Everyone likes holidays. We have holidays that involve turkey, holidays where we dress up like monsters and give and eat candy, and many more holidays for religious purposes. but we have no holidays that celebrate the art of snacking (which, it could be argued, is a religious purpose in and of itself). Who doesn't like snacks? nobody, that's who. Snacks were here looooooooong before the whole breakfast, lunch, dinner thing, and it's time we pay proper homage to le snack.
That's why I hereby propose a floating holiday (the only stipulation is that it be celebrated on a sunday afternoon) called, snacksgiving. Now, much like any other festive day of delight, snacksgiving, can be open for interpretation. However, there are a few rules here and I would like to take this time to lay the groundwork for this most precious of days:
Rule #1: Snacksgiving must involve at least 4 of the following 6 snack groups, with certain exceptions, and exemptions applying to dietary needs
Group #1: The chip/crisp family. no snacksgiving would be complete without this crispy addition. Whether it's kettle cooked, baked, or made in the traditional way, flavored or plain, we must have potato chips (pringles are somewhat acceptable, but only in a pinch. I'm still not convinced they are potato chips, bugger what the lord justice says). I prefer plain to flavored and that leads me to another sub-section
sub-section 1a: dips: Dips are glorious. they coat that crispy piece of heaven in a silky layer of goodness and say "nice to meet ya". nice indeed.
note: you may also choose to include a corn chip option in your snacksgiving, but let it be known that it must pair with a choice from the sub-section of salsas. nobody likes plain corn chips, nobody. these may be savory or sweet, hot, mild, of the guacamole nature, blah, blah, blah. this is my blog and I say potato chips.
Group#2: Meat snacks. Pretty self explanatory. a good snacksgiving spread usually has chicken wings. Just saying. and something from the sausage family. meatballs are good too. Jerky is acceptable, but only for host gifts. This group is obviously one of the optional ones, which can be set aside for vegetarian observers.
Group #3: the snack mix group. Nothing gets a snacksgiving going like a bunch of separate snacks tossed together and then shoved in your face. I love it, you love it, your neighbors even love it. its called snack MIX for a reason. it puts the tingle in your mingle. it's always encouraged to make a mix up yourself. store bought is marginally acceptable (c'mon, it's snacks giving, here folks!). You don't have a recipe for the most delicious snack mix in the world? it's ok, I've got you covered (recipe below).
Group#4: Veggie Snack. Every snacksgiving needs some veg. It needn't be raw veg, either. We had mexican corn on the cob at ours. it was delicious. branch out and make your favorite veg, just make sure it fits in the small bite/handheld category. vegetables wrapped in bacon are deemed acceptable, and encouraged. you could also do stuffed mushrooms, cauliflower fritters, potato skins, etc.
Group #5: Cheese. spreads, soft, semi-firm, firm, they're all good, they're all acceptable. Go out of your way and get some nice cheeses for this one that run the gauntlet. four or five should suffice. crackers are encouraged, but not entirely necessary.
Group#6: Stick food (i.e. kabobs). People love food on sticks. it's never going to change, so better to embrace it, than try and erase it. Now, you've a lot of room to work with this one, so be creative and be careful, these suckers are sharp. fruit on sticks (raw or grilled), grilled meat, grilled veggies (or both), tofu or paneer kabobs, you name it. deconstruct your favorite salad and stick it! the possibilities abound.
Rule #2: Drinks. Must. Flow. a party isn't a party without drinks, whether they be alcoholic or non. It's always great to have a pitcher of something at snacks giving. Pitchers of drinks make people feel like they can have as much as they like, and that's what this holiday is all about. It can be anything from iced tea to ice cold beer, as long as its in a pitcher. And as long as we're on that topic...
Rule#3: Dear friends. While most holidays are about family, this one is for your pals. your homies. your cronies, etc. family is definitely welcome, but most times, most of us aren't lucky enough to have them close by.
ok, you want that mix recipe? I thought so, just be forewarned that it makes a ton, and you'll need a good guard dog to keep it safe.
"The Drake" Mix:
(note: this recipe was given to me by an old workmate of mine. I have since elaborated on it, but the drake deserves a nod...)
1 small box Crispix cereal
1 16 oz bag pretzels
1 16 oz bag fritos
1 8 oz bag goldfish crackers
1 bag bugles
1 pound of mixed nuts
for the dressing:
2 cup brown sugar, not packed
1 pound butter
2 tbs curry powder
1 tbs, plus 1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs, plus 1 tsp chili powder
2 tbs worcestershire sauce
heat oven to 250F. Empty dry stuff into a very large mixing bowl, or into several large mixing bowls. heat and stir the dressing ingredients until incorporated. pour over the dry stuff and mix well. Empty mix onto two large baking sheets (they will be heaped pretty high, don't worry) and bake, stirring every 20 minutes. rotate sheets once at the 30 minute mark. pour into parchment lined paper bags on the counter to cool.
DISH recommends: A big mixing bowl. My mom gave me something similar to this. I never thought I'd use it. I use it all the time.