Carp’s leadoff homer
sets the tone. CMart gives up
one run; Cards score eight.
Coke salad is a popular dish at church potlucks and BBQs. Mary Lou Herzog contributed seven recipes to “Cooking with the Cardinals,” so expect some future blog posts about “Slush Mixture” (a frozen cocktail) and “Green Lima Beans with Celery and Cheese Sauce” (did we ever eat veggies in the 80s without drizzling cheese on top of them?). Mary Lou ties for the lead with most recipes in the book, along with the wives of Bob Forsch and Brian Harper. I wonder if the wives were competitive about this.
You do have to wonder why these dishes are called “salads.” This one is so sweet that it’s really better as a dessert.
Here’s the recipe:
1 large pkg cherry Jell-O
1 can (#2) pineapple tidbits
1 can (#2) bing cherries and juice
14 oz warm Coke
1 cup walnut pieces
Drain juice from fruits (2 cups) into pan and bring to boil. Pour over Jell-O in bowl; stir until Jell-O is dissolved. Add Coke, then pineapple, cherries, and nuts. Refrigerate.
“Can be topped with Cool Whip. Very good with Mexican food.”
I had no idea what “#2 can” meant, so I googled it. Apparently, cans used to be commonly numbered, and a #2 can held 16 oz. The recipe is simple, and the Jell-O mixture takes on a frothiness once you add the Coke. The only problem I had with this recipe is that it took forever for the gelatin to solidify. I chilled it five hours, and it was still not totally set when I unmolded it. It was sort of a leaning tower of Jell-O. It tasted much better the next day when it was fully set.
I’ve made Coke Salad before, according to a recipe of a friend’s mom, and that recipe contains no pineapple and instead contains cream cheese. It also uses hot water, not the fruit juice from the cans. No offense to Mary Lou, but I prefer my old version because of the consistency and because it’s not sickeningly sweet. You can find many variations of this recipe online.
Whitey and Mary Lou have been married 63 years! Here’s their pic in the cookbook, circa 1985.
Here’s Whitey and Mary Lou in the parade for his Hall of Fame induction in 2010.
When she wasn’t cooking, Mary Lou sometimes cleaned windows – but these are the only windows she would clean!
Mary Schoendienst shared a few recipes in “Cooking with the Cardinals,” and last night I made her beef stew recipe, which is described in the book as “Red’s Favorite Stew.” It was a big hit! My boyfriend went for seconds and thirds. The dogs were salivating for hours over the smell while it was cooking. I’m not really a big beef stew fan, but I did enjoy it.
Here’s the recipe.
3 lbs beef stew meat, cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 red onions, sliced
6-8 ribs celery, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 1/2 tbs sugar
3 tbs tapioca
2 cans (16 oz each) stewed tomatoes and 1 can water
1/2 cup red wine
Pepper and Accent to taste
Brown meat and place in bottom of deep casserole. Layer sliced onions, celery, and carrots on top of meat. Mix together sugar, tapioca, tomatoes, wine, pepper and Accent. Pour tomato mixture over meat and vegetables. Cover and bake for 4 hours at 300 degrees. Stir every hour. Serve over rice or buttered poppy seed noodles. Serves 6-8.
The only trick of this recipe was finding tapioca. I had to ask four staff members at Ralph’s before one of them consulted the longest-tenured cashier who directed him to it (next to the Jell-O pudding version of tapioca). I’ve never cooked with tapioca before but it comes in powdery crystal form and functions to thicken the sauce for this stew. Now I have a box of the stuff, since I only needed three tablespoons for this recipe. I guess there’s some pudding in my future.
Mary didn’t specify how big the casserole dish needed to be, and 9 x 13 is the biggest dish I had. After the stew was cooking for an hour, it started to bubble over and spill onto the bottom of the oven. When I opened the oven, a lot of smoke came out, and the smoke detector went off. I recovered from this setback by opening the windows and then transferring half of the stew into a smaller casserole dish.
Four hours is a long time to wait for dinner, but it was worth it. I imagine one could also prepare this stew in a crock pot and leave it cooking on low all day. The meat was very tender, and the sauce was rich. I’m pretty sure Red enjoyed this stew on a winter day in the offseason, because I certainly wouldn’t have had the energy to play or coach right after eating it.
Unfortunately, Mary passed away in 1999. Mary and Red were married for 48 years and had four children. Red visited Cardinals Spring Training this year even though he is 93 years old now. As a player, manager or coach, Red has worn a major league uniform for 71 seasons! Longevity powered by beef stew!
Mets pound Jaime. Niese
exits quick. Cards waste chances
to score off bullpen.
On a wet day, Cards
rain down homers on Phils. Leake
throws well, bats two in.
Weaver, but it’s still a strong
start for our rookie.
Gyorko’s two-run blast
ties game in ninth. Grichuk wins
it in eleventh!
Martinez flirts with
no-hitter til sixth; Cards’ bats
give ample support.
Gyorko’s three-run blast,
Reyes’ relief: Cards negate
Jaime’s dizzy start.
I am going to occasionally feature my cooking experiments with recipes from Cooking with the Cardinals – a cookbook from 1985 chock full of recipes by the Cardinals and their wives. Luminaries in the book include Whitey Herzog, Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee, Bob Forsch, Darrel Porter, and Jack Clark.
While not the most famous Cardinal of the era, Tom Lawless did contribute one of the best recipes in the book: the iconic Strawberry Pretzel Salad. This recipe had been in my mom’s recipe box for many years, and it’s a dish I’ve made quite a few times over the years and enjoyed at many Midwestern gatherings.
I served this at a BBQ yesterday. Guests were skeptical, but they couldn’t help but be bewitched by the sweet/savory combo of the pretzel crust, the cream cheese, Cool Whip, and strawberry jello. Oh, and lots of sugar. Even Jell-O haters are converted by this recipe, I promise ya.
Here’s the recipe, as written by Tom’s wife Cheryl.
2 2/3 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup margarine, melted
3 tbs sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese
1 8 0z pkg Cool Whip
2 pkgs (3 oz each) strawberry jello
2 cups boiling water
1 pint frozen strawberries, with juice
Mix pretzels, margarine and 3 tbs sugar. Press on sides and bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Bake 10 mins at 350 degrees. Cool. Cream 3/4 cup sugar with cream cheese; add Cool Whip and mix thoroughly. Spread on top of cooled pretzel crust. Dissolve jello in boiling water. Cool. Add strawberries and juice. Pour on top of cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until set.
Tom Lawless is most famous for being the only player traded for Pete Rose. Cardinals fans will never forget his game-winning home run in the 1987 World Series Game 4, which was pretty amazing especially when you consider he only hit two regular season home runs in his entire career (1982-1990). Check out the bat flip!
Tom has gone on to manage minor league teams and served as the Astros interim manager in September 2014 after Bo Porter was fired. He even coached the Chinese national team for three seasons! Based on this news story from January, it looks like Tom and Cheryl are still married, and Tom is looking for work. With all the sugar, Cool Whip, and cream cheese in this recipe, I’m guessing Cheryl made it during the off-season, or Tom would have never been good at running the bases.
If you like Jell-O, check out my old blog: Julie and Jell-O. About five years ago, I was inspired by Julie and Julia and decided to cook my way through a 1970s Jell-O cookbook. Eventually, I gave up – too many molds involved canned salmon, eggs, ham, and other savory items. Jell-O should only be sweet!