Yo, it’s me, girl who likes dips, and taking photos of them.
Strap yourselves in ladies, this is a classic BC Ramble, I do not know how on earth I got from taking a pic of a cheese and garlic dip on a Wednesday morning to rambling on about going to nightclubs in my twenties, but there you have it. Just call me a self-indulgent, blogger.
The first time I ate dip I was about 20 years old. It was in a nightclub. Those days seem so very very far away now.
Turn the clock back 20 years from an old cottage on the beaches of Sydey, Australia and I was commuting up to the big smoke of London every weekday, hopping on a train to the city all the way down in Kent, getting my make-up on on the way, jumping off at Victoria station, heading underground like a sardine packed in a tin on a tube train and then emerging 15 minutes later in the West End of London Baby to a square with black railings, 5 story houses turned into office properties, and a shed load of advertising executives at every single turn of the head.
I ate bagels and drank cappuccino (in a white polystyrene cup with a funny little hole in the top, where the coffee spilled out and always burnt my hand), picked up from a little (may I add Italian) cafe on the way to work…I didn’t think I was cool.
I wore mustard and green jumpers made to look like a Chanel jacket by way of gold buttons, with business shorts and interspersed this uniform with one pair of navy and one pair of black (with gold accents) leather shoes from Bally and topped it off with a fake Hermes scarf folded in a triangle and tied around my neck in a way I thought was perhaps French but was more likely Erith.
I was the young girl in that world of PR in those days that wasn’t that far away from the show French & Saunders…and the more I worked there the more I thought it was all the most massive load of ******** I have ever known.
I was having a pretty good time though, in fact I was having a great time, there weren’t any boyfriends much, there was a lot of going out, a lot of mooching around London, going to pubs, a lot of trying out of Italian, Polish and Greek restaurants that were everywhere where I worked and also the going home on Wednesday nights and going to the dodgiest nightclub in the dodgiest roughest grey old town on the outskirts of London that there probably could be. (I just googled that nightclub from the other side of the world, it’s still there. so weird)
I am getting to the dip.
So every Wednesday night we would head home to our village and get ready for a night out at this club…I was the only one in the group who was pathetic at the getting up the next morning for the train and that pathetic-at-getting-up-in-the-morning hasn’t improved since…going to this club was a major performance in terms of us girls…hair was foofed and primped, I had a really nice looking going on, long, long, long, ironed straight (before the days of GHD’s, this took half the night just to get the hair straight, oh and actually sometimes I curled it up – a whole other ball game), with a straight fringe…make-up took a long time, if I remember rightly we were all about nude faces popped with Estee Lauder red lips…clothes, gosh, big patterned blazers with square shoulders…teamed with skirts or nice darted dress trousers (!) …I had these black high-waisted dress shorts I loved, they were sort of floaty and lovely and very short – I wore them with tights and suede pumps. Sheesh kebab I am old.
We would get ready for the night, have some dinner, get in the car and drive to this town, park in the horrid, scary, grey concrete, multi-storey, dark car-park opposite and then walk over the road (gosh I hope my kiddos don’d do stuff like this, I am sure they will) normally shivering with cold and rock up outside the glitzy pink neon sign flashing above and the huge bouncers dressed in dicky bows and dinner jackets with faces on the English Bulldog side.
Anyway, this club we went to in the dodgiest town in South East England had a VIP section, so hilarious…think little sectioned off area (with bouncers on door), black smoked windows and plush velvet seating curved around the outside…complete with its own bar and disco ball. Classy. Just so classy. You had the feeling there might be a jacuzzi in there. Know what I mean? But thanking the Lord there wasn’t.
So we had made friends with these guys that were from the next village along from us, (in fact two of my friends were having flings with these dudes) who also happened to frequent this club on this same night, only these dudes parents knew the owners…it was all very clicky…and so they were VIP’s…think Birds of a Feather Dorien people and you’re on the right track…being friends with these guys meant we by-passed the plebs in the club, oh yes indeedy how special did we think we were?
Oh the nights we spent up there, I have no idea why we thought it was so good, standing in a little sectioned off area of the club…I do remember loving standing there in those black flouncy shorts and people watching for hours…
So, I am getting to the dip…behind the bar there was this girl, she was very beautiful, with delightful skin, an amazing figure and something of the exotic about her…it was odd though she wasn’t really behind the bar, she just sort of floated around looking good (we later found out why)…the whole thing was odd because as we got friendly with her we found out that she was from a completely other world…a world of finishing schools and private drivers and all sorts of things that were far from us and our commutes up to town and our village…(later we found out a whole other world that she was in which I won’t go into on here but was all about arranged marriage and very old-fashioned attitudes to women).
Anyway, this girl used to be in charge of foodie bits and bobs that were put out on the bar and around and about in this little section for the oh-so-special VIPs…she would pull out all sorts of things, puffs of pastry filled with creamy fillings, stuffed mushrooms…but mostly it was crudites and dips and oh how sophisticated we thought we were, dipping raw veggies into various concoctions…one such was a creamy, cheesy, garlic-y dip…we loved it and always asked her to make more as we stood there with our Gin and Tonics, our ironed hair, red lips pretending to be VIPs, dipping cauliflower in mayonnaise..
And years later with a baby and a long way from that club I came across a recipe in a magazine…for cheesy garlic dip…I changed it up a bit but basically it’s along the same lines of that dip 20 years ago in that club with the girl behind the bar….
Easy Cheese Garlic Dip
1 cup of Cheddar Cheese finely grated (or Tasty)
1.5 tbsp Mayonnaise
3 cloves garlic
1.5 tbsp sour cream
squeeze of lemon juice
1. mix all ingredients in bowl and top with extra herbs
**Beach Cottage Recipe Notes – herbs are best fresh but I have used dried, parsely & chives (classic combo) are good but really I have thrown in whatever is in the garden, you can sub sour cream for yoghurt, you can use all sour cream or all mayo if you haven’t got either in the fridge. *thowing in some Parmesan is nice.
Years later I sometimes think of that club, of those dudes, of that girl in the shorts and whatever did happen to her, of the girl behind the bar and her life and where she is now.
I know where the girl in the shorts is…on the other side of the world…a bit wobblier, definitely saggier, she likes white quite a bit and her new life Down Under