(HADDONFIELD, NJ) – The woman who created a million-dollar Thanksgiving staple – the green bean stew – died at the age of 92.
Dorcas Reilly died on October 15 on Alzheimer's disease, said Ken Tomlinson of the Hinton-Tomlinson Funeral Home at Haddonfield, New Jersey
Campbell Soup officials said the New Jersey resident was the driving force behind the popular court with green beans and mushroom cream soup and topped with crunchy fried onions. The company said it was the most popular recipe ever from its corporate kitchen. The recipe website received 2.7 million visits during the last vacation, the company said.
The original recipe card was handed over to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002.
"Dorcas was an incredible woman whose legacy will continue for years to come, and will be missed by her Campbell colleagues and those affected by her creativity and generous spirit," the company said in one Statement.
Reilly served as chef at Campbell Soup in 1
In an AP 2005 interview marking the 50th anniversary of the recipe, Reilly said she was could not remember having a hand in it because the court was among hundreds created during their time at Campbell. She also helped create a tomato soup meatloaf, a tuna noodle casserole and Sloppy Joe-style "Souperburgers".
The recipe is still a fixture on soup can labels and TV commercials. And Reilly said she always had the ingredients for the casserole in her house ready in case someone whipped her up.
Reilly also noted whenever the company hosted recipe contests, they would normally see "homemade" variations. The Soup Recipe for the Casserole
"It would be Aunt Suzy's or Grandma's," she said.
Campbell's officials have said that consumers often tell them that virtually anyone – even beginners or bad cooks – can make a green bean casserole because it's so easy to prepare.
Reilly worked for Campbell's between the late 1940s and 1988, when she retired as manager of the Campbell Kitchen.
She is survived by her husband of 59, Thomas, and a son and daughter. A service will take place on Saturday in Haddonfield.
Associated Press writer Bruce Shipkowski of Trenton, N.J. contributed to this report.