Caring. About Food.
A Playing With Food and Mom & Me companion journal
with tips, recipes and musings
about how I tempt my Ancient One's palate.
Click Here for Introduction.
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Home Made Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
    I'm picky about the mix. I load up on Hidden Valley mix when it's on sale. I also hoard it. I'm, now, using packets I stowed back when the company also made a Thousand Island and an Italian Ranch dressing mix.
    I mix mine a bit differently, though. I'm not sure whether it's 'healthier', although I figured out the caloric content and it is "lighter", if that means something to you [My recipe = 35.6 calories/Tbl; Recipe on back of packet = 48.43 calories/Tbl] It doesn't to us. I made all my changes based on taste and an internal "ick" factor when it comes to using mayonnaise. Don't ask.
    You have to like sour to like this. Not lip puckering sour but sour. I have made this recipe with all sour cream, but that's just a bit too sour for me.
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My Homemade Ranch Dressing
1 packet Hidden Valley Original Buttermilk Ranch seasoning
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk (more buttermilk for a thinner dressing)

Whisk together the mayonnaise and sour cream with the contents of the seasoning packet.
Add buttermilk, continuing to whisk ingredients until well mixed.
Pour into jar. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.
Yields: 24 oz.
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    Very easy little recipe. I buy a quart of buttermilk and we have usually gone through it before the "SELL BY" date. Needless to say, I also buy mayonnaise and buttermilk in bulk.
    I'm not sure if it's any cheaper than store bought dressing. It has significantly less sugar, which is something for which I always appreciate. Since it is this dressing often makes the difference between my mother eating vegetables or not, we use it liberally.
    My habit of liberally adding vegetables to whatever simmered concoction I'm making: Mac & Cheese; marinara; any soups, any stews, the Strogansauer I make; as well as making lots of stir fries, etc., has not changed since I began doing the cooking. What's changed is, first, that she deigns to eat these high fiber concoctions and, second, that she no longer fastidiously picks out the vegetables and consigns them to the disposal. She even gets excited about vegetables. She is super sensitive to and appreciative of the smell of onions and garlic sauteeing, so I try to accomplish this as often as possible.

    Something I want to make clear. This isn't primarily a food column for those caring for an Ancient One. It is, primarily, a meditation about food as it comes to bear on my life, the life of my Ancient one, and our life together. I like sharing recipes so I know I'll be doing this, especially within the next few days. But, expect, more often, that I'll be musing about food. I am of the experiential opinion that food, its selection and preparation, goes a long way toward enlivening the spirit and prodding one to alertness. Appetite is also the first to go when something goes wrong.
    I remember mentioning in my main journal that this weekend might lend itself to lots of cooking. So far, this hasn't been true, but the sudden drop in temperature has given me a handy place to store the ham before dividing it up for freezing: The front porch. Ahh, rural life.

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