Thursday, December 20, 2007

Picture heavy, Possum Chow tutorial



So, here it is - Possum Chow (aka, Puppy Chow).
The quantities and instructions that follow are enough to make one bacth. Now...I have tried doubling the recipe, but it never comes out quite as well. I'll explain my theory on this in the tutorial.




You will need:
9 cups of rice or corn Chex cereal
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1/4 cup butter
2-3 cups powdered sugar

This is a really great recipe to do with children, so...here's my advice.

Put the cereal and chocolate chips in big bowls (so little ones can scoop easier) and use stick butter that they can cut with a dull knife. The peanut butter is kind of tough to get out of a jar and into a measuring cup, so I give them a large spoon.


On the lowest flame, on your stove, or in a microwave, in a sauce pan, melt the butter (but make sure not to let it sizzle - it'll make the chocolate bitter). To the butter add your chocolate chips and stir until they've melted down into the butter. Then, add your peanut butter and stir until smooth (still on the lowest heat). I can't stress enough how important it is to NOT walk away during this step. If you burn the chocolate, it will taste bitter. After you've got a nice gloss with your mixture, add two teaspoons of vanilla. Stir in. Your chocolate should now look like this...




Here's my theory on bigger batches: when you have more butter and chocolate in the pan, it tends to be harder to stir and gets bitter (because it's in the pan longer).

While you're doing this, have someone else prepare (or prepare, yourself, ahead of time) a large mixing bowl with 9 cups of cereal. As you can see, this is Grace's favorite job.


Carefully remove your chocolate from the stove and drizzle over your cereal.
>


It should look like this.

Gently fold the chocolate into your cereal.


Double line a new, large plastic bag. To the bag, add your powdered sugar and sprinkles.


Then, add the chocolate coated cereal to the bag. Twist the top of the bag shut and tumble the cereal until it's well coated with the powdered sugar. Warning: let the sugar settle before you open the bag for a peek or you'll get a face full of sugar.
Place on a paper lined cookie sheet to cool.


Attempt to keep everyone from eating it while it cools.


We did three trays tonight and it only took about forty-five minutes total (incl. clean-up). One of our batches looks dark because we did one with a bit less powdered sugar (hazard of letting the five year old measure). :) It'll still taste yummy.

Enjoy!

23 comments:

Heather said...

Good morning to you Possummomma.

One of the things I don't like about Australia is the weather in December. Its meant to be cold at Christmas. I wonder why it is different here.

We got off on the wrong foot I think and you took me the wrong way. This photo journal of you cooking is what I meant by the perfect picture of a family. My kitchen would be dirty and my kids would have flour on the walls. I can't bring them into my kitchen unless I want to clean for two days. I think you are brave.

How do your possums feel about not celebrating Christ's birthday when they must know that that is the reason for the season? Don't they feel left out and not like their friends?

I won't lie to you. I believe you are going to be denied heaven. Why don't you let your possums decide about being a SDA or theist? All children know god but the wisdom disappears with age if a parent doesn't give good instruction. It is one thing to be atheist for you but you shouldn't force it on poor children.

I got insulted for saying I knew what John R felt like and how I could relate to his thoughts. If the people here are ex-theists, I don't understand how they can't remember being me or John.

Hugo said...

I don't comment much here but like to read PM's wonderful posts.
Heather there's several things in your comment that just made me flinch.

I wonder why it is different here.

Have a look at how the earth's rotation is tilted and it's effect on the amount of sun certain regions of the earth get.

How do your possums feel about not celebrating Christ's birthday when they must know that that is the reason for the season?

It's debateable that that is the actual reason, ultimately the above mentioned tilt of the earth is the reason for the season, many traditions existed before your deity's son/self birth, other deity's are also born on the 25th. And many non monotheistic traditions exist for this time of the year.

The rest of your message is what we're used to from theists, very nice.

The poor children? That's exactly who we're thinking of by not indoctrinating them with vile, non-inclusive, hell (or heaven denying) fantasies!

I'm no ex-theist, I've never been forced to accept that particular brain drug, I was taught that there are many different brain drugs and made aware that others were hooked on it and that it meant a lot to those so I should not point and laugh at them.
I was even made aware that if I choose to, that I could become religious too if I really wanted to (I was alone as a non-believer in elementary school) but I never felt the need and love my parents for not forcing any religion on me, I hope to do the same with my daughter.

evolveintobirds said...

So the secret to well powdered puppy chow is the BIG bag!! A ha! Here I've been rotating batches into large ziplocs...you have made my year PM! Thanks!

Betsy said...

PM, I love Puppy Chow! My mother used to make it for us and I make it for my kids.

Heather, I am an ex-theist and I do remember being you... although I think I would have avoided the atheist crowd in fear that Satan would get to me or something. Then I actually read the Bible I claimed to believe in and I was horrified by what it said - what was so different from what I had been taught, the way the stories were watered down to mere shadows of what they actually are, the way murderous people were shown to me as heroes and people to look up to.

Now, I am ashamed that I ever was you, and I can't believe I ever fell for that stuff - I know why I did, and it was because I was indoctrinated into it, I was raised in church. (Think Christian fundies who think women are weak and sinful and attempt to control us - that was our brand of religion.)

And yes, as Dale McGowan put on his blog the other day, and someone mentioned above, axis tilt is the reason for the season, not Jesus.

Riker said...

Hey there PM, Happy Holidays!

Just wanted to give you a heads' up that the recent Heather debacle inspired me to dedicate an entire post to the issue; thought you'd be interested.

Also, if I send you my address can you mail me a bag of those amazing snacks?

Poodles said...

I must admit, I have never even heard of puppy chow until your blog (I would have thought that with all of the mormon parties I went to as a kid, I would have by now) but YUMMY! I might have to try this.

FSMismyhero said...

"Its meant to be cold at Christmas. I wonder why it is different here."

Wow! Really??? That's frightening.


"Why don't you let your possums decide about being a SDA or theist? All children know god but the wisdom disappears with age if a parent doesn't give good instruction. It is one thing to be atheist for you but you shouldn't force it on poor children."

How much of this blog have you read? She does not force atheism on her children. They are agnostic, as every child should be. They are allowed to look at all religions from an objective standpoint and make an educated decision on what path they want to take.

" don't understand how they can't remember being me or John."

Again I have to question how much of this blog you have read. Have you not seen the many comments that start out "when I was a theist...” ? We do remember what it was like, and if we could go back in time and talk to our former selves we would say the same things to them that we say to you.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Heather said...
One of the things I don't like about Australia is the weather in December. Its meant to be cold at Christmas. I wonder why it is different here.
I hate to parrot what everyone else has said, but...are you kidding? You seriously have no idea why one hemisphere would be enjoying summer while the other half is enjoying winter?

We got off on the wrong foot I think and you took me the wrong way.
I hate it when people make this a problem with everyone else when it's really their own problem. If we *ALL* took you the wrong way, then perhaps you need to change your approach?

This photo journal of you cooking is what I meant by the perfect picture of a family. My kitchen would be dirty and my kids would have flour on the walls. I can't bring them into my kitchen unless I want to clean for two days. I think you are brave.

Ok. You're about to catch a bunch of shit because your "buddy" John went down this avenue, too. WHAT IS IT with you people and your "your family is...too clean, too well dressed, too well-behaved, etc.,."?? It's seriously disturbing.

I realize you don't speak for all theists,...but, now *I* don't get something: do you really have such low expectations of your children? *Warning - unsolicited parenting advice ahead* Here's a tip: expect your child to be a child. And, if you parent right, you'll make the situation appropriate for them and that takes out the excuses for poor behavior. So, for example: did you note, even in this post, that I made the environment for creating the snack very kid friendly? There's no mess because most mess comes when children are expected to do things that are difficult to do. If I had let them scoop cereal from the box or chocolate chips from a bag, there would've been a mess. But, scooping from bowls is easier. Just make some adjustments to your life and everyone will be a lot happier. Also, it's unreasonable to expect that they won't make a mess...so, keeping a few wet rags and dishtowels near by helps immensely. Teach them to clean as they go. Make it fun!

It's not bravery. I *enjoy* doing things with my kids.

How do your possums feel about not celebrating Christ's birthday when they must know that that is the reason for the season? Don't they feel left out and not like their friends?

Do the last few posts portray kids who feel left out?

Why don't you let your possums decide about being a SDA or theist?
What makes you assume they won't be allowed to do so? See...that's the difference here: you pretend their are choices when, really, you feel there's only one choice. I know that there is more than one choice, so I refrain from choosing for them and won't make them choose until THEY are ready.

evolveintobirds said...
So the secret to well powdered puppy chow is the BIG bag!!

That is, indeed, the secret. :) The "official" recipe says to use ziplock bags, but... the trash bag works way better. I suspect they just didn't want to put the word "trash bag" on a recipe. LOL

Betsy said...
PM, I love Puppy Chow! My mother used to make it for us and I make it for my kids.

Isn't it great!? We packaged up two trays full (into little tins) and the kids took them to school. It's pretty funny. Lexi and Jake's friends have eaten nibbles off of the kids for years. This year, Lexi and Jake decided to use the chow as their "gift" for friends. Lexi came home today and said, "Omg, mom! I almost got mobbed." :) Hehehehehe.

Also, if I send you my address can you mail me a bag of those amazing snacks?
Hahahaha!! Sure. E-mail it to me. Unfortunately, though, I doubt you'd get it before Dec. 25th.

Tonight is cookie night.


Poodles said...
YUMMY! I might have to try this.

I highly recommend it. And, yeah...it is kind of strange that the MO's haven't done some spin off the recipe. Perhaps it's the lack of Jello in the recipe? ;)

kstorm said...

Ah great! Just another thing to make me not diet!

Greetings, Possummomma and all the family. I don't think I have ever commented before but on this Solstice evening, the "reason for the season" :), I wanted to wish you all well.

I think you and your children are very brave for expressing yourselves so openly. I have not quite reached that level yet and your daughter's essay (that I just read yesterday) has shown me that I have to get right on out there and tell people what I think.

One thing I have learned from you is that if you open your mouth you may find that there are more people who think like you than you think...hmm well you understand what I mean.

I have to admit I wish you lived near me because I would love to get together with you.

And so I wish you and your family all the best and I hope for this new year we can all reach our potential and grow and change and become MORE than we are today. I certainly think your children are well on their way.

heather said...

So, for example: did you note, even in this post, that I made the environment for creating the snack very kid friendly? There's no mess because most mess comes when children are expected to do things that are difficult to do. If I had let them scoop cereal from the box or chocolate chips from a bag, there would've been a mess.

You must have a lot of time with nothing better to do. You have to clean the extra bowls or do you have a maid? I have to take kids to school and clean house and church activities or groups. I don't have time.

Just make some adjustments to your life and everyone will be a lot happier.
Are you telling me how to run my family? Rude.

Again I have to question how much of this blog you have read. Have you not seen the many comments that start out "when I was a theist...” ? We do remember what it was like, and if we could go back in time and talk to our former selves we would say the same things to them that we say to you.

How do you forget Gods love for you? O. I guess there is no love of god is what you will say. That's not open minded.

kstorm said...

Heather - stop now - you are not being nice. And no matter what _I_ believe about the divinity of Jesus I do know that he seemed to be a nice person who cared about people.

And look, you are telling PM that she should not tell you how to run your family as that is rude - isn't that exactly what you are doing when you tell her that she is teaching her children something that will lead them to hell?

May I also say - PM did not search _you_ out and begin to expound her beliefs on your blog. No matter how open the internet is, what you are doing is like entering someone's neighborhood and telling how wrong they are.

Please do not take my words as an insult. I know you mean well but I think you need to step back and see why you are taking offense so easily. And if this site really offends you - don't read it.

chakolate said...

You had to wait until now to post this? This would have been great to make for a school treat - package a handful in a bit of plastic wrap and tie with a ribbon. Each child in the classroom gets his own little package.

What fun this must be to make - I'm going to save it for the future. My grandson will love it. Especially if I tell him it's Possum Chow. :-)

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Why do I feel like I'm being baited?

OK. I hope no one is offended by what I'm about to say, but I feel like my parenting is being called into question or doubted. I've received two e-mails from Heather-fans who think I'm being too hard on her. So...if I am being harsh, then I hope my reader-friends will correct me.

You must have a lot of time with nothing better to do.
I make no secret of the fact that PDaddy and I have arranged our careers and our lives so that our children have more time with us than most children have with their parents. So, to a certain extent, you're right. I don't have anything better to do: my children are the most important thing in my world. There is NOTHING more important than raising them and spending time with them.

You have to clean the extra bowls or do you have a maid?
I wish there was a maid. But, sadly, there isn't.
You know what? Three or four extra bowls is a very small price to pay to make something easy for little hands. AND, since I don't have to worry about monster spills or accidents, I find that washing another bowl or two is a small price. I get this sense, from the christians who post here, that they view children as some sort of inconvenience. Or, for example, that they don't want to change how they do things to involve their child...becuase of the mess or whatever. How is that family oriented? How is it that you, Heather, have the odacity to lecture me about lifestyles when you seem so burdened by your own?

I have to take kids to school and clean house and church activities or groups. I don't have time.
Bullshit! You CHOSE to involve your kids, and yourself, in 9,000 activities. Isn't it funny how the people who claim to be the most family oriented groups (theists) are often so busy with church obligations that they never see their family? You don't get to use your choices as an excuse for not being a more involved parent. You have just as much time as I have - you just prioritize it differently. No harm. No foul. But, do not come to my blog and act like I'm inherantly evil for actually walking the talk.

Are you telling me how to run my family? Rude.

The irony. It burns!

How do you forget Gods love for you?
For a moment, I will try to see this from your perspective. I remember being told that God loved me...but, it was a very dysfuntional and conditional love. Maybe that's why I didn't have a hard time studying it objectively. People say "God loves you." However, they really mean, "As long as you do exactly what we say and say/do the right things, then you can feel secure that we think our god would approve." Imagine if you expanded that logic to your children. "You know, Billy. We love you so much. But, you're not eating the right kind of meat on Fridays...and you're not giving us enough adoration, so... sorry, but we're kicking you out of the house." How absurd would that be? And, yet, this is the exact type of love you get from your idea of God. It's all conditional. That, my friend, is dysfunctional love. It's codependent and it's a rotten example for a child. So... to answer your question, I don't think there was ever love that came from God. Furthermore, there aren't that many examples of your deity's love, that I can think of, that weren't the byproduct of some other relationship or self-esteem.

That's not open minded.
No. You're trying to say that any point we disagree on is the result of ME being close-minded, when - in reality- it's you who doesn't have the courage to think beyond the rules imposed on you by your church. I keep an open mind towards anything paranormal or supernatural: because future evidence might shed new light on the issue. But, I don't revolve my life around those supernatural or paranormal things. You, on the other hand, won't even attempt to objectively learn from someone outside your belief system. I'm really glad you have been reading this blog. Now, find one post and think about it for an evening. Just think about the possibility that what we're saying might be true. When you've honestly done that, then I will respect you and discuss things with you. In return, you share with me a personal experience that you see as proof of your God and I'll take an evening to think about it. Deal?

Poodles said...

UM, Ditto to what PM just said.

I don't have any children, but I choose to make time to spend with my family and friends. It is more important to me than anything. So what if I don't dust the book case again TODAY, it will get done and I would much rather play in the snow with my dogs. That is my choice.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

PM,

I just finished making those chocolates with soft centres I aske you about. They turned out good, but If I see another chocolate I will be ill.

Now on to the reason for the Season - don't you all know that we here in Australia worship the sun, indeed our belief is so strong that Sol Invictus ensures that it is boiling hot at this time of year, axial tilt - preposterous.

It is the Christian usurpation of Sols birthday that results in the freezing winter in the North. Cast aside your love of the Christ. Bow before the Invincible Sun - ehem to much nog and not enough egg.

heather said...

I don't think I deserve the jokes on my expense about the different seasons here.

You must be the best mother in the world if you can have everything be so perfect. Forgive those of us who aren't so GD perfect. Church is important to us and we volunteer to help in charity. Who do you help?

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Sorry Heather if you were offended by my joke. You need to lighten up just a little.

If you truly did not know why the seasons are different in the Southern Hemisphere I believe you have received a poor education and as such it is not entirely your fault.

December 25th is the holiday celebrating Sol Invictus or the Unconquerable Sun, a god common in Rome prior to the acceptance of Christianity.

Due to the Christian habit of demonising other religions and holding feast days on the same days as Pagan gods, christmas is celebrated on December 25th. The accepted date used to be Decmber 6th IRC.

Indeed in the late 18OO's protestant churches actively campaigned against the celebration on 25th because there was no precedent for it in the Bible.

PM teaches her kids critical thinking skills and while I am sure she would be dissapointed if they chose religion, it's their choice.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Sean: I just finished making those chocolates with soft centres I aske you about. They turned out good, but If I see another chocolate I will be ill.

Oh man... I wish we could do some sort of international sweet exchange. What did you end up doing for the centers?

heather said...
I don't think I deserve the jokes on my expense about the different seasons here.

I really didn't see anyone making "jokes at (your) expense". Although, I have to say, I'm hard pressed to think of any other adult I know who doesn't know that the seasons in the southern hemi are opposite to the seasons in the north hemi. I mean, had you said that you missed the snow and left it at that, I think you'd have got a lot of sympathy. But, the added line saying that you didn't know why that was...well, that was kind of unexpected from an adult.

You must be the best mother in the world if you can have everything be so perfect.
Whoa. Um...first of all, I would HATE to be the perfect mother. How uninteresting would it be to grow up with a perfect mother? Second, I don't think our life is perfect. We, my husband and I, do the best we can with what we have. And, we decided a long time ago that: if we wanted children, we would make them our priority.

Forgive those of us who aren't so GD perfect.
Does anyone else hear the waaaaambulance? Funny - I don't remember getting an invitation to a pity party. No one is asking you to be perfect. And, in fact, I think very few people, if any (here), care about your perfection or imperfection. I have no idea what GD means, so could you please explain? You are your own person. You have your own method of parenting. If what you're doing is working for your family and you don't think you could do better, then kudos. If, however, you are going to use your choices (i.e., lots of church activities and sports, etc.) as a reason for a pity party or piss poor excuse for not having time to actually parent, then you have no right to insult those of us who choose to focus on our children, and the present, rather than focusing on a church or an unproven afterlife.

Church is important to us and we volunteer to help in charity.
Fantastic. You have every right to set your own family groove and priorities. Again, it's your life, your family, you get to choose how to live it/manage it. You don't, however, get to claim that church is a totally positive thing if you, in the same breath, bemoan the fact that your participation leaves you little time to do fun things with your kids. To me, that in itself is enough reason to think twice. Do you think the deity you worship would prefer that you spend four hours planning a sunday school lesson as opposed to spending time with the children that you brought into this world? If so, then I have another reason to dislike your idea of a deity. If church functions are more important than your children and your relatinship with your children, then I say that's not something that deserves a whole lot of respect or admiration.

Who do you help?
Let's see...my son, of his own volition, made some tactile materials for a local organization that helps the blind. We collected food for a family experiencing financial difficulty. We have participated in toy drives. We have donated blood. We give money to reputable, secular charities.

We do all of that without a church lady on a power trip trying to manipulate and orchestrate our donations so as to make her, and the church, look better. And, we hang no strings on our help...which is more than I can say for most churches.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

The soft centres were made from "icing sugar" which translated to American means "powdered sugar", glucose syrup and egg white. Then you just flavour and colour appropriately or in my case when you only have green food colouring - you peppermint is white and your orange is slime green.

I also covered prunes and dried apricots with chocolate as well.

Ginny said...

AAAAAHHHH the Possum Chow! I've heard so much about it and now that I see the recipe I think I might have to make this stuff and just see what all the hype is about. ;)

Merry Christmas to you all!

Psychodiva said...

Jeez Heather- just go away and leave PM alone, you are incredibly rude and ignorant and a bit of a bore to boot!

Stacy said...

I love these snacks! We call them "reindeer droppings"

And ever notice the fundies are the ones who are the most rude humans you will ever meet? LOL gotta laugh at them. I have to say I thank my lucky stars I live in NJ in the NYC area, I get so little issue with my lack of beliefs here. Keep on keepin on, PM.

ang said...

We made Puppy Chow this year, too. I had to make a second batch after all the teenagers raided our christmas leftovers. A couple of hints:
I microwave the butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter together for 1 - 2 minutes. Comes out perfectly. I also use Crispix cereal - it's rice and corn and I can never seem to choose which Chex cereal I want. I also refrigerate the chow after it's coated and cooled. It tastes great cold!!
And my kids always helped in the kitchen. They still do, altho they are technically adults now. Kitchen time with kids is fun!!
ang