The holidays have always been a time for traditions, from sacred church services to “secret Santa” gift exchanges, from festive decorations to special foods on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Some go caroling, some leave out cookies or other goodies for Kris Kringle, and most gather with family and friends.

As we’ve always said, good food is a Smucker family tradition, and that’s especially true during the holiday season. One of our favorite Lancaster County traditions is making an enormous batch of Grandma Smucker’s Holiday Party Mix. We’ve been making some variation of this delicious snack for generations. Although Grandma Smucker was a stickler for cooking from scratch, we’ve found that packaged dip mix and buttery-flavored popcorn oil put success with this recipe within everyone’s reach.

Grandma Smucker’s Holiday Party Mix in a tin

Grandma Smucker’s holiday party mix is a great one for bringing the family together: one or two people to hold the “mixing bag” open, more people to add the ingredients and shake the bag to mix it all up. The single batch makes a lot, so you can have plenty on hand or to share. You could even put it in festive airtight containers and give it as a gift. It freezes well – just thaw at room temperature or eat it while it’s still chilled. Our family loves it either way. We make a double batch so we can keep enjoying it all throughout the holidays. It’s a satisfying snack – and you can even use it as a salad topping.

Before you start, you’ll need two 30-gallon plastic bags, which you’ll use to combine the mix.

SINGLE BATCH HOLIDAY SNACK MIX

Crispix (17 oz.) 1/2 box

Rice Chex (12 oz.) 1/2 box

Corn Chex (12 oz.) 1/2 box

Cheese curls (11 oz.) 1-1/2 bags

Bugles (7.5 oz.) ranch or cheddar cheese 1 bag

Sunshine white cheddar crackers (9 oz.) 1 box

Pepperidge Farms goldfish (6 oz.) cheddar 1 bag

Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix (1 oz.) original 1/2 package (dry mix)

Orville Redenbacher’s Buttery Popcorn Oil 6 oz.

Optional, but delicious!

Mixed nuts 1/2 lb.

Cashews 1/2 lb.

Dry-roasted peanuts 3/4 lb.

See instructions below.

DOUBLE BATCH HOLIDAY SNACK MIX

Crispix (17 oz.) 1 box

Rice Chex (12 oz.) 1 box

Corn Chex (12 oz.) 1 box

Cheese curls (11 oz.) 3 bags

Bugles (7.5 oz.) ranch or cheddar cheese 2 bags

Sunshine white cheddar crackers (9 oz.) 2 boxes

Pepperidge Farms goldfish (6 oz.) cheddar 2 bags

Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix (1 oz.) original 1 package (dry mix)

Orville Redenbacher’s Buttery Popcorn Oil 12 oz.

Optional, but delicious!

Mixed nuts 1/2 lb.

Cashews 1/2 lb.

Dry-roasted peanuts 3/4 lb.

See instructions below.

INSTRUCTIONS – EASY AS 1,2,3!

1. Double-bag two 30-gallon plastic bags and hold them open at the top.
2. Dump the first dry ingredient into the bag. Sprinkle some dry Ranch dip mix onto the ingredient and pour in some popcorn oil. Shake the bags lightly.
3. Repeat Step 2 until all the ingredients are in the bag and mix well.

NOTE: You can use other varieties of salty snacks, such as Wheat Thins or pretzel sticks. Vary the amounts to your liking. Be creative!

WHERE TO FIND MORE RECIPES

If you enjoy the fresh flavors of Lancaster County, you’ll find more traditional recipes from Pennsylvania Dutch Country in Recipes and Recollections, available in the Books section of our online store.