Monday, November 30, 2015

Rain, Running, and Snack Mix

It has been raining here in Central Arkansas for the last four days. And when I say rain, I don't mean the gentle drizzle that counts as rain in the Northwest - I know that kind of rain, I grew up with it, and while it can put a damper on your mood, at least it is generally easy to ignore as you go about your daily life. No, we have had about 4-6 inches of rain, in heavy downpours and steady showers. There is a pocket park at the bottom of our hill - just a basketball court and a walking trail really - set into a bowl where all the water drains. It has flooded twice now in the last two weeks. Our backyard and front yard are just mud puddles, squishy, messy, mud puddles. But, in theory, the sun is coming back soon, and maybe we will dry out a bit.

Being a good Northwesterner, I didn't let the rain stop me from running this week. How could I? It was the first week of my half-marathon training plan! I might get lazy later, I might have to take a break for an ice storm in January, but no way am I letting rain wash out my first week! So I put on my old rain coat (not really made for running, but it worked well enough) and slogged out the door. I am super excited about running the half in March. The farthest I have ever run was 10 miles, while training for my last 10K (6.2 miles), and when I finished that run I said to myself "I am glad I am done for today, but I could totally run another three miles if I had to!" And now I will get that chance. I am also excited because I will be raising money for a good cause: brain cancer research. Some friends of mine have set up a fund raising team and gathered close to 100 friends to run the Little Rock Marathon, half-marathon, 10K and 5K to raise money. Check out the link and think about how much you want to give me, because after Christmas I am going to come back with my hat in hand, pestering and begging you for money. Don't think I won't.

And now, because it is officially the Christmas season, and because it is raining and you need something yummy to perk you up, it is time for snack mix. I love snack mix, and while I might occasionally make it at other times of the year, December just isn't right if I don't make a couple of batches. How much do I love it? I made a batch last week - using an entire box of cereal - and it lasted two days. Malcolm and I ate almost all of it ourselves. I had to make another batch this weekend. So, without further delay, here is my recipe for snack mix:

Crispix snack mix, modified by Hope
*I have doubled the original recipe, because the smaller amount just isn't worth it. The amounts of cereal etc. are all approximate, depending on your own personal tastes and preferences - adjust as needed.

1 box Crispix cereal, or approximately 13 cups rice and corn Chex
1-2 cups Cheerios
1-2 cups cheddar Goldfish
1-2 cups peanuts
1-2 cups pretzels (I usually use sticks, but the mini twists work well too)
6 tablespoons butter, melted (the original calls for margarine, but, ugh)
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon onion salt (I usually use onion powder instead, because that is what I have)
1 teaspoon Penzey's Greek Seasoning mix or Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle (Optional: this is a new addition, and it is quite nice, but the mix is just fine without it)
4 teaspoons lemon juice
8 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 250 F.
1) Combine the cereals, Goldfish, peanuts, and pretzels in a large roasting pan. Set aside.
2) Stir together the remaining ingredients. Pour over cereal and gently stir until the cereal is evenly coated.
3) Bake at 250 F for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool - this is important, since the mix will not taste good at all when very hot. Eat. Repeat.