Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Camp Food Contest! *post in the Green Grocerette blog to win ~

Camping. I have fallen in love with it for the second time in my life. When I was a kid my mom was unstoppable in the summer. The trailer would be loaded and heading up Hwy 32 from Chico EVERY weekend. We'd take empty, cleaned milk gallons and fill them with spring water half way up, all our groceries were purchased in the only market Chester had (what was that store called?). Mom stopped. For everything. Roadside views, water, swimming, chips, you name it. She was the queen of the road trip. Pulling that little Shasta trailer behind a big ole station wagon on what was then a WAY skinnier version of highway 32. When we got to camp, out would come the dutch oven which she'd load with potatoes, roast, veggies, seasoning, stock. Then a hole would be dug and filled with charcoal. When the coals reached the right temp she would put the dutch oven in and bury it. Later when it was dug up dinner was ready and it was amazing. Wish I would have got that recipe...
Recently Rick and I have become likewise obsessed with camping and even did a 9 day road trip/camp to Durango and back, burning up our National Park Pass along the way. He's the KING of the road trip. Stopping for everything, trying new roads, listening to books on Audible, taking pictures... THE. BEST. On our  previous first few overnights or weekends we ate all manner of things we never have in our house. We fell off the healthy eating wagon. Hard. This is not sustainable, at least not in my current clothing. So, on the long trip we decided to try eating more like we do every day at home. Meals of veggies and lean protein. Fruit, nuts, a piece of hard candy or low-fat popcorn for snacks. Since space is limited many food items stretched for several meals. One meal would be Hebrew National Hot dogs, then extra buns would be used for tuna sandwiches which Rick renamed 'Poor man's lobster roll'. Cherry tomatoes were used for Boboli pizza margherita, sandwiches, salads and even as a snack dipped in hummus. Lots of salads with whatever was left over, salami, cheeses, apples, watermelon. One container each of Organic Girl Spinach and Arugula filled a ziplock with a paper towel tucked in to keep moisture down, you can fit this anywhere in the ice chest or my vans mini fridge. All our cooking was simple but our food  fresh and delicious and you just can't beat the views along the way.
After we returned from our trip one of our favorite customers (and mom to the adorable Derek and Hudson), Shannon Cook, was headed out camping and told me "You should start a blog about what to cook camping. I don't have any imagination when it comes to camping food, I'm hoping I can take enough corn dogs to get us through. It's even tougher with littles." This is a great idea! But. My imagination may need a boost too. I know we have a lot of camp cooks in our midst, how about if YOU all share your favorite camping recipes in the comment section of my blog?!? I'll even offer a Grand Prize! The chosen recipe will win a Stacker Ice Chest filled with all kinds of goodies for camp! I cannot wait to try all your yummy camp food. And just in case anyone knows how to do the roast like my Mom always did...You'd be my new best friend.

Hometown Healthy~

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Rustic Rancher

When one door closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
—Helen Keller

Isn't that the truth. But for local Rustic Rancher, Seth Anderson the door wasn't clearly marked. Seth joined the Army right out of Lassen High. Married his high school sweetheart, Lindsey Baston, and was off. He served 10 years in the infantry with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. During those years of service he completed his Associate Degree in Fire Science and became a Platoon Sergeant. After 10 years of service his body had taken a beating, so his backup plan of jumping out of planes into fires wasn't going to be a thing. Seth's knee needed a surgery that was the last possible step before a knee replacement. So what now.
Well some people just keep going forward no matter what. A friend told Seth he should become a farmer. At first this seemed a strange idea, then he started researching and it was "so cool", Seth then enrolled in Cal Poly's program for Veterans studying in their Sustainable Agricultural Training Program. He wrote a business plan and fell in love with learning how food gets to consumers.
There has been a learning curve for sure. Just figuring out what to grow, what WILL grow in Lassen County on a continuous basis. At first the Anderson family was on the desert side of 395. Problematic in the summer if you wanna grow greens, it's hotter than stink and we have like -2000% humidity (slight exaggeration. Maybe). But now they're in the trees and have made quite a reputation with micro greens. Selling out every weekend at the Farmer's Market! It's genius. Microgreens are packed with flavor and Seth has so many varieties, radish, beet, kale, sunflower, oh my! And they are ready to harvest in 10-21 days. By the time you read this we'll have Rustic Rancher items available in our Produce Department. Very exciting!

Seth on Seth~

"Improving the roles I have been granted, are my interests; my interests, are my goals.
They are summed up below:
I am a father. I am a husband. I am a God fearing Infantryman, turned Market Gardner. I am a leader, driven by his failures, who realizes that only through our actions can we be the change we wish to instill on generations."

Make no mistake though, to the littlest member of the family, this is a whole family endeavor. The Anderson family gets what an amazing place we live in. They're deeply involved in our community and have a love for the outdoors in their 'spare time' :)
We are so Hometown Proud to welcome Rustic Rancher Produce to our store! Thanks for all you do for our community Seth and family!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Independence Day

"There exists one post that is unique – Master Chief Petty officer of the Navy (MCPON). The holder of this post is the most senior enlisted member in the U.S. Navy. As of August 2018, Russell L. Smith is the current MCPON."~ Wikipedia

...And get this, Russell Smith, the Master Chief of the ENTIRE U.S. Navy graduated from Lassen High School in 1988. Local resident Mark Solomon told Rick this at a recent gathering inside the Elks Lodge. Mark calls Master Chief Smith a 'good  solid friend' and says he's been one for many years. Mark is also a veteran, he joined the U.S. Army during Vietnam. On patriotic holidays like 4th of July they text each other a thank you for the service to our country. Mark believes that every job is an opportunity and in 31 years of service the MCPON has risen to every challenge. Here are a few of his accomplishments according to Navy.Mil "a myriad of sea duty assignments, including USS Enterprise, SEAL Team FOUR, USS Carl Vinson, two tours onboard USS Abraham Lincoln, and most recently as command master chief onboard USS Momsen."
                 In our conversation Mark stated " While there is only one Master Chief Russell Smith, there are many heroes in this town that won't even tell you what they did". In light of that I'd like to shout out a couple Navy guys we have in our store. Vincent (Vinnie) Stalter  is currently in the Naval Reserve while working full time here. The love of my life, Rick Stewart, served 6 years as a submarine sailor aboard the U.S.S. Robert E Lee. Then today I found out our newest local vendor Seth Anderson served for 10 years in the Infantry (and has a child born on the 4th of July). I know there are many, many more. Please be sure and thank a veteran for this independence we hold so dear. 
                          Speaking of Independence Day. Did you know...there were 2 signers of the Declaration of Independence that went on to become President of the United States? Probably. BUT here's a bigger one I didn't know...Both of those men, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, died on the exact same day, July 4 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing. 
Thank you to all our Veterans, today we honor you, our Hometown Heroes!

Happy Independence Day! 

Photo credits: 
Declaration of Independence, 
Seth Anderson and family, Rustic Rancher website
Mark Solomon and Elks, Jim Chapman 
Rick Stewart, Anna Stewart 
Vincent Stalter and family, Vinnie

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