how to buy tadalafil online

In the Weeds: Side of Ranch

June 30, 2009

in-the-weed-photo4My job search is focused in Johnson County for one simple reason. I’m tired of filing tax returns in two states. We moved a few miles from Missouri to Kansas late last year, and while all the snobbery in me says the majority of interesting food is on Twain’s side of the state line, I’m just too lazy and cheap to “Multi-State TurboTax” my way through another April. Before moving to Missouri, I lived in Indiana but had income from Illinois and Michigan. It’s time to stop sleeping in one place while working in another on the side. It’s time to settle down with just one state. I’m not getting any younger.

There is a big problem, however, with working in Kansas. Thomas Franks did an excellent job of detailing several things he found wrong with both his and my native state, namely the rise of conservative populism, in his bestseller What’s The Matter With Kansas? But I was disappointed that there was nary a mention of what I believe to be the obvious “matter” in Kansas. Ranch dressing.

Seriously people. Ranch dressing could be the worst thing to happen to the culinary world since . . . honey mustard. I found a podcast whose host went one step further and proclaimed ranch dressing the worst thing to happen to humanity since cancer. There are 182 Facebook groups dedicated to the love of ranch dressing, including one titled “I’d Eat My Hand If It Was Covered in Ranch.” I include my sister in the group of Kansans that simply must have ranch dressing on everything from pizza and fries to steak and baked potatoes. She recently told me that her two-year-old son won’t eat anything unless it’s dipped in ranch, proof that the buttermilk epidemic is picking up steam with each generation. I know it’s not exclusive to Kansas, but there seems to be a certain sense of pride among diners in Kansas when asking for ranch. “Oh my gosh, do you want to get jalapeño poppers with ranch? It’s sooooooo good, trust me” a Kansas friend might say to me at Town Center in the same way I might say that we must try the new South African chardonnay with our seafood appetizer.

I could probably count on one hand the number of times I was asked for a side of ranch in three years at The Capital Grille. If someone requested a condiment at all, they were usually whispering embarrassed apologies and asked me to bring the seemingly offensive ketchup, A-1 Sauce or Heinz 57 to the table under cloak. But not ranch people. Ranch people are loud and proud. One of my favorite exchanges went something like this: Diner 1: “Can I get a side of ranch for my steak?” Diner 2: “What are you, twelve?”  Diner 1: “What do you meeeeaaan? Ranch and steak is awesome!”  Me: “Are you from Olathe?” Again, I didn’t really say that, but it would have been way more awesome than ranch and steak.

My chef husband was beyond sweet by agreeing to move back to my home state but has been almost emotionally damaged from the sheer volume of ranch consumed in Kansas. At his restaurant, he refuses to even refer to it by name and just calls for a side of “It” when necessary, which he says is dozens of times per hour. His Hispanic kitchen staff yells back “Salsa Americana!” I love that.

I continue my job interviews somewhere in the Hidden Valley. When the manager asks if I have any questions, I’m tempted to ask about the ratio of ranch to covers, but then again, I can pretty much tell by the size of the thighs in the booths. Mmmm, speaking of thighs, barbequed chicken is awesome with ranch.


10 Responses to “ In the Weeds: Side of Ranch ”

  1. jane on June 30, 2009 at 8:20 am

    You speak the truth – at my former place of employment it wasn’t uncommon for kansas-ian customers (it was a bar,I carded my patrons) to request Salsa Americana for their Buffalo wings. Heresy. Disgustimg.

  2. Shannon on June 30, 2009 at 8:54 am

    I will not be shamed. I hereby proudly announce that I LIKE RANCH DRESSING. Only on salads, though.

  3. Joe Bates on June 30, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Now that I think of it when I was a server at Fox and Hound that is all people asked for was a side of Ranch… But that was in Independence where there is a great number of cultured people….. Not

  4. midge on June 30, 2009 at 10:21 am

    I would like to know why I am being forced to make thousand island dressing almost every-other shift. The mixture of tartar sauce, ketchup and cocktail sauce has to be one of the most unpalable combination I have ever “whipped up”. I find myself getting far more request for pink dressing than I do the white stuff. I would be happy to do away with both. All I can do is teach my son that ranch dressing, and others like them, are never to be requested as somthing to dip his food in.

  5. starr on June 30, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I refused to have “ranch”on the menu(we did have creamy herb, hah) we called it redneck ketchup and hillbilly hollandaise

  6. Shannon on June 30, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    hillbilly hollandaise… good one.

  7. Sara on July 1, 2009 at 3:43 am

    Finally!!! Another one who thinks Ranch ‘Dressing’ is low-brow.
    (Although, I have to admit that I smother most food items with hot sauce and mustard… gulp.)
    The one tip I have is, although I used to despise Honey Mustard, I have managed to find the perfect blend in Bears Honey Mustard, from Beaverton, Oregon. I could send you some…

  8. anne almirall on July 1, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    I am a pepper freak…and proud.

  9. sommelier on July 3, 2009 at 9:01 am

    This reminds me of a story from capital grille. The “chef” went to France for two weeks on vacation a couple of years ago, when he returned Mary Simpson asked him at line up to describe a good dinning experience he had there. He actually admitted that he could not find any good food, IN FRANCE. Wow, and i thought they had McDonalds there now. And yes ranch dressing is disgusting, but thats no reason to drink South African wine, YUK! A frat boy wine like Silver Oak would go well with it though. These are indications of a palate that never matured from childhood, so sad.

  10. John Williams on July 29, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Lmfao…..what is your ratio of Ranch sides to covers…love it
    Make sure you have an armless chair for them