Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dipping In

One thing that is so interesting about family stories and traditions is how slippery they can be, as slippery as mayonnaise. What we assume is true and commonly known by our most intimate relations can morph as they are told from one person to the other, from one year to the next. Sometimes it is better to just confront things in the clear light of day, where we say, "I didn't know that" or "Is that really the way you remember it?"

I got the idea for this blog thinking it would be a nice way for me to share with the extended family little techno tips I run across periodically and that I sometimes e-mail out. Then I thought it would be a good way for others to share the techno tips they think are cool or useful. Then I thought, why limit this to techno tips? Why not any tip? It could be a good recipe you found, or a way to fix something that you never knew before, or how to get from Long Beach to Rancho Cucamonga three minutes faster and not get arrested. It could be a chicken raising tip. Or a baby raising tip. We are going to need baby tips soon. And beyond tips, why not just make it a family blog where we can just use it as another way to communicate? Like when you want to make Duke Dip but are not real clear what goes into it. You can come to this blog and find out.

(Here is a techno tip. See that box in the panel that says Dippers? You can sign in there and you will receive an e-mail whenever a new post is made to this blog. You don't have to remember and check all the time, or try and remember how RSS feeds work. Nifty, eh?)

Why this blog is called Duke Dip will be obvious to all of us in the Duke extended family. It is one of the traditions that bind us together stronger than any cream cheese, because we all know the recipe and share it and improve on it through taste buds nurtured in the womb. Sharing things is one of the things that make families so warm and cozy. Especially our family. We do a good job of it. If you have a tip of any sort to share, you can post it to the blog, just like you were sitting in the family room eating chips and dip and talking and laughing with the family. Or post a story here. Or a memory. Or a question that one of us may know the answer to. I will authorize you all to write things here. It is not a closed blog, so anyone can look at it. Feel welcome to tell your friends about it if you think there is something here they might be interested in. I probably won't be authorizing those outside the family to post, but they can certainly use one of us as a proxy.

So, have fun. Be helpful. Dip in.

Antonia's Dip

Step 1: call Dad and have him remind me of the recipe

Workaround if he is once again ignoring my calls:

Ingredients: cream cheese, cottage cheese, mayo, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper.

Put cream cheese in a bowl, add scoops of cottage cheese & mayo until it tastes good. Dash with Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Serve with the ripple potato chips. Go to the gym afterward.

Hmm. Looking at this, I'm doubting the mayo. Is that for real? Cottage cheese, cream cheese, AND mayo? No wonder it tastes so good.

Darien's Dip

This is how I remember it:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • small container cottage cheese
  • garlic salt
  • couple dashes of Worcestershire

Gladys' Dip

Here's what was "told" to me:

  • 1 (8oz) cream cheese
  • 1 container cottage cheese (16 oz)
  • Heaping Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 3 shakes Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves pressed or garlic salt
  • small can evaporated milk

Mix first 5 ingredients well. Add canned milk until dippable.

Jeff's Dip

Note: Most measurements are approximations and the chef is encouraged to creatively adjust amounts and ingredients to suit their taste. Chopped chives and green onion tops made appearances in the dip for a few seasons.

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • small curd cottage cheese, 1 ½ to 2 cups
  • Worcestershire sauce, 1 to 2 tsp
  • garlic salt, a couple of good shakes
  • As needed, mayonnaise or canned milk
  • Potato chips or crudités for dipping

Beat the softened cream cheese in a medium-sized mixing bowl with a fork and then stir in 1 ½ cups of cottage cheese. Add enough Worcestershire sauce to slightly color the dip. Stir in a couple of dashes of garlic salt. Taste. If any of the seasonings are too strong, add more cottage cheese. If the dip is too thick or not creamy, add a tbsp of mayonnaise or canned milk. Taste again. Why not taste yet again? You made it while everyone else lounged around and who is going to see you? Transfer to serving bowl and scrape any remaining dip out with a potato chip and taste one more time. Cover and chill while hamburgers are grilling. Stir before serving adding additional milk or mayonnaise if your tester chip breaks.

Jen's Dip

I am quite shocked at this request. Duke Dip, as true Dukes know, does not come from a recipe. Rather, the ability to make Duke Dip is genetic. A Duke may also magically transfer the birthright for this delicious concoction by marrying his or her true love, especially if the Duke Dip gene is recessed. As proof, I submit evidence that Duke Dip divined by Gladys is quite delicious and authentic. If you want the "recipe," I question whether you are, in fact, my brother. I will tell you my secrets, but please know this is quite difficult, as it would be challenging for me to explain how I breathe, digest food or some other innate ability. You may attribute my delayed response to two factors. First, I have been conflicted and suffered several sleepless nights since learning that we may not be related. I have decided that continuing to interact with your wife and children outweigh the fact that you probably come from a different bloodline and you should be disowned. Second, I needed to make Duke Dip MANY times in order to take some notes so that I may pass along these family secrets. As proof, I submit the 5-gallon tub of Duke Dip in my refrigerator. If Jeff has not yet responded, well it's because we're out of these ingredients:

  • cream cheese (room temperature)
  • mayonnaise
  • garlic salt or garlic powder
  • cottage cheese
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • canned milk (optional if one doesn't have any open)

Allow cream cheese to get to room temperature (to soften) then mash with a fork. Add about half as much mayo as cream cheese and mix until smooth. Stir in cottage cheese - about the same amount of cottage cheese as the cream cheese/mayo mixture. Season with garlic salt/powder and Worcestershire sauce. Thin with some milk to reach the right consistency. Use plenty of chips to sample and make sure it tastes just right.

Jim's Dip

  • Philadelphia cream cheese -- Leave it out of refrigerator until soft.
  • Add milk and cottage cheese to soften to proper consistency.
  • Add garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce. Refrigerate.

Tips to Perfect Duke Dip: Let the Philadelphia cheese soften before mixing in other ingredients. Don't use too much garlic salt if you are feeding non-family in a public setting. Don't use so much Worcestershire that the dip becomes off-white in color. Remember to use upper case letters when you include "Worcestershire" and "Philadelphia" in the recipe. Enjoy on sandwiches and salads, too!

That's how I make it.

P.S. John, don't forget the Mayo!

Jody's Dip

  • 1 small carton cottage cheese
  • 1 lg pkg cream cheese (softened)
  • 3 garlic cloves (pressed)
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • few drops Worcestershire sauce
  • evaporated milk to thin to dipping consistency

I add a little more or less of the ingredients depending on how it tastes and it always tastes better the next day.

John's Dip

  • 16 oz cup cottage cheese, small curd
  • 8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
  • Bunch of mayonnaise
  • Just enough Worcestershire sauce to keep the color more white than muddy
  • Garlic salt
  • Condensed milk (old school) or regular milk. Enough to make the dip creamy but not runny.

Mash up the softened cream cheese with a fork, adding mayonnaise and milk to help it along. Stir in cottage cheese, then other ingredients. Taste frequently with your finger until the taste and texture is right, then taste some more with your choice of chip. If there is any left, serve to the rest of the folk. Marvel at the goodness.

Martha's Dip

Your note on Duke Dip got me to thinking how and when I ever came across the recipe. No clue.

  • Small Philadelphia creamed cheese, softened
  • pint of regular small curd cottage cheese
  • tsp of garlic powder or to taste
  • Worcestershire sauce. Use the wine one and it doesn't color it. If too thick for dipping, thin with sour cream or reg cream

Best I can come up with. I forgot -- I add a heaping spoon of Mayo.