Siply Food: Artichoke and Crab Dip

You may think that going on a three-week vacation is a luxury. It is also a test of patience and sanity. Taking long road trips and living out of a suitcase in different hotel rooms with teenagers and a sometimes short-tempered husband doesn’t feel luxurious. Also, it’s difficult to stay within a budget. We have had some ridiculous arguments. One such argument, which lasted two days, had to do with crab dip. Yes, you read that right, crab dip.

It all started when we went over our budget every single day in New Orleans. Not only is New Orleans an expensive town, but also it was Father’s Day and my daughter, Daphne’s, birthday. So, I wanted to do a lot of special things. My idea of splurging often revolves around food and drink. We ate sushi for Daphne’s birthday and seafood for Father’s Day. Each day, I had to go back to the bank balance and readjust our budget accordingly.

By the time we arrived in Florida, Claud was sick of spending too much money. We spent our first night eating dinner at the restaurant next door to our hotel. We decided that we would order inexpensive meals to try to get back on track. Well, the first thing I saw on the menu was spicy crab dip with jalapeo peppers. I really wanted to try that. I didn’t want to have it for dinner. I wanted to have it as an appetizer and then order my dinner and a glass of wine too. I knew this wasn’t the plan. Yet, I pushed for it anyway. I can be a big fat baby sometimes. When I mentioned the crab dip to Claud and asked if he would share it as an appetizer, he suggested he order the steak dinner, the most expensive meal on the menu. I said, “Sure”, thinking he was serious. He wasn’t. Instead, he was making a point about how ridiculous I was behaving.

Once I realized what he was saying, my feelings were hurt and I ordered some silly side salad to make him feel bad. I told you, I have my moments of complete immaturity. This was one of those situations. The “crab dip incident” (as we now call it) ruined the meal for the whole family. I am not proud of myself. The next day, we had several discussions about it. I apologized but it kept coming up. Eventually, I was forgiven.

Since that night, crab dip appears on every menu. We all joke about it every day we see it. Whichever one of us sees it first, says to the rest of the family that they really want to have the crab dip. We all laugh about it now. We are on the last leg of our journey. In two days, we will fly home. We are spending our last week in Atlanta, in a hotel with a little kitchen. I thought it would be a good idea to try to make something here. I announced to the family that I was running to the store to get what I need to make the meal for my article. Claud asked what I was making. I told him, “I’m making crab dip.” Everybody laughed. I went to the store to get what I needed. I am pretty sure, this cost me more than the appetizer costs at most restaurants. I didn’t tell him that. Shhh. I ended up using jumbo lump crab and fancy lump crab in a can to cut down on the cost.

Ella, my stepdaughter, flew in a couple of days ago. She cannot handle anything spicy. When I say anything, this includes black pepper. I didn’t even know that was considered spicy. Instead of adding jalapenos, I have decided to make it with artichoke hearts to make sure she eats it too. When I came home from the store with all of my ingredients, I realized that this kitchen doesn’t have an oven or a stovetop. Oops. I had to improvise with the microwave oven. Then, I saw that there were no large bowls. I had to use three small bowls. Using three small bowls ended up being a huge pain so I found a pot and used this as a large bowl. That worked out fine. I poured the dip into a bowl made out of a French bread loaf and set some lemon wedges on the side. I made enough dip to fill this bowl twice, which turned out to be the perfect amount for the family. Everyone loved it. Who doesn’t love crab and cheese?

My dishes while on this trip have been extremely fattening. I am so sorry for this. I am also sorry for myself because I am certain that I will discover upon my arrival back home that I have gained some weight on this journey. The food in the South is really cheesy and fried. It’s all so delicious but I couldn’t go on eating like this forever. When I get home, I am going to get back on track and start showing you some healthy meals again. I promise. I have to or I won’t be able to fit into my jeans anymore, let alone my bathing suit.

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