You have to have a few tricks up your sleeve. You have to have some magic shortcuts in the pantry. Because you, one day, will come running around the dining room table in a mad search for someone’s swimming goggles and kick a chair with your pinkie toe and look down to find it pointing in the wrong direction. On that day you will have to call in the reinforcements to watch your children (my stalwart neighbor Linda) and help you to the ER (her fire-fighter husband Robert) to get your poor foot put back into the right configuration. These things happen.
When these things happen you will become aware of several things…
First, you will thank the heavens for good neighbors. I cannot remember a time when I have asked Linda for a favor and she hasn’t dropped everything to help me. And, Robert…well…he sat in the ER and listened to my drug induced philosophic ramblings about how cool it is that my daughter slid into home plate in her softball game last week. He is a good man. My very own man was on his way back from Tennessee where he was coaching three of his crew kids in the Nationals rowing events. That is a pretty good excuse for not pulling ER duty, I think. But, I’m so glad he is home. I’m a hobbling goofball around here. All hands are on deck.
Second, you will learn that when you have kids, a broken toe isn’t a sufficient excuse to not continue doing everything you were doing the day before. Tape up that toe and shove it in a sturdy shoe…because everyone still expects to eat. That is where a mix or two will come in very handy (also see my Taco Seasoning Mix). This is a fairly typical ranch dressing formula. I have seen a million of them and they vary a bit here and there. I found that I do not like a lot of thyme in my mix, and sage bombed as well. So I don’t use them in my mix. Yet, I did add dill, which is an herb that I don’t typically use in my cooking. But you should make this your own mix and if you would like a bit of thyme or sage or oregano, throw it in. Just make sure to write down what you do so that you can do it again later.
You do not technically need the dry buttermilk powder. After all, buttermilk is called for in the dressing formula. But it does seem to help with the thickening and the distribution of spices and herbs. I like it. And, this is not a particularly thick formulation. If you need a thick dressing, experiment with the ratio of buttermilk to mayonnaise, or try a higher measure of powdered buttermilk. This is kind of a fun recipe to tinker with and it never really turns out bad…so put your mark on it.
I have this measured out to make a jar of powdered mix that is sufficient to make 2 cups of dressing. I like using a cup size canning jar to make the dressing because it is perfect to measure into and to shake like the dickens to mix the dressing. If you want to make enough mix to last a few weeks, just multiply. One rounded tablespoon of the mix makes a cup of dressing.
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Mix
An easy, shelf-stable, DIY mix for tasty buttermilk ranch dressing. All you need to add is a bit of mayonnaise, buttermilk and vinegar to make this perennial favorite. Multiply this formula to have enough on hand for any dressing and dipping needs.
Recipe: (yield: mix for 2 cups of dressing)
1 tablespoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon onion flakes
½ teaspoon dried basil
⅛ teaspoon dried dill
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon powdered buttermilk
For 1 cup of dressing:
⅓ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup buttermilk (lowfat or regular)
½ teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 rounded tablespoon of Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Mix
1. For the mix, in a mortar and pestle, combine all of the dry ingredients except the powdered buttermilk. Grind the herbs and spices together until they are broken down and of a uniform consistency. This helps keep the powders from settling at the bottom of the storage container.
2. Add the spice and herb mix to the powdered buttermilk in a jar or resealable bag. Shake well before using, to distribute any settled ingredients.
3. To make dressing, combine one rounded tablespoon of the dressing mix with 1/3 cup buttermilk and 1/3 cup mayonnaise. Add the white wine vinegar. Whisk to fully incorporate the spices and mayonnaise. Allow the dressing to sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.
AND: Of course nothing beats ranch dressing with fresh herbs. If you have a kitchen potager and herbs all over the place, try the dressing for this Ranch and Bacon Potato Salad.