first-year friendships

My first year at college I made friends mostly with people who lived in the same place as I did. Our hall, a stretch of ten or twelve doubles, all got along fairly well (with a couple exceptions, obviously). The room I shared became much more than a double - people came and went as they pleased, whether my roommate and I were there or not, often. (We once came back from a concert to a room full of our friends, which was equal parts charming and frustrating.) Doors were rarely locked.

I don't really keep in touch with a lot of those people anymore; as is the case with many first-year friendships, they shifted and slowly grew apart, and I found myself in a different group of friends. But I still have a lot of fond memories from that first year of college - sitting in the common room waiting for election results to come in (this was 2004, so the results themselves were not pleasant), our first gender-bending Coming Out Ball, middle of the night trips to Steak 'N' Shake, and Christmas.

My roommate (pictured above) and I went all out: we hung mistletoe in our room (though it inspired more laughing than kisses), we got little presents for the four main inhabitants of room 213 (besides us, who were the actual residents of the room), and - most relevant to this blog - we made puppy chow for our male friends in the hall.

We did not do the latter by ourselves; instead, a bunch of us took over our floor kitchen until it resembled a meth lab. (Seriously, check out all that powdered sugar. It was crazy!) I had never heard of puppy chow before then, but quickly became a fiend for it. Aside from making small bags for our friends, we deigned it necessary to have a somewhat larger bag to stash in our room.

(sorry, this stuff is delicious, but not very photogenic)

Granted, it is a little early for Christmas goodies, but you know, Halloween is approaching and perhaps this would be a good treat for the wee tricksters? Okay, okay, mostly I just wanted to have some puppy chow myself and am now making excuses. It is never too early for holiday treats! Yeah!

Puppy Chow

So, this is kind of an approximate recipe. I might use a little less chocolate next time - or maybe not. I forgot how addictive this stuff is. Maybe it is best to wait for the holidays? (Another reason I like cooking for people, and not just me.)

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 box Chex (or similar cereal, I used the Safeway brand)
1 cup powdered sugar

Melt chocolate, peanut butter, and butter together - either in the microwave, or over the stove.
Mix in the vanilla extract. Add cereal and stir to cover all the pieces.
Transfer to a large freezer bag. Add powdered sugar. Toss to mix.


  1. Holla! I once ate an entire box of puppy chow one fateful day at Guilford. Then I ate an entire loaf of Pepperidge Farm cinnamon swirl bread immediately after. Needless to say, I did not feel very well that night.

    But I've always called it "mummy's teeth." As an homage to its unphotogenic-ness.

  2. Ooh, Anna, I love "mummy's teeth" as another name for this. Seems like it would earn less weird looks.

    And yeah, this stuff is definitely easy to overdose on...