Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Oh sports. I am not really big into them. Whenever I have participated in sports, they've usually been of the not-so competitive/not so complex variety (archery, running swimming...). My boyfriend has slowly but steadily been introducing me to different sports, to the point where I can now watch a soccer game or a Penn State football game with actual, genuine interest, but his efforts to inspire me to fill out an NCAA bracket (one year I had UPenn taking it all) or submit to the mind-numbing boredom that is golf on TV on a beautiful Saturday mostly fall by the wayside.

The one exception to this, though, is baseball. Oh how I love baseball. Being a northern New Jersey resident, I am a Yankees fan, holding my head up through accusations of evil empires and inflated salaries (although I agree some of the things they do are ridiculous. See: $80 tablespoon of dirt). I even held it strong through four years of living in Boston, two of which were marred by Sox World Series wins (sigh).

Yes, I do love me some baseball, and I would happily shell out my carefully-budgeted money to regularly go to Yankees games if it didn't mean I'd have to mortgage my first child. However, Dave managed to get tickets for an upcoming game between the Red Sox and the Mets (I know, I know. Who to root for? I'm thinking Mets, if only because a Red Sox loss is better for the Yankees), and we'll be happily heading out (with Nate as our third wheel) this Saturday.

In celebration of the game and being well into the summer baseball season (is there truly anything lovelier than a small-town baseball game played late afternoon, warm and lazy?), here are recipes for some of my favorite baseball foods: Cracker Jacks, soft pretzels (recipe from allrecipes), and lemonade slushies.

1 cup popcorn kernels (mushroom)*
canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cold water
1-2 cups roasted peanuts (not salted)

In a large, deep pot, coat the bottom with oil
Place three corn kernels in the oil and heat the pot to medium-high, covered
When all three kernels have popped, pour in remaining kernels and cover pot
As kernels pop, don't stir the pot--unpopped kernels will fall to the bottom
When you can count to five between pops, turn off heat
Place a large saucepan on high
Add butter, water, and sugar
Stir constantly until it becomes a light caramel color (similar to a brown paper bag)
Carefully pour caramel onto a lightly greased pan
While the caramel is still hot, add the popcorn and nuts
Using a spatula, roll popcorn and nuts evenly in caramel
Let cool (you can refrigerate) and break apart

*There are two kinds of popping corn: mushroom and butterfly. Mushroom is bigger and rounder and will take the caramel coating better

4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and let sit for about 10 minutes, or until foamy
In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, and salt
Add sugar and yeast mixture
Knead until smooth, about 7 minutes
Lightly oil a large bowl and put the dough in the bowl, turning so completely covered in oil
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled
Preheat oven 450 degrees
Divide dough into 12 pieces and roll each out into a long rope
Form into pretzel shape
Dissolve baking soda in hot water and dip pretzels into mixture
Bake on a greased baking sheet for 7-8 minutes or until golden brown

1 cup lemon juice or the juice from 6 lemons
6 cups water
1 cup sugar
12 ice cubes

Mix water, lemon juice, and sugar
Stir until sugar is completely dissolved
Add ice cubes and blend well
Pour lemonade into an uncovered, plastic container and freeze for 2-3 hours, stirring every half hour until well frozen, but not solid
Serve in a tall glass with seltzer water or topped with whipped cream


  1. Hi, Kendall, I have been paired with you for the Taste n Create event. I made your pretzels yesterday n they turned out great.Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Hi Check out my blog. i have posted the recipe.