Sometimes The Memories Have Ridges

Over the last eight years of motherhood I’ve developed a pretty extensive mental list of things I want to pass down to our little guy. The list runs the gamut from the serious (love for God, love for people) to the silly (don’t talk during movies, avoid the salad bar at That Certain Restaurant at all costs).

This summer, for example, we’ve been paying extra attention to manners – holding the door open for people, looking someone in the eye and saying “nice to meet you” – and we’ve also been paying extra attention to the various sound effects you can make with a mouth full of Pop Rocks as well as the fine art of enjoying The Andy Griffith Show. It’s important for a child to understand his heritage, you know?

A few days ago I was running some errands, trying to figure out if an impromptu stop at Home Goods was worth it considering that it’s approximately 463 degrees in most parking lots right now. I decided to give it a go, and while I don’t really know what series of mental gymnastics my brain executed at that moment, I do know that as I turned into my parking space I remembered – for the first time in a sweet forever – how much I used to love Ruffles potato chips and French onion dip when I was a kid.

And if you’re wondering what in the sam hill Home Goods has to do with French onion dip, THAT MAKES TWO OF US.

Anyway, I spent a substantial portion of my Home Goods trip thinking about THE BEST SNACK EVER, and it occurred to me that our little guy had never tried the Ruffles / French onion dip combo. I knew way deep down in my dip-clogged heart that I needed to remedy that situation ASAP.

I mean, it’s the Southern appetizer of the 70s, after all. Children need to know these things.

After Home Goods I ran over to the Walmart to pick up some groceries, and BY DIGGITY I made sure to get a bag of original Ruffles as well as a container of Barber’s Party Dip. When I was growing up we bought Borden’s French Onion dip – I can picture the writing on the label just as clear as day – but Barber’s is the brand we have here in Alabama. AND IT IS TASTY.

Later that afternoon I called Alex to the kitchen.

“Buddy,” I said, “this was my FAVORITE snack when I was your age. And I thought you might like it, too.”

I opened the Ruffles, opened the dip, and then I handed him a chip.

“Go ahead!” I urged. “Try it!”

Granted, I was a smidge overenthusiastic, but it was an exciting moment, people.

He took a bite, and his nose crinkled a little. He started shaking his head back and forth, but then he stopped, like he needed to think. I leaned forward just a tiny bit, anticipating what his response would be. He stared off into space for a few seconds, and then he looked my way and said, “Um. It’s okay.”


Motherhood can be grueling, y’all.

I could tell that the combo wasn’t his favorite, but he was trying to be a good sport. So I grinned and said, “Do you want to take another bite? Want to try it again?”

The little man’s eyes lit up, and he said, “I know! You get a chip and some dip – and let’s take a bite at the same time. It’ll be a memory!”

So we did.

And do you know what?

It was.

What’s something fun from your childhood that you’ve shared with your young’uns lately?

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  1. I LOVE ruffles and French onion dip, I have eaten entire cartons on more than one occasion! Lately I’ve been sharing my love for watermelon sprinkled with salt, takes me back! My boys love it too!

  2. Ruffles and French onion dip were one of our staples, too. My boys wouldn’t touch anything onion with a 10 foot pole. Oh, but I’ve got a story. Recently I was minding my own business walking downt he chip aisle in Food Lion when all of a sudden a bag caught my eye. It was the retro bag of Taco flavored Doritos from the 60’s-70’s. Have you seen it? When Doritos came out with their Taco flavor my mama would buy a bag everytime we went to the store for anything. I snatched up that bag, brought it home and gave my boys a sample. They loved them. Then I called my mama and told her she had to get to FL ASAP for her favorite snack in the world.
    Now if only I could find a box of Munchos…

  3. Ruffles and French Onion dip aren’t just a Southern combo – we ate plenty of it when I was growing up in Rhode Island. It was the snack du jour at parties and get togethers, but not at Sunday dinner at Grandma’s. It didn’t quite go with the gallons of spaghetti sauce and pounds of ziti. Now you have me wanting some. I may need to snag some next time I’m at the market.

  4. We loved Fritos with our french onion dip….but we always had “semi-homemade” dip with sour cream and the Lipton onion mix… yummy, yummy! We spent this weekend at the lake and my mom still made us french onion dip to enjoy…and then she said “I didn’t bring any fritos…” and my sister and I (both in our twenties, married with babies) said in unison ” What’s the matter with you?! You can’t eat french onion dip without fritos!” My daughter also loves chips and dip of any assortment which she definitely gets from my side of the family and our many, many, many years of eating chips and dip for any casual get-together… and maybe a few too many trips to the Mexican restaraunt in her lifetime!

    • I have at this very moment a container of onion dip made with sour cream and onion soup mix in my refrigerator. I made a double batch for the fourth so there would be plenty of leftovers for me this week. And I love the Ruffles and Fritos equally with the dip.

      • Canadian Cathy says:

        I forgot about onion soup mix and sour cream! I am Canadian so we ate it with Old Dutch Ripple Potatoe chips. Sweet memories . . . The big one I share with my kids a couple times a year is root beer floats.

  5. My little girl is hooked on the movie, Annie!!! It was my favorite when I was little & at night before bed this past week, we sing songs from the movie that we’ve both memorized!!
    I love it!

  6. nlynch says:

    Leave it to Beaver is a favorite at our house!
    Also, Ruffles/A1 sauce is weird, but delish!

  7. My little one is eight months, so I know she won’t remember, but I want to remember how she is learning to give kisses. You know, the slobbery wide mouth kind that would make you cringe if it wasn’t your baby. There is just something about that unadulterated sweetness babes have and I just want to soak it all up. They change too stinking fast for my taste sometimes.

  8. Personally, I’m with you. I love chips and onion dip. But my kids? No way. They also don’t eat mayo or butter or anything good for them. Ugh. It’s so frustrating. I guess our kids have different taste buds. I just don’t get it.

  9. My grandparents had a peach orchard, so we ate peaches every day throughout the summer. Peaches over ice cream was my favorite dessert. When we were at the grocery store yesterday, I bought some peaches and vanilla ice cream and I couldn’t wait for the boys to try it. The older one took a bite and said the peaches were kind of tangy and then took them off his ice cream. The younger one wouldn’t come near the dessert because he hasn’t learned to embrace ice cream as his friend. So the whole passing down the love of fresh peaches and ice cream flopped.

  10. I’m taking my pregnant self down stairs to make a special snack consisting of chips and dip right now at 9:15 in the morning! You have raised such a fine and guienly kind, thoughtful son!! I’d love some parenting 101 posts!!

  11. Love Ruffles and onion dip…we grew up eating Mayfield’s French Onion dip and to me, it’s still the best!

    I don’t know about sharing the love of something I loved when I was little but my daughter loves – as do I -the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. She will tolerate my love for Gone With the Wind. She does NOT like peanut butter jelly sandwiches with sour cream and onion chips (or the the above mentioned Ruffles with French onion dip). Nor has she ever tried peanut butter sandwiches with dill pickles on them.

  12. The 8 yr old girl has recently been bitten by the Bieber Bug. I thought we were somehow in the clear, but she fell. She fell hard. So we spent a good half hour the other day looking up the songs of my youth on youtube. New Kids on the Block. MC Hammer. It was good times.

  13. I ADORE that he said if you take a bite together you’ll make a memory. Sweet stuff! I have passed down the love of ice cream to the young’uns. Since they were small we go to our summer only small frozen custard stand. They are their mama’s children! We love our custard.

  14. My two sweeties and I ate some chips and french onion dip yesterday – good stuff. Stella has not quite figured out proper dip manners – she just chunks a chip or two in the container, and fishes her little fingers around until she finds it. Bless her.
    I have a friend who was over one day, and I offered her some chips and f.o. dip – she smiled and told me how that was her family’s special Christmas Eve treat. She was from a not-so-wealthy family, and that was a splurge for them. It really made me thankful for all that my parents did for us . I know those snacks we ALWAYS had at our house – moon pies, kool-aid, ice cream, and chips – might not have been good for us, but I have so many memories of sharing them with my family.

  15. Lord, my kids wouldn’t know what to do if we didn’t have chips and dip in this house. Both girls love it as much as I do. Their daddy, though, never embraced this wonderful snack so we hoard it all for ourselves. My oldest daughter started calling French onion dip “stinky dip” while in preschool and the name stuck. We all call it stinky dip, which can be really funny when people at the store hear my girls asking if we can “please please have some yummy stinky dip.” My favorite snack of all time is Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies. My 7-year-old loves them as much as I do, but my 3-year-old prefers Cosmic Brownies. Daddy is a big fan of Debbie’s Nutter Butter bars.

  16. Oh, how I crave the Hiland Dairy French onion dip of my youth! My sister and I still request it when we are home. Love this story!

  17. Okay, that is so precious that he suggested the 2 of you take the bite at the same time and make a memory! Now THAT is awesome. :)
    I grew up in a house of the no-junk-food variety, yet we always seemed to have the following forms of “junk” food: Tab and the twin pack of Jay’s Chips (came in the big box) and Dean’s French Onion Dip! (And I remember it being preferable to consume the Tab with the chips & dip.) And we were Northerners. I think it may have been a nationwide thrill. And then at cookouts, BBQs, and assorted other gatherings, people would get real over-the-top and make their own HOMEMADE French Onion Dip with the packet of powdered soup + sour cream. And all of it was SO delish. :) Ahh, thank you for the trip down memory lane, Sophie. Made me smile. :)

  18. OH Amanda.

    There are currently six 6-packs of TAB in my pantry. My addiction to the stuff is well documented. My Dad was diabetic when I was growing up back in the day, and we always had TAB (in the glass bottle, of course) and Fresca in the fridge.
    Personally, I believe EVERYTHING tastes better with TAB. I am enjoying some right now.

    • Oh. but as hard as I tried, I could never get my boys to enjoy the TAB taste. I believe they used to describe it as tasting “somewhat like motor oil.”

    • Kathy V. says:

      Tab, Tab Cola: what a beautiful drink! Tab, Tab Cola: for beautiful people! Tab, Tab Cola: you’re beautiful to me! Real cola taste, just one calorie, Tab! :D sorry, couldn’t resist :)

  19. The quintessential spend-the-night-company snack when I was little! We don’t eat it much now, either! But now and again, it is just good!!

    I would love to find Chiclets gum for my kids! We were just talking about it this weekend! No luck yet.

    • Destiny says:


      Check your local Cracker Barrel. Mine carried Chilets gum the last time I was there.

    • Or – they have a great retro candy selection; I just bought five pounds of atomic fireballs. The people I work with love them. And the fact that they never know what kind of candy I’ll have stocked in the candy jar :)

  20. Terrie Cash says:

    In case I haven’t told you recently, I love your blog!

    I posted a few weeks ago I posted how my daughter and I are watching every episode of the Walton’s. As she is following in love with the Walton’s, I am reminiscing about the good ol days of the 70’s.

    One treat growing up was getting a cold Coke Cola from the bottle machine and a small bag of peanuts and pouring peanuts in the Coke. Any one else out there know what I am talking about? A year or two ago, I paid a pretty price for three bottles of Coke and bags of peanuts. Pour the peanuts in the Cokes all the while my teen children thought I had lost my mind. My two so called southern children thought my childhood treat was disgusting. I am beginning to think there may just be some northern roots in my and my husband’s past somewhere. I got three ice Cokes with peanuts that day. Good times.

  21. My mom just reminded me this weekend that we used to eat ruffles with clam dip! I don’t think anyone makes it anymore, and I’m too lazy to make a homemade version. Good times.

  22. Marcia says:

    One of my favorite things to do was combine a small bag of Lays potato chips and Fritos. mmmmm good. I’ve always been a salty snack sort of person and my 27 year old son is the same way. Also, love me the salty peanuts in coke that is in a bottle, not can.
    Love your blog. You always crack me up. Greatly enjoy the Boo Cast.

  23. Oh, I forgot about chips and dip. (this was THE snack long before chips and salsa) We used to make our own with onion soup mix and sour cream. YUM!

    Heading to the grocery. Hungry for a bit of my childhood!

  24. JustBetty says:

    I’ve seriously got to quit Bursting Into Tears and holding my heart when I read your blog. People are going to think I have a ‘condition’.

  25. Anne N. says:

    I was always thrilled when my mom would share her TAB with me (in the 1970’s). I bought one recently, but my daughter just was not interested. However, I have been able to share my 1980’s-era movies with her. Not too long ago, we watched “Can’t Buy Me Love” with Patrick Dempsey!

  26. This is one of my FAVORITE. SNACKS. EVER.

  27. Jennifer says:

    During the 5th-7th grade time, my favorite afternoon snack were Ruffles with Rotel cheese dip along with a nice cold Shirley Temple. My good friend’s mom ordered those for us on an overnight field trip to Gulfport and we thought we were ever so sophisticated.

  28. Lori A. says:

    YUM!! Very cute story. I tried sharing something we used to make as kids with my daughter when she was a little younger. We would get a can of biscuits and pull a hole in the middle and then fry them up as donuts. Then we would dip them in a sugar/cinnamon mixture for the topping. Sometimes we’d top them with melted chocolate…but we liked the cinnamon better. I was so excited to make them and share it with her…she was not impressed and actually even said she didn’t like them. I was so disappointed. But now I have my son that I can try it out on. I bet he’ll like them. :)

  29. Oh, there is NOTHING like “homemade” French onion dip – sour cream (MUST be Daisy brand!) and Lipton onion soup mix! I made a triple batch for the 4th of July!
    The thing I’ve been sharing with my children are my favorite books from my childhood. The Indian in the Cupboard, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Paddington…the list goes on and on!

  30. Yes. My boys had the same reaction to the chip / dip thing. I was in shock. SHOCK.

    I bought some Weight Watchers chocolate fudge bars the other day because I had such a HANKERIN’ for Jello Pudding Pops, and those looked close enough to fit the bill. I never buy WW stuff, sorry world, but those fudge bars? Are only 45 calories each, 1 gm of fat, and they ROCK. It’s this summer’s favorite treat for me. [Well, and the little tubs of Graeter’s ice cream I can get at my store now. And the Private Selection chocolate ganache ice cream too.]

  31. Destiny says:

    This memory of yours makes me all kinds of happy.

    I would take having an experience over getting a gift every time. Experience memories are almost always better for me!

    My husband and I moved to GA from NH when our son was the critical age of ten, so we tried to incorprate all sort of “home” traditions so he wouldn’t forget where he came from. For example, on holidays, we always drink from our little, clear, glass NH mugs. (Shot size.) We are also big on doing “cheers” whenever we eat together. After we say grace, it’s a little family blessing — “cheers!” Oh, and at our house, Welch’s grape bubbly isn’t just for New Years. My boy likes to have it for all major holidays, so we do.

  32. I love Rrrrrruffles with rrrrrridges and french onion dip! Our daughters love it too. My boss recently gave our daughters the complete DVD series of I Dream of Jeannie. Great memories! We had an I Dream of Jeannie marathon this past week. All of us are humming the tune.

  33. I can’t believe your little guy had NEVER had ruffles with dip! I just went to a party and had to walk away from the chips and dip… lest I make a fool of myself and eat the whole bowl!

    He-man! That’s what I’ve shared with my boys lately. I named my cabbage patch kid doll Princess Teela because I was such a fan as a kid. And now, it’s on Netflix! Yay! My boys go outside and raise brooms above their heads shouting, “By the power of grayskull…” It’s good times. I never noticed how little clothing everyone wears in that cartoon, though. Everyone runs around in undies! Strange.

  34. We live in ms now so my kids noticed all the signs for the Choctaw Indian fair. I started to tell them that every year we would travel to the fair to hear Billy thundercloud! He was an Indian Elvis! The rest of the night we listened to old recordings of Billy. It was so much fun. I had not thought about Billy thundercloud in years.

    • Hi Gwen: I live here in Choctaw, MS. Just today, I caught myself thinking about BIlly Thundercloud and the Chieftones, while talking to my co-worker about “back in the days.” What did ever happen to Billy Thundercloud and the Chieftones anyway? They are the one’s I grew up listening to as well during the Choctaw Indian Fair. Hope to hear from you soon.
      Andrew (

  35. This post left me colored 23 shades of happy!! Priceless!! Currently, I’m basking in the love of Hello Kitty and have told my little Sophie nearly 342 times, “you know, I loved Hello Kitty when I was little.” Her Barbie Townhouse is my fav-or-ite Christmas gift. The memory of playing with my 70’s version Town House just make me so happy.

    While those memories seem to warm Sophie {at least I’d like to think they do}, the memories of my 80’s blue lame’ prom dress just don’t seem to light up my 18 and 21 year olds. Funny, huh? ;)

    The food–well, PB&J has always been in my life and evermore shall be AMEN! But that fried bologna we ate–BLEH with a capital BLEH!!! It was just wrong. Although I didn’t realize how wrong when I was a kid.

  36. Lisa Smith above – every.single.time. I go in the ice cream section of the grocery store, I say “man, I wish they still made Jello Pudding Pops!” The chocolate/vanilla swirl were the best ones! Why did they quit making them???

    Anyway, topic: Both of my teens know all the words to Bohemian Rhapsody. Also, most of the words to the songs in Grease (used to be my favorite movie, until one summer they ruined it for me by watching it about 30 times in a row over the course of about 2 weeks.)

  37. Meredith says:

    My two-year-old, Henry, adores Sesame Street. I know that in itself is no big deal, but I am a huge fan from way back. My mom says SS taught me to read at 3 years old. It was also my first experience with death (Mr. Hooper) and lots of other things. My heart sings over the fact Henry loves SS too!

  38. Must be something in the air. I just bought ridge potato chips and French onion dip on Monday at the store. Yum!!

  39. Brenda says:

    You should’ve started your little man earlier on the chips and dip. When my son was a toddler and tried French Onion Dip, he said, “This is GOOD ice cream!” Ha!Ha! To my dismay, my boys do not care for salt sprinkled on watermelon, peanuts in a bottle of coke, peanut butter on apples, or pork rinds. They have, however, absorbed the music of my youth including the Jackson Five, CCR, and others from the 60’s and 70’s – and that makes my heart SO happy!

  40. Southern Sue says:

    Well, it’s not so much what we ate, but how, that got me reminiscing. A few weeks ago, my 3-year-old and I went out in the backyard so she could play in the kiddie pool (like I did when I was little, with my dad), and I could catch some rays. When we got back in, we were both a little soggy, and I didn’t want her sitting on the furniture to have her snack. So, I put beach towels down in the living room, and we ate our snack there as we watched the Smurfs (one of my childhood favs). It brought back memories of eating in the floor watching TV when I used to stay at my grandparents’ houses. I remember feeling like I was 10 feet tall and bulletproof when I got to snack in the floor. (Only big kids were trusted with that awesome responsibility.) And, I felt that way again, cuddling up to my soggy critter, eating Goldfish in front of the TV.

  41. I ate onion and sour cream chips earlier today, lol! Good time, thanks for the memories!

  42. I bought this for the fourth. Hadn’t had it in years and it was so tasty! We have hiland and it’s the same brand we had when I was little.

  43. Oh I grew up in Wisconsin, and we ate Ruffles and French onion dip
    too! And now you have me craving some…at 11:15 pm…in Rome where I am on vacation and imagine I will not find Ruffles and French onion dip. My two year old did find a bag of ridged chips here the other day that we have all been enjoying – when we get home, I’ll have to see if she likes dip with them:). She has a huge fondness for crackers and hummus so I may as well introduce her to the wonders that are the unhealthy version of that snack;)

    I am big into introducing her to the toys of my youth like Legos (my husband and her do Legos almost every night together:), Lincoln Logs and Fisher Price toys. I just bought her one of those little penguin escalator toys because I always thought they were the coolest thing and never had one:). And for her third birthday in August she is getting a Playmobil set that features all her favorite animals and indulges my unfulfilled childhood desire to have a Playmobil set:)

    • Please forgive my awful grammar “husband and her” – good God, what has happened to me?! “Husband and she” – much better:)

  44. Oh, wow!! Ruffles and French Onion dip were our Go-To snack when I was growing up in Chicago! So pleased to know others love it, too!! I still run and get some when I’m feeling nostalgic, ha ha! Sadly, the next generation is missing out on this fine snack combination. But I have hopes for the next one!