Of all the childhood memories I hold dear – a summer afternoon meal of footlong hotdogs, potato chips and garlic dip can trigger the strongest emotions. When I was very young, we only had the footlong’s occasionally – but as my siblings got married and had children, footlong hotdogs were present at every summer family gathering. I still have no idea how my parents stumbled upon the dip, but it was officially dubbed as “Grandpa’s Famous Dip” a few years ago. My 8-year-old daughter helped me make it today, wherein she enthusiastically told me that she can’t wait to pass on the tradition of “Grandpa’s Famous Dip” to her own children. It made me smile.
It takes skill to make this meal. This is not your run of the mill hot dog and dip kind of thing. Oh no! It takes practice and attention to detail to perfect the art. Footlong’s are longer and skinnier than a regular hot dog (hence the name “footlong”) and they can threaten to turn into a charred mass if you aren’t careful. However, once you gain confidence you will bring endless pleasure to the hot dog lovers in your life.
Now we must move on to the dip. I even sighed as I wrote that – just the thought of the creamy, garlic-y, yummy delight coupled with a salty, crunchy potato chip makes my mouth water. Even after years of making this dip, we all have the occasional time where we add too much milk, or…. gasp… too much garlic (what is worse is too little, but that rarely happens).
It is necessary to always have a willing subject to test the dip and proclaim it good. Today my son volunteered for the task.
Now to feed the rest of the rugrats, errrrr.. children. I can tell you from experience that the smaller the child, the larger the eyes, and the more difficult it is for them to handle an entire footlong. However, if you even attempt to cut it before you put it in front of them, and their first try at eating, then I cannot be held accountable for the reaction you will suffer through. Trust me on this, hold your knife behind your back for the moment they look at you imploringly for help.
I always get footlong hotdogs at Kroger’s. I’m not sure if you can find them elsewhere, but Kroger is always helpful enough to not only put the footlongs out, but have a basket nearby full of the matching buns. This is a must, if you are going to buy footlongs in the first place. I have tried to put two hot dog buns together in an attempt to recreate the footlong bun without success. It wasn’t pretty… lets just leave it at that.
Although I didn’t run it by my siblings first, I’m going to share with you the recipe for the dip so you can enjoy for generations to come. I’m more than willing to troubleshoot any questions you might have – as I am all about the enjoyment of the dip. I would also love to know your thoughts if you do make it – garlic breath and all!
Grandpa’s Famous Dip”
1 brick Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 clove of garlic
It is best if you set the cream cheese out for 10-20 minutes before you begin so it can soften. Place brick in a bowl and using a fork start mashing it down. Use a garlic press to compress the clove, scraping all bits into the bowl (even the ones inside the press). Start by adding a small amount of milk and stir, mixing well. If the dip is too thick, add more milk – but do so only small amounts at a time. If it is too runny, well…. best I can tell you is to refrigerate overnight or add more cream cheese.