The Big Dip

Tonight, Hubby Bryan and I are invited to a gathering to celebrate Taco Matt’s 55th birthday.

That would be Matt Oleske, owner of the local Taco Johns restaurant, and our dear friend and Hubby Bryan’s home brewing partner.

Matt is something of a character, as anyone who knows him will attest, so it is sure to be an interesting gathering. The meat for the gathering is being cooked by Matt’s brother-in-law, Scotty D., who specializes in barbecue cooking and runs a lunch trailer in Huron, S.D. I’ve had Scott’s barbecue before, and it is scrumptious. We are looking forward to more.

But as is usual in our social circle, guests are welcome to bring side dishes. I settled on this dip, from DotMom’s “Mixing & Musing Cookbook” because it is appropriately labeled Milestone Platter Dip (not because Matt can be something of a dip!) I remember well the occasion that gave it the name — my dad’s 60th birthday party. I also remember staying up until the wee hours painting a banner that hung from our garage, announcing “Don is 60 today!”

So, as I make this dip in honor of Matt, I will also fondly remember my DadDon.

Milestone Platter Dip

Combine 2 cups sour cream, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon dill weed. On a 12- by 16-inch platter, spread the sour cream mixture to ¼-inch thickness. Sprinkle 1 ½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese over surface. Carefully spread 2 cups prepared French onion dip over top of cheese.

In concentric circles (if using a round platter) or stripes (if rectangular), arrange toppings such as 1 cup sliced green onions, ½ to 1 cup sliced or chopped olives, diced fresh tomato or red or green pepper, or 1 hard-cooked egg, chopped. Garnish all with parsley. May be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before serving.

Serve with white corn tortilla chips, crackers or raw vegetables.

Beth’s notes: I always use low-fat versions of the sour cream and French onion dip; plain yogurt can also be substituted for the sour cream. I don’t usually use the hard-cooked egg. If using tomato, drain on paper towel so it doesn’t add too much moisture to the dip. If taking this to a gathering, I will make the dip in a disposable aluminum pan.