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!

Clean Sweep

A healthy body requires more than one serving of fruits and veggies. More than one day of fresh air and exercise. More than one night of rest. Good health takes commitment, this is true regarding the health of our community too. The really great news is there is a lot of us doing the work. On February 6th we saw about 200 locals meet for the Susan river clean up. Businesses, students, teams, retirees, Sheriff, and the City of Susanville showed up with darn near the entire staff, including Police and Fire Department, C&S Waste brought dumpsters, Kirack Construction had heavy equipment to load debris. It was a beautiful thing. Tables with donated food and water for the volunteers were set up at Axia Home Loans. All the equipment needed, gloves, pickers, bags etc was supplied by the City. 
The Susan River flows from Silver and Caribou Lakes in the pristine Caribou Wilderness right through Hog and McCoy Flat then meanders along in Susanville before heading out to Honey Lake. This is our river. Leave it to our hometown to make cleaning it up a fun community event. I got to visit with quite a few folks I hadn't seen for a while. We were put in small groups, assigned to an area, helping one another move things up the banks, the pleasant company made the work go quickly. One person was sharing how back in the 90s they would fish right in the area we were cleaning. Nice. 
If you missed this event fear not, clean ups are scheduled throughout the year! Of course everyone can't show up every time but unlike diet and exercise we can tag team this. Maybe commit to a few dates and talk to friends and family about the doing the same. At first the task seemed insurmountable but now... totally doable. 

I want to name everyone that helped clean the river that day or in the past but I know I'll miss so many. Let me just say it was my Hometown Proud friends and family, doing what they do to keep our community healthy.  

Thank you all so much. See ya out there~

Frank and Martha

My first job in the grocery business was at Frank and Martha's Warner Street Grocery in Chico. Just a tiny 'Mom and Pop' with wood floors, creaky swinging door and a buzzer under the counter that rang through to Frank and Martha's home behind the store. Warner street leads right down to Chico State so the joint would be jumping during lunch, popular for store's offering of fresh made to order sandwiches, the line would be out the door. Neighborhood folks would come in and visit while they shopped too, no one seemed to mind waiting in line while I made sandwiches and checked people out. Now some 35ish years later, that's kinda what I do today! Susanville Market is a Mom and Pop store, serving it's community, visiting with locals, welcoming visitors to our town and feeding the people. We love what we do. 

Part of being in the grocery industry is learning what our customer's ever changing needs are and how other grocers are serving their communities. The times they are a-changin. Always. This means we go on store tours, LOTS of store tours. We get to see how stores are being reshaped, larger fresh food offerings, pre-cut produce, grab and go healthy choices, order online all things we have found successful and necessary to keep up with your needs. Since this is the ONLY store I shop I am oh-so-grateful to have this in my favorite store :)
On a recent road trip to Central Cal we discovered something as simple as turning the label on those big fat breakfast burritos we make fresh every single day (they are delish) showed how rotund those babies really are. Plus we came home with a tried and true sour dough starter for the Bakery shared with us by our friends at Valley Fresh in Solvang, they make an amazing assortment of bread we will be replicating! Even kept on ice that starter began growing and had to be divided before we got it home. It. Is. Alive! Plus ideas like, removing the shelf in our Deli case so it has more light, turn the rotisserie so you can see those chickens roasting, bakery cookie sandwiches, pie by the slice, signage and display ideas for produce, craft sodas... all ideas found in other independent supermarkets. I'm really excited about a few other ideas in the works that I'll be sharing with you as we get started, stay tuned! 

While we are out there on store tours we make sure to take in some of the beauty California has to offer. Tip to tail this State is magnificent. Honestly I had no idea this would be the career for me but I can't imagine anything I'd rather do. Being at the center of our fine community makes me Hometown Proud every day. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020


I probably should be writing about Valentine's Day or President's Day but a VERY important day for Susanville Market just passed and must be recognized! This day does have to do with leadership and relationships so it speaks a bit to both holidays. 

On January 8th 2001 Todd Eid, wife Joyce and their two adorable young daughters moved to Susanville. He came to join our team at Susanville Market as our new Store Director. We could not have been luckier. Todd had lived in Clearlake since 1975, his first job was sorting bottles in a mom and pop grocery store at the age of 14. In 1979 he went to work for Foods Etc where he stayed for 22 years. When he left Foods he was their Grocery Manager. That's a full career of experience right there. 
Such an outgoing and friendly guy, Todd knew darn near everyone in Clearlake so it was tough for him to be new in town. I just love to tell this part of the story: after the move Todd would stand in his front yard and wave enthusiastically at neighbors as they came home from work, he did this every day until they (perhaps just wore down) waved back :). When he wanted to meet the people next door Todd kicked soccer ball over the fence and said "come on kids, let's go meet the neighbor!". That's how he is. He brings friendship, loyalty, caring, hard work and extensive business knowledge to our Ville. Deeply involved with the community through Rotary, College Foundation, LAFCO, County Fair Board, School Site Council.... I know there are others. 

Todd has a whole bunch of outdoor experience too, barefoot water skiing, skydiving, golfing, hiking, mountain climbing, bungee jumping, bike riding, scuba diving (Dive Master) and he's a pilot. Todd says he knew Lassen County was THE place to live for outdoor activities. His latest activity is being a grandpa and THIS makes his whole world brighter!

It wasn't long at all until Todd became a fixture in our store and our community. So many young people have learned their work ethic through him. We couldn't be prouder to have him as our Store Director and as our friend. 

Thank you Todd Eid for making us the Hometown Proud Supermarket we are! You're the BEST in the business!

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

Hometown Healthy Jim

When I come to work in the morning I like to walk the store and get all those warm fuzzy "good morning" greetings. The crew never fails to get me smiling and motivated. Wonderful way to start each work day. Stopping by the Meat Department to swap recipes with Manager Jim Griswold is enlightening. That guy eats and cooks so healthy! Lean protein and veggies, just what I aspire to. Today I had to tell him how incredible the wild cod from his meat case was. I cut it in small strips, pressed it into cornmeal and slowly browned the filets in olive oil. AMAZING! He said he has raised his family on that wild cod and they all love it. 

An avid hunter and fisherman, Jim really appreciates 'wild' food sources and the outdoors. Staying in good shape matters. Jim hunts with his sons and grandson, they frequently ride in the quad while he prefers to walk. He beats them back to the truck too. How does he do it? The old fashioned way of course, healthy diet and exercise. AND cutting across where the quad can't go :) 
Hiking is Jim's exercise of choice. Ranch Park's Heart Attack Hill all the way to The View on weekdays then further to Rocky Top on the weekends. He also really likes the trails on Bald Mountain which can be accessed off Byer's Pass rd. BLM has MILES of trail up there and is constantly adding more, plus on a clear day in January you're in the full sun the whole time. Nice. During his walks he clears his head. Jim says he's a much nicer guy because of it :) Isn't that the truth? If we take a little time for ourselves, get a good workout (especially outdoors), drop all that stuff we carry around in our heads, it makes all the difference. This way of living has spread through his family too. Everyone is eating healthier because Jim loves to cook. Sometimes his wife Tammie or daughter Kalee will join him on a hike, what a great way to spend time with family. 

Great job Jim! Thanks for reminding me to stay Hometown Healthy!

Monday, February 3, 2020

The Green Grocerette: A&W

The Green Grocerette: A&W: We are fortunate to have an opportunity to be a lot of teenager's first job. It's an honor. Young people learn how to interview, dre...

Broccoli CHEEEEESE Soup

This is soup season! Soup is the perfect cold weather food. I can freeze some, eat some now, heat some for a snack and fill a thermos to take out in the woods! That last part is the best. Outside, chilled, hiking, adventuring and then opening that thermos to the warm steamy aroma. Mmmmm. Since our Produce Butchers- John, Marie and Matt are making assorted meal starters I find myself shopping this section first. Lots of options for making stir fry, soup or casseroles. The chopping is done for me and I get just the right amount of each item, no waste. 

The other day Marie had cut broccoli and green onions, seemed like just the right combo for Broccoli Cheese soup! I get intimidated by recipes that have too many ingredients.  Too much time and mess. So I kept it simple. BIG fan of simple. Cheese soup can be tricky and I've made every mistake in the book...just so you don't have to. If the cheese gets too hot the soup will look curdled (still tastes fine), you can use processed cheese which holds up better but I like the bite of cheddar. Cook the broccoli until it is soft before running through the blender or it will be gritty. Take the center out of the blender lid and hold a towel over the hole, the hot soup expands and will blow broccoli guts all over the place if you don't. Yeah. I did that. I found that it's much easier to use an immersion blender if you have one. No extra dishes or possible volcanic soup eruptions. 

This recipe is just 5 ingredients not counting (lots) of salt and pepper. It makes a BIG pot of soup.
Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
64 oz Low Sodium Chicken Broth
16 oz Tillamook Triple Cheddar
1 Pint Half and Half
1 tbs Chopped Garlic
1 most excellent Broccoli chop (with onion or asparagus or whatever would all be excellent)
Lotsa salt and pepper

In a large soup pot combine veggies, garlic and broth, simmer for around 10 minutes or until largest pieces of broccoli are tender. On the lowest possible heat begin adding cream, stirring in until hot through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and add cheese, stir until melted. Here you can either run half at a time in a blender, with a towel on top to avoid the explosion thingy or use and immersion blender right in the pot. Either way it's gonna be so delicious!

I like to add a little something on top for color and texture; croutons, bacon, cheese, nuts or this little McCormick assortment, all make a great topping. 

Load up and head out to the woods with a thermos full of this and I promise you'll be glad you did!


We are fortunate to have an opportunity to be a lot of teenager's first job. It's an honor. Young people learn how to interview, dress for work, interact with the public and co-workers. As I've said before, many of those kids shop in our store with their children now.  That sense of continuity and community is really something to be present for. 

Local merchants have been doing this for, like, EVER. I was just talking to our retired Frito Lay driver, Kim Erb, and had no idea he had owned the Susanville A&W. The restaurant was built in 1961, purchased by Kim's parents in '65, Kim bought it from his dad in '72 and owned it until '88. My friend, Jim Chapman says when he was a kid if you could scrape together enough change to get an A&W root beer in a frosted mug that was the "holy grail of kid-dom". Kids would cruise Main, which only went from the Elks to A&W at that time, and A&W was the spot to meet. It was iconic.  The carhops even worked on roller skates originally! Too cool.

I can't imagine how many kids had their first job with the Erbs. When Kim sold the restaurant he went to work for Frito Lay and had a 25 year career as a driver. Hard worker. He shared that work ethic with an awful lot of young people, like Dana Hirsche, retired owner of Leslie's Jewelry~

"I was there after the roller skate era but I was a carhop. I worked there for 5 years! (1976-1981) Starting in high school and while I attended Lassen College. The Erb’s were the best bosses ever to put up with all us teenagers! We gave them a run for their money. I attribute my parents and the Erb’s for my strong work ethic. My lifelong girlfriends that I have now are because I worked there. Several years ago we talked about an A&W reunion and we made a list of people who worked there. The list was so long. They employed so many people over the years. It was a great first job." 

Both Dana and Kim continue to work hard to serve their community even in retirement. That kind of dedication never goes away.

Pretty nice to know you instilled a lifelong work ethic in someone. Thank you to the Erb family for teaching a whole lotta kids to be Hometown Proud.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Kale Salad

Kale really packs a nutritional punch. Loaded with *vitamins A, K, B6, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese PLUS only 33 calories a cup! It's a great addition to a healthy diet... but...not everyone likes it. It can be bitter and a little too much texture for some. Recently I tried Greg Sella's Kale Salad, it was simply amazing, you wouldn't guess it was made with chopped kale and broccoli slaw. NO bitterness, No chewiness, just sweet, salty, a little crunchy, delish and good for you! Greg says letting the salad sit overnight in the dressing takes all the bitterness down. The ingredients are substantial enough to hold up well in the fridge for a few days too. I really like make-ahead dishes, having healthy ready-to-eats keeps my diet on track. 

I literally threw this together in 5 minutes with pre-chopped veggies. Gotta like that.  

Greg's Kale Salad

10 oz pre-chopped kale (I rough chopped it a bit more plus removed any large stems)
12 oz pre-made broccoli slaw
1 cup pre-diced red onion
6 oz herbed feta
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
8 or13 oz Litehouse Coleslaw dressing
1 or 2 tbs dijon mustard
In a large bowl combine first 5 ingredients, toss. Mix together dressing and mustard and work though salad. I don't like a lot of dressing on any salad so I recommend starting with the 8oz and 1 tbs, if the salad seems too dry for you go ahead and mix the remaining amount and stir into salad thoroughly. 
Hope and I like the bitterness of Kale and would be happy to eat the salad right away, that is completely mellowed the next day. When Greg served this to our crew at the Christmas party most of us thought it had apple, the broccoli takes on that much sweetness from the dressing. Even Kale haters or fear-ers liked it!

Did you know we get FrEsH Produce deliveries 6 days a week? Many fruits and veggies arrived prepped and LOTS more get prepped right here by our SuPeR Produce Team! This makes getting 5 a day on a busy schedule a breeze! 

Thanks again to Greg Sella for another one of his Hometown Healthy recipes! 
P.S.~ If you’re really in a rush or don’t want to commit to a whole salad just stop by the Deli, Hope has it as a grab an go!

*vitamin info from Mayo Clinic website

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Fresh Starts

January is full of fresh starts. The Holidays have passed, the tree and decorations are all put away and I start to feel a little claustrophobic. Blankets and candles everywhere, I never (maybe once in my life) put away seasonal clothes consequently the closet is overflowing. Same with the cupboards, like everything is bursting at the seams... me included. Time to get back to basics. Returning to my healthy eating with more lean protein, fruits and veggies, adding a little more exercise and stream lining this operation. Which means shedding some accumulated stuff. 

For some reason I hang onto clothing items for WAY longer than I should. I have many justifications for this: it might come back in style, I might fit in it again, I might like the way it looks on me, what if I go somewhere someday that would be the perfect place to wear it... The easiest way for me to really get in there and get rid of things that are just taking up space is to know I have a person or place where they will go to good use. I have a few friends that like to take a look before sending the residual to their favorite charity. So fun to look through a girlfriends closet anyway! Then I take everything out of a section of closet and each item has to earn it's way back in. I must admit if I hang onto the bag for long I'll go back through and take stuff out, so out it goes asap!

To get a young Mom's perspective on this annual clean out I asked Cake Decorator Kailie, turns out she is waaaay more organized than me. Really no surprise there :) ~

"I’ve been lucky and have been given lots of hand me down clothes and toys for my kids, which has gotten me in the habit of going through stuff every couple months. Before rotating clothes we’ve been given into the kid's closet I’ll go through their current stuff and see what we can give to younger cousins and what we can donate to Lassen Family Services and same with toys. The kid stuff we have bought we try to sell or trade in at Once Upon a Child in Reno, I love that place! I usually pick one big project like this a month and just cycle through the house easily this way. One month do the kids room, next month do mine, next the laundry room. If you have been keeping something that you want to use or ‘should’ use but don’t, get rid of it! Best advise I’ve gotten. It clears space for new fresh energy/habits." 

This seems like a great resolution or at least goal for me to strive towards!

There are many local organizations that would love to receive nice usable clothing, toys and household items. Lassen Family Services and Lassen Humane Society are great resources! 

Featured Post

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 ancho...