David came home sick from work yesterday while I was testing this ranch dip with tears streaming down my face. I had made a version last week with dill that was not satisfactory. I’m not a big fan of dill, but I can appreciate it’s flavor is some dishes. Last week, it didn’t matter how greatly I reduced the amount of dill, it was still the only thing in this dip that I could taste. So I omitted it altogether and changed the amounts of everything else in here to get the flavor I was looking for. To begin with, I wanted to exactly duplicate those little ranch dry mix envelopes you get at the grocery store. You know, you mix them into sour cream and serve them with Ruffles potato chips at every party. Then after party cleanup you eat the entire rest of the bag of chips with the dip instead of having dinner. You know what I’m talking about.
I realized, as I have with most packaged products, that you can never truly recreate those flavors at home because of all the extra stuff they include. All the extra stuff that we’re really trying to get away from by making them at home. Artificial flavors, preservatives, too much salt, etc… So I switched gears to thinking about what flavors I love in the ranch dip. I love the zing of it all mixed together with the sour cream. I recently realized how much I enjoy the flavor of freshly ground black pepper. So I punched up that ingredient. If you are making this for kids, or for anyone else who might find black pepper spicy, simply reduce the amount by half, or use 1/4 of what the recipe calls for. Don’t omit it completely, though! Even if you think you don’t like black pepper, you probably just don’t notice when it is in your food adding its excellent flavor.
I wanted to make ranch dip and ranch dressing to use at home because homemade is usually far superior to store bought. I also wanted to make my own because I was using it in a new recipe for chicken nuggets and I like the idea of them being all from scratch instead of store-bought ingredients. Adding ranch dressing to chicken nuggets ended up to not be the best idea, but I still got all those flavors in the nuggets in a different way, but I’ll tell you about that in the chicken nuggets post.
So anyway. Back to the tears. David came home from work early yesterday because he is sick. The girls got sick, then I got sick, and now he is sick. I had a 101F temperature! I can’t remember the last time I had a temperature. I blame the children. He came home and caught me in my zone. My zone of testing and shooting recipes includes watching tv shows in which he has no interest.
Yesterday’s show was Parenthood. The series finale. I have watched the show since the beginning, and during this final season I have grown to love the characters and the story more than I had in the previous seasons. These last few episodes especially have been full of drama and emotion. So here I am, having just come off a feverish cold, making a mess of our living room, watching one of my shows and absolutely bawling at all the emotions unfolding and the stories coming to an end. David interrupted my Sarah time. He really did. It was actually strange to have him here seeing what I do during the day. He sees me cook often. He sees me eat daily. He even sees me cry almost daily. There was still something strange about having him see me cry my eyes out at a television show while I was photographing carrots and peppery ranch dip. I guess we really do live together now. Maybe it’s best this happened before we got married…
So let’s talk about Parenthood! I love deciding what happens after the story ends. I won’t do spoilers here because my bestie isn’t caught up on the show yet. Hurry it up, Elyse! What did you think of the final episode? I can’t tell you how much I laughed and cried during the soufflé scene. That was so exciting and magical. I loved how they had Victor ask the fearful questions, that made the whole Joel/Julia saga feel more real to me. Like what a child would actually be feeling/fearing when faced with the humanness of his parents’ relationship. What’s up with Haddie? Where was she? Sarah Ramos couldn’t be bothered to come back for the final episode? Rude. I am so Team Hank now! I didn’t really care about his character previously, but in this season he earned a soft spot in my heart. Sarah + Hank = Forever and ever and ever in silly bliss. Amber’s baby and the name she chose and the entire final scene of the show!!!! Gahhhhh seriously Elyse catch up so I can do spoilers.
Update! I looked up Parenthood on IMDB to check my spelling of Haddie (I was wrong, I had it written Hattie) and I saw that there is another episode! Is this real life? I totally thought this was the final episode and I thought it was a great way to wrap up the show and all the stories. Well, except not Crosby’s story with The Luncheonette. Yay I get to cry for another full hour next week!
As seen on Instagram, this poor sad dog doesn’t ever get any food in his whole life.