Trashy Traditions

Happy New Year everyone. I hope yours is off to a great start. We've had a very relaxing holiday season this year. From Thanksgiving through to Christmas, we've had very little travel and lots of pajama wearing days. THE best.Our oldest daughter, Melody, completed her final two classes in December and The University of Texas at Tyler assures us her diploma is on the way. Another milestone in December was watching our middle daughter graduate from Texas A&M University at Commerce. So proud of them both and excited to see what 2014 brings in this new chapter of their lives. My sweet hubs got a new position with the company he works for, which means less stress and no more working shift work. P.T.L.Speaking of the hubs...my sweet husband has been THE sole creator of this week's Free Recipe Friday recipe for as long as we've been married. We thought it was pretty common until a few of Rudy's friends didn't know what it was. We call it Texas Trash. It has nothing to do with trash except that we typically mix all of the ingredients in a giant clean trash bag - unscented of course.

James and I both grew up nibbling on this concoction and this is the only time of the year it's made. We now feel compelled to share this little piece of heaven with you. The makers of Chex cereals have caught onto this recipe over the years and have come out with their own version. Chex Mix, as they call it, was created after their boxes of Chex cereals started disappearing off the shelves during holiday season. DO NOT BE DECEIVED - it is NOT the same, ha. It lacks that extra something...that extra sheen...you know, bacon grease. Scoff if you will, but once tasted, you'll become a die-hard fan!

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 lb. butter - 4 sticks

1 cup bacon grease

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons salt

10 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (a 10 oz. bottle)

1-2 tablespoons Tabasco (we use Louisiana hot sauce)

WHAT TO DO:

Heat the above ingredients in a medium size stock pot until well combined.

We always taste ours and tweak it a bit - sometimes

we add a little extra Worcestershire, hot sauce, etc.

Feel free to make yours your own.

Once all is completely melted and combined,

take off the heat and let cool just a bit.

In a large CLEAN durable trash bag, combine the following:

1 box of Wheat Chex

1 box of Rice Chex

1 box of Bran Chex

1 box of Corn Chex

1 box of Cheerios

1 bag of pretzel sticks

1 can of salted peanuts

1 can of salted mixed nuts

Note: we are often unable to find one of the cereals listed above during the holiday season. We either substitute something else (bagel chips, Cheezits, oyster crackers, etc) or do without, it's a-okay.

We are also not huge fans of peanuts, so we use 2 cans of mixed nuts and skip the peanuts. If you want to use two cans of pecan halves or cashews it will be perfectly fine, and I will be your best friend.

After all dry ingredients are dumped into a large CLEAN trash bag (this works best with two people), gently, every so gently, combine the ingredients by rolling the trash bag between your arms until well mixed. While one of you opens the bag back up, the other person can drizzle the warm broth mixture over cereals...trying to avoid inhaling the mixture or pouring directly on the bag itself (trust me on this one), and then roll bag again to completely coat everything. Just twist the bag closed and hold tightly and flip that bag all around. Gently of course.

This mixture will fill about 6 deep disposable aluminum roasting pans or you can "bake in anything you can find" as my husband says. Scoop the mix out with a large paper plate, measuring cup of whatever works best for you. Bake these slowly with an oven temperature of about 300 degrees for several hours. Stirring often. This works well if you have double ovens. Just be patient if you don't, and cook the pans full of goodness in shifts. You just want to dry the mixture out a bit so it won't get soggy during storage. The sound of the cereal hitting the pan will change as you stir and it will get louder, so to speak, in the aluminum pan towards the end.

Store cooled trash mix in good seal-able containers. We use cookie tins and old popcorn cans.

Several chapters ended with the close of 2013,

we are excited about what new chapters are opened in 2014.

Wishing you a great new year enjoying tried and true

family traditions with the ones you love!

ENJOY!!!

#freerecipefriday

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