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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Can I Get a Tractor Seat with That?

Everything in Ireland, claims an acquaintance, comes with a side of potatoes.

“Even the potatoes,” she claims, “come with a side of potatoes.”

I have no idea if that’s true. The menus of Ireland are a mystery to me.

But it did get me thinking, as these things are wont to do.

It’s common that some things on the menu come with other things. For instance, in the U.S., sandwiches come with potato chips and a pickle. Hamburgers normally come with fries and a pickle. And a Bloody Mary comes with a beer shot (also known as a “snit”, a “bump”, or “that worthless tiny glass of third-rate beer”).

And a pickle.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to the snit of the ‘00s: ranch (buttermilk) dressing.

Everything comes with a side of ranch!

“Have you tried pizza dipped in ranch? It’s really good!” enthused the chubby little gal that brought me my slice of pizza.

I had to admit that I hadn’t.

“Oh, yeah. Ranch is good with everything: pizza, poured over potatoes, chicken wings, jalapeno poppers…”

“Raw vegetables?” I said, smiling.

“That would be good, too, I’ll bet!”

Now, I’m not here to besmirch the good name of ranch dressing. I’ve no doubt that, like bacon wrapped in a waffle, breaded and deep fried, covered with Béarnaise sauce and served atop a laundry basket full of fried potatoes, that ranch dressing is quite tasty served with just about anything.

I have just one question.

Does a side of ranch come with a pair of pants the next size up?


氣死我 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Jules said...

I agree with 氣死我.

We seem to have a fetish for ranch dressing over this side of the pond as well.

We don't even know what a ranch is.

Jess said...

Ahhh, Ranch dressing...classic! I put it on my green beans! Nothing like taking out all the health in vegetables!'

Agreed...pizza and ranch...amazing!

Everyday Goddess said...

Ranch is the new Ketchup. It's like Windex is to the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

And THAT is America in a nutshell.

The mad woman behind the blog said...

I wanted to make a completely inappropriate comment about my hidden valley but thats just wrong.
I do love me some ranch.

Jennifer said...

Always - a good laugh!

Willoughby said...

We go through our fair share of Ranch around here. I do love it with pizza.

My husband and I ate in a restaurant in Kansas that served a basket of muffins with every meal. Seriously. Steak? Yep, you got muffins. Pizza? Ditto. The sign out front said "A muffin with every meal because you like it that way". I thought it was so funny that I took a picture (sounded like a euphemism to me). I'll have to post it some day.

powdergirl said...

ROFL on the last line, hahaha.

Its weird how much North Americans eat!

The husband and I had this conversation just a coupla days ago when he as complaining the Irene had shrunk all his jeans again, I explained that Irene had not shrunk his jeans and also that he would not be getting any new jeans a size up, like EVER. Well, I had the conversation,, he made 'piss-off' faces at me.

He was complaining about the 50 #s he's gained since we got married as though my cooking was the problem, it ain't, trust me, I'm like a cop in the kitchen. The problem lies in eating about 10, 000 calories a day while NOT training for a triathalon.

Get off the couch, North America, and step away from the fries.

MJenks said...

Hey, that bacon-waffle-potatoes thingy...does it come with a side of--oh, no, you know what? No. That was too easy.

I will say, though, that my nemesis remains mayonnaise. Not so much of sammiches, but mostly to dip fries in. And, I know just how healthy that is. What? Slices of carbohydrates and water deep fried golden brown, salted and THEN dunked in a heady mixture of salt, whipped eggs and oil? What could possibly be unhealthy about THAT???

Smocha said...

Ok, I must say nothing beats pizza dipped in Alfredo sauce. Or a pizza WITH alfredo sauce.Or some buffalo chicken with ranch dressing.

However as an American ,I would like to add that I only eat twice a day. :)

Douglas said...

Over the last 24 years, I have gained about 30 lbs. It has nothing to do with ranch dressing, over-eating, or lack of exercise. I over-ate and lacked exercise for the first 40 years of my life and never was anything but scrawny. I now consume what should be about 1200 calories a day (on average... there are exceptions) in, usually, two meals.

I have come to the conclusion, through logic and deductive reasoning, that there is a conspiracy afoot. That conspiracy is between the clothes manufacturers, the food industry, and Al Gore*. They are putting non-caloric fat producing chemicals in the food. This is especially evident in diet soda. Think about it, do you ever see skinny people drinking that stuff except on commercials? It's all about selling more food (because fat people eat more) and more clothes.

*Al Gore probably does not have anything to do with this conspiracy but I tossed him in because I just don't like him.

Simply Suthern said...

What is it with Buttermilk?? It sucks. But add it to a bisquit and you get a Buttermilk Bisquit. MMMMMMMMM. Same with ranch dressing. It aint ranch till its Buttermilk Ranch. However, My favorite is the bacon wrapped bacon. Gotta go, The cardiac ICU nurse wants her computer back.

CatLadyLarew said...

I draw the line at Ranch dressing on pizza... that would just be overkill. But on fresh veggies? Oh, yeah!

Anonymous said...

It's true that in Ireland even potatoes can come with a side of potatoes. I once had three different kinds of potatoes on a plate. In San Diego years ago everything came with cornbread, which was great. But, when I was there last June the practice seemed to have abated.

Patricia said...

Bloody Marys being my current adult beverage of choice these days, I am here to tell you that not every bar/restaurant serves it with a bump. Much to my dismay.

I hate ranch.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I hate Ranch dressing. It's the laziest of the condiments. At least relish TRIES to do something and it's basically shredded pickle. Think about that. They mutilated a pickle and it still wants to contribute to my eating enjoyment. What does ranch ever do for me? It makes me put MORE on everything hoping that the next bite will be more exciting than the last bite that frankly UNDERWELMED me. I can pull back on the hot sauce and the blue cheese but nothing makes ranch dressing better than ranch dressing. It just lays there. They should have pictures of sleepy farm animals on each bottle. Hidden Valley? Now I know why you are hidden. Everyone who ever tasted your dressing left the valley and told NO ONE about the experience because it was so embarassing. Who would admit they recommended THAT valley and THAT dressing to anyone.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Oh, I hate Ranch dressing. In fact, salad dressings of all kinds (a friend, who is Cordon Vert trained, has given me some years-long power sulks on the matter).

Not helped by school dinner salads always being covered by a thick, all-pervaiding blob of out-of-the-bottle salad cream. Which tasted even worse than what we thought it looked like.

De Campo said...

Come to the Dark Side...

...we have Ranch dressing.

Pearl said...

What a bunch of weirdos you guys are.


I laughed out loud several times, and my head is a-buzz with my theories on why we gain weight as we age, even whilst consuming less...

I gotta write that down.

Carry on!

Nuke Girl said...

Forget the "side"... I ordered a grilled chicken salad at a restaurant (that shall remain nameless) not a few weeks ago; when the salad arrived, my poor chicken and veggies were positively soaked and drowning in a pool of ranch! There's no way it could've been less than half a bottle of dressing. I love me some ranch, but not THAT much.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

damn, i want to live in ireland.

Jeanie said...

This whole conversation has made me, well, hungry. Yes, I would dip a potato in ranch dressing, if I had some of either one.

darsden said...

is that what happened and they told me salad was good for me!

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

Ranch dressing is my sworn enemy! So delicious...sooooo fattening. Sigh!

De Campo said...

I like how my Canadian friends are bashing ranch dressing while they still insist on putting MAYONNAISE on EVERYTHING.

Uncultured heathens.

Cloudia said...


Aloha, my Friend

Comfort Spiral

Laoch of Chicago said...

My mother who was Irish and one of the worst cooks who ever lived, made baked potatoes with everything. So we had baked potatoes with our spaghetti, steak, experimental Chinese and Indian food. Now predictably as adult I do not eat baked potatoes.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Potatoes came with everything we ate in Poland and Ukraine too. By the end of the trip we were in a carb coma.

But if there had been Ranch dressing, I'd have been a much happier traveler.

Great to catch up with you Pearl. I've been on the run and out of town. I'm off now to catch up on your older posts.

Hope all's well with you Pearl,

Jimmy Bastard said...

The humble spud... pure and magnificent in its every form, until of course it is dropped in hot fat and fried until it is dead.

The ocean it seems, is wider than we think. (I had to look up Ranch dressing, it does sound good!)

Anonymous said...

That is the most important thing Pearl, thos damn dressings are almost all FAT (oil). The raw veggies with mustard are ZERO fat.


Ugich Konitari said...

Time to announce the final secret solution. Serve everything nicely smothered in HOT green habanero pepper sauce. Suitable female figures drawn near the word HOT will make folks smother everything with that sauce.

Guaranteed to keep folks away from being gluttons,and like in buy-one-get-one-free, you get the additional benefit of getting rid of your water retention : through the eyes....

Krëg said...

Ranch is nasty.

I don't eat it myself, but I keep some in my fridge for guests (the whole pizza thing). My girlfriend was over the other night and we were cooking. I turned around and she was holding the bottle of ranch dressing in her hand.

"You should throw this out," she said.

My heart soared a bit as I replied, "You don't like ranch dressing either?"

"I like it fine, but this is from 2006."

Noticed you used the word "wont". Why doesn't my cell phone realize there's a difference between the words "wont" and "won't" (or "cant" and "can't")? Friggin' auto-correct-word-filly-inny-thingy. Then again, who texts the word "wont" anyway?

Shieldmaiden96 said...

I've become a fan of making my salad dressing in the bottom of the salad bowl, whisking it together with a fork, and then tossing the salad in it. Its a heck of a lot cheaper than the bottles and it doesn't go bad. I don't get the ranch thing either; where I live now you practically get a side of ranch instead of a glass of water.

Mr London Street said...

Everyone's missing the point. Ranch dressing mixed with vodka and ice and strained into a martini glass is the gift that keeps on giving. It's basically an energy drink for tramps. Of course, in Ireland the vodka would have been made from potatoes.