22 December 2008

TV Tidbits

Back in the 1950s TV was new and exciting. Lots of dining options appeared, centred around this new appliance. If you read period cookbooks and women's magazines, you can find whole parties devoted to eating in front of the television. Snacking while watching was also highly encouraged. Looking on eBay a person can find all manner of trays, utensils, etc., developed specifically for the TV eating experiences.

This is the original receipt from which party mix developed. Mimi (my grandmother) got it off a package of either Kix or pretzels when TV snacking was the new "in" thing. The pretzels were pretzel sticks, but I have switched to the the miniature curved pretzels. When this receipt was first written the boxes of cereal were smaller than they are now. To compensate for that, I have doubled the amount of seasonings (using the same amount of grease and butter) and I changed the original 1 cup of peanuts, to the large container of mixed nuts.

One thing to keep in mind is that when the economy changes, boxes of cereals are usually one of the first things to be subjected to size changes. I have posted this recipe based on cereal size boxes that are current as of today. Give this a try. It is THE BEST party mix around!

Cereal and pretzels in the large roasting pan

All mixed up and in the vintage Nesco roaster

Served up in a period appropriate Kenilworth bowl on the Danish Modern coffee table

Care for a handful?

TV Tidbits
1 cup melted bacon grease
1 cup melted butter
4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp celery salt
12 good dashes Tabasco sauce
1 box (12 oz) Kix
1 box (14 oz) Cheerios
1 box (12.8 oz) Rice Chex
1 pkg (1 lb) mini-pretzels
1 (40 oz) container mixed nuts*

Mix the bacon grease, butter, Worcestershire, and seasonings. I usually do this in a 4 cup glass measuring cup and then heat it in the microwave to be sure the butter is well-melted. In a large roasting pan, mix the cereals, pretzels and nuts. Pour the seasoned liquid over dry ingredients and toss or stir gently to mix well. Bake at 200°F for 2-3 hours. Stir occasionally.

1. In the 1950s nearly everyone saved bacon grease. If you have none, or if it is against your dietary principles, all butter works just fine.
2. It's easy to adjust the amount of seasoning in this to individual taste.
3. I use the cartons of mixed nuts* from Costco, and sometimes add extra pecans, just because we like them.
4. This is a large recipe. Rather than using my regular oven, I always bake this in my vintage Nesco roaster. It has a large removeable enamel roasting pan and sits off to the side without tying up the main part of the food prep area in the kitchen.

Bookmark and Share


RainbowDishes said...

FINALLY, somebody else who puts Cheerios in their party mix! We have always included Cheerios in ours. People always give me a weird look when they see it, but after eating it they agree it works great!

papa said...

I LOVE party mix! (papa looks down at his belly)

I never thought of using a roaster tho! Does it work better than the oven? Burn easily? Ok now I'm hungrey again!

Becky said...

Craig, sometimes I think we were siblings, separated at a young age but still retaining those memories. Party mix is just not the same without Cheerios!

Papa, the roaster works fabulously. Much better than in the oven. My roaster is one from the 40s and I actually think it cooks a little cold. I had to bake this batch about 4 hours. I have used my Mom's roaster where I know the temp is fine and I have never had a batch burn. Give it a try!

DS Mark said...

My grandmother used to make this all the time and called it, "Nuts and Bolts." She would put a bit too much of the Worcestershire sauce, though!

Her recipe was about the same as yours, but she put in two types of Chex. Good stuff!!

RainbowDishes said...

I follow the Chex Recipe for the seasonings, but I use Onion Salt and Garlic Salt (yeah, I am a salt addict and I have the blood pressure to prove it!) instead of the Garlic Powder and Onion Powder. The only major difference is that I double the amount of the seasoning ingredients to my recipe. But I put 3 types of Chex Mix (sometimes I will only use 2 and add Crispix instead), Cheerios, Pretzels, Mixed Nuts, Cashews (we love cashews), and broken up Garlic Bagel chips. A couple of times I added popcorn to the mix after it finished cooking. Next time I make some party mix, I will try your recipe (but add my Garlic and Onion salts instead of the Celery Salt and Garlic Powder).

Thanks for sharing this recipe! :)

Becky said...

Nuts and Bolts sounds like a good name for this, too. And the nice thing about this recipe is that you can use a much lighter hand with any of the seasonings, if you like.

Craig, I like the idea of adding the garlic bagel chips. Next time I will do that. And I'm just glad to hear other people even MAKE party mix. So many people just buy it.

P.S. Have to do whatever I can to keep the sodium level as low as possible for Mom. ;-)