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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

7 layer dip

I am on weak ground and failed to research the matter in depth, so I will prevail upon your indulgence. Others, real Americans, are more adaptable. Their "blog titles" are deceptive because really they have it down to a fine "art." We are each of us, far more "complex," than we let on.

Some of us are of a culinary disposition be that chef, cook or can opener. In America, and I believe elsewhere, since we are now of a global persuasion, I notice a surfeit of these concoctions on the supermarket delicatessen shelves. They come in a wide variety of forms.

The principal is simple enough, take three or more slops and pour one on top of another. A common combination would be some bean smoosh, guacamole, salsaish slime and sour cream, which is then sprinkled with a substance pretending to be cheese. The cheese may be approximately cheese coloured, but other than that, it fails completely in all other qualities such as flavour or texture. It’s more of a grated coronary than anything else, unless you are really unlucky and have the low fat, no fat, super healthy alternative.

I often believe that they are designed like a colour wheel. There must be contrast otherwise you might be unaware that the layers differ. Green Pesto next to guacamole would be a mistake, because I would suspect I had been short changed and dipped out. Sour cream and cream cheese, without a layer of alternative coloured muck, would also be an error. Red Pesto on salsa would be suspicious.

In an ideal world the eater should be able to take a tortilla chip or crudite and swipe a slick of all the layers onto the instrument prior to eating. Here, the consistency is crucial. Too thick and the chip snaps, too sloppy and all the layers mix together into one big primordial ooze.

Since I am a grown up person, I prefer my food to bite back, although not literally. Anything that resembles baby food should be avoided. Anything that changes form before your eyes is untrustworthy. I think that’s part of the reason why ice-cream is dangerous, in a shape shifter kind of way. If I’m presented with a cold rock of flavoured cream, it sits there for a while innocently enough. Then before you know it, you glance back and it has started to melt and spread. Leaky food should have it’s own FDA label – danger, substance changes form without warning. Although I have inadvertently revealed my skills in chemistry and physics, there is no doubt that if an egg has the quality of bounce, it simultaneously loses the category of edible.

Overall, I can conclude that there are many things that benefit from being layered, such as hair, clothing or window dressings, but food? Food should not be layered. Food should be neatly ordered on a plate with a one inch mote around each item, as it would never do for them to touch and become contaminated, or is that just my children?

I think these thoughts early in the morning, before my brain is fully functioning. I am prompted by the visual clues of the detritus under the dining room table. Several cloths and a bottle of 409 help me remove the evidence of my slovenly existence, but that’s the trouble with play dates. 6 children for 3 hours brings it’s own fall out.

The cookie crumbs are crunchy because they have been there the longest. It is admirable to note that the neophobe can now stomach the chocolate chip variety that ever other child on the planet adores. Three o’clock in the afternoon. I had no time to clean up the chocolate milk spills which mixed in with the dot to dot paints. Who would think he would ever drink chocolate milk that hadn't been heated for one minute and 10 seconds precisely. If you stamp on a dot to dot bottle hard enough, they explode. An enviable display of foot eye co-ordination and strength. I am delighted that they picked them up voluntarily and otherwise used them appropriately. I didn't have to bribe anyone. I was considered fun.

The red paint has coloured some of the slivers of paper because our cutting skills are improving at an ever greater pace. I’m glad to report that although few people ate the rice, 12 hours later it has returned to it’s original form, white, bent and crispy. I don’t think many people know that it is far easier to clean up dehydrated rice grains than freshly cooked sticky ones. The Parmesan shavings are scattered far and wide, carried on the whirlwind of activity that invaded my household. Although he didn't eat any, he conducted himself admirably in view of the stench.

Shredded mini wheats may be a bonus for the digestive system, but they are a curse to the housewife as they shed themselves like knitted straw. That anyone, only two, considered them to be a snack was an unexpected bonus. I retrieve a banana skin from the corner, still moist and slick like a snail trail. My son, the neophobic thief. Who would have thought that a banana could become a preferred food?

I did not appreciate the pip spitting contest,but when Mandarins are in season and lip closure is an issue, maybe it helps if she can demonstrate by modeling?

They are all such tiny little things of huge significance. All of these things that they now do, occasionally, they do very badly, like someone so much younger might do. You can measure and test and teach these skills. You can monitor progress, plot graphs and pi charts but the thing that is most significant to me, is of no great importance. The pivotal point that overcomes inertia, is a willingness to give it a go, to just try. So few people can understand the utter joy of handing a child a pair of scissors, a weapon of mass destruction, or mere meltdowns, and witnessing them reach out and take them.

The desired behaviour can often be elusive but I think I might, reluctantly and grumpily, be won over by a 9 layer option afterall. It may take a chisel to remove the fall out on the floor, but the evidence is there for all to see.

For additional cleaning tips please visit my pal"Mrs. Bucket" a.k.a. "Kritina Chew."

p.s. I should like to see more of these "99" thingummy do dahs, so if you do one, let me know.

New post up on "alien."

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