Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Lassen, Plumas National Forest reforestation!

Rick in PNF

My husband always says "the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best is now", he probably didn't say it first but that's where I heard it so he gets the credit. The Monticola Club is looking to plant a whole LOTTA trees, acres of trees in Plumas and Lassen National Forest. Each acre will only require a $68 donation. Crazy right? Monticola is collecting donations for a local Penny Pines project, here's a brief description of Penny Pines from the USDA website:

" the plan is this. Under a Conservation Agreement, you or your organization contributes $68 toward the cost of planting seedlings on about one acre of National Forest land in California. Using your donation together with Federal funds, the Forest Service will do the planting on the National Forest nearest you or the forest of your choice." 

Hog Flat LNF

Penny Pines was started by a women's sportsman club in 1941, back then $68 bought 10 acres of trees with the seedlings costing about 10¢ each. And I thought $68 was a bargain.  I read on a National Geographic page that cones are taken from each national forest to harvest the seed, good seeds are put in cold storage until an order comes in, they are sown about a year before being moved by a refrigerated truck to the plantation area. The same article had this:
"Placerville Nursery cold storage room is the only Forest Service seed bank in the state and holds 70,000 pounds of seeds representing every national forest in California."

That's right, Placerville! Who knew. 

Our LoCaL Monticola does so much for the community from pool beautification to scholarships, there's even a book documenting their history in Susanville.  We'd like to thank Monticola for all they do!

Susanville Super currently has jars on the check stands if you'd like to be a part of this wonderful reforestation project. 

Monday, September 28, 2020

Bakery Manager Kailie

Please join me in congratulating Kailie on her promotion to Susanville Supermarket Bakery Manager!

Kailie was hired back in 2007 as a deli counter clerk, at 17 she wasn't even old enough to use the slicer. She was an antsy one. Just to keep her busy enough her manager would schedule her for bakery AND deli. One night Kailie saw the donuts being made from scratch and wanted to learn that also. Our cake decorator chose Kailie to train as a back up decorator, as many of you know, Kailie's cakes are incredible! If she sees it in a magazine (they still have those)  or on Pinterest she can do it. 

Lots of changes going on over there;  Dakota, such an artist when it comes to making the Best Donuts on the Planet, is training a back up for himself so he can spend more time baking. Cortney, formerly a sous chef, is now making scones and breads and anything else we need. Hannah is showing her talents in decorating daily, giving Kailie a little more time to focus on all those new items you see on our table plus instead of only baking at night we now are baking FrEsH all day long! 

We are so Hometown Proud to have another long term team member work their way up to management!

Congratulations Kailie! 

Friday, August 7, 2020

Constantia. Mom. Bacon. Trust me it will all make sense.

Photo credit Tim Purdy's Blog

If you follow local historian Tim Purdy you know Lassen County used to move a whole lotta buildings. Homes, churches, barns, businesses have been relocated.. I was surprised to learn in Tim's recent blog that the adorable little chapel in Doyle was moved there in 1904. It had previously been in Constantia since being built in 1898 ish. How the heck do you move an entire building? No idea. BUT I do know that the previous generations really understood reduce, reuse, recycle. Nothing that could be used went to waste. We used to roll our eyes at our parents and grands using the cottage cheese container instead of perfectly matched tupperware that was in the cupboard. Now my husband and I discuss, actually discuss, how we might 
use the empty container. It happens.

I promise you this will all come together in the end.... I can absolutely say, without fear of contradiction, my Mom made the best Potatoes O'brien EVER. I have spent years trying to replicate the perfectly caramelized onions and peppers, the tender yet golden crispness of the potatoes. Mom used cast iron, got the oil hot then would salt and pepper the bottom of the pan (liberally) before adding her ingredients. I did ALL that. So what's the problem? Ihave even pre baked the potatoes so they just needed to be diced and browned. Still... not as good as Mom's.  Until now. 

Yukons OBrien

One Saturday morning I filled a sheet pan with bacon to cook in the oven, it's a super clean way to cook it. I like to cook a full pan, that way after breakfast the rest goes in the fridge to crumble over salads, make BLTs and such. Then it came to me! That old coffee can that was always on the counter, filled with her personally curated blend of bacon grease. Like I said nothing went to waste.  THIS was the secret. I did a little google search so I could create my own amber deliciousness. I poured the oil from my bacon through a sieve right into a canning jar and popped it in the fridge. Momma would be proud. It has been used to sear everything from eggs to halibut (that halibut was heavenly). A tablespoon of bacon drippings is like a 1/4 cup oil, no idea why, plus it adds a smoky/saltiness that you can't get any other way. I highly recommend ALWAYS having it on hand. Just. Like. Mom. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. NOTHING went to waste!

Oh bacon, how I love thee.
See I told you it would come together :) 

THE SECRET. That wasn't so secret.

Thanks to Tim Purdy for all the Hometown History. Thanks to all those Moms out there for all the good food~

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


I remember like it was yesterday. 20 years ago this adorable girl in her cute little glasses walked into the front office, was interviewed by Rick and hired on the spot. Little did we know. She has brought so much fun and enthusiasm and friendship to our lives. Crohns walks, Cancer walks, Search and Rescue, Bunco, IGA girls dinners, Patti shows up. You can count on her. Plus you never know what she'll do next!

A few of my favorite 'Patti moments' have been posted on our social media:
  • I just walked out of my office to see Patti telling the customer in front of her "Just remember, I've got a jar of pickles in my hand and I'm not afraid to use them".
  • It makes me nervous when I hear Patti in Express say things like "I can't get my leg up there". 
  • Todd told her to "take 10" once, she misunderstood and dropped to give him 10 push ups!
Thank you Patti for 20 years of bringing the Hometown Proud to Susanville Super <3

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Curried Chicken Salad

Boost your immune system! Reduce inflammation! Fight cancer! Reduce your heart disease risk! Battle Alzheimers! Plus ease digestion, lower cholesterol annnnnd kick up your metabolism!  It sounds like I'm pedaling snake oil here but these are some of the health benefits (claims) of curry. Even if only a wee bit of it's true I'll take it cuz the stuff is delicious.
I figure I can add to those claims by eating it outside where my outlook is better, mood elevated and I'm absorbing a bit of vitamin D from the sun. So yeah. Heathful and yummy. Curried Chicken Salad is pretty versatile too. Excellent in a wrap or on crackers but especially good on the Cheesecake Factory Brown bread we carry in the bread aisle. SOOOOOO good. 

2 12.5 oz cans chicken, drained
1/2 cup golden raisins 
1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup chopped cashews
5 or 6 oz plain Greek yogurt 
1/4 cup chutney 
2 tbs mayonnaise
1tsp curry powder

Mix well and enjoy!

Great traveling food, whether your headed to the chair on the porch or much much further. 

I encourage you to pack up a pic-a-nic basket and head out to discover and enjoy all that Lassen County has to offer. Check out one of the lookouts or petroglyphs, desert, mountains, lakes, we got it all. 

The photos are from the foundation of Dow Butte Lookout, described by many as 'Million Dollar' views, I think that is a huge understatement. The structure itself was moved to  Eagle Lake Marina for display in like '94. To see the foundation you're gonna need to navigate the backwoods. That just happens to be one of my favorite pastimes. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

High School Graduation 2020

My grand daughter is graduating from High School this year.  I know many kids are, we even have several working in the store. Whether they are the kids that would showboat across the stage or the ones with sweaty palms and a fear of tripping, I'm sorry they won't get to walk. Celebrations will likely have fewer people but that doesn't mean the accomplishment will go unnoticed. One of our team members received a special commendation on the recommendation of a customer and it was worded so beautifully;

"You were born when the world was grieving 9/11 and you are graduating as the world grieves a pandemic, although your two biggest launches into freedom have taken place in the midst of tragedy just know that the world is an amazing place and it is waiting for you with open arms. We grieve with you that your senior year is ending this way but we can't wait to see how you overcome and soar. YOU WERE MADE FOR THIS!" 

Indeed. You got this. This is the culmination of years of hard work, commitment and challenges met, both social and academic. Let me take this time to focus just on YOU. You deserve that. We are all so very Hometown Proud  and though we will miss seeing you walk I promise to keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you embark on the next stage of your life. 

To the graduating Class of 2020, Thanks for making us Hometown Proud, God Bless. 

Friday, May 22, 2020


Ken Loflin pictured with his draft orders
"I got lucky I guess. Somebody was looking out for me." Kenny Loflin. 

On May 9th 1968 Eagle Thrifty opened a brand new store in the building that is today Susanville Supermarket. 19 year old Ken Loflin was one of the first employees and would only work for a week before being drafted into the US Army. After completing Basic Training in Fort Lewis Washington and Artillery School in Fort Sill Oklahoma, Ken volunteered for Vietnam. The Army had other plans. Ken was a pole vaulter for the United States Army (he says this with a smile), that's what he means when he says "someone was looking out". Absolutely. Ken had been an athlete in High School so the Army had him pole vaulting and playing fast pitch softball competitively all up and down the East Coast. Ken did indeed get lucky. And so did we. 

Ken returned to Susanville 2 years later and with only a couple of interruptions has worked at this store ever since. That is 52 years of service to his community. He retired many years ago but still works in the store a couple days a week. We are fortunate to have Ken and several of our retirees still working in the store one or two days a week. Ken Loflin, Tom Berger and Debbie Oschner bring so much experience and knowledge to the table, we definitely got lucky too. 

Thank you to Ken for your service to our Country! Thank you to all our still working retirees for your continued service to our community! 

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend everyone. God bless. 

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Mother's Day

I received the nicest gift from customer Beverly Clark. A signed copy of Joe Carcione's book, The Greengrocer. I grew up watching him on the evening news and was inspired to call my blog The Green Grocerette from that experience. This gift really touched my heart and brought back fond memories. Thank you so much Beverly!

As a tribute to Mr Carcione I'll give you a little grocery report. Then, cuz I like to, I'll throw in a recipe~

Berries~ BAM! They are outstanding right now, all of them. Fresh from the fields all varieties are holding up well in my fridge at home. Strawberries are on ad 2/$3 this week. Win. Win. Our Bakery will be whipping up some of their light as a feather Angel Food cake, pair that with berries and you're sure to be Mom's favorite!

Corn. Whoda thought it would be so sweet and juice this early? It is. And the pieces I've had didn't have a trace of starchiness. I add a smidge of sugar to the boiling water, someone told me once if you salt the water the corn can get tough. Boil for just a couple minutes then let set with the lid on while I get everything else ready. I like it crisp.

Baby Back Ribs! What more do I need to say, right? I have finally perfected my technique. First I sprinkle Spade-L seasoning for Pork on both sides, grill at about 425* on indirect heat. Start bone side down, turn after 35 minutes. Grill another 20. Slather bone side with sauce (I like KC Masterpiece), flip and slather meaty side, cook 9 minutes, slather that side again, cook 9 more minutes. Now they should be good and gooey. NOMMMMMM. Rick said he has traveled all over the States looking for the best bbq ribs and FINALLY had them right here at home. *Caution. You're gonna need to wash up and brush your teeth after, that's how you know it's goooooooood. 

Have a wonderful Mother's Day everyone. God bless all those Mommas out there. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Normal stuff

"Sometimes, when you don't feel normal, doing a normal thing makes you feel normal."~ George Burns, Oh God 1997. SUCH a great movie. Highly recommend for just a little escapism fun. This quote seems like sound advice right now so I'm gonna write about what I know and love, FOOD. Not just any food but my specialty, comfort food. 

I learned to cook in the 70s and still have a fondness for those one dish casseroles but without the heavy sauces, too much cheese (it can be a thing) and now I add a ton of bright fresh veggies. Chicken Pilau is an old southern favorite, chicken thighs, collards (don't be afraid), carrots, celery, onions and Aidells Mango Jalapeño sausage simmered with basmati rice.... so comforting and flavorful! If you use basmati the rice won't get sticky, just fluffy. 
Chicken Pilau
2 tbs olive oil 
1 1/2 lbs skinless boneless chicken thighs cut in chunks
6 oz smoked sausage, I like Aidells Spicy Mango Jalapeño, diced
1 cup diced onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot 
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chopped collard greens
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups uncooked basmati rice
red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper chicken cubes, saute in hot olive oil until done. Add sausage, onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Stir in broth, rice and collard greens, bring to a boil. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Remove from heat and cover, bake in 350* oven for 25 minutes. 

This makes plenty to share. I'm sure someone you know could use a little comfort too~

Maybe doing the normal everyday things is just what we need. 

Stay well. Stay kind. Stay Hometown Proud. ❤️

Friday, April 17, 2020

Jim and Susie

Some people make friends for life. Once you’re in, you’re in. Jim and Marilyn Chapman are like that and our friendship began in a most unlikely way. 

More than a couple of decades ago Rick received a 3 page letter from a customer outlining a shopping trip to our store. On this trip a couple of things had gone wrong, one of the wrongs had to do with orange juice. It was so long ago I don't think any of us remember all the details but we do have what is lovingly/laughingly known as the ‘orange juice letter’ somewhere :) . The letter was from Jim Chapman. When Rick called him to work it all out, they just hit it off. Rick and I would bike ride with Jim and a bunch of locals, some would ask how Marilyn was or tell Jim to say Hi to her, then he would talk about Susie... I could not figure out which one was his wife and who the heck the other one was! Then I met Marilyn SUE and it all made sense.  We’ve all been friends ever since. You never know when great things will come from those little challenges. 

So let me tell you a about the wonderful friend I found. Marilyn Sue (Susie) is a retired 3rd grade teacher, she has also taught other grades including college but 3rd grade was her favorite and fits her perfectly. There are an awful lot of adults with children of their own that still think of her as Mrs Chapman. She is also an AVID quilter, sooo many beautiful quilts, last year Susie gave me one from her private stock and I will treasure it forever. When I found myself in need of masks for our entire crew I called her wondering if she knew anyone currently making them. She asked a few questions and a little bit later let me know she and Jim would be making them. The next several days they worked night and day to crank these out just as fast as possible. These masks are beyond anything I could have expected. 3 layers of cotton, the middle is muslin to aid in filtration, wonderful prints, each sealed in a baggie with a personal note including a thank up to all of US. This gift was made with love not just for us but for the community the Chapmans have spent their lives in service of. 

HUGE thanks to Jim and Susie, we are blessed to have such wonderful friends that are also Hometown Heroes. 

Apart together

Can you imagine what the isolation must have been like quarantined in 1918 during the Spanish Flu pandemic? Mistrust and fear permeated communities, when people did emerge it wasn't the same. Many felt the friendliness and sense of community was gone. No one talked about it, the fear was so great. Tough to resolve things you're afraid to mention. 

So here we are today. Driven apart by circumstances yet it certainly has brought our community and families together. Text, FaceTime, phone calls keep us in touch with family and friends. What truly matters is in the foreground again. Everywhere I look I see a helping hand, new ideas and a commitment to our overall health. You all make me so Hometown Proud. As I write this my friend Marilyn "Susie" Chapman and her minion/hubby are busy making masks for my WHOLE team which they are donating. This humbles me. David Teeter of Margie's Book Nook has set up a table in our store filled with activities for young and old alike, he is also going through his store and putting together donations for various agencies. Social media is humming with shared ideas and humor regarding our current situation. Barriers are being built to keep the germs away and the people together. Senior Center, Salvation Army, Churches, Schools and individuals all pitching in to help one another with an eye especially toward those that would be gravely affected by this virus. Everyone thinking outside the box to keep our local small businesses operating. Curbside delivery available for salons, restaurants and stores. Mountain Yoga is renting out their spin bikes and taking all classes online, which I signed up for right away. Weight Watchers, churches, support groups all online too. The best part is it's our locals, online or at the curb or in the store. People we know and trust. People we want to protect. The same smiling faces that get us through the tougher days greet us on the easy ones. 

Maybe this general concern for one another isn't always evident, today it is everything.

Meredith Emmot

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, it feels strange to say that since it is so well controlled on a disease modifying drug. I realize I'm one of the lucky ones. RA is an autoimmune disorder and when it attacked me I knew something was systemically wrong. It wasn't just my joints but anything and everything was going wrong with my body. At the time Rick and I were doing a lot of bike riding and racing, we moved all of our riding to our tandem bike because sometimes the pain in my hands, wrist, shoulder was too severe to steer and brake for myself. After a few years we were invited to be on a tandem team on the Race Across America, by then my body had become so unpredictable I didn't think it was possible. Dr Meadows told me "time is our friend", he was right, a series of events led me to (rheumatologist) Dr Naguwa at UC Davis Medical Center and in January of 2011 after a few visits I asked Naguwa if he thought I would be able to do RAAM in June, he said "that shouldn't be a problem"! Sure enough, I did get to race with Team JDRF. 

Both my autoimmune and the medication I take require monitoring through lab test every 6 months. Enter Meredith Emmot at Banner Lassen Draw Station, What a resource. The location is convenient, open at 6:30 am, park right out front, friendly, clean, fast and it's like having your own personal Phlebotomist. Meredith has to draw like a gallon (perhaps a slight exaggeration) of blood from me for all the tests and I never feel a thing as she moves from one vial to another. The best. Meredith has been at Banner for 19 years of a career she began in 1992. Last year the Draw Station was closed for 6 weeks while she had shoulder surgery, I can't be the only one that felt some panic wondering why it was closed. I love that I don't have to walk through the hospital (where sick people have to go) to get labs PLUS if you have to fast you can get it over with at 6:30 am, for some folks mobility is an issue there are 2 spots right by the door and if someone needs, Meredith gets all of her things and (in her cute little Chuck Taylor's) goes out to the lot to do the lab right from their car. She's like that. So much experience, so much caring, as Meredith says "it's the little things". Truly it matters. There are locals that won't have their labs done unless Meredith can do them!

Lab results are posted to My Banner usually within 24 hours, I can sign in and click on any number to compare it to my past results. Dr Naguwa has a sign in his office, something about getting well won't happen without your participation. Banner Lassen and Meredith Emmot make it easy!

Meredith thanks for all you do to keep us Hometown Healthy!

Dania Tynan

"Some people get an adrenaline rush from surfing or sky diving, I get it from public speaking" ~ Dania Tynan, Future Business Leader of America, Checker Susanville Supermarket. IDK about you but I find public speaking frightening!

Store Director Todd Eid is constantly looking for new team members and he knows Lassen High Future Business Leaders of America is an excellent resource. In 2018 Todd made a call to FBLA advisor Dawn Egan and she highly recommended Dania. What a find. She has worked here for a year and a half now and I've always found her to be professional and super friendly with co-workers and customers BUT little did I know what a dynamo she really is. Basketball, Varsity Golf, yearbook editor, FFA, FBLA and interned at the City of Susanville for a bit learning how to write grants. Dania's dad always stressed the importance of communication and she listened, taking her first public speaking class in middle school. After an injury playing basketball Dania needed to go to a physical therapist and was helped so much by it she decided that is what she would like to become. Helping people is the goal for her. Dania's enthusiasm for FBLA, public speaking and the future are infectious.

Last week Dania came in to ask if we could take a picture together for the conclusion of a FBLA project. She finished in first place in the 2020 FBLA Northern Section Leadership Conference in the Interview category! This competition included everything pertaining to applying for a specific job the student would currently be qualified for; dress code, application, resume', interview and giving a public presentation. What a terrific thing to teach our kids, certainly something everyone could benefit from. We could not be prouder of the way she excelled and the way she carries herself every day in the workplace!

Thank you to FBLA for all you teach our LoCaL youth! Congratulations to our own Dania Tynan! You all make us so Hometown Proud!

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

LAW Caesar Dressing

Years ago some restaurants would make a table side Caesar salad, it was an art. Crushed garlic, olive oil, eggs, lemon, anchovies (Yes anchovies) all combine to make the perfect compliment to crispy romaine, shredded parm and croutons. I had all but given up finding the REAL thing in today's world. Then I tried Lassen Ale Works. Oh. My. I call ahead an order for this delectable salad from the LAW Boardroom, dressing on the side and swing by on the way home. 

I cannot believe owners Margaret and Erik were so generous to share the recipe. I know they're super generous when it comes to community involvement. So much goodness is hosted at both locations; Symphony, art, upcoming trail work, Rotary, Rick and I even had a 90th birthday party for a friend at the Boardroom. Delicious food, great ambiance, LAW   at the Pioneer and the Boardroom have it all. But recipes? This is a whole other territory. When I shared Grandma Stewart's Persimmon Cookie recipe one woman said her family would disown you for such a thing! A lot of well kept secrets out there. 

Erik is currently serving Lassen Land Trails Trust as President. Wouldn't it be awesome to put this Caesar Salad in a wrap and head out on one of our trails? Thanks to the work of LLTT and so many others you have tons of options! I stopped by the Depot and picked up a couple of maps AND nuggets of info about proposed extensions through Fredonyer, Westwood and even Lake Almanor. Be sure to check out what they have to offer plus LLTT always needs your support. 

Here is the Best Darn Caesar Dressing on the Planet courtesy of Lassen Ale Works~
2 tbs kosher salt
8 cloves garlic, smashed
24 anchovy filets, rinsed
1 cup egg yolks (14)
1/4 cup water, or as needed
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Combine yolks, salt, garlic, anchovies in a food processor, pulse until eggs are airy. Continue adding ingredients and processing as you go. Add vinegar and lemon juice. Slowly drizzle oil. Add water as needed when mixture gets too thick. 

You're gonna need to cut it down just a bit since it's restaurant size or better yet, let them make it for you!

LAW, thanks for all you do to make Lassen County fun, festive and DEEEElicious!

Featured Post

Lassen, Plumas National Forest reforestation!

Rick in PNF My husband always says "the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best is now", he probably didn't...