I like the taste of ranch dressing, although I hate the taste of commercial, bottled ranch dressing; I've never found one worth buying.
But I do like the taste of fresh ranch dressing. Oh, I probably am reacting happily to some jangly chemicals in the packet of dressing powder mix that gets stirred into buttermilk and mayonnaise, the way I react happily to Doritos orange powder magic. Is powdered ranch dressing even "fresh"?
I looked up some recipes for ranch dressing online today, and learned that MSG is a key ingredient... according to some people. That could be the chemical I react to, but who keeps MSG in their pantry?
I needed to make up some ranch dip last night.
I knew that buttermilk was the backbone of the recipe, but there was none in the fridge. What I did have was yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream. So I would have to improvise.
I have tasted ranch-like dressings, memorably one made from crème fraîche. I'm sure there was no MSG, or even buttermilk. I just remember it was really nice.
You go to war with the army you have.
So I smoothed out some cottage cheese with a potato masher, and stirred in sour cream and yogurt until I got a nice consistency. No mayonnaise. I forgot about it, actually, but it wasn't needed.
Then it was time to season this mess. Honestly, I had no idea what seasonings go into "Ranch." I winged it. Totally made it up.
I crushed some dried Mexican oregano between my palms. And then a little more. Next, dried dill. I think dried dill is kind of silly, but for some reason I have two jars of it, so it must have seemed like the right thing to do. I did it.
Finally, I dusted this concoction with garlic powder. Yes, there is dried garlic powder chez Crumb, and we have one or two constant and sometimes urgent reasons for that. I will tell you for ten dollars.
That's all. I let it sit for several minutes to develop, and then we devoured it with carrots, cucumbers, celery and tender hearts of baby romaine. Dunkin' snack-style.
It tasted COMPLETELY ranchy. Just a few, mere, simple ingredients — all dried, gosh darn it — stirred into some dairy, and it was ranch.
I am so not ashamed.
I am proud.