La What Now?

Since the 1960s, baseball teams and players have been publishing cookbooks. I collect them and try out some of the recipes that major leaguers have shared with their fans over the years. Photos, recipes and comments included.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Oatmeal Carmelitas - Ron Kittle (Outfielder)


1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup (6-oz. package) semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts [I used pecans]
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
3 tbs. flour

In larger mixer bowl, combine flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, soda, salt and melted butter.  Blend well at low speed to form crumbs.  Press half of crumbs into bottom of 11 x 7" pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with chocolate pieces and pecans.  Blend caramel topping with flour; pour caramel mixture back and forth over chocolate and pecans to cover.  Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.  Continue baking for 15-20 minutes until brown.  Chill 1 hour and cut into bars.

There is no more appropriate player to highlight today than Ron Kittle, who was the sole White Sox representative at the 1983 All Star Game played at Comiskey Park in Chicago.

Kittle burst into the public eye during his spectacular 1983 season.  That year, he hit a club rookie record 35 home runs and 100 RBIs. 

Despite the fact that the All Star Game was being played on the southside that year, he was the only Sox player chosen.  As a late-game outfield replacement for Dave Winfield, Kittle went 1 for 2 and scored a run in the memorable 13-3 laugher won by the American League.

Kittle is best remembered for his booming home runs.  He hit a record seven of them over the roof of old Comiskey Park.  His playing career included brief stops with the Yankees, Indians and Orioles.  He returned to the White Sox and ended his career at New Comiskey Park in 1991.  In his 10-year career, his numbers were a .239 average, 176 home runs and 460 RBIs.

In 2005, he published Ron Kittle's Tales from the White Sox Dugout, a collection of memories and anecdotes from his playing days.  He also forged a business out of building baseball-themed benches, as seen on his popular website.

As for Kittle's contribution to the 1983 White Sox Cookbook, it couldn't be simpler or tastier.  I threw this recipe together last night and sampled the results this morning. 

Wow!  These oatmeal carmelitas come out golden brown on the outside, with a decadent layer of chocolate-pecan-caramel on the inside.  They'll be the perfect snack while watching the 2013 All Star Game tonight.

FINAL SCORE - Ron Kittle hits another homer with this decadent treat.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Taco Salad - Tom Paciorek (Infielder/Outfielder)


1 ripe avocado
1 onion
1 head lettuce
1-2 tomatoes
8 oz. or more cheddar cheese
1 can Mexican beans
1 small bag corn chips

Mix and top with zesty Italian dressing (small bottle) just before serving.

And here he is, the Wimperoo! 

Tom Paciorek spent only four of his 18 major league seasons as a member of the Chicago White Sox.  However his stint as a colour commentator for Sox broadcasts from 1988 to 1999 cemented his lasting popularity with fans everywhere.  That includes such far-flung places as Hamilton, Ontario.  There, as a youngster, I'd tune in to scrambled WGN broadcasts and listen to "Hawk and Wimpy" as they called Sox games in the early 90s.  In the era bridging newspapers and the internet, it was a thrill to watch games live, or at least listen to them.

Paciorek was already a seasoned veteran by the time he joined the White Sox in 1982.  His career began with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1970, and he also played in Atlanta and Seattle before being traded to Chicago for three players.

The highlight of his time on the southside was being part of the 1983 AL West Division champs and playing in the ALCS. 

And of course, he is remembered as the chipper, giggling sidekick to Hawk Harrelson on TV.  Once in a while, Paciorek returns to the broadcast booth and it's great to hear his voice again - only this time without the scrambled picture.

As for this recipe, it's so easy a monkey could do it.  Throw everything into a bowl, hit it with the dressing and enjoy.  I like it so much it was the first recipe from the 1983 White Sox cookbook that I made twice, and it's open to whatever additions you want to make.  The second time around, I included lime juice and cilantro to jazz it up even more.  Next time, I'll try some more exotic corn chips, like the blue or red ones.  Oh yeahhhh!

FINAL SCORE - It's Wimpy.  It's a salad.  It's delish.