Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
In the late 50s and early 60s, Steve and Gayle Henson's dude ranch was favored by weekend visitors who wanted to enjoy the natural surroundings.
The ranch menu often included salad with a dressing created by Steve from a dry mix of herbs and spices, mayonnaise and buttermilk. The dressing was so popular it soon became the only dressing served.
When a visitor asked for a batch to take back to Hawaii for a large party he was throwing, Henson knew he was on to something big. A few days later, the guest called wanting more. Everyone had gone wild over it.
In one of my cookbook hauls at the Planned Parenthood booksale, I found a recipe in "Welcome Aboard - Santa Barbara Yacht Club Cookbook for the 90's" that claims to be the "original" Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing. Try it and see what you think!
...One day, he went down to the nearby Cold Spring Tavern, a popular local hang out, and barged into the kitchen to mix up some of his secret concoction.
He came out with a little white bowl, handed Audrey Ovington the owner, a spoon and asked her to taste it.
She said, “It took off in my mouth like a freight train.” She immediately put it on the menu.
...Steve Henson copyrighted the Hidden Valley name, but never got around to protecting the word “ranch”. You can find Ranch dressing at almost every salad bar next to the French, Italian and Thousand Island but not necessarily made by Hidden Valley. - Free Enterprise Land
Original Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
1 quart mayonnaise
1 quart buttermilk
1 rounded teaspoon Accent
1 rounded teaspoon celery salt (or powder)
1 rounded teaspoon onion salt 9or powder)
1 rounded teaspoon garlic salt (or powder)
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
Mix all ingredients.
(To reduce quantity, mix equal parts mayonnaise and buttermilk and add seasonings to taste.)