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Welcome to our blog...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dip into Summer !

Roll out those lazy, hazy days of summer, those days of pretzel, soda and . . . DIPS!

That’s right, dips! Summer certainly arrived in style over Memorial Day weekend at Big Bear Lake! Hundreds of visitors flocked to this mountain resort community for the holiday weekend, which marks the official launch of summer in Big Bear. They came from such desert hot spots as Las Vegas, Phoenix and Palm Springs, where temperatures are already in the 90-to-110-degree range, to enjoy our ideal 65-to-70-degree weather in Big Bear.

A big event in Big Bear every summer holiday weekend is the Peddler’s Market at the Elk’s Lodge. We were there with our Big Bear Country Store blue-and-white striped tent, peddling our Watkins wares to everyone who strolled by, enjoying the ideal weather and soft breezes off the lake. The tent is well known to locals who come by to see us every Tuesday morning at the weekly Big Bear Farmer’s Market. Visitors may not recognize the tent, but many of them are attracted to our Watkins banner, having grown up with the label in their parent’s kitchen cupboards or medicine cabinet.

The biggest hit as temperatures rise and everyone is thinking pool and patio parties are the wide variety of Watkins dips we invite everyone to taste when they stop at our booth. By far the most popular is the Blazin’ Cajun. It seems regular customers can’t get enough of the New Orleans taste that certainly lives up to its name.

Yet in vast contrast to this spicy concoction is the Mandarin Orange dip that has a way of cooling down the taste buds. Perfect for summer, many first-time tasters say it reminds them of the 50-50 bars they enjoyed as kids – part vanilla ice cream and part orange sherbet. While most of the dips we recommend be mixed with sour cream, Mandarin Orange tastes great with plain non-fat yogurt and is perfect for fruit salads. Imagine a bowl of orange slices, strawberries and blueberries blended together in the rich, cool Watkins dip mix! Yummy!

About that mixture. After following the label and adding three tablespoons of the Watkins dip powder to an eight-ounce cup of sour cream or yogurt, most customers (ourselves included) found it to be much too strong. Now, all samples are mixed with just one heaping tablespoon of the dip powder; the consensus is that we have found the perfect balance. You will get eight-to-ten one-cup servings of the dip out of every jar, depending on the coarseness of the dip granules. That works out to about a dollar a serving, which is much more economical than those individual packets you find in the store.

So feel free to provide a variety of these delicious dips to your family and friends the next time you invite them over for a dip in the pool or a tasty outdoor summer barbeque. One more thought. Many of the dips, such as the Garlic and Dill, make great rubs for grilled meats and fish!

We welcome you to visit http://www.bigbearcountrystore.com/ to order one or more of the 13 delicious dip varieties. You also will be able to view the entire Watkins catalog, as well the specials being offered this month.

If you are in the area, we hope you can stop by the Big Bear Farmer’s Market on Tuesday between 8:30 am and 1 pm where we have at least four of these dips to sample, plus other products to sample as well. To get there, just follow this MapQuest link that will take you to the corner of Big Bear Boulevard and Division Drive in Big Bear Lake.

In addition to meeting one or both of the Big Bear Country Store managers, you can meet Peggy Sue, the store’s lovable pooch. (She’s much cuter than us!) She also gets very jealous if we give any attention to other four-legged creatures. So before she pouts about featuring another dog on this blog, here’s her picture.