puppy chow and 4th grade don’t mix

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.


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.


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.

puppy chow mess




As long as the Puppy Chow made it into the individual bags…I was happy.  And I managed to get to that point.

puppy chow - finished!


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.


33 Responses to “puppy chow and 4th grade don’t mix”

  1. 1 Daphne August 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    You made me laugh out loud! Kind of embarrassing at work…

    Good for you for taking Pupy Chow to work on your last day. And HOORAY last day! Enjoy it.

  2. 3 Daphne August 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    ACK! Puppy Chow! Not Pupy Chow….. ew, that sounds GROSS!

  3. 4 thebakerbee August 27, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    YEAH Puppy Chow!! And don’t worry, my family still calls it puppy chow, too!

  4. 6 mrssoup August 27, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Oh yes! Puppy Chow is the BEST!!!! SO YUMMY!! And I’m sure all those fancy pastry chefs will be so happy!

  5. 8 jennawoestman August 27, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    We call it Puppy Chow at my house too. I hope your teacher felt really guilty for flipping out like that, too.

  6. 10 Shannon August 27, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    We call it puppy chow around here! I would walk in with the same thing seeing as how I even find it hard to make the stuff let alone anything french. Because the whole pouring it in the paper bag and shaking the ingredients together ends up in me covered with powdered sugar.
    The scaring story made me laugh…a lot…then I just giggled again to myself. I ‘ll read it again i think:) Have fun on your last day and congrats!

    • 11 Jessica August 27, 2009 at 4:04 pm

      Shannon: yes, I managed to make the kitchen look like a sack of flour exploded everywhere… not fun to clean up….

      Tomorrow is going to be, well, interesting. SOMETHING is up… and I have no idea what to expect. I’ll fill everyone in on the nitty gritty tomorrow…after it “happens.” 🙂

  7. 12 Breeza August 27, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    I’ve never heard of it but it sounds amazing!!!

    • 13 Jessica August 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm

      Breeza: I must send you the recipe. You HAVE to try it. Just…make sure you either make a small batch or plan on taking it to a party and leaving it there. If you don’t, you will eat all of it before you even realize it…you may do better staying in the dark…don’t know what you’re missing….

  8. 14 faemom August 27, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I was taught to call it Puppy Chow. And it’s awesome. Of course, now when I make it, I add much more chocolate then called for. Mmmm.

    • 15 Jessica August 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm

      faemom: I’ve started mixing chocolate… milk and semi-sweet…not sure if it enhances the flavor, but like you, it gives me an excuse to add more. 🙂

  9. 16 Jasmine August 27, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Good heavens, we had puppy chow when I was little, and I had such a horrible experience with it that I have not eaten it in at least 15 years. I think it was entirely coincidental, but I got SICK SICK SICK the night after it was the snack at my Girl Scout meeting. Tasting it on the way back up has made me avoid it ever since!

    Thanks for your comment on my blog!

    • 17 Jessica August 27, 2009 at 7:22 pm

      Jasmine: I think I need something like that to happen… same kind of thing happened with me and Reeses peanutbutter cups… and I’ve never craved or wanted them since…

      Thanks for stopping by over here! 🙂

  10. 18 Breeza August 27, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Ohhh email it to me 🙂

  11. 19 Angelia Sims August 27, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Mouth-gasm, that’s a great word for it! I love that stuff! I’ve never made it though. Too funny on your mess that’s why I don’t cook either. I’m a disaster 🙂

  12. 20 bevchen August 28, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Ooooh, it sounds amazing!

  13. 22 lifestartsnow August 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    wait, is there a recipe to this??? sounds yum!


  14. 24 backstripe August 28, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    I laughed. Out loud. I don’t do that often (wait — yes, I do.)

    Anyway, thanks for visiting my little blog, and thank you for leading me to yours.

    • 25 Jessica August 29, 2009 at 6:18 am

      backstripe: it’s a good thing you laugh out loud often – supposed to be a stress reliever, right? 🙂

      thanks for stopping in – don’t be a stranger, now!!

  15. 26 mcwillis August 29, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    OH! I love that stuff! But I have to be honest, I’ve never heard it called “Puppy Chow” lol. We always called it muddy buddies. But regardless, that stuff IS the next best thing to sliced bread. It goes fast!

  16. 28 Jenny September 1, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    we call it puppy chow too!!!!!!!!!

  17. 30 KB September 1, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Okay, okay…no fair sister-in-law! You made me giggle so much it hurt my stitches and my slowly-shrinking-down-to-’bout-6-mo.-pregnant-sized-belly! Seriously, I’m laughing out loud and going “ow, ow, ow” at the same time. I can TOTALLY see this from both sides. The well-meaning innocence of youth vs. the WTF-is-this-girl-pulling teacher. Awesome story. I definitely enjoy your writing style. What are your plans for the book?

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