Throwback of the House: Please Don't Make Me a Pepper, Too

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Robin Wheeler
I don't have a problem with occasional soda-based cooking. My mom's made beans with Dr Pepper for years, and I don't think I've found a chocolate cake better than Coca-Cola Cake. So when Kelly gave me a copy of 1965's Cookin' with Dr Pepper, I didn't think I'd find anything Throwback-worthy. Sweet potatoes glazed in Dr Pepper? I'd eat that.

Actually, in looking through the book, that might be the only decent recipe. I was distracted from the awfulness of Bean Dip à la Dr Pepper when presented with recipes using Diet Dr Pepper, which was introduced in 1962 to sluggish sales. People thought Dietetic Dr Pepper was intended for diabetics, not people who want delicious Strawberry Bavarian with about 20 calories.

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Robin Wheeler
Make some low-calorie strawberry gelatin with equal parts cold and boiling Diet Dr Pepper. Make some Dream Whip, substituting Diet Dr Pepper for milk. Milk is fattening and makes bones dense, which interferes with sveltness. When the gelatin's slightly firm, beat some of the Nightmare Whip. Chill until firm.

I didn't get the true 1965 experience with my Strawberry Bavarian, since Diet Dr Pepper's been made with aspartame since the late 1980s. I'm old enough to remember pre-aspartame diet sodas. Snickers and orange-slice candies were the only things capable of counteracting their battery-acid aftertaste.

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