American Food – Ranch Dressing

Not sure about everyone else here at Hancock International College but I for one love to put Ranch Dressing on so many things! Our ESL students are not really aware of this tasty condiment that has become a staple among American Dips… I mean there’s Ketchup, Mustard, Mayo, Barbeque Sauce… but really who needs those when you have Ranch? says, “It started in the Alaskan bush, where businessman Steve Henson—who played cook on top of his main gig as a plumber—came up with an idea to help calm down the workers annoyed that they had to eat salad.

‘It’s tough to feed men up in those bush jobs,’ the Nebraska native told Los Angeles Times food reporter Sergio Ortiz in 1999. ‘If they don’t like something, they’re as likely to throw it at the cook as they are to walk out cursing. I had to come up with something to keep them happy.’

…His solution involved a mixture of three fairly simple ingredients: mayo, buttermilk, and various herbs. It proved just the thing to get the workers to eat their vegetables.

That simple combination would come to save Henson and his dwindling nest egg after he finally launched the ranch of his dreams in 1954 outside of Santa Barbara, California.

Henson’s dude ranch was essentially intended as a hideaway for tourists. It occasionally drew some, but it wasn’t the ranch itself that was driving chatter after the fact. Rather, it was the dressing served on the salad.

Customers started asking for bottles to take home, some in increasing numbers. In one case, a visitor from Hawaii asked for 300 bottles at once. Henson and his wife couldn’t make that many bottles in a short amount of time, so he instead offered the visitor a number of spice packets, telling him how to reproduce the recipe.

The visitor soon wanted more spice packets. Slowly but surely, the dressing became more popular than the ranch. And while Henson hoped to become rich with a ranch, the ranch he became rich from outgrew the far-off property from which he launched the company. The world could not be kept away from this milky juggernaut.”

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Idiom of the Day

Bet the Ranch

Meaning: To risk everything on a venture that one thinks will be successful. Primarily heard in US.

Example: I wouldn’t bet the ranch on that wacky invention.