Monday, November 07, 2005

At Long Last

I clipped a dip recipe out of Parenting magazine MONTHS ago, but was irritatingly unable to find all the ingredients I needed. Wasabi paste and dried fish flakes just aren’t readily available in small Southern college towns apparently. I searched for a couple of weeks, checking four different stores before admitting partial defeat. The only defeat I could cop to was the partial kind because I knew I wouldn’t be able to fully give this one up. Wasabi paste seemed like something I SHOULD have around, particularly since The Carnivore and I love spicy food so much. And wasabi always makes me giggle when it makes my nose itch while I eat it.

After a time, I came across wasabi powder, and so I picked some up to keep around. Just in case. I figured that if I never found the paste that I would just figure out how to make it from the powder. The dried fish flakes, also called bonito, continued to flummox me. Under normal circumstances, I might have just gotten pissed off and thrown the recipe away, but this dip sounded so stinking yummy. And if there is something I want, I will move heaven and earth to make it happen.

When my big city friend Tisha was in town recently, I moaned to her about my difficulty finding the ingredients I need around here. She promised to pick up the wasabi paste and the bonito when she got back to San Francisco. I knew it might be a little while, but she has never let me down. I started to practice a little patience.

Sure enough, when we came back from Virginia last month, there was a package from Tisha with the stuff I needed. For a fleeting moment, I thought about what it must be like to live in a city where everything you need is just around the corner. Then I remembered how cold it was in San Francisco in July, and how high the tax rates are in California, and I figured I should just be happy that I have friends who are willing to indulge their small-town pals.

Of course, after all the waiting on this recipe, I dragged my feet for another couple of weeks and finally got down to business this weekend. As it turned out, the dip took about 4 minutes to prepare (after about 6 months of pre-prep, of course) and it was the coolest, most unique dip I’ve had yet. I’m hooked. The flavors are so complex, the texture is perfect and the taste is so refreshing, especially after being subjected to so many salad dressing-based dips. Loving it.

  • 8 oz package cream cheese
  • 2 tsp prepared wasabi paste
  • 1/3 cup bonito (dried fish) flakes
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  1. Cut the cream cheese block in half horizontally so you have two thin slabs.
  2. Place one cream cheese half on a serving plate and spread wasabi paste on top.
  3. Sprinkle on half of the bonito flakes and place the remaining cream cheese half on top.
  4. Pour soy sauce over the layered cream cheese and sprinkle with the scallions and remaining bonito flakes.
  5. Serve with crackers and raw vegetables.

Interestingly, it was the dip that cemented what I had been suspecting for a few weeks. Maybe it should have been obvious by the way I was drinking less coffee, or the way that the smell of my baby brother’s feet made me gag. It certainly was a big tip when I heaved the first time I opened the pack of dried fish flakes and the putrid smell hit me. And then I sat down and ate most of the dip in one sitting.

So I finally broke down and took a pregnancy test…


Claudia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cindy said...

Big Mama is happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (note overuse of !!!)

Paula said...

Congratulations Sarah!!!!!!!
(And I'll overuse those exclamation points too!)
I'm very happy for you.

By the way, if you think it's cold in San Francisco, I don't think you'd ever make it up here in MN.

Mary said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for all of you!

DAD said...


Congratulations and thanks for adding to my pool of grandchildren.

Cindy said...

MOM said, MY pool is bigger than your pool!