Sunday, October 28, 2007

the mix

I first tasted the mix years ago when one of my co-workers at the library brought it in. "Try this," she told me. "It tastes just like a Payday, but doesn't stick to your teeth." Sure enough, the mixture of candy corn and peanuts did taste just like one of my favorite candy bars, and it didn't stick to my teeth. It was great. Everyone on the library staff loved it. I knew my family would love it, as well, but it just seemed so unhealthy. Then I had a brilliant idea. I will add some raisins to the mix, I thought. Then it will be healthy. My own personalized version of the mix was born.

I think I must have taken it in to work the very first October that I worked at the university. I bought a big, old-fasioned glass jar with a screw-on lid, and filled it to the top with the mix. My co-workers loved it. When they weren't munching on handfuls of it, they were talking about it; what peanut to candy corn ratio was the tastiest or how healthy the raisins made it. Frequently, we talked about it and ate it at the same time. I made several batches that year, and in subsequent Octobers, as well. I even bought some inexpensive little black and orange plastic cups so we could take some back to our desks. (How disillusioned I was the year one of the cups was never returned. One of my co-workers had stolen it from me.)

Last year Vince kept asking me, "isn't it about time to bring in the mix?" All I could say to him was, "I'm just not feeling it, Vince." Because I wasn't feeling it. And I never did. Today, however, I bought all the ingredients for the mix and put them together. I will take it in to them one day this next week. I am looking forward to it.

If you want to make the mix yourself, the ratio is totally up to you. This will get you started.

3 or 4 - 11 oz. bags Brach's candy corn (I prefer all candy corn, but if you like those big pumpkins and blobby shapes as well, why, include them.)

1 lb. can cocktail peanuts (not dry-roasted)

2 or 3 cups raisins

Pour everything in a big bowl, get your hands in there and mix it all up, and it's ready to eat. I like it in my clear glass jar, as I think it looks festive and attractive. Enjoy!

12 comments:

Julie said...

i dunno, mom--i think dry roasted peanuts work pretty well. they're not as slimey as cocktail peanuts, but they might be more salty.

andrew and i made "the mix" for our halloween party guests, and i think they liked it. we made so much food it was sort of hard to tell which things were a hit--we have so much left over!

anyway, i hope your co-workers enjoy the mix. will it be your first time back?

anne mancine said...

It's more of a texture thing - I don't like the texture of dry-roasted peanuts as well. When you mix the peanuts in with that much candy and raisins, they really aren't "slimey" at all.

Yeah, I haven't seen most of those guys in more than three months. If they're not happy to see me, I know they'll be happy to see the mix.

Ben said...

What you want to do is buy cocktail peanuts, pour them into a bowl, and leave them for a while. When the nuts become shiny with slimy oil, put them out for friends and family. At least that's how I remember my grandmother, GRHS, serving them. I think she used this same general technique for Fritos and Cheese Worms (TM), (which you could actually get to squeak if they were stale enough). Come ta think of it, I don't think she ever returned a snack to the bag once she'd poured it into a bowl. But back to the mix...

I like the mix as it is, especially this year. I am glad there are no big candy-corn-flavored pumpkin shapes this year so I don't have to pick them out. Viva le mix!

Julie said...

actually i had some of our mix tonight (with dry roasted), and it was kind of yucky! we get dry roasted peanuts pretty routinely, just to eat, and they're fine. so i don't know if this jar was just off in some way (tastes like bad peanuts in the shell taste), or just didn't combine well at all in the mix.

plus we could only find "autumn mix"--stupid pumpkins. and indian corn!

Kristy said...

I love how you can put raisins into anything and make it healthy :)

anne mancine said...

Yeah, in spite of how "healthy" the mix now is, I will be keeping only a small bag of it at home for Ben to snack on.

desideo said...

Candy corn is SO hard to find here since the American food store closed last year. In Stockholm there's at least one (Gray's American Food Store) well-stocked store, but here we basically get three kinds of Oreos, some Betty Crocker cake mixes (and frostings, if you're lucky), Reese's Pieces, root beer, Dr. Pepper (eewww) and that's it.

I'm making pistachio/marshmallow brownies with white/black spider web chocolate frosting for Halloween. Now THAT'S healthy.

anne mancine said...

You know, it doesn't sound like there's a single thing in those brownies that I can actually eat. They do sound mighty tasty, though. Enjoy!

anne mancine said...

You know, Ben, I have been puzzling all this time over "GRHS" after the mention of your grandmother, and I finally got it. Yes, God Rest Her Soul, indeed.

Ben said...

MMmmmm. Those brownies sound mighty good to me! I love pistachio anything, but pistachio-chocolate - wow that sounds good. And to think I might be able to trade a bag of candy corn for them! Then I can sprinkle some magic pixie dust (raisins) on them and I'm eatin' healthy!

desideo said...

Ben - I'd totally go for that trade! Unfortunately, cross-Atlantic travel has been known to treat perishables (or, to be more specific, meltables) very badly. I remember that one particularly traumatic time, when I sent gummy candies and Smilla's Sense of Snow (from London to Dallas) in the same package. We swiftly rechristened it Smilla's Sense of Goo.

Those brownies are probably lethal. I ran a few extra laps today, and had onion soup for dinner, though, so I have earned them. When I grew up, my father would sometimes be on a diet. He'd actually make my mother read cookbooks to him in bed. That's a very fond diet-related childhood memory. (I also liked my mother's diet-themed Christmas gifts, and gift rhymes for him. I still remember one of the rhymes!)

Du you ever write gift rhymes? I know of some (very few) Americans who do it, but in Scandinavia it's huge in comparison. There are rhyme hotlines to call! (We have no turkey hotlines, however. Boy, do I miss good stuffing.)

This is the third time I got all hungry reading your blog, Anne.

anne mancine said...

Pretty soon I am going to start writing about tofu recipes, Anna, so you may lose your appetite then...