Dorcas Reilly, the Woman Who Invented the Green Bean Casserole, Dies at 92

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iStock.com/rudisill

Dorcas Bates Reilly, inventor of the green bean casserole, has died at the age of 92. The former Campbell’s test kitchen supervisor created hundreds of recipes throughout her career, but none was as beloved as this Thanksgiving staple, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Reilly didn’t know her green bean casserole would become an overnight sensation when she and her colleagues whipped it up in 1955 at Campbell's test kitchen in Camden, New Jersey. In fact, when reporters later asked what she remembered about inventing The Green Bean Bake, as it was initially called, she couldn’t think of anything. After all, her team invented thousands of recipes each year using Campbell’s products (only 10 percent of which were deemed fit for soup can labels). Some of her past recipes included a tuna noodle casserole, tomato soup meatloaf, and “Souperburger” sandwiches—a variation on the Sloppy Joe, made from condensed tomato soup.

Details aside, she has said in past interviews that the main idea behind the green bean casserole was to be quick and easy. Although many cooks customize the dish to their liking, the classic Campbell's recipe takes just 10 minutes to prepare and calls for six ingredients: Campbell’s condensed cream of mushroom soup, green beans, milk, a bit of soy sauce, black pepper, and French’s French Fried onions.

“When we created Green Bean Casserole, our goal was to develop an easy recipe featuring a few simple ingredients,” Reilly said in 2002. “And most home cooks typically had green beans and cream of mushroom soup on hand at all times.”

That same year, she donated her recipe to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, which also happens to be home to Thomas Edison’s light bulb. By that point, she had been retired for 14 years, but her recipe continued—and continues—to live on in homes across America.

Reilly, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, passed away at the Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, New Jersey, where she grew up. "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Dorcas Reilly, the creator of one of the most beloved American recipes, the Green Bean Casserole," Campbell’s said in a statement. "Dorcas was an incredible woman whose legacy will live on for years to come. She will be missed by her Campbell colleagues and all those who were impacted by her creativity and generous spirit."

[h/t The Philadelphia Inquirer]

Why You Shouldn't Buy Your Cereal at Costco

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iStock.com/RapidEye

Scoring deals at Costco is an art. Smart shoppers know which price tag codes to look for and which delivery deals to take advantage of at the bulk discount store. But when it comes to navigating the food section, there are some tips even longtime members may not know about. A big one concerns brand-name breakfast cereal: When shopping for groceries at Costco, you should leave the cereal boxes out of your cart if you want to save money, according to Yahoo! Finance.

It doesn't make sense to buy perishable items in bulk, but even products with a slightly longer expiration date, like cereal, can end up costing you in the long run if you stock up on them at Costco. The cereal at Costco costs about $0.17 per ounce, which is comparable to the cereal prices you'd find at regular grocery stores on most days. But to reap the most savings possible, you need to visit the supermarket on days when certain cereal brands go on sale.

During different times of the week—usually weekends—many grocery stores will pick a popular cereal brand, like Kellogg's or General Mills, to sell at a lower price. At their cheapest, brand-name cereals can be purchased for $0.13 cents per ounce on sale days, or $1.50 for an 11-ounce box.

While you may be better off buying your boxed breakfast staples at the nearest grocery store, there are still plenty of reasons to shop at Costco. To many loyalists, their $1.50 hot dog and soda combo alone is worth a special trip. The store's addictive pizza slices (which are perfectly sauced by a pie-making robot) and dirt-cheap and delicious rotisserie chickens are yet two more reasons. Just be prepared to show your receipt when you're all done (and don't for a second believe it's because the employees think you might have pocketed something). 

[h/t Yahoo! Finance]

A Shrine to Brine: The Mysterious Case of Missouri's Highway Pickle Jar

iStock.com/MorePixels
iStock.com/MorePixels

No one knows how it started. No one knows who was responsible. Some may even have dismissed it as an aberration, a glitch in the scenery that would soon be corrected. But eventually, drivers in and around Des Peres, Missouri who took a highway off-ramp connecting I-270 North to Manchester Road began to notice that a jar of pickles was sitting on a dividing barrier on the ramp. And it wasn’t going anywhere.

Since 2012, the pickle jar has confounded drivers and internet sleuths alike, according to Atlas Obscura. Some have speculated that someone was trying to send a secret message or share a private joke. Perhaps someone pulling off to the side due to car trouble felt the need to place the brine-filled jar on the concrete wall and then forgot about it. Maybe someone thought it would be a kind of three-dimensional graffiti, incongruous amid the bustling traffic. Maybe it’s an indictment of commerce.

Whatever the case, once the pickles appeared, advocates refused to let them go. Jars that end up toppled over or otherwise damaged are replaced. Sometimes they reappear in protective plastic containers or with a holiday-themed bow. Sightings are photographed for posterity and posted on a Facebook fan page devoted to the jar, which currently has over 4200 members and has morphed from a place to theorize about the mysterious jar's origins to a place where people swap pickle-related recipes and stories.

There are dry spells—no one has posted of a pickle sighting in several months—but followers remain optimistic the jar will continue to remain a presence in Des Peres even if the motivation for placing them near the roadway remains as murky as the briny juice inside.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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