I am not sure when Pepper’s family started serving Chips and dip…. But I have no recollection of family events at Pepper’s parents house without them. I have been going over to their house since around 1986… and I can’t remember a single time. Pepper’s Mom has a special Chip and dip set that I believe had been a wedding gift. They always use that. My friend Sal has been searching second hand stores for years trying to find me one, but they are harder to find than you would think.
The dip is not a hard recipe… but there is a trick at the end that is important for optimal taste and flavor. It is basically a 16 oz container of sour cream (we use light… and 32 oz because we make a double batch) and 1 dry package of French onion soup mix. You carefully make a hole in the sour cream, pour in the envelope of onion powder and stir. To make this easy, you could pour both into a medium size container and mix, but we like to spare the dirty dish and love the challenge of not spilling the powder everywhere. The ‘trick’ I mentioned earlier is that this must be done the day before you are going to eat it. For the onions to actually un-dehydrate, they need time to soak. The pre-planning will be worth it. I’d like to note here that Pepper was in a play awhile ago where they talked about this recipe and added a “squirt” of lemon juice…. This is not needed and Pepper’s family likes it the way they have always made it.
A word about the chips. Since I mentioned that they like things the way they like them I will mention the potato chips here. I once thought that “wavy” type chips would be a great improvement because they could hold more dip and be stronger (to avoid breakage into the dip). This did not really go over well. Pepper’s mother and both brother’s commented negatively on the change. All implying that they had liked things the way they were. Did I mention they needed to be Lay’s potato chips? They do. And do not even think about skimping on this with store brand… they would know. As a side note- I have noticed that Pepper’s Mom moved to lightly salted Lay’s… this adjustment went pretty well.
My children have never known a trip to Nana and Grandpa’s house without chips and dip. That would never fly…. To them it would be like shoes without socks or television without sound- just unheard of! The adults are allowed to gather around the bowl and in a turn taking fashion, select a chip, dip then move slightly out of the way for someone else… it works well. (We’ve all had lots of practice) We had some issues with the kids dipping too heavily which either broke the chip in the dip, breaking everyone’s rhythm- or deep dipping, which meant the chip AND their fingers were covered in dip. This problem was solved by Nana providing individual cups of chip and dip for each of the kids. This solved the kid issues. Dori has graduated back to the chip and dip bowl, but Macy still likes hers separate- probably to avoid the whole turn taking situation. The boys do not seem to care…. as long as they can get refills!