Sour Cream Dip

After last week’s disastrous Fruit and Nut Cheese Ball, we are reluctantly returning to the Party Ideas section of the book.  You’d be so lucky to have guests return to your party that quickly after serving them that cheesy abomination.  This week we are going in for a recipe that could have very well been included in the Stir-ins and Pour-ons section.  I guess because it’s a dip, it gets an automatic pass to the party.  It’s Sour Cream Dip.  The name is surprisingly tame, I know.  It’s sour cream and Orange Kool-Aid.  Mixed together.  That’s it.

Last week I railed against Orange Kool-Aid.  Whatever was happening on a spiritual and molecular level when that Orange Kool-Aid mixed with that cream cheese was just not good at all.  They had differing agendas or ideologies or philosophies on foodballedness or something.  They did not play well together, and I was more than ready to write off Orange forever.

But having returned to my senses, I’m willing to entertain the idea that Orange my not be the worst Kool-Aid flavor.  May not.  A Twitter follower of mine recently offered up Watermelon as the worst flavor.  I haven’t had Watermelon (except in candy form), but I’d be really surprised if I liked it less than Orange.  Orange worked in the Hot Spiced Punch, and to a lesser degree, in the Hits-the-Spot Punch, though.  So maybe it has its merits.  Maybe.  But I digress.

This Sour Cream Dip works much better than our cheese ball.  Infinitely better, in fact.  The tanginess of the sour cream works to cancel out the medicine-ness of the Orange Kool-Aid.  It takes that harsh sharpness and smooths it out, as sour cream is wont to do.  The Orange flavor gets brought back down to optimal levels for normal human consumption.  The end result is a pretty decent dip for fruits.  The book recommends vegetables, too, but I dunno.  I didn’t try any veggies.  There’s no way they could work as well, right?

Whenever I make simple stuff like this I always wonder what other flavors could work as a dip.  Mango and Pineapple come to mind.  How about Sharkleberry Fin Dip?!  That’s a Pinterest pin if I’ve ever seen one.  But those experiments must be put off to a later day.  We’ve still got 47 more recipes to go!

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Fruit and Nut Cheese Ball

Get your wide collars and bell bottoms ready everyone because today, we dive into the Party Ideas of the book for the first time.  And we do it with a cheese ball.  Yes, a cheese ball.  That oh so perfect encapsulation of pre-1980 shindigs.  At least in my mind anyway.

Now I’m certain people still make cheese balls and serve them to guests.  I bet there are some super gourmet fancypants ones on Pinterest (because there’s a super gourmet fancypants version of everything on Pinterest), but I can’t recall a specific time I’ve been in the presence of a cheese ball.  Cheese dips, sure.  Cheese plates, absolutely.  But not a cheese ball.  And I’m ok with that.

This Fruit and Nut Cheese Ball has been the worst thing I’ve made from Kool-Aid Comes of Age so far. First off, there is an unavoidable, fundamental problem.  Orange Kool-Aid is the worst Kool-Aid.  By far.  It’s too strong, too mediciney, and too gross.

Secondly, it’s a Fruit and Nut Cheese Ball.  Now sure, technically, a raisin is a fruit, but come on.  If I asked you to list one hundred fruits, you would never mention raisins.  Never.

Also, this was my first experience chopping raisins.  I’m sure I’m not the only person that has mistaken a raisin for an insect at some point in my life.  Well chopped raisins look even more ghastly.  I couldn’t stop thinking about crushed up cockroach bits.  Not what you want to be thinking about during your party prep.

Thirdly, this is the first thing from the book that I’ve made that has been ruined by the addition of Kool-Aid.  A mélange of cream cheese, raisins, and walnuts doesn’t sound too shabby on its own, am I right?  Maybe not the best combo, but I could take a swipe of that with a cracker, no problem.  But when you add the orange medicine powder, things just get unpalatable.  It doesn’t blend.  It doesn’t complement.  It just doesn’t work as a whole.

And lastly, who the hell wants to eat a lump of soft cheese that’s been rolled around and ballified in someone’s grubby, disgusting hands?  I made this myself, and I was grossed out by it.

No thank you, Fruit and Nut Cheese Ball.  Don’t expect an invitation to my next party.  Not now, not ever.

Whipped Lemon Butter

I have to admit, this is one of the recipes in the book that gave me pause when I first saw leafed through it.  I get the punches and sauces and freezes and all that.  But Whipped Lemon Butter?

Having said that, I think this is a gloriously retro concept.  It is the perfect example of the weird, artificial, convenience recipes found in the corporate cookbooks from the 50s to the 70s that I absolutely adore.  Why use a real lemon with all that squeezing and…squeezing, when you could just scoop out a few spoonfuls of Kool-Aid?  I mean who even knows where to buy lemons?  And I’m not even going to mention what housewives had to deal with during the Great Lemon Shortage of the early 1970s.  (The produce lines stretched for miles.)

Lemon butter is literally lemon and butter!  Which makes this recipe even better.  You’re not really saving any time or work at all.  It’s just swapping one easily obtained ingredient for the next easily obtained ingredient.  (Easily obtained in the seventies anyway. More on that in a second.)  It’s just fantastic.  I picture this being made in the Monsanto Kitchen of the Future.

Now, in modern times, this recipe is more inconvenient than it appears.  I could not find sugar-sweetened Lemonade anywhere!  Every grocery store I went to had a bottom row full of sugar-sweetened canisters in every flavor imaginable.  Except Lemonade.  Where the Kool-Aid should have been, there were at least three or four other brands of lemonade. Country Time.  Crystal Light.  4C.  No Kool-Aid.  From what I can tell, Kool-Aid still makes a sugar-sweetened Lemonade.  They just aren’t sending it to any stores near me.  Stupid stores near me.

Luckily, I found some online.  For a little more than I would normally spent on yellow sugar powder.  But still.  I have it.

The recipe calls for applying this concoction to fruit-nut bread, waffles, biscuits, or muffins.  Sadly, I was fresh out of all of those things.  I just can’t keep fruit-nut bread in the house.  So, I went with white toast.  The most basic of canvases.   Also, I was a little suspicious that those items were thrown in to distract from the actual Lemon Butter.  Maybe it wasn’t so good.

Guys, I didn’t think I’d have to type this sentence, but this was…kinda good.  Seriously.  It tastes like a very bright, lemony marmalade.  I know!  I am as surprised as you are.  The butter on its own still has some grit from powder that didn’t dissolve completely, but when applied to toast, the grit gets lost in the rest of the crumbs.

You could 100% get away with putting this out at a breakfast thing.  In fact, someone do that and get back to me.  I’ll bet people ask about it.  In a good way.

Who knew?  Kool-Aid and butter.