Friday, January 23, 2009

The Countdown begins....

Okay sports fans we are on the countdown to the Superbowl. When I was growing up Bobo watched OSU football on Saturday and pro ball on Sunday. Oooh those games. They seemed to go on forever! Then I married men who also loved football. The shouting, the moaning, the kvetching,the pouting, the'd think who won actually mattered to world peace.

I did start going to Browns games and low and behold it was fun. We'd get up at the crack of dawn with lots of cold weather gear stashed in the back seat. We'd drive up to Cleveland and have breakfast with the nephews someplace near the stadium and trek to the game. There was something about being there, the crowd, the music and the food that was pretty fun. I realized that you could probably have fun watching the game at home if you made it an occasion. So we'd invite people over, plan an awesome menu and have fun. Diehard football watchers were glued to the screen. Folks in my camp would watch til our eyes glazed over (20 minutes, tops) and move to the living room to chat, laugh and eat snacks. If there was a roar from the family room we'd leap to our feet and run to see what happened. Of course the play would be rerun so often we could pretty much run the play ourselves. Then back to the food. All in all it's a pretty fun way to spend an afternoon.

We continue to watch football although the Browns made way for the Cowboys and we still love OSU. Well one of us likes the Cowboys. The other one (moi) likes the Colts or the Giants. I have this thing for family. Eli is being coaxed along by his Granna and we chat about sports. Eli really wanted the Eagles to win a Superbowl bid. He did not like the Cardinals. I'll need to check to see if he likes the Steelers. I think I will support my grandson and hope for the Steelers.

In order to properly celebrate the game I asked my dear friend Linda (a Pittsburgh native) some ideas about Pittsburgh treats. Linda, I have to say I love you but the treats are a little iffy. Islay's chipped ham, a terrible towel, and a sandwich that combines bread, meat, fries, cole slaw tomatoes and a lid of bread. I am sure it's an acquired taste. Klondike bars and Clark bars I think are also items. I like the Clark bars although it's years since I've had one.

So I sought out my Plan B. Of course this means going back to my roots. I looked through the family cookbook and low and behold an old family fave - Grandma Oechsler's chex mix. As a little girl I would go to Grandma and Grandpa's house with my family. We could count on two things. Archway cookies in the kitchen cabinet and salted mixed nuts or bridge mix made by Grandma in the candy dish. The candy dish is a wonderful memory. It is china, round with feet. It is blue with cherubs and detail on the sides and the lid. It is edged with tan and gold. The dish sat on the tea cart at the end of the dining room against the window that looked out on the screened in porch. It was our first stop after hugs and kisses and hellos.

The snack was a treat Grandma made for parties and bridge. We loved it! I made it for my children and they loved it as well. It's made with broken pecans as you'll see in the recipe. There is a nameless heretic in the family that likes this with (shudder) peanuts! Yeech. The mix is yummy and spicy and something wonderful for games - even the Superbowl!

Grandma's Chex Mix

Mix together:
1/2 C. melted butter
4T. Worcestershire sauce
16 drops of Tobasco sauce

In a baking pan mix:
3 C. Rice Chex
3 C. Corn Chex
1/2 C. broken pecans

Sprinkle with:
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. Coleman's dry mustard
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Add melted butter mixture, mix well. Bake the mix in th oven for 1 hour. Stir well every 15 minutes.

When done. Sprinkle it generously with grated Parmesan cheese. I don't have an exact amount for that. You can decide the cheesiness factor.

You can vary the nuts and add pretzels or other kinds of cereals but I am faithful to Grandma.


  1. Okay, I guess I better defend my Pittsburgh foodie roots, especially since I am in the Steel City as I write this. I don't think I mentioned that we also LOVE hot dogs and baked beans....Heintz, of course!

  2. I thought you used wheat chex. I remember them being the pieces that soaked up the sauce the most. I also remember pretzels and maybe bagel chips, oh and definitely cheerios. You also left out the part about making it in the trash bag. I also remember wanting to drink the sauce; it smelled so good.