This weekend, I'm doing something I haven't done in probably 15 years: I'm going away with some girlfriends for the weekend.
Frequent moves, Corey's intense travel schedule, 4 babies and a general sense that the timing wasn't right have led me to pass on retreats, conferences, trips and celebrations since the turn of the century. In fact, I think I've only left my family twice since Natalie was born: once to attend a Beth Moore conferece and once to attend my grandmother's funeral. Needless to say, I'm a jumble of nerves right now. Sad to leave my children (especially Kieran, who spontaneously burst into sobs when I walked away at the airport), lonesome for Corey, who got home from his last trip just 12 hours before I left for mine. But I am also beyond-the-pale, pinch-me excited, because this weekend, I get to meet face-to-face blogging friends I've known online for years.
I'm going to stop for just a second and let that wonder sink in again.
We are flying in from all corners of the country (and beyond, eh) for a self-styled writing retreat. And since we'll be in somone's home, and many bloggers in the group are fantastic cooks, we are splitting the meal duties.
Which brings me (finally!) (sorry!) to my Here, Taste This recipe for the week: Homemade Ranch Dressing. I'm making a big batch of it this weekend, which thrills me, because it's hands-down the best salad topping I've ever tasted. (Barring the cherry vinegarette I got from the in-store salad bar at Central Market in Poulsbo, Washington. But that stuff is so good, it's clearly made by magic. So not in the same category.) And I like sharing good food with my friends.
Homemade Ranch Dressing
(adapted from an old edition of Everyday Food, my favoritest cooking magazine ever)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonannaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp white-wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dried dill
a big handful of chopped chives
coarse salt and ground pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, whisk ingredients together. Serve. Store covered in the fridge.
1. The original recipe said this dressing lasts "up to 3 days" refrigerated. I've kept it up to a month, with the only degradation being a little separation. Of course, you could make less and then use it all at one sitting. I'm too lazy for that.
2. This doesn't taste like the standard ranch dressing you get in the grocery store. It's tangier and brighter. It took my kids a couple of tries to get used to it, but now they eat it up. (And I love that I can name all the ingredients.)
3. Obviously, this recipe is highly customizable. Use as many chives as you want, adjust the salt and pepper, substitute a different herb for the dill. I want to try making a cracked pepper edition. Have fun!