I always make Chex Party Mix for the holidays.
But I make it exactly the way my grandmother made it (except I cut it in half and add peanuts, per my notes at the top of the recipe below).
One of my most cherished possessions is a little black notebook filled with handwritten recipes that my grandmother gave me almost forty years ago. (In fact, during a recent family discussion about what we would grab in the event of a house fire, that little notebook was one of my items.)
Here is her recipe for Chex mix:
The pecans she used came from the pecan trees in her yard. She gathered every one of them herself and cracked them with a nutcracker which I now own and picked out the nut halves with a little nut pick that I now own.
I recently looked at the recipe on the back of the Chex box. Of course, they don't use Cheerios. And they use "bite size" pretzels instead of pretzel sticks. And they use BAGEL CHIPS (blasphemy).
But the worst thing is that they tell you to cook it IN THE MICROWAVE.
Notice that my grandmother cooks it in a very low oven for two hours.
Here is my grandmother. Her name was Ethel. Doesn't she look like an Ethel?
She always looked exactly like this. No older. No younger. Same style of dress. Same style of shoes. Same hairdo.
She lived in North Carolina her whole life.
The little notebook she gave me is mostly very Southern recipes.
Red Velvet cake. (You can see it is very much used - stained with red food coloring.):
Note: This is not the entire recipe. If anyone is actually considering making it, I'm happy to send the rest.)
Her "salads" were the old Southern standby: congealed salads.
She had many varieties.
And, of course, Sweet Potato Pie: