I don't like party mix.
This is a bit of heresy in my family. Party mix was a part of winter. My parents would make roasting pans full of party mix, store in the huge (gallon or 2 gallon?) glass jars. Their recipe, which they dubbed Marty Pix had every kind of imagineable Chex (for the 80's--I think 4 different kinds), cheerios, peanuts, pretzels, lots of Worcestershire sauce, and, when my mom would given in, bacon grease, among other things.
I didn't like it. Every winter, my dad and I would have the conversation that went something like this: "You really don't like party mix? Why?" Every winter. It was part of the changing of seasons and shortening of the days. I think in those instances my dad wondered if I was really a Guengerich.
This year, I found a recipe. Against my better judgement I decided to try it. Wouldn't you know it, I liked it! It didn't use any chex or cheerios. It had no bacon grease. I discovered I could buy nuts in bulk and control the amount of different kinds of nuts, going light on the peanuts and heavy on almonds, pecans, and walnuts. I loved this party mix. I ate a whole batch almost single handedly while working on our Christmas cards/letters. I don't dislike party mix. I just dislike chex, cheerios, and peanuts doused in worcestershire sauce and salt.
The flavors are more subtle. I could taste the Crispix and pretzels. I noticed the different kinds of nuts. There was an occasional spicy bite (if I made this and didn't want to share with the kids I would up the cayenne) interspersed with some sweet tastes. I love it.
It's still January. The Super Bowl is coming. I think I may just need to make another batch or two for that occasion!
This makes 8 - 9 cups.
Sweet and Spicy Party Mix
from merrill on food52.com
5 c Crispix
1 1/2 - 2 c mixed nuts (buy in bulk if you want to control the types)
2 c tiny twist pretzels
5 T butter, melted
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T brown sugar
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t garlic powder
1 1 /2 t fresh thyme, finely chopped (optional)
large pinch of cayenne
In a large bowl, combine the Crispix, nuts, and pretzels. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Drizzle over the cereal mixture and combine with your hands, being careful not to break about the cereal and distributing the seasoning evenly.
Transfer to a 13 x9" baking pan and bake in a 250 degrees oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until light and toasted. Allow to cool and enjoy.