In the past my usual trips to Austin have meant riding down via Amtrak on Thursday and leaving early Sunday morning. This works well as it gets me home and allows me an evening to catch up on the house and the laundry and make sure the boys have done their homework before getting back into a busy routine on Monday morning. The downside of this is that I often miss spending time with a small group of people in Austin who have come to mean quite a bit to me…. The Petite Assembly. The Petite Assembly began as a group from Austin Christian Fellowship who didn’t like the stigma associated with traditional “small groups”. Every Sunday night, the petite assembly gathers for great food, great wine, great music, great conversation and more than a little laughter, sharing and support. And yes, you heard me…. a church-based fellowship that gathers for wine. Did I mention I love these people? The Petite Assembly was, at one time, a fairly large group. I was amazed that my dear friend, Ronne would cook a huge meal for them every sunday. Cooking and serving food to others is a passion that she and I share. I loved hearing her stories of what she was planning for dinner each and every week. Now the group has whittled down to a very special core few. And their people that I have grown to care deeply about. The dinner is always hosted at Casa Rock, home of Brad and Ronne Rock. Courtney Now (our other Gourmet Girl) and her husband Ryan join in and then ACF’s Fellowship Leader and absolutely GENIUS musician J.R. Taylor and his cool wife Niki round out the adults and add to the fun by bringing their precious boys, Jag (2 1/2) and Blake (8 mo.). It’s a fantastic evening that they all look forward to each and every week. So, since my focus on this trip was not work but respite, I decided that my soul deserved an evening with this group. They’ve always treated me like family and welcomed me at every turn.
Not long after I arrived on Thursday, the discussions began about what we were going to cook for the PetiteAssembly. Discussions swirled around recipes and ideas…. and then we went for a drive through the Texas Wine Trail. The result was a car full of amazing Texas wines and a big bag of delicious Stonewall Peaches. Big Red Free Stones, if I remember correctly. I thought it would be a great idea to make a peach cobbler. Then, at one of the vineyards, we ran into a couple of purveyors buying wine for a restaurant in Fort Worth. They began talking about the sparkling wine we were sipping and how amazing it was with barbecue. Suddenly, we had a plan. Barbecued ribs and peach cobbler. The meal was taking on a very down home flavor. Then Ronne says, “I have this amazing dip that I learned to make in girl scouts!” When I heard the ingredients, I laughed and yet knew that they would be delicious. It was decided. We’d have this “White Trash Dip” as an appetizer. I couldn’t wait. As many of you know, I love down and dirty road food. One of the biggest stereotypes that I hate is that I’m “above” any type of food. I’ll try anything and find beauty even in the most simple of recipes. I don’t make elaborate meals every night. Taco Kits are a standard at my house. Sure, the gourmet stuff is fun occasionally but life would be dull without the “other stuff” that’s embedded in our culture.
So Sunday came and we began to cook. Ronne made the White Trash Dip and I decided that it was definitely worth sharing. Just breathe. It’s not so hard. You can do it. I promise.
White Trash Dip
1 can Cambell’s Bean and Bacon Soup
1 16 oz. container Sour Cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 packet taco seasoning
Combine all ingredients, stir. Put into baking dish, sprinkle with cheese and bake (or microwave for that matter) until warm. Serve with chips.
Amazing. And for added effect, we served it with a frozen rose. Yes, that’s right. Not found on the gorgeous Texas Wine Trail but in the HEB wine department. It was the perfect accompaniment.