See, growing up, my mom made all these really awesome treats for school or parties or a special occasion. One of my ALL TIME FAVORITES was something she always called Puppy Chow – which is Crispix cereal coated with melted peanut butter and chocolate and then doused in powdered sugar.
A MOUTH-GASM is what it should be called.
Puppy Chow is still one of my most favorite things. I, too, only make it for special occasions, because it has absolutely no nutritional value…though the highly addicting combination of flavors is worse than getting the munchies. One bite and you want to stuff every last piece in your mouth until you’ve consumed enough calories for the entire month of June.
Crispix apparently caught on to this whole “Puppy Chow” thing and nipped that visual right in the bud. Muddy Buddies they call it. Because MUDDY BUDDIES makes me think of something more appetizing than actual puppy chow. At least with Puppy Chow I think cute, little puppies…muddy buddies…dirty little boys. That’s where my brain goes.
And in 4th grade…it finally clicked as to why “Puppy Chow” should be called “Muddy Buddies” in all public forums. My entire class was instructed by Mrs. Eisenberg to write down our favorite treat for an upcoming holiday party. So, naturally, I wrote down what I deemed THE BEST IDEA EVER: ”Puppy Chow,” turned my slip of paper in with everyone else and went back to doing cutty-pastey stuff with lots of glitter and glue. The more, the better – that’s how I operate.
I also operate under the guise of absent-mindedness, which lends to my forgetting to follow ALL DIRECTIONS…and in this particular instance, I left my name off the slip of paper containing the scribbled “Puppy Chow” in which my teacher had explicitly requested for us to include our name.
And somewhere between me dumping glitter all over the floor and then trying to spread it around inconspicuously with my feet, hoping no one would notice how my area of the carpet sparkled more than anywhere else in the classroom, Mrs. Eisenberg went back to her desk and started looking through our suggestions.
Then, out of the happy, busy-bee paper tearing and glue smearing, she says: ”PUPPY CHOW?? IS THIS A JOKE?!?!”
I froze and stopped my glitter cover-up mid-swipe.
Make it go away…Let me melt into the carpet…GOD PLEASE MAKE ME DISAPPEAR I SWEAR I WILL NEVER SAY SNOTTY FACE AGAIN
I sat there, realizing my desperate prayers weren’t getting answered, thinking, “DOESN’T SHE KNOW WHAT PUPPY CHOW IS??”
She didn’t. And kept repeating to the class that whoever it was better come forward and explain.
Which meant me.
I was MORTIFIED.
After what seemed like 45 minutes…I found my legs actually DID work and got up from my chair and made my way to her desk – the entire class eyeing me all, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?! See, I wasn’t one to make trouble…or look for it…or play a practical joke on the teacher. I learned that practical jokes were a bad idea in 3rd grade…when one morning, I got to the classroom before anyone else, including my teacher, and thought it would be funny to play hide-and-seek. I folded myself up next to a small couch in the reading area, wedged in the corner under a bean bag chair.
And I waited as everyone got to class.
And I waited through the Pledge of Allegiance. And through the handing out of graded papers.
Finally, I couldn’t wait anymore. My teacher, Mrs. Luttrell, was in the middle of explaining the day’s assignment and right before she finished, I threw the bean bag chair into the air, popped up from my brilliant hiding spot and yelled, “SURPRISE!”
My little “joke” made Mrs. Luttrell jump fifteen feet, almost squashing a small boy upon landing and in the process, yell out a word she made us all promise never, EVER to repeat.
Yeah. Not so funny. I think I got silent lunch that day.
So, back to my OTHER embarrassing story…I was making my way up to Mrs. Eisenberg’s desk, face and ears BURNING…scrambling for words in my head…trying to figure out in my little eight-year-old brain how to explain to her I was totally serious. Puppy Chow. It’s awesome.
I managed to sputter out that it was for real and tried to come up with the ingredients but could only manage something like, “It’s white and there’s cereal and chocolate and I wasn’t joking it really is called PUPPY CHOW…even though it isn’t REALLY puppy chow…”
They are now always called “Muddy Buddies” to the general public. Only Tim and my family know the TRUE name.
And, since my last day is Friday…I decided to throw in a good will gesture and make my coveted Puppy Chow (I’m not conforming, Crispix. DEAL WITH IT).
I don’t know why I try to do kitchen projects.
I made a mess. As usual. Something as simple as melting chocolate and pouring it over cereal creates an issue for me.
I DON’T COOK.
As long as the Puppy Chow made it into the individual bags…I was happy. And I managed to get to that point.
Oh…and the irony of it all: I work in a cooking school…where they make canapes and tarts and beignets and whatever other delicate French pastry you want to dream up.
And I’m walking in tomorrow…
with Puppy Chow.