Those who know Sue and I know that tables are slightly turned at our household. Come Thanksgiving, I am cooking and she is jumping up and down telling quarterbacks what to do. Sports do have a place in my lifestyle – ball park/football stadium foods have an allure that cannot be replicated at home. While Sue is yelling at players-referees-umpires, I am savoring cheese-dowsed tortilla chips topped with a mountain of jalapenos, or a beer-steamed hot dog slathered in horseradish mustard and buried in sauerkraut. The biergarten at Dickey-Stephens, even tailgating at high school football games, all show how surroundings can make simple food special.

Come Sunday, those surroundings can be at home, and used as an excuse to cook up a few specialties.

The next three recipes, and the photo, are courtesy of the National Pork Board. For more information about pork, visit

Slow-Cooker Root Beer Ribs

Prep Time: 20 minutes; Cook Time: 6 hours; Servings: 6

For roasts, chops and tenderloins - cook to 145F with 3-minute rest

2 racks St. Louis-style spare ribs, (2 1/3 to 3 pounds each), cut into 3- or 4-rib sections

1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 tbs. chili powder

1 tbs. salt

2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. allspice

1 1/2 cup (12-oz) can root beer, (not diet), divided

2 tbs.s cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tbs.s cold water

Combine sugar, chili powder, salt, onion powder and allspice in medium bowl. Set aside half the spice mixture (about 1/3 cup.); sprinkle the rest over both sides of ribs. Pour 1/2 cup root beer into slow cooker and add ribs.

Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours or on high for 3 1/2-4 hours, until ribs are very tender.

With 10 minutes left on ribs, combine remaining root beer and reserved spice mixture in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cornstarch mixture and stir until sauce thickens, just a few seconds. Remove from heat; set aside.

Remove ribs to platter and cover. Strain the cooking liquid and pour off fat. Add 1/3 cup remaining liquid to sauce; stir until smooth.

Brush ribs with sauce, serve with remaining sauce on side.

Nutrition Information: 380 cal.; Protein: 17 g.; Fat: 26 g.; Sodium: 1300 mg.; Cholesterol: 85 mg.; saturated fat: 8 g.; Carbohydrates: 20 g.; fiber: 1 g.


Although this recipe advises to marinate at least one hour, I would not bother unless done for no less than eight, preferably up to 12, hours.

Kick-off Kabobs

Prep Time: 10 min.; cook time: 15 min.; marinating time: 1 hr.; servings: 24

For roasts, chops and tenderloins - cook to 145F with 3-minute rest

2 pounds boneless pork chops, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup Italian dressing

2 tablespoons red pepper flakes, crushed

1 tablespoon fennel seed

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

24 6-inch wooden skewers, (soak in water for 30 minutes before using)

Place pork cubes in re-sealable plastic bag; add salad dressing, red pepper flakes and fennel seed. Seal bag; refrigerate for at least 1 hour to overnight to marinate pork. When ready to cook, thread pork, peppers and onion on skewers. Discard marinade. Place kabobs on greased broiler pan and broil 5 inches from heat, or grill over medium-hot coals, for about 5 minutes per side.

Nutrition Information: Calories- 70; Protein- 9 g.; Fat- 2 g.; Sodium- 135 mg.; Cholesterol- 25 mg.; Saturated Fat- 0 g.; Carbohydrates- 2 g.


Slow-Cooker barbecue pork

3 pound pork loin roast, boneless

2 8-oz cans crushed pineapple, undrained

3/4 cup barbecue sauce

1/2 cup chili sauce

2 teaspoons orange peel, finely shredded

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Nonstick cooking spray -

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Cook Time: up to 8 hours; Servings: 12

For roasts, chops and tenderloins - cook to 145F internal temperature with 3-minute rest

For sauce, combine undrained pineapple, barbecue sauce, chili sauce, orange peel, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Coat large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat. Add pork roast. Cook until brown on all sides, turning to brown evenly. Place pork roast in 3 1/2-, 4-, or 5-quart slow cooker. (If necessary, cut roast to fit cooker.) Pour sauce over roast; turn roast to coat. Cook on high-heat setting 4 to 4 1/2 hours or on low-heat setting 6 to 7 hours. Remove roast from cooker; let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serve sauce with sliced meat, if desired.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 195; Protein: 23 g.; Fat: 7 g.; Sodium: 593 mg.; Cholesterol: 64 mg.; Saturated Fat: 1 g.; Carbohydrates: 11 g.; Fiber: 1 g.


Of course, chicken… This one is easy to do:

Oven-fried Chicken

Coating, choice of (plan for 2 cups of crumbs):

breadcrumbs (plain or Italian)

potato chips (plain or flavored)(4-oz. pkg. = 2 cups crushed)

corn-flake crumbs (2 cups)

crisp rice cereal (3 cups)


3 - 4 lb. chicken, cut up in pieces

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 lb. butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 375F.

If needed, crush selected coating into crumbs; combine with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.

Melt the butter/margarine.

Dry the chicken parts as well as possible, then coat with melted butter/margarine.

Roll or toss the chicken in the crumb mixture.

Place the chicken on a broiler pan or in a shallow (jelly roll) baking pan; skin side up and not touching.

Bake at 375F about 1 hour or until done – do not turn.

Or -

Oven-fried Chicken Parmesan: Follow the above recipe; for coating use 1 cup crushed packaged herb-stuffing (crushed into crumbs), 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, and 1 tsp. garlic powder.


Sausage recipes work well for out-of-ordinary burgers, are also good for meatloaf, and easily adjusted for larger or smaller batches. Try to keep the mixing time as short as possible to keep the meat cold until cooked. These could be cooked right away, but are best when refrigerated overnight.

Or, make sausage logs by rolling in aluminum foil to about two inches in diameter. Close the ends, and bake at 325F about 45 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 160F. Cool, refrigerate and then cut in slices to eat with cheese on crackers.

Any ground meat will work regardless of what the recipes call for, but I think the pork cutlets sold at Knight’s give the best results.

For me, liquid smoke is a given; add 1/2 tsp. per pound of meat as desired. Ground spices are best when the meat is to be cooked immediately; whole-dried spices benefit by standing time.

These are recipes that have worked well for me but lots of other sausage recipes can be found at Check it out, there may be a new pasttime waiting to be found.

English Bangers

1 1/2 cups milk

2 tbs. salt

1 tsp. white pepper

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. sage

1/2 tsp. mace

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 red pepper

5 lbs. ground pork (not sausage)

1 cup breadcrumbs

Mix the salt with milk until dissolved. Add the spices and blend so there are no clumps. Combine the milk/spice mixture, meat and breadcrumbs and mix well. Refrigerate at least an hour, best overnight.


American Beef Sausage

6 lbs. lean ground beef

3 cups breadcrumbs

2 tsp. sage

3 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. cayenne

4 tbs chopped parsley

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup water

Mix all ingredients, refrigerate overnight or cook immediately.



5 pounds lean ground pork

4 tsp. sugar

1 tbs. coriander

1 tbs. sage

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tbs. dry mustard

1 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. nutmeg

5 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients, refrigerate overnight or cook immediately.


Polish Kielbasa - two to chose from, each uses 5 lbs. ground pork:

— 1. Quick -

1 tsp. marjoram

2 Tbsp. salt

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 1/2 tsp. pepper

1 cup water

— 2. Not-So-Quick -

2 tsp. sugar

1 tbs. marjoram

1 1/2 tbs. salt

1/2 tsp. allspice

1 1bs. black pepper

1 Tbsp. caraway seeds

8 cloves garlic, crushed (or 4 - 5 tsp. garlic powder)

1 cup cold water

Whichever recipe is used - combine all ingredients, mix well; cook immediately or refrigerate overnight.