The secret to her recipe is that she makes the seasoning sauce with bacon grease. I know most of us don't keep a can of bacon drippings on our stove like our mothers did or like I did when LBeau and I were first married, but if you are going to make TV Snacks, you are going to have to fry some bacon in a skillet and save the drippings. Forget about trying to fry it in the microwave. The paper towels absorb all of the grease. You can refrigerate or freeze the bacon to use in salads or for BLT's.
For her TV Snacks Mema uses a combination of cereals, nuts and small snack crackers and such. She suggests Rice Chex, Corn Chex, Cheerios, Crispix, pretzels, oysters crackers, Cheez-Its, pecans, peanuts and almonds. We are particularly fond of Honey Nut Cheerios; they add just a touch of sweet to the spicy mixture.
Each year Mema likes to surprise us by adding a new ingredient. This year's new addition was a puffy stick that reminded me of cheese puffs in its texture. She said they were Mozzarella Sticks. The boys liked them so much that they began picking them out to eat alone. When Ben also started picking out the pecans, Hunter complained that he was ruining the mixture.
Before Mema left to go home after Christmas, I asked her if she would give me the TV Snacks recipe. Yesterday it came in the mail with a detailed explanation. The seasoning sauce recipe is enough for two large pans of snacks. Mema uses an old oval enamelware roaster that belonged to Billie Anne's mother-in-law and one of the large disposable aluminum pans that you can buy at the grocery store. She called it the "dollar size" pan, but I would guess that it costs more than a dollar now. Anyway it's approximately 16x12x3 1/2. She described the oval roaster as "large enough to roast a 12 or 14 pound turkey."
Here's the recipe:
3/4 c. bacon drippings
2 sticks oleo, melted (Mema uses Fleischmann's Corn Oil Margarine)
2 T. garlic powder
2 T. Andy's seasoned salt
2 t. onion salt
1 T. Tabasco
2 T. Lea & Perrins Worchestershire Sauce
2 T. chili powder
Layer cereals, nuts and other snack items in 2 large roasting pans until they are approximately 3/4 full. Stir seasoning mixture well and continue stirring as you dribble it over the cereal mixture. Stir cereal mixture to distribute seasoning throughout. Bake at 225 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool and store in airtight containers.