Sunday, January 13, 2008

Chips and dips and dips and dips

Growing up, I loved traveling to "Joecago" (my name for Chicago, possibly inspired by the fact that it was my Uncle Joe's family who lived there) to see my cousins. I have great memories of visits to the beach in Wilmette, going to the Cubs game on batting helmet day (were you there LAP? no? sorry to bring it up), games of TONG, competitive puzzle doing, and marveling at how my cousins pronounced words like "barrette," "car," and "milk." I also have a distinct memory of my cousin preparing dip for chips. She took a container of sour cream and then added seemingly every spice in my aunt's cupboard along with something I now know to be Worcester sauce. I don't know if it was just having seen the dip being made or being slightly in awe of my older, cooler, wiser cousin, but I have fond memories of dipping chips into that dip.

I ate my share of chips and dips at home in Ohio too, but as my mom would not have looked kindly upon my raiding the spices to concoct something, I had to make do with store-bought French Onion dip. It was still darn good. NTB. Chips-and-dip was the kind of snack I might have indulged in after school while watching Kate and Allie reruns or on a weekend night watching the Miss Teen USA Pageant with friends. (Obviously, this was back when you did not need to be a size zero or two to compete in such pageants or enjoy them as an adolescent girl.)

I don't eat chips and dip much anymore, mostly because I don't allow myself to buy chips very often. I don't buy chips for the same reason I don't patronize one of three Dunkin Donuts that are located within two miles of my house: I just can't open that window, lacking moderation as I do. Can I see myself eating donuts three and four times a week if I were to begin? Yes, I can. Can I see myself polishing off a bag of chips fairly quickly. I always feared I would.

In preparation for the holidays, my mom spent some time on the internet searching for new recipes. She was not looking for a dip recipe for potato chips, but she happened upon and was tempted by one that came with a testimonial from a woman who brought it to her office party and then took home a container that was scraped clean. My mom was sold and when our family celebrated Christmas on December 26th, Baked Potato Dip was on offer. I couldn't get enough. I liked it so much I made it for the bub's birthday party. I liked it again. And, I am pleased to report that there are still chips in the house, but I have been enjoying them (and the dip) in moderation. NTB. Perhaps 2008 will really be my year. I recommend this dip recipe with two caveats. I did not use bacon bits but the Real Crumbled Bacon package that Hormel makes. Also, the dip is quite thick so you will need sturdy chips. Happy Dipping.


LAP said...

Love me a good dip...never knew cream cheese could be used in so many recipes until I had to start making dips/appetizers for parties.

As for my absence at the Cubs game on batting helmet day, or any day for that matter, it still baffles me. I don't understand how it is that I'm the only member of my family who has not been to either a Cubs or a W. Sox game...EVER. I rode in the conversion van with everyone else on our many trips to Joecago...where was my ticket? Did I get sick? Did I opt out? Why have I never been? I collected baseball cards as a tween and yet I am absent on batting helmet day? Meanwhile, my sister (the one known to take novels to baseball games) was so hot that she filled her batting helmet with water and dumped it on her head to cool off (at least that's how the story goes.) I guess I was back at home practicing my TONG game...and it showed, NTB.

T-Baby said...

LAP - We live a few blocks from Wrigley. If you really want to go to a Cubs game, we can make it happen this summer. Just give me a couple days notice.

M said...

I think this may be the year of moderation for you Megan and the year Lap gets to go to a Cubs and Sox game. I think her godmother could help make the Sox ticket happen.

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