Sunday, October 13, 2013

Guilty pleasures vol. eight: Chex Mix

On occassion, the Goat will take pity on me due to a staggering work load and purchase a bag of Chex Mix, either the Cheddar or Bold Party variety. I have no experience with your Italian Herb and Parmesan, your (ahem) Cookies and Cream, or any other of the myriad Chex Mix flavors (although I admit I am intrigued by the Jalepeno Cheddar offering).

The pretzels inside packaged Chex Mix are simply dreadful. The "mini breadsticks" are unremarkable at best. I don't mind the rye chips in the Bold mix, but the real reason anyone eats Chex Mix is the Chex themselves. All that revolting chemical flavoring inundates the lattice work of each Chex bit and the result is a perverse junk food nirvana.

No one will argue that the boldness/cheddarness/saltiness of commercial Chex Mix has diminished over the years. Even so, the Chexiness of Chex Mix persists; and when there is a bag of the miserable stuff in the house, I am reduced to a shaking junkie, waking in the middle of the night to creep down the stairs and paw through the Chex Mix bag, cherry picking the devilish little squares, then returning to my nuptial bed amid the lingering scent of cheese powder.

So kill me already.

I avoid packaged Chex Mix with varying degrees of success. When I succumb, the experience is harrowing and riddled with guilt. I've even gone so far as to weigh the bag, in which only the sub-quality pretzels remain, and calculate how many calories I did not eat (See, Erin? It's not so bad.) before relegating the whole mess to the trash.

The following is a true story.

A few years ago in Sunday coupon circular, I came upon the "award winning" recipe for Buffalo Chex Mix and was intrigued much like a sex addict viewing a fresh dimpled face atop a predictable body clad in an equally predictable plaid mini kilt. My fate was sealed.

I purchased the ingredients (although I opted to omit the pretzels as all the higher quality twists seemed too large). I upped the volume of butter and hot sauce and added a few shakes of Lawry's Seasoned Salt. I followed the directions, mixing, tossing and microwaving. In the end, I had before me 10 to 12 cups of beauteous homemade Chex Mix.

It was immeasurably superior to the bagged garbage. It was crispy. It was salty. It was spicy. It was buttery. It was even wholesome--free from the noxious chemical flavorings in that nasty commercial stuff. No matter that it contained an entire package of ranch dressing mix--this was homemade!

I downed a few handfuls of my snack food Galatea, let it cool as directed, and then sealed it in a giant plastic container. I stepped into the rest of my life.

Or so I thought.

For now, dear reader, comes the terrible, terrible end, which unfurled like a hellish dream. That Chex Mix would not be denied. Chex Mix and coffee? Sure! After all, it's a bona-fide breakfast food.

Chex Mix, Chex Mix.

I'd be on my way from the upstairs to the laundry room and it would call. With Pavlovian loyalty, I'd drop the basket of clothing to retrieve a handful. Chex Mix ChexMix chexmix chexmixchexmixchexmix ...

I ate the entire mountain of the stuff in two days. By myself.

You cannot erase such a thing. You cannot correct it or reverse it. It just is. You own it. It becomes part of who you are. My only redemption in this sad story is in its singularity. Because while I have many times craved that Buffalo Chex Mix over the years, I've never made it since.

Onto today's embedded vid, which has nothing to do with the associated content ... or does it?

God give me strength.

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Elisson said...

I'm old enough to remember the days when, if you were jonesing for some Chex Mix, you had to (1) look up "jonesing" in a dictionary of urban slang just to know what you were feeling, and (2) you had to make the fucking stuff yourself.

No prepackaged, premanufactured bullshit Chex Mix back then.

I miss those days.

Anonymous said...


"I'd drop to retrieve a handful..."-Erin


John Venlet said...

I won't eat that pre-packaged Chex Mix stuff, Erin. It tastes like crap, or like chemicals, as you note. Still make the stuff using the same recipe my mum used when I was a kid.

Anonymous said...

Erin, I was just listening to the homage Jimi Hendrix created for you and your fellow snackers:

"Ooohhhh...Chexy lady..."

A classic...