Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Johnelle Wright

We were lucky enough to have Johnelle Wright work at the market when she was about 15, for 3 years. She left her mark on our hearts with her ever present smile. Maybe you recognize her, she has a pretty diverse resume- Susanville Super, Lassen Federal Credit Union, Lassen County and City of Susanville. Johnelle says “life is too short to just do something, I want to make an impact”. She is now the Director of Student Ministry for her church. One day she had a random thought to reach out to the community, Johnelle took a couple of pizzas to Memorial Park during lunch. NO strings attached, she just wanted our park to be what a park should be. A place that is safe, fun and filled with good vibes. Kids showed up. Some days Johnelle had as many as 80. Her church got behind the idea with a separate tithe and, after a little while, a budget. 

Johnelle has pizza in the park every Tuesday with an average of 60-70 kids. One girl didn’t eat pizza for 6 weeks when she finally did Johnelle said “I gotta know, why didn’t you eat for 6 weeks” the girl told her she wasn’t sure it was safe. Another girl asked if she could bring some healthier food, Johnelle replied “of course!” Now she brings juice for some that don’t want soda, fruit for kids that want healthy. Again, NO STRINGS attached. Some kids had to ask permission because they aren’t allowed to go to the park. How sad. Seems Johnelle is taking our park back one pizza at a time. 

Johnelle feels we have a broken world and any conversation can lead to helping someone in need. I’ve seen pictures of pizza in the park and what really struck me was none of the kids were looking at a phone, they were all talking to EACH OTHER. Wow. In this age of social media anything that brings them back to the here and now is HUGE. Johnelle is an  authentic role model, athletic, healthy, joyous, mom of two and completely approachable. She points out that her blue and purple hair breaks down a lot of barriers. True.
Thanks Johnelle for being one of our Hometown Heroes.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Memorial Day and EVERY day

I am grateful to live in a community that stands behind our Military. On Memorial Day Rotarians will be up with the roosters loading American Flags on their trailer which will be PROUDLY displayed all along Main st.! They do this on Flag Day, 4th of July, Patriots Day, Veterans Day… whenever an American Flag is called for you can count on them. We know because they stage right here at our market and it makes us smile. Every. Single. Time. Thank you Rotarians!

Then there are those unstoppable Blue Star and Gold Star Moms ensuring we have banners of all our LoCaL military sons and daughters. These banners used to be confined to Main St but our Hometown Pride was so great the Moms had to find more space! When they asked us to use our light poles we were delighted to be a part of this show of patriotism. Blue Star Moms also put together care packages for those deployed each month. Jill Atkinson of Lassen County Times told me BSM were buying all of the items from their own pockets until she pointed out how our community would love to help. Imagine if we each purchased one item on the list. Let’s do it! We love those Moms. Thanks for all you do Blue and Gold Star Moms!

But this isn’t even close to all of the examples! The Patriot Guard. American Legion. Veterans of Foreign Wars. Numerous displays at all of our cemeteries. And so many more. Thanks to all for reminding us this is the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

As a way of honoring YOUR Hero we invite you to bring a photo to hang on our Coca Cola Soldier Saluting display and post their story on our Susanville Supermarket Facebook or on The Green Grocerette blog. I promise to read each one. Last year Jessica Eid put this together and it was beautiful. Jessica’s Grandfather was a Master Chief in the Navy. So many of our families have a military connection to share!

We thank all of our Hometown Heroes for their service to our Country and promise to remember on Memorial Day and every day!


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Elks Grants

We all know about our magnificent Elks Lodge outer beauty but even that is completely out-shined by what is going on inside. Elks National Foundation Community Investments Program offers several grants each year and our Lodge has been taking advantage of this for some time now. I spoke with Past Exalted Ruler and current Elks Secretary Connie Stovall. BTW Congratulations to Connie for being Susanville Elk’s first woman Ruler! Two of the Grants our Lodge has applied for and received at least 3 years running are the Gratitude Grant worth $2000 and the Beacon another $2000.
The Gratitude Grant is used to provide food for the Senior Center and Salvation Army also a portion goes to the Fast Pitch Girls baseball. Wonderful, the Senior Center and Salvation Army do so much to take care and feed those in need. AND any time we can keep our LoCaL youth involved it makes our community stronger. 

The Beacon Grant is awarded to LoCaL Phyllis Thomas. Phyllis lost her daughter Carrie to Cerebral Palsy. Carrie loved children and worked in daycare, the children loved her right back and would happily climb all over her and her wheelchair. When Carrie passed at just 21 she had money she had earned in her bank account. Phyllis didn’t know what to do with the money until it occurred to her she could provide soft, warm fleece blankets for children 0-5 in emotional or physical crisis to wrap in. It would be as if Carrie herself was wrapping her arms around them. Her charity is aptly named Carrie Your Blanket. What a lovely tribute to a loved one. We’re so sorry for your loss Phyllis.

This year Susanville Elks will be applying for two more grants. The $2000 Freedom Grant is provided for Veteran causes and the $10,000 Impact Grant is available for projects that would make a BIG Impact in your community. 

HUGE Hometown Thanks to Susanville Elks Lodge for providing for LoCaL charities! HUGE Hometown Thanks to Lassen Senior Center, Salvation Army and Phyllis Thomas/Carry Your Blanket for all you do!

You are ALL Hometown Heroes.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sweet Susanville

Written by my eldest granddaughter~

Sweet Susanville 

Waking up in the middle of nowhere, 

hearing the birds chirp, 

hearing the sweet sound of 

the mountains call me. 

Learning to ride my bike, 

learning to kayak, 

learning how to do color guard, 

all within these lonely hills. 

I remember driving to this 

one supermarket, 

learning to help 

my family set up 

the shop for the busy 

day ahead of us. 

Growing up on the

world’s best donuts, 

having a veggie delight 

sandwich everyday at noon, 

driving around to the closest 

lake and going

for an afternoon swim. 

The rest of the world not understanding that

it’s not about things we have, 

it’s about the memories we’ve made 

in the places we’ve been. 

All these memories confined

within this small town, 

like animals in a zoo

like fish in a tank. 

The point of my ode is this, 

be appreciative of the small things, 

cherish everything you

have before it is gone.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

HaPpY Mother's Day~

Parenting and working full time is a challenge that requires more organization, planning and follow through than most jobs. Single parents do it all themselves. It reminds me of that quote about Ginger Rogers being a better dancer than Fred Astaire because she did everything backwards in high heels. Oh wait, you many have no idea who Fred and Ginger are, ask your parents…or your grandparents. Anyway, Jennifer Pate has been a single mom of two growing, active boys for 9 years and has developed, in her words "My tried and true method of feeding two bottomless pits on a budget... planning!!! Makes my heart happy, makes their stomachs happy.” Nice, right?

You know how you can hate and love cooking all at once? It’s so easy to have it become just another chore. Well Jennifer plans ahead for those days when she doesn’t want to cook by making a HUGE batch of spaghetti sauce which she bags into quart size bags and lays flat to freeze. She likes DaVinci seasoning, our meat department’s homemade sausage, family size ground beef pack, garlic, onion, carrots and throw in everything. Your basic kitchen sink recipe. Her family has so many uses for this sauce! English muffin pizza, or just pizza, over tortellini, make burritos with it, over hotdogs instead of chili, over frozen raviolis! Great for the end of the month!

Jennifer has a lot of great ideas for getting the most for your time and money at mealtime. Every Sunday she plans out the week, makes the shopping list, puts meals on the calendar, shops, puts the dry ingredients in baskets with the recipe and the corresponding perishables are in the fridge marked for that day. Baskets are for Monday through Thursday then Friday is leftover day. The boys do the prep work before she gets home from work then Jennifer finishes it up! On the nights the boys have karate or scouting she chooses a shorter recipe.  

I follow Jennifer on Facebook and her cooking makes me hungry! Homemade tomatillo sauce, cauliflower crust pizza, asian lettuce wraps and, her latest, sweet potato tacos. The tacos were a Meatless Monday dinner and she says they were vegan before she “ruined them with a smidge of cheese”. I say cheese never ever ruined anything. I <3 cheese. The sweet potato tacos were an instant family favorite! Here’s her recipe~

Sweet Potato Tacos
4 medium sweet potatoes diced into 1/4” cubes *Jenn’s note, “trust me on the size, it’s worth it”
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 can corn drained and rinsed
2 pkgs taco seasoning                                                                      
1 yellow onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic minced
2 limes
olive oil
tortillas of your choice
Taco fixin’s ~ lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, salsa, avocados, your pick.
Preheat oven 425*
Spray baking sheet with cooking spray
In a large bowl combine sweet potatoes and 3/4 cup onion. Add a good amount of olive oil & 1 1/2 pkgs of taco seasoning. Toss well and spread over baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, toss once, bake until browned
In a large skillet heat 2 tbsp olive oils and sauté other 1/4 cup onion and garlic. Add beans, corn and leftover seasoning mix. Saute for 5 to 6 minutes.
Warm tortillas ( I HIGHLY recommend a La tortilla oven :) )
Fill tortillas with sweet potatoes, bean and corn mixture, squeeze lime over. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Jennifer’s comment on this dish was " We ❤ Meatless Monday's!!! Sweet potato, black bean, and corn tacos. Ky is on his 7th taco, Connor is on his 8th. I'm contemplating a 4th 😅 #YUM”

Planning this way Jennifer’s family has time to do the stuff they love to do together like going to the lake or Lassen Park. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

I think I’m gonna need a few more of those recipes.

Thanks Jennifer Pate for showing us how you keep your family Hometown Healthy, Happy, Proud!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo, I know we eat delicious food and, for some, drink. But what’s it all about I wondered. Wikipedia, here I come. So. Sometime in the 1800s Mexico had fought a couple of wars, one civil, and was left bankrupt. They informed their creditors that they would not be paying debt off for the next couple years. Everyone was okay with that (eventually) except Napoleon III, he sent troops to attack, thinking this could be his chance to "establish a Latin Empire in Mexico”. Napoleon’s troops, "6000 strong" against Mexico’s 2000 "poorly armed”. In the Battle at Puebla no one could’ve guessed that Mexico would “decisively crush” the French Army. That was on May 5 1862. I’d like to see a show of hands on how many knew this. Since I got this info from Wikipedia my facts may be a little sketchy but I encourage you to go check it out. It was considered a true David and Goliath story and I do love a good David and Goliath story. It's like Chuck Berry said "C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell”. 

And that's why we celebrate. That and I will use any excuse to cook/eat Mexican food. It’s my favorite food, I love all of it, authentic, Tex-Mex and evidently even Okie-Mex. So I was looking for something to cook for my Cinco de Mayo celebration and came across this recipe, I had cut out of the Daily Oklahoman in 1991. I know it was from 1991 because on the back is an ad for music you can order with the barcodes from two cartons of Salems. Times have changed AND this recipe needed a little updating. I replaced several of the ingredients with a low fat equivalent, except the butter, Paula Deen would be proud :) I actually got to meet her at a trade show recently. Lovely woman, very kind. But, I digress. So, I also upped the amount of chopped onion and chicken. Less saucy more chunky. It came out DElish and, just like I like recipes to be, quick and easy. I use the pictured La Tortilla Oven to heat my Tortillas, Jim Chapman bought me one years ago, They. Are. Awesome. Your torts will stay warm for so long! We carry these on the back aisle by the Tortilla rack.

Here's my version of the recipe~
Chicken Enchilada Bake
2 tbs butter
1 cup diced onion
1 minced garlic clove
6 oz can IGA sliced olives, drained
4 oz can Ortega diced green chiles, drained
1/2 cup Fat free sour cream (Enjoyably Yours is the BeST)
10 oz can 98% fat free Campbells condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 to 2 cups diced rotisserie chicken breast (Hope's Deli makes the BeSt)
1 cup shredded Tillamook Cheddar Cheese
8 Canteca Lite Gold Flour Tortillas
1/4 cup Humboldt Nonfat organic milk

Oven 350*. In a medium saucepan melt butter, sauté onion and garlic until tender. Stir in 1/2 of the olives, green chiles, sour cream and soup. Reserve 3/4 cup sauce. Heat tortillas inside the super FABulous La Tortilla Oven for 1 minute in your microwave, these babies will be hot. Remove pan from stove, add chicken and 1/2 of the cheese. Stir. Spray a 12X8 inch pan with non stick spray. Fill and roll 8 enchiladas. Add milk to reserved sauce. Spoon sauce over enchiladas and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining cheese and olives. Serve with your favorite toppings.
I served it with a Pear and Blue Cheese Salad, you can find the video for the salad on our Green Grocerette blog~

All your friends here at Susanville SuPeR wish you a fun and safe Cinco de Mayo!

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