Showing posts with label dr pepper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dr pepper. Show all posts

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wouldn't You Like to Be a Pepper, Too?

Even before the state of Texas adopted me, I had a peculiar passion for one of Texas's most unique exports: Dr Pepper. Remember this? I grew up singing this little ditty.

I really did want to be a Pepper. So bad.

In Scoop to Kill, I paid homage to the nectar of the gods with an arguably strange recipe. The "Pink Pepperberry" milkshake Tally serves at Crystal and Jason's wedding is made with vanilla ice cream, raspberry coulis, and a Dr Pepper reduction. I know it sounds vile, but I promise it's really, really tasty.


While you can make the milkshake with regular Dr Pepper (and I confess to guzzling gallons of the diet variety), there's real magic in Dublin Dr Pepper.

Never heard of it? Let me share ...

In 1885, an employee of the Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas, first created the soda fountain syrup that soon became known as "Dr Pepper." In 1891, the owner of the Old Corner Drug Store (Wade Morrison) and his business partner launched the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company. That same year, a man by the name of Sam Houston Prim opened another Dr Pepper bottling plant in Dublin, Texas.

Over the years, the Waco bottling plant grew and spawned a vast Dr Pepper empire. The Dublin plant, on the other hand, remained fairly small and continued on as a family business. In fact, the Dublin plant has never been sold: Prim willed the business to his daughter, Grace Prim Lyon; Mrs. Lyon ran the business until her death on the day of the 100th "birthday" celebration of the plant; she bequeathed the business to long-time employee Bill Kloster (who started working for the plant when he was only 14 years old); and Mr. Kloster willed the business to his son and grandsons.

Apart from the great story behind Dublin Dr Pepper, there's another reason to seek it out. In the 1970s, when most soft drink companies shifted from cane sugar to corn syrup sweeteners, the Dublin Dr Pepper bottling company held its ground. To this day, it is produced using the original formula for Dr Pepper.

If you're planning a trip to Texas, a day trip to Dublin is a great idea. Visit the Dublin Dr Pepper bottling plant in early June to celebrate its birthday or take a tour and grab a pimento cheese sandwich from the Old Doc's Soda Shop; pop over to the Dinosaur Valley State Park to see the preserved tracks or Fossil Rim Wildlife Center to see some live critters; and then stop by Veldhuizen Texas Farmstead to sample freshly made artisanal cheeses.

In Scoop to Kill, Tally touts the wonders of Dublin Dr Pepper ... and somehow, the nice folks at the Dublin bottling plant heard about the book (and the milkshake) and contacted me to say "thank you". They also offered up a couple of additional Dr Pepper recipes, one of which I want to share with you today.  (Click on the recipe title to access a printer-friendly version of the recipe.)

Old Doc's BBQ Sauce

The Dr Pepper people sent this as part of a recipe for rotisserie barbecued chicken.  But, of course, I don't do meat.  I opted to make the sauce and then simmer some seitan shreds in it for "mock pulled pork."  The sauce is piquant and complex and totally addictive.

Seitan shreds simmering in sauce.
3/4 c. Dublin Dr Pepper
(or the "retro" cane sugar variety)
1/4 c. salad oil
1/2 c. catsup
1/4 c. vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce*
1 medium onion (finely chopped)**

Mix all ingredients in a small non-reactive saucepan.  Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer uncovered until thickened (about 1 hour).

* Vegetarians:  traditional Worcestershire sauce has anchovies in it.  You can get vegetarian varieties at a lot of health food stores, but I've also found that the store brand varieties are sometimes vegetarian.  They're not quite as good, but much cheaper.  Just read the labels.

** Mr. Wendy doesn't like onions, so I made this with a 1/4 tsp. onion powder instead of the fresh onion.  That's why my sauce is smooth.

BBQ seitan sammies with slaw (and corn on the side)


I absolutely love corn on the cob, so we eat it a lot during the summer.  The easiest way to cook perfect corn on the cob?  In the oven!  Preheat the oven to 350.  Leave the corn in the husk, but chop off the long silk tassel and most of the stalk.  Put the corn in the oven (directly on the rack), leaving a little space around each ear, and bake for 30 minutes.  To husk, use a dishtowel to protect your hands and be careful of the steam.  The husks and silk will come off easily because of the steam, but you don't want to burn yourself.  Steaming in the husk keeps the corn bright and flavorful, and it cooks perfectly.  Delicious!


A Parfait Giveaway

In honor of the June 7 release of A Parfait Murder (the third Mystery a la Mode), which features a story line about the Lantana Round-Up Rodeo Queen Pageant, I’m giving away a little cowboy couture:  a leather and rhinestone cuff, and a “rodeo queen” keychain.

Eligibility:  This contest is open to everyone living in the U.S. and Canada.  One entry per person, please.

How to Enter:  Send proof of purchase of A Parfait Murder (either a receipt, or a picture of you holding the book, by e-mail to  Put the words “Parfait Giveaway” in the subject line.

Entries must be received by 5:00 PM Central Standard Time on Friday, June 17.  I will randomly select one entry, announce the winner on MLK on Saturday, June 18, and contact that person via e-mail.  If I do not get a response within 7 days, I’ll draw another name.


Wendy is the author of the Mysteries a la Mode. Visit her on the web or on Facebook.