Jibble Bowl 2013 – Snack Holiday!

I wouldn’t say the Jibbles household is that big into sports (we had to Google what teams were playing) but we are into parties that are largely focused on party foods.  I call these Snack Holidays.  I haven’t been to a Super Bowl party in a long time, but this year we’re participating a local business we like.  It’s a good excuse to bring out my favorite Southern delicacy, Ro-tel Cheese Dip.

We always called it Ro-tel, or Rotel in Mississippi, even if you don’t use that particular brand of chilies (perish the thought!). Just like all sodas were Coke (even Pepsi).  It’s a simple treat: get a block of Velveeta cheese* and a small can of Ro-tel chilies.  Depending on how thick you want the dip, either drain or retain the chili water.  I was a picky child, so I drained the chilies and blended them a little to get rid of chunks.  Cut the cheese into small pieces** and put it in the microwave with the chilies. Heat on high for 5-7 minutes, stirring every now and then.

Now, folks from the old days would say to put a splash of milk in to thin the dip, but the strange chemistry of Velveeta has changed sometime in the last decade and the addition of natural foods makes it curdle somewhat.  If this fact stops you dead in your tracks, you may not be from Mississippi.

But try some of the dip if it’s brought to your party– it’s the polite thing to do!

Once you’ve got a uniformly melted, delicious dip, keep it melty in a crockpot and eat it with your favorite chips.  Our family preferred Lay’s potato chips, non-Ruffled, but some may find dipping out hot, thick cheese is hard with those thin chips***.  It is a delicate dance.  But you can eat them with burly Frito Scoops or tortilla chips, also.  Just keep your pinky up and people will know you’re still classy.

Some people put ground beef in their dip.  Please don’t do that– vegetarians want to eat horridly unhealthy things, too.

I used to prefer one dining hall at the University of Arkansas over another solely based on the fact that one cafeteria used nacho cheese in their dip while the other used Velveeta.  You’ve just got to draw the line somewhere.

*Definition is debatable.

**My family always used dental floss, but avoid if you’ve got the mint flavor.

***Extra “I don’t care who’s watching” point for tipping the leftover chip crumbs into your dip and eating it with a spoon.

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