions.”
HOMEMADE CHEX PARTY MIX
Makes about 9 cups
“My Gran’s recipe calls for you to melt the butter in the oven on the pan before mixing in the seasoned salt, Worcestershire sauce and tossing with the Chex mix. I think this is because the recipe was made before we had access to a microwave, but it’s the tradition! So it’s important to melt the butter in the oven and toss it directly in the pan rather than melt it in the microwave and mix in a bowl. It tastes better that way and feels more authentic. Don’t forget to stir the mix every 15 minutes in the oven so it toasts evenly.”
- ½ cup butter or margarine
- 1 ¼ teaspoon seasoned salt
- 2 cups Cheerios
- 1 ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups rice Chex
- 2 cups corn Chex
- 1 cup salted nuts (ex. peanuts and walnuts)
- X pretzels
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Heat butter in 13x9x2 pan on oven until melted. Remove
- Stir in Worcestershire sauce and seasoned salt
- Add Chex, Cheerios, pretzels and nuts. Mix until all pieces are coated
- Heat in oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes
- Spread on absorbent paper to cool. Enjoy!
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