After two years, I have clearly adopted some of the behaviors and activities of Angelinos. One of those is a fascination with Hollywood. Well, not really, but I do pay more attention to the movies and have returned to watching the Oscars after a decades-long absence. A major reason for that is our family. On Oscar night, our regular Sunday family dinner has been supplanted by our gathering in front of the television. Dinner is finger food on a buffet so that you can replenish your plate during commercial breaks. My son-in-law in his professional life is a serious, no-nonsense, take-charge kind of guy. Around home he is quiet and considerate and also an expert on contemporary music and movies. He knows the names of all the actors, even the walk-ons, and usually knows some interesting tidbit about them. Same is true of current bands and singers. For that reason he is in charge of organizing Oscar Night. (They might want to consider him for the job of organizing the real Oscar show.) He makes ballots so that each family member can indicate his or her choice for the winner. There is excitement throughout the evening with the uncertainty of who will make the most correct picks. It is usually a tight race between my granddaughter and Susan. My granddaughter is also a movie aficionado so it is expected that she will do well. But the surprise is Susan who has no interest in the movies and is still able to pick the winners. This year, Susan may have the field to herself as my granddaughter is off to college. Her prize for winning will be that she has bested all the others in this very competitive family.
Meanwhile, Carol is in charge of the food. Trust me, there is just as much competitive pressure to deliver on the food as there is to win the Oscar picks. She will probably make sliders, her famous pinwheels, and maybe her elegant cheese puff pastry. She asked me to make cheese straws and brownies. Both are long-time family favorites. I decided to make some Texas Trash as well. This is another family favorite, and it lends itself to noshing in front of the TV. The recipe is SIMPLE. You can also find a similar recipe on any box of Chex cereal. These days you can also find it ready made, but like most things it’s not as good as homemade. The recipe makes about 10 cups, which should be enough for the five of us, but I expect that it will be gone at the end of the Oscars.
Who do you think will win the Oscars?
- ½ cup (one stick) butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
- 2 cups Wheat Chex
- 2 cups Corn Chex
- 2 cups Rice Chex
- 1 cup mixed nuts
- 1 cup mini pretzels
- Place the melted butter in a very large mixing bowl. Add the Worcestershire sauce and the seasoned salt, stirring to make sure they are well combined.
- Stir in the three cereals, stirring gently to make sure the butter mixture is evenly distributed and completely absorbed.
- Add the nuts and pretzels. Stir to combine and transfer to a large rimmed baking pan.
- Bake for 1 hour in the middle of the oven preheated to 250° F , stirring every 15 minutes to make sure the mixture is evenly coated.
- Remove from the oven and cool. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container.
Cook’s note: This is not like baking a soufflé, so measurements are not precise. The ingredient list is also variable. If you want to add or substitute peanuts or different pretzels or bagel chips, do it. If you want more flavoring like chile powder or dry ranch dressing mix, add it. Whatever you do will probably taste good, and the Texas Trash will be gone before you know it.