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Wallace Strobel's Sausages & Beer Cheese

From the "Savoring Saginaw" cookbook published in 2007 by the Historical Society of Saginaw


3/4 cup Frankenmuth Dark Beer

3/4 lb. Smoked Sausage or Frankfurters with Skins

1 T. Butter

1 T. Flour

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 1/2 cup aged Cheddar Cheese

1/2 tsp. Dry Mustard

1 Beaten Egg Yolk

Melt butter, combine in a saucepan with flour, salt, cheese, and mustard. Cook over medium heat until cheese is melted, stirring constantly. Add beer and egg yolk, mixing well, and cook over medium heat until smooth and thick. Serve in a chafing dish and keep warm. Cut cooked sausages or frankfurters in 1-inch lengths. Heat in skillet. Serve with cocktail picks so they can be dipped in cheese sauce.

Notes: When I interpreted this recipe, the grocery store was fairly picked over for beers and the roads were icy so I opted for a Belgian style Amber Ale that was made in Michigan. I also used cocktail sausages in place of smoked sausage for the same reason. When melting the cheese, it clumped into a ball but transformed into a sauce consistency as soon as the beer and egg yolk were added to the pot. I also used a fondue pot rather than a chafing dish.


Wallace Strobel’s image is known far beyond the reaches of our fair county thanks to a famous photo of him speaking to General Eisenhower the day before D-Day, when Strobel parachuted into Normandy, helping to end WWII.

Perhaps less well-known, but definitely delicious, today’s recipe is Wallace Strobel’s Sausages and Beer Cheese Sauce from Savoring Saginaw.

Wallace Strobel was born in 1922 and grew up in Saginaw where he attended Arthur Hill High School. He enlisted in the Army to serve his country in WWII. On the eve of D-Day, General Dwight D. Eisenhower spoke with the paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division, including 1st Lieutenant Wallace Strobel. Wallace is easily identifiable due to the placard around his neck indicating he was jumpmaster “Chalk 23.”

According to the Baltimore Sun, Ike talked to Wally about fishing.

"He asked Wally where he was from, and he told him Michigan," said Mrs. Strobel. "He said, 'How's the fishing in Michigan?' and Wally replied, 'It's great, sir.'"

Ike replied that Michigan was a "beautiful state" and that he had been fishing there several times, Mrs. Strobel said. (Baltimore Sun, 1999)

A photographer captured the moment, and it became one of the most famous images of WWII. Wallace was surprised to find himself on the cover of Time magazine several weeks after he made his jump into France. Wallace survived D-Day, Operation Market Garden, and the Battle of the Bulge.

After the war, Wallace returned to Saginaw and went into business with his brother. In 1946, he married his high school sweetheart Josephine Grant, and they had three children together. Just a year after his marriage, Wallace became president of Central Warehouse Company, and he served in that role until 1999.

He received attention for the famous photo his whole life, but according to his wife and John Eisenhower, President Eisenhower’s son, Wallace shrugged off the attention. His story and war artifacts are featured at the National WWII Museum.

Wallace died in 1999 is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


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