Culinary Cardinals: Red Schoendienst’s Favorite Stew

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. 

0043000228020_CL_version_type_largeThe 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.


IMG_3481Unfortunately, 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!





Game Haiku – 8/23/16 – Mets 7, Cards 4

Mets pound Jaime. Niese
exits quick. Cards waste chances
to score off bullpen.

Game Haiku – 8/21/16 – Cards 9, Phillies 0

On a wet day, Cards
rain down homers on Phils. Leake
throws well, bats two in.

Game Haiku – 8/20/16 – Phillies 4, Cards 2

Hellickson outduels
Weaver, but it’s still a strong
start for our rookie.

Game Haiku – 8/19/16 – Cards 4, Phillies 3

Gyorko’s two-run blast
ties game in ninth. Grichuk wins
it in eleventh!

Game Haiku – 8/17/16 – Cards 8, Astros 2

Martinez flirts with
no-hitter til sixth; Cards’ bats
give ample support.

Game Haiku – 8/16/16 – Cards 8, Astros 5

Gyorko’s three-run blast,
Reyes’ relief: Cards negate
Jaime’s dizzy start.

Culinary Cardinals: Tom Lawless’ Strawberry Pretzel Salad

IMG_3394I 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!

Game Haiku – 8/14/16 – Cards 6, Cubs 4

Bowman clears bases-
loaded-no-out jam, sparks jacks
from Piscotty, Moss!

Visiting Cooperstown, Part II: Parade of Legends

It was a thrill to see the Parade of Legends, featuring all the hall of famers who made the trip for Induction Weekend.  I snagged my spot about an hour before the parade started, and stood several rows back from the road. Everyone in front of me had brought chairs and staked out spots much earlier in the day, so I still had a great view as most of them remained seated for the parade.

The parade route goes from Doubleday Field to the Hall of Fame, traveling down Chestnut Street to Main Street.  The parade started right at 6:00 PM after the induction of broadcasters that took place at Doubleday Field at 4:30 PM.   There were 52 hall of famers in the parade, and they all rode in trucks provided by the local Ford dealership. Some had family members accompanying them.

I got photos and video of almost everyone in the parade – check out all my pics here.

Of course, I cheered the loudest for the Cardinals hall of famers who made the trip: Tony LaRussa, Bruce Sutter and Ozzie Smith.


Fans asked Ozzie to do a backflip but he indicated he didn’t have enough room in the back of the truck.

Other highlights included…

Whitey Ford led the parade.


Fans imitated Carlton Fisk’s famous gesticulations when he willed his home run to stay fair.  Fisk laughed.

Great ovations came for this year’s inductees: Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey, Jr.  Mets fans dominated the crowd as it wasn’t too bad of a journey to get from Queens to Cooperstown. But I was also impressed at how many Mariners fans made the trek.


Seeing Randy Johnson up close, I could really appreciate how tall and dominant he must have seemed on the mound.


Seeing Jim Palmer made me think of his old underwear ads.

I had an awesome time at the parade. It was really kind of overwhelming to see so many legends up close.  It was also neat to see the fans in the crowd showing their appreciation for all the hall of famers, disregarding team rivalries. Everyone was just celebrating baseball!


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