Saturday, November 27, 2010

Spinach Dip

     I got everything I wanted done with a little time to spare so I'll post a few odds and ends, cocktail party stuff,  before the real crush of holiday baking starts next weekend. There are a few design changes to the blog, a search bar so you can look for things within the posts and a link to my cousin Leslie's blog. The next few weeks will be full of Christmas baking, get togethers and shopping. This is also my window to try a recipe or two before before all hell breaks loose and there is just no time.

    I'm sure you are all wondering what is he thinking posting a recipe for spinach dip. Everyone has a recipe for it, it has been around for ever and is simple to make. I've included this because I love the stuff and there is a silly story that accompanies it. It involves my aunt Karen and so far the Craig side of the family has been under represented. It is a bit of a rambling tale so just bear with me.

All eleven of the Craigs with my grandparents.
This has to be the early '70's when we had just moved to the farm
I recognise the paneling in the living room and those drapes.
Karen is front and centre in the purple pants

     The first time I had spinach dip was at a family function at my Grandma Craig's. Karen, who had moved to the big city of Kingston, brought it. Now remember this is almost thirty years ago, dip was for chips and came in dill pickle or onion. I remember thinking how worldly and exotic this dish seemed and to be served in a bread bowl, well. The fact that I liked the stuff was just a bonus. I also used to think my aunt Deb was very sophisticated because she cut up her lettuce for salad with a knife, not tearing it like my Mom did. Go figure.
Growing up in rural Eastern Ontario, we didn't get exposed to a whole lot of new ideas very quickly. No Internet, three channels on the television, a party line  for the telephone, and no that isn't one of those 976 numbers, how did we survive? LOL

     There it is, my introduction to spinach dip. I have no idea if the recipe is the one Karen used and it isn't the one I serve, but it is a classic that still shows up at family functions and I still love it.

Karen , a few years later with her own family, husband Mark and her three boys, Mitch, Matt and Marsh

Spinach Dip
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 package vegetable soup mix
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 loaf round pumpernickel or crusty bread

Combine all ingredients, except the bread, and mix until well combined. Cover and let sit for several hours or overnight.
Cut a well in the loaf of bread and place the dip in the well just before serving. Use the removed bread for dipping.

     I have used this actual recipe but not for years. I replace the mayonnaise with strained yogurt and usually add a little cream cheese as well. Throw in some green onion, a couple of chopped hard boiled eggs,  replace the spinach with Swiss chard and that's my recipe. If I'm feeling overly ambitious, chopped water chestnuts add some crunch. This recipe shows it doesn't have to be complicated to be good. Enjoy.

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