Indeed, ranch dressing was invented at Hidden Valley Ranch near Santa Barbara, California, by a real salad-wranglin’ rancher. In the '50s and '60s Steve Henson and his wife, Gayle, shared their 120-acre dude ranch with University of California at Santa Barbara students and other festive partiers for rousing weekend shindigs. The dozens of guests were serve meals of steaks and salads topped with Steve’s special blend of herbs, spices, mayonnaise and buttermilk. As word got out about the fabulous dressing more guests were showing up at the ranch and walking home with complimentary take-home jars filled with the stuff. Eventually Steve figured he could make a little cash on the side by packaging the dressing as a dry mix and selling it through the mail. At first he was filling envelopes himself, but within a few months Steve had to hire 12 more people to help with the packaging. Soon Steve had a multi-million dollar business on his hands, from a product that for 10 years he had been giving away for free.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon MSG (Accent brand is good)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
pinch dried thyme
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Cover and chill for several hours before using.