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Party Like It’s 2015! (Mennonite Party Mix?)

December 31, 2014

We were talking at work about how 2015 shows up in the first “Back to the Future” film of 1985. Remember “Doc” traveling, at the end, from 1985 to 2015? Remember how far ahead that seemed, how unimaginable for all but the futurists among us? Well here we are, on the cusp of 2015. I for one could not truly have believed then that I would have participated in my family’s Christmas gathering 600 miles away via video on a smart phone.

In case you are still pondering what to make or take for a 2014 New Year’s Eve party or New Year’s Day gathering or weekend family get together, Party Mix is always nice to have around and adaptable to whatever you have on hand in terms of specific cereals and ingredients. And if you use healthy cereals, can it substitute for a healthy breakfast??

PartyMix1 (6)

This is a recipe I’ve used over many years and adapted and corrected, see below. This year I had just finished making my batch shortly before Christmas when I was talking to my mother on the phone. She mentioned that a woman from my home congregation, North Goshen, had died unexpectedly, Viola Miller. No relation, but she was a fond church friend, and mother of one of my brother’s best buddies at church. Viola was still a vibrant and active church member, grandmother and all around good woman who will be greatly missed. When I visited my home church earlier this year, Viola was telling me about her numerous grandchildren with eyes sparkling with pride and love. And now I just noticed that another of my favorite recipes came from Viola, Strawberry Pie, posted here.

PartyMix1 (8)

So I made this batch remembering her and thinking about how our named recipes—those we get from family and friends and cookbooks where we know the authors or cooks—are indeed special, bringing back memories, relationships, mentoring and good feelings along with the good food. That is the best of what this old church cookbook addresses as well: Titled “Fellowship Cooking,” the dedication states that “Fellowship is sharing.”

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Speaking of old family recipes, I’m helping to launch a new blog for MennoMedia/Herald Press featuring Mennonite Community Cookbook. We have a new 65th anniversary edition coming out in early 2015, with contests and giveaways of great cookbooks each week. See here for an earlier post about this project. And keep your eyes open for news and posts about all the fun!

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Party Mix

3 sticks (1 ½ cups) butter
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons each of garlic salt, celery salt, onion salt (original said 2 Tablespoons each, which I followed one time, but the result was way too salty and too much sodium for us.)
1 lb mixed salted nuts (or just peanuts)
12 oz.* shredded wheat squares (or wheat Chex is what I use)
6 oz. rice Chex
6 oz. corn Chex
7 oz. Cheerios (honey nut flavored or plain, or a mix)
6 oz. thin pretzel sticks

Melt butter in a small sauce pan; add Worcestershire sauce and seasoned salts and warm until all is dissolved. Remove from heat. Combine all dry ingredients in large turkey roaster pan. Pour the butter and seasoning mixture over the dry ingredients. Stir carefully to mix in butter and seasonings. Bake uncovered at low temperature, 225 degrees for two hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes. All amounts of cereals can be more or less to your taste.

*How I guess these ounce amounts is looking at the total ounces on the package, I eyeball how much would be 12 ounces or 6 ounces or whatever.

Adapted from recipe of Viola Miller and Mabel Nisley – Both these mothers had sons named Kenny who were both the age of my brother and therefore all three were great friends!

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Recipes for Party Mix abound. What is a favorite for you, or what would you add to the above recipe?

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Great gift idea: A woman from our church, Beverly, makes a huge batch of Party Mix, gives a pint away in a glass pint jar to many of her friends, and asks for the jars back to recycle next year! We are always happy to get a pint and to return the jar back to her!

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Happy 2015 and thanks for liking, following and commenting on this blog! It has grown a nice step up this year and I appreciate all the blog love, and especially enjoy knowing some new friends.

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2 Comments
  1. I love the marked up recipe you post here, typical of many of my oft-used ones. You food shoots always look so appetizing and perfect. Yesterday Ian and I made Rice Krispy treats, an exercise in measuring for a 7 year old. Either we had too many Rice Krispies or too little marshmallow fluff – it was a total disaster! I wrapped what was salvageable into wax paper balls, best eaten outside. I realize I’m not adding anything to your store of recipes except a funny story.

    Happy New Year, Melodie!

    • Trying a response from my smart phone. Thanks for all your encouragement, comments, stories and sharing the tender memories of your mother. Glad someone else can mess up Rice krispy treats. Been there too. Happy new year!

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