|From Life Magazine, June 1952|
A few years ago, I made Christmas memory books for my married kids and my parents, and ended up making a couple for other relatives as well. At the time I did a bit of research to try and find the recipe Bessie would have used. It's somewhat different from the Chex Mix of today. I seem to
recall that there were short, thin pretzel sticks in it, peanuts, and Cheerios. I definitely remember fighting with my siblings over the Cheerios. These seemed to absorb the butter and seasonings better than anything else, and were really tasty. But I never did find the recipe I thought she had used.
So I cobbled together a few 1950s recipes I found on line and came up with this:
2 cups Corn Chex
2 cups Rice Chex
2 cups Wheat Chex
2 cups Cheerios
2 cups thin short pretzel sticks
3/4 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
Preheat oven to 250°. Mix cereals, pretzels and peanuts together in a large bowl. Combine the melted butter and seasonings; pour over cereal mixture and toss all together to mix very well. Spread cereal mixture on a baking sheet or in a 13x9-inch pan. Bake mixture for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread mix on paper towels to cool before serving or packaging.
Transfer mix to Contact˙-paper-covered cans with lids -- like coffee cans or peanut cans. Give a tin of mix to everyone on your Christmas list.
In preparation for this post, I tried doing a bit more research. This time I located the original 1952 recipe, the one that goes with the picture above. Here it is:
Try this new PARTY MIX
Add 1/2 c. butter in shallow baking pan. Stir in 1 T. Worcestershire sauce. Add 2 c. Wheat Chex, 2 c. Rice Chex, and 1/2 c. nuts. Sprinkle with 1/4 t. salt and 1/8 t. garlic salt; mix well. Heat 30 mins in 300 degree oven, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool.
Note that it contains no Corn Chex, which hadn't yet been invented in 1952. But I am pretty sure that the recipe my aunt made did contain corn chex.
And I also found this recipe: Real Original Chex Party Mix.
Really, there are endless variations of this mix (and families have their own traditional names for it like Scrabble, or Nuts and Bolts) -- but the bottom line is that a tin of mix still makes a wonderful gift to share with a family!