Monday, December 13, 2010

The Monster Must Be Tamed

This was the weekend of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's magnificent Chex Mix.

I dished and I sprinkled and I stirred and I baked and I stirred some more. Every 15 minutes for two hours, to be exact. That's what Chex Mix demands. He's no passive sourdough yeast, fermenting quietly in a ceramic pot on the kitchen counter, year after year, harkening back to his roots from 1849.

Nope. Chex Mix is the screaming toddler of tasty snacks. He's the fragile infant who requires the testing of heated milk by squirting boiling drops onto your tender forearm. He's the colicky baby who must be walked and patted throughout the night. And never, ever let him lounge in the pan, unstirred, for more than 15 minutes. It's not as bad as the pods formed by the original batch of gremlins if you feed them after midnight...but it's not a pretty sight.

Chex Mix must be cajoled into greatness. A perfect balance of oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, garlic salt, rice chex, corn chex, cheerios, pretzel sticks, pretzel twists, mixed nuts, and luck are needed. And never, ever, add Bugles. Ptooey!

My mom gave me the original recipe, and I used to think it was good. Hers will do in a pinch, even with the offending Bugles. That's like putting peanut butter in rice krispy treats and slathering them with a thick chocolate sealant icing that makes each square weigh in at around two pounds. Which she also does. But I digress.

Imagine my horror, when rationing out my precious Chex Mix into give-away holiday tubs, in the discovery that one entire batch only filled four tubs!!! That's the work of The Devil! Every year, The Devil messes with the holiday tubs. Different designs, different shapes, different volumes, apparently. The new containers looked the same as last year's to me, but what did I know, without wearing my glasses, and without a old one for comparison?

Seems that these tubs were 3-lb tubs. Not that I begrudge my Chex Mix receivers a comfortable quantity of my special recipe, mind you. But I need 16 tubs! So I had to send Concierge H back to The Devil to return those I had not yet opened, and trade them for the smaller size, the 2-lb tubs. So now instead of making 48 pounds of Chex Mix, I need only churn out 32 pounds.

I'm such a giving person. Kind of like Mother Teresa.

That last sentence was for my teaching buddy, Mabel.

Don't worry, Mabel. You will get one of the 3-lb tubs that I already filled. But I did redistribute a couple of them into the 2-lb tubs. It's backbreaking work, tending the Chex Mix. The monks who bake the rolls in the caves of the hills of the Ozarks surely would feel my pain. Right, Mabel?


Jennifer said...

I thought the containers looked larger this year!

That explains that mystery..

Hillbilly Mom said...

Yep, The Devil is messin' with Hillbilly Mom. Leave the containers alone. Different patterns would be good enough. No need for different sizes.