Friday, December 10, 2010

Soul Food

When one uses the term "Soul Food", one generally thinks of what I would term "Southern" cooking; collard greens, grits, ham and red eye gravy, black-eyed peas, etc. When I think of "Soul Food", I think of food that speaks to my soul. Earlier in the year, I wrote about sausage and cottage fries and peas. Over the weekend, I bought the ingredients to make Chex Mix. Last night, I made a batch.

Chex Mix has a long history with my family. We didn't make it that often. Cereal was best eaten at breakfast. But when we got together with the Eides, my parents' best friends, at New Year's we always had at least one batch. They had 4 kids and I have 3 siblings. We were all close in age. We kids used to write a play that we would perform at 11 p.m. The adults would let us stay up to welcome in the new year but then we had to go to bed. Truthfully, we were pretty exhausted by midnight anyway.

One of the best things about getting together was Chex Mix. It was kind of a luxury at my house and we didn't have it a lot. I remember two or three batches being made at New Year's, but very rarely other times of the year. I think we might have made it for the Thompson Family Picnic that was held in the park on July 4th, maybe some other events but the clear memory is of Chex Mix and New Year's.

It's so easy to make. I don't care for mixed nuts so I used only peanuts, although a peanut cashew mix would be good. It makes a lot and I have quite a bit of ingredients left that I was thinking another batch would be a good thing. I ate it while gaming. I was thinking I need Dr Pepper and this would be an ideal raid snack.  Making it made my house smell very good last night. I did it the non-microwave way, where you use your oven and it takes an hour. I don't like how the microwave version comes out and don't get me started on those pre-made bags of Chex Mix.You want spicy mix? Add cayenne pepper to the butter and Worcestershire mix. Sweet? Instead of Worcestershire sauce, add a cinnamon sugar mix.

This is what I consider soul food; food that elicits warm memories of a time passed.

Beverage:  Irish Breakfast tea


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