There is a very popular recipe for Chex Mix in my family; I am always happy to give it a shot, but other people in my family are much better at it. That being said, I try every year anyway for a simple reason: one recipe worth makes 6, 7, or even 8 packages worth of Chex Mix, suitable to give as gifts to true aficionados and, more commonly, suitable as a gift to thank someone who has chosen to host us for a holiday party. We make it during the first week of December and it is shelf stable enough to last till January; that being said, Husband can rarely resist it for that long!
I like the idea that there are some foods that are just for certain times of year. Sure, the ingredients are now available year-round, but I enjoyed a cone of Egg nog ice cream last week way more because I only get that creamy, nutmeg-y goodness once a year. I like that by sticking with a traditional timing for a food, I add specialness to it and I make a gift that would seem pretty phoned in, like a bag of prepared Chex Mix, into a labor of love (hours and hours of cooking!). It creates a fun tradition and expectation, which can be nice especially when my family is mostly adults and there aren’t many kids to get super excited about Christmas.
What are your favorite holiday food traditions? Do you make a big batch of something to split up and share with many people, like cookies for the neighbors, or do you make smaller and diverse dishes for different occasions? All this talk is making me hungry for my favorite gingerbread men with the butterscotch pudding mix as the “secret ingredient” – excuse me, I’ll be right back. 🙂