There are several things I'd call symbolic/iconic/traditional to the Stephens family. Popcorn with butter & Johnny's (never lawry's) seasoning salt. Fried chicken. Ironing table clothes, peeling potatoes & dad laying out the silver for thanksgiving dinner. But hands down, the most important thing to my family is:
Mom is a salt fiend and has raised three like minded children. Typically for our birthdays we got chex mix instead of cake, as per our preference. Mom usually eyeballed the ingredients and as a result, no one really has a clear, reproduce-able, recipe. When I ask about proportions my mom vaguely suggests that I add more butter, more salt, or more worcestershire...or all three. So every batch is a little different. It doesn't matter- as long as my fingers and feet swell up and I feel like I'm salt-curing my innards, I know I've come close.
Yesterday I decided it had been too long since I last made chex mix, so I texted ashley.
Me: I don't have a plan for dinner but I think I will make chex mix. I'm trying for the perfect recipe proportions.
Ash: Ok. Kristi & I decided to make some.
(I love that- it was like she was implying there had been any other option)
Then we went back & forth on some ingredient amounts.
Then we both swelled up from too much salt.
This morning I texted her again.
Me: The kind of gross but inevitable pairing the morning after you make chex mix: coffee and chex mix.
Ash: Funny that you mention that... (pic below)
Nice. I'm sure the salt content of chex mix would be manageable if I didn't insist on eating it all within 12 hours of making it....