By Ben Welter
In the fall of 1970, Minneapolis Star columnist Jim Klobuchar and Taste editor Beverly Kees teamed up for a cockamamy feature, “Riddles for Tailgaters.” I’m guessing Bev provided the recipe and Jim the riddle – and the colorful prose leading up to it. Readers had to solve a football-related riddle to complete each recipe.
The week after this riddle was published, the Vikings, led by a quarterback who likely made somewhat less than 100 G’s a season, beat the Rams 13-3 in Minnesota’s first appearance on “Monday Night Football.” The only touchdown on the rain-soaked field that night: A 17-yard pass from Gary Cuozzo to Bill Brown.
I’ll send a copy of any front page in the Star Tribune archives to the first reader who posts a correct answer to the riddle below. And a hearty pat on the back will go out to the first reader who can identify the imprecision in the riddle.
Recipe Riddle: How many feet in rice casserole?
By JIM KLOBUCHAR and
Minneapolis Star Staff Writers
There are magical properties in the autumn night air next week, tailgaters – the moon, a slot-left formation and the aroma of native wild rice casserole floating above the Cleveland lot at Met Stadium.
They are playing football under the floodlights at the Met Monday night, the Vikings and the Rams, not only as a salute to Minnesota’s nocturnal splendor but as a gesture to the American Broadcasting Company, which needs the television revenue.
“For this reason, plus the fact that this is a titanic battle between the cultures of the west coast and the land of Hiawatha,” declared Miss Kees, “we have decided to give it our best gastronomic shot in Recipe Riddle.”
Said shot is a fiercely traditional Minnesota wild rice casserole filched by Miss Kees from a cookbook called “Favorite Recipes of the Leech Lake Area.” It is published by Immanuel Lutheran Altar Guild of Walker, Minn., with various annotated endorsements by gourmets from the local paddies.
It is highly recommended for moonlight tailgating, a practice claimed to have originated at Bemidji, not far from the very heart of the wild rice country.
Thus, the tie-in, according to Miss Kees.
All that remains for you is to complete line four in the recipe, the number of cans of onion soup that will make it come out right. You can do it by correctly answering the riddle:
“How many feet from the goal line is the ball placed after pass interference has been called in the end zone?”
You should score on the very next play.
The missing ingredient in Lena’s Rolls last week was sugar, the word formed by the first name of the oldtime Bear quarterback, Sid Luckman, the place where Bobby Bell prepped for the pros (“U”); what Joe Kapp makes about 100 of (gs); rhymes with the Dallas speedster (a for Bob Hayes) and rhymes with the Detroit speedster (r for Farr).
WILD RICE CASSEROLE
1 lb. wild rice
1 small can mushrooms, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
_ (10½-oz.) cans onion soup
1 soup can water
1 cup grated mozzarella or other cheese
Soak rice 3 hours in water to cover. Drain, rinse and combine with mushrooms, salt, pepper, onion soup and water. Put in greased casserole and top with cheese. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 1½ hours.