Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Trash is DONE!!

I love Christmasy days!
This morning I got out my old recipe card boxes and picked out several I would like to make - if not for Christmas at least in the near future.
It was like walking down Memory Lane to see all the names and dates on the cards.

A couple of recipes were from a dear neighbor of long ago and some were handwritten by Summer when she was a teenager. I looked through all the boxes trying to find the divinity recipe from a neighbor back in 1970. Her last name was Jackson and she was from Breckenridge, Texas. Her husband was Joe and they lived two doors down at the curve. I could NOT find it but I found what I believe is the same recipe in an older cookbook I have.

Divinity is supposed to look like puffy white clouds and six of mine did.
The rest looked like hail stones...but they all taste the same.
I haven't made divinity in several years. I'll be making another batch before we go back down to the ranch next month for Dean and Sherry.
There's a magic moment when you stop the mixer and spoon drop the clouds. I missed it by a hair and that hair makes all the difference. In appearance if not taste.

Amber arrived around noon to help me with the Texas Trash.

On this date 3 years ago, Kailey helped me make it.

I had to explain that we don't put the bags and entire containers of seasonings in the bag.

We call it Texas Trash because that's the way Mother made a trash can.
She was manager at an answering service and every year she would make a couple of trash cans full at Christmas time. Mother drank a lot of coffee and saved every empty can throughout the year. Back then the coffee really did come in cans. She would gift all her employees at work as well as everyone in the family. I have always loved salt so naturally this was my most favorite thing to get each year.
All four of my children would look forward to receiving their own can every Christmas.

People ask me what Texas Trash is - and it's basically the Chex Mix recipe on the box - with a few differences. 

I use Wheat, Rice and Corn Chex, small pretzels, roasted peanuts.....and all this is mixed up in a trash can lined with a heavy duty black trash bag. I use a really large Pyrex measuring cup and put a stick of butter, some Worcestershire sauce (I don't measure anything) and garlic and seasoning salt along with some garlic powder. Microwave it until the butter is melted. I have two huge Tupperware containers ( I have had these for years and years!) and I fill them up slightly over half full and then pour some of the mixture over and toss it all around until it's coated. Spread it out on a sheet pan.
Since I have a double oven, I use four sheet pans. My top oven is also a convection oven and I set that to 300 degrees. The bottom oven is set to 350. You bake them for 15 minutes, turn the mixture over with a spatula, bake 15 more minutes, turn and bake again. Take out of the oven and dump the trash onto newspaper to cool. Mother would clear off her dining room table and cover it in newspapers. She would have that entire table covered in trash by the end. I let it cool and then slide it back into another trash can. She also sprinkled additional salts and seasonings on it between turning.
By dumping all the trash together and then mixing it up makes the entire batch taste more or less the same. Some trays would be more salty than others so it all evens out.

Amber has a couple of favorite movies she watches every year at Christmas and she brought The Holiday which we enjoyed in 15 minute intervals....complete with a fire making it a very cozy kind of day.

We had the last of the trash waiting for its turn in the oven when Amber went home.
I made 23 gallons of it using at least 6 pounds of butter and all of 60 ounces of Worcestershire Sauce.
I bought 3 bottles of the HEB brand and one bottle of name brand.
Next time I will buy only name brand which will up the price tag of making the trash but reading the label convinced me.
Amber bought some Worcestershire Sauce at Target recently and compared the ingredients.
The off brand has caramel coloring and corn syrup among other things. I couldn't tell any difference in the smell or taste, though. Still, I think I will go with the name brand next time.

I started making the trash at 1:00 and finished at 9:30 so it took awhile and that was with a helper!
The kitchen is clean and I am real happy not to crunch when I walk in there now!

Louis Dean is out in the gazebo as I close out tonight's journal entry.
He shelling pecans for the Sugarplum dough I'll be making tomorrow.
It's cold in Texas and I am loving it!
There's just something not right about being hot in December!


Ginny Hartzler said...

Oh my, what a day of work to make that!!! It is your Christmas tradition, and part of that is spending a bonding time with whoever is your helper from year to year. My mom used to make divinity. No matter what yours looks like, as long as it tastes good! Not looking perfect shows that it is home made with love, and not from a factory!

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

A lovely day Linda - thank you for sharing.

Bluebird49 said...

It's so good Amber came! Family traditions are important, I think. Mama used to make divinity fudge, too, but I don't remember ever making any other than chocolate fudge and peanut butter fudge, and Buckeyes, fruitcake cookies plus oatmeal/raisin, chocolate chip, and sugar cookies. And sausage/cheese balls and the fruitcake, of course, and chocolate, lemon and coconut pies---the pies right Christmas. Wow, how did I get it all done! Wish I still could. :)

Laurie said...

I have never heard of this recipe but it sounds amazing! I am astounded by the amount you make, you are a champ! Many happy recipients I’m sure. A wonderful heart filled gift! Take care my friend, best wishes and Merry Christmas from our family to yours,

Changes in the wind said...

That's a lot of Texas trash! Great that Amber could come and help and visit too.

Vee said...

What a labor of love! 😊

You know what?! You look mighty cute in that apron. Mine is never worn; it just hangs on the closet door looking cute. I must have been a very popular Avon offering because I see them all over Blogdom.

Pace yourself now... Merry on!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I'm lucky to make one batch of chex mix let alone all that. Good thing it is cool there with having your oven 0n all that time. Bess you heart for making sure every one has their own batch. I 'm one who thinks the best gifts are homemade. What a blessing you have help there both with the trash and the pecans. A very Merry Christmas to all !

photowannabe said...

Wow, and oh my!!
All of that Trash!!
You simply amaze me. So glad you had a helper for that marathon adventure.
Your Trash is someones Treasure.
Now put your feet up and relax!!


Oh goodness dear friend, you sure had some trash to get rid of !
Glad you got help too.
You look adorable in thet cute apron my friend.
Say hi to hubby.
Merry Christmas,

Carole said...

I need to give soemthing like this a go - but can't have garlic in it.... wonder what to substitute??? Enjoy your Christmas prep. Cheers

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

That’s a full days work, girl!

Susie said...

Linda, What a fun with your Amber. I know you love your mother/daughter time. I sure do miss mine, by not being able to get out at this time for very long. The candy looks so yummy. I do not ever remember trying that. The Trash mix sounds fun to make for everyone...but that is a lots of work too. Loved seeing the old picture of Kailey, where did the years go? I want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas. Blessings to all the family and you and LD. xoxo,love, Susie

Latane Barton said...

Linda, I want some of what gives you so much energy!! You get so much done and you are full of life and fun. Wow. My sister-in-law made divinity but I've never tried it. Yours looks amazing.