Kitchen & Pantry

Alex’s garlic and cream cheese dip

My 16-year-old younger daughter, Alex, doesn’t have classes on Fridays. For the first term of the current school year, at least. Sometimes, she doesn’t wait for Speedy for the scheduled Friday night pick up at the condo — she takes the train and goes home on Thursday. Like she did three days ago. She came home to rotating brown outs but when I insisted on turning on the aircon the moment power went back on, she said NO because she missed the Antipolo air. I guess city living has done that to her. I’m sure that suburban air is still fresher, sweeter and cooler than Taft Avenue air.

Anyway, she slept like the proverbial log on Thursday night and I had to wake her up at lunch time on Friday. We had oriental meatballs with sweet chili sauce (I’ll post the recipe later) then I went back to work. By three o’clock, Alex was bored. She came up to my study, asked if I wanted fries, went down, I heard her cooking, then she came up with a plateful of hand-cut and home cooked fries, and a bowl of dip.

The dip was a mixture of cream cheese, mustard and garlic. And it was delicious. I love it when boredom does NOT make my daughters unproductive. I love it that when there’s nothing much to do, they still manage to find something to do — and creatively at that. Like doing body painting. And cooking. I remember how Alex raved about eating hotdogs embedded with pieces of chopped garlic that her sister Sam cooked when Speedy and I were both out. That was years ago and we still haven’t sampled that fantastically described hotdogs. Until now, all we tasted were stories.

On Saturday evening, close to midnight, Alex offered to cook French fries again. For the whole family. We had skipped dinner because we had a very late lunch and we were hungry. I asked if she was going to make the delicious cheese dip again and she said yes.

The recipe? Cream cheese (softened), mustard and toasted garlic bits. Just mix together until smooth. If the dip is too thick for you, you can add a tablespoonful or so of cream or milk. It’s great with fries. I think I’ll never have ketchup with home cooked fries after this.

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