Sunday, February 05, 2006

Ranch Dressing - The fifth food group?

It is. When "the big game" snack displays in the supermarket feature Ranch Dressing prominently among their offerings, it has reached the amorphous "Fifth Food Group", dethroning dehydrated onion soup mix and sour cream as the comestable of couch-potatoes everywhere.

I don't use Ranch Dressing unless backed into a corner because the supermarket is out of Caesar Dressing. Part of this is sense memory I suppose. In days of old when knights were bold, I was married. To a barbarian.

We lived in a small house with a small backyard that held a small kitchen garden. It was wonderful in summer to go out and pick dinner. Some roma tomatoes, green bell peppers, ominpresent zucchini, leeks, and my herbs - basil, oregano, thyme, a little dill, some chives. Boil some tricolor pasta and add the veggies and herbs with some olive oil - the good stuff, not the stuff you cook with, and a splash or two of red-wine vinegar. What could be better on a miserably humid summer evening.

"Gee, this would be better if you made it with Ranch Dressing" Said ex-husband as he dumped it back into the bowl. Just the thought of molesting lovely organically grown vegetables like that. I didn't divorce him then. I should have.

Bubba the Barbarian had lovely children from his first wife Sheena the Jungle Woman. They were lovely after they realised that I would leave the table if they did not exhibit civil table manners. Having salad in these younglings mind (the female youngling in any respect) consisted of three leaves of iceberg lettuce and half a bottle of.... Ranch Dressing. The male youngling would eat nothing but hotdogs and pizza - sans anything but pepperoni, cheese, and sauce.

By the time I waved farewell to Bubba the Barbarian he was no closer to being civilised, but I could take my lovely steplings to the best restaurants with no fear of receiving the hairy eyeball from anyone in the place.

Kids are better at picking up languages they say. Perhaps it's the same with manners.

But to this day....there is something about Ranch Dressing that keeps it for only the most extreme of exegencies.

Yeah, and if either of my step-kidlings who are now grown adults ever find this a hello.


At 5:27 PM, Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

You've just called their mother, Sheena the Junglewoman. Do you really think they're going to post a hello?

At 6:44 PM, Blogger Lisa S. said...

One never knows. Considering I've not heard from them since '98 (when I drove off into the sunset) and we live in the same area, anything is possible.

At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ranch Dressing.

Brokeback Mountain.

Nah... I better not go there.

At 7:55 AM, Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

On the wonderful salad you picked from your own little garden, some oil & wine vinegar would do me just fine.

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Lisa S. said...

E. Ann,
that's a case of Ranch Undressing

Thanks! It's nice to know that somebody likes my recipes but I forgot that I usually add a can of chopped block olives to it.

See, M.G., someone doesn't mind if I write about recipes...neener neener..

Its a running joke, folks. I tend to uses cooking interspersed with dialog and M.G. is trying to break me of the habit.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Yes ma'am on the olives. A few green onions on the side?

At 12:22 PM, Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

It just that Lisa researches her work very well. She and I tussle a bit on how much of one's research should actually show up in the finished product. Someday when Lisa is published and famous, she's going to pull out the salient cooking portions of her novels and post them for our edification, education and enjoyment.

At 12:22 PM, Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:35 PM, Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Ya know, M.G., the "How Much Research to Include" question would be a good post for someone here with a lot more knowledge on the subject than me. I know that I could sure learn from such a posting.

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Dana Y. T. Lin said...

"In the days of old when kinghts were bold."

Crap, you mean this rhyme was already written? Better go change that poem in BS...

At 4:24 PM, Blogger Lisa S. said...


"In days of old when knights were bold."

Been done and poetically. Most often in an A-B-A-B rhyme scheme with words that this polite blogger won't repeat. But if you or anyone else is willing to write the next three lines..

At 11:37 AM, Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

When I was of much more tender years we said:

In days of olde when knyghtes were bolde
and ye rubbers were not invented
a common piece of foot apparel was tied around a well-known male appendage
and babyes were prevented.

At 2:10 PM, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Well, Ranch Dressing isn't that bad. Try garum. :-)

I'm really open towards weird food and have braved Haggis, Swedish surströmming, Bejing duck, musk rat, and shark without flinching. But garum - never again.

At 4:49 PM, Blogger Lisa S. said...


I'm going to pass on the garum. It sounds frightful indeed. (Google is my friend).

Surströmming sounds almost as awful as hakarl and I'm not about to try either---ever.

Around here I draw the line at chitlins and souse-meat - never tried them, never will try them.

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Well, both surströmming and hákarl go with lots of strong alcohol. In Sweden it's Vodka or Aquavit, in Iceland a brew called Svarta Dauden, Black Death. I don't know exactly how much alcohol it has, but I think it's about 60% - just well I'm used to that thanks to cask strength Whisky.

But I think I'll pass chitlins, too. :-)

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