Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chiefs and senior enlisted Marines serve pizza New Orleans style

By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Robert Winkler, Southern Partnership Station Public Affairs

USS NEW ORLEANS, At Sea (NNS) -- Chief petty officers and senior enlisted Marines aboard USS New Orleans (LPD 18) switched roles with food service attendants June 25, and worked in the galley to create, cook and serve pizzas to the crew.

The crew had the chance to choose their own toppings with the ingredients on hand. Chiefs and senior Marines dished out slices on the serving line, cleaned tables and washed dishes.

"The ship's been doing this long before I got here," said New Orleans Command Master Chief Jeff Kozlik. "The crew loves it. It may seem like a small thing to serve one meal, but it gives us a chance to spend more time with the crew. They love seeing us back here sweating and doing the kind of work they do on a daily basis," he said.

Sailors and Marines who normally work for senior enlisted personnel in some capacity found themselves in charge.

"The roles are completely flip-flopped," said Kozlik. "There are still a couple of FSAs who help us out, but they're in a supervisory role and telling us what to do. I've had a couple of Sailors back here teaching me how to work at the deep sink, and how to keep from hurting myself."

Engineman Fireman Eric Shaw, of Stayton, Ore., normally works in main propulsion but has been taking his turn as an FSA for the past two-and-a-half months.

"I think mess duty is important," said Shaw. "When I joined the Navy, I thought I would be spending all my time working on engines, but I was sent to work in the galley shortly after I came aboard. We have to help out [the culinary specialists] with maintaining cleanliness, otherwise, who will?"

Shaw enjoyed the change of pace and appreciated the assistance.

"It made my job a lot easier," said Shaw. "It's kind of funny that an E-3 is telling chiefs what to do. It's cool working with the chiefs. Even thought they wear that anchor, they can still be fun to work with. I went from doing all the dirty work to being a supervisor today and that was cool."

Chief Electronics Technician Daniel Kast, electronics maintenance officer for Amphibious Squadron 5, cooked the pizzas.

"I think it was a good time," said Kast. "It gave us a chance to see the crew. Most of the time they're serving us and this gave us a chance to give back and serve them. We had fun with it. I can tell it brings morale up. I think they love to see us back there working. It also gives the chiefs a chance to get together and spend some time together as a mess."

New Orleans, along with Amphibious Squadron 5; 4th Platoon, Company C, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division; and other embarked units are participating in Southern Partnership Station.

SPS is a deployment of various specialty platforms to the U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility in Latin America and the Caribbean. The mission's primary goal is information sharing with navies, coast guards, and civilian services throughout the region. SPS provides the opportunity for joint operations between partner nations, which develops and tests participating regional civil and maritime services' capabilities to respond to a wide variety of maritime missions while keeping open vital lines of communication between regional services.

Top photo: Chief Fire Controlman Guadalupe Galindo carries a sheet pan of pizzas to the ovens as the Navy and Marine Corps senior enlisted aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) take over galley duties for dinner.

Bottom photo: Chief Fire Controlman Guadalupe Galindo and Chief Hull Technician David Moser make pizza as the Navy and Marine Corps senior enlisted aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) take over galley duties for dinner.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


It's a tough job, but someone has to do it!

WASHINGTON (June 24, 2010) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Rick West, left, Master Chief Culinary Specialist William Campbell, Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Chad Harris and Senior Chief Culinary Specialist Brian Woyak participate as guest judges at the Commander Navy Installations Command's 2nd annual Culinary Competition held at CulinAerie. Sailors from eight regions are in Washington to compete in the event.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer A. Villalovos.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Randon lyrics

My daughter and son-in-law post lyrics on Facebook on occasion. I panicked the first time I read such a message.

Thinking it was an honest status update, I thought their lives were headed into a tailspin.

It took several minutes to realize that they were posting random song lyrics, usually from contemporary musicians that I've never heard of.

It's now my turn to post a random lyric, one with its own brand of despair and hopelessness. Here's a 1997 lyric by Tim O'Brien and Robin and Linda Williams:
I don't go in the kitchen, It's a wasteland to me
A place for dirty dishes and forgotten recipes
Although I purchased Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott's Real Time CD some five years ago, "Five Rooms" didn't become a favorite until last summer on my weekly trips up and down the mountain.

The eclectic blend of guitar, banjo and mandolin blues tracks seemed to be the best drive-time music as I drove to Deer Crossing Camp.

Like the lyrics posted by my daughter, these don't make sense unless you listen to the whole song. Of course, I'll likely never listen to the artists that they like.

"Five Rooms" chronicles the wandering of one man though his five-room house. Despondent over "dreams ... shattered by two hearts made of stone," he roams from room to room.

The living room brings a "flood of memories," the bedroom is off limits because he's "all alone" and he's "mournin' for the love we both cast aside" as he wanders past the spare room.

In the end, "Five Rooms" gives a "faint light of direction" from the "bathroom's mirror reflection.

Who knows what point that I'm trying to make. I guess it's nothing more than to show fathers can play the "Facebook game" as well!

In the meantime, click over to Amazon and purchase a copy of Real Time. You'll enjoy it.

Note: I posted my thoughts on Hank Williams' "House of Gold" from the same CD in 2005.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Green bean photograph

I had another opportunity tonight to catch up on food shots on 'Round the Chuckbox. This one is for the article and recipe for Southwest green beans, posted on June 7, 2010.

Speeder run on the Placerville Branch

Fairmont A-6 gang car
Originally uploaded by SeabeeCook
Last Saturday, the Folsom, El Dorado and Sacramento Historic Railroad Association (affectingly know as the FEDS) sponsored a speeder run on the old Southern Pacific Placerville Branch for its members. My son and I joined the ride as representatives of the El Dorado Western Railway, which is developing the El Dorado County Historical Railroad museum in the town of El Dorado, California.

We put on the tracks at the Southern Pacific freight depot at Shingle Springs and rode to the end-of-track at Missouri Flat Road, near the site of the Diamond Springs depot and interchange with the former Diamond and Caldor Railway.

Here, the FEDS Fairmont A-6 gang car stands ready for passengers for the afternoon run.

Navy culinary competition

While I don't participate in cookoffs today, it may've been fun "back in the day!"

WASHINGTON (June 24, 2010) -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Rick West looks on as Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Rodell Hardaway, center, and Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Sonya Angolemmo, both assigned to Commander Navy Region Japan, prepare a meal to be judged at Commander Navy Installations Command's 2nd annual Culinary Competition at CulinAerie. Sailors from eight regions are in Washington to compete in the event.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer A. Villalovos.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Smokin' for Gold in October

I just learned of this barbecue event in Placerville in the fall:

The El Dorado County Fairgrounds are located in the Sierra foothills in beautiful Placerville, California. The BBQ action starts with top pit masters from all over the West Coast competing Saturday in a four-meat championship cook-off featuring chicken, pork butt or shoulder, pork spare ribs and brisket on Saturday, October 2, 2010.

Sundays sportsman's grill-off will feature pros and local teams. Teams will smoke California's favorite tri-tip, chicken wings and baby back ribs. The best part is the public gets to be the judge. Sample tickets are for sale with five tickets for $10.

Come out all weekend and enjoy the first annual Sportsman's Outdoor Expo at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, Friday, October 1 to Sunday, October 3, 2010. It will feature top hunting and fishing guides. Equipment will be on display throughout the fairgrounds. General admission is $5 and parking is $5.

Mango salsa photo

Here's a better photograph of the mango salsa that I prepared at work yesterday. Since I rarely take my camera into work, I depend of staff cell phone cameras for photographic support on the job. Fortunately the residents left enough salsa for a fresh picture.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mango salsa

I purchased a flat of mangoes from Sysco last week since they were on sale. I served mango salsa with grilled pork chops at work this evening.


Scales not handy? Three to four mangoes, one Anaheim chill pepper, five jalapeno chili peppers and one small red onion will approximate the amounts in the recipe. Two to three tablespoons of honey will mellow a bitter taste if needed.

30 ounces fresh mango, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
10 ounces red bell peppers, seeded and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
3 ounces Anaheim chili peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
3 ounces jalapeno peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
3 ounces red onions, diced into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce fresh cilantro, chopped

Carefully combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Whiting Trackmobile

It's fun to learn of a new type of railroad locomotive. Not new in the sense that I had never heard of the mobile railcar mover, or Trackmobile.

To this point in my five-year tour with the El Dorado Western Railway, I'd never seen one up close. If you'd asked, "What's a Trackmobile" last month, I'd given a blank stare.

That changed about a month ago when the railway learned of an opportunity to accept the donation of a 1964 Model 3TM Whiting Trackmobile from Aerojet in Folsom, California. The transaction was completed Monday when railway president Keith Berry and board member Ed Chuna picked the unit up in Folsom.

The railcar mover is a lightweight combination road-rail vehicle that's used to move railcars on industrial spurs. Trackside operators typically use the Trackmobile as a cost-saving alternative to the costlier locomotive switcher.

The Whiting Trackmobile has two sets of drive wheels. The operator drives it on the rubber tires on normal road surfaces. To move one or more railcars, the operator mounts the Trackmobile on the rail and couples the unit to lead car. At this point, it becomes a locomotive.

The El Dorado Western will use the Trackmobile on the Southern Pacific Placerville Branch and the new El Dorado County Historical Railroad Museum. According to Keith, the the Trackmobile will function in a variety of roles:
  • Maintenance-of-way tug to pull cars on the right-of-way
  • Rescue tug that'll pull stranded locomotives and cars back to the engine house
  • Crew training vehicle
I'll share more photographs of the Whiting Trackmobile once we mount it on the Placerville Branch. It's first assignment will be track rehabilitation on the right-of-way.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cabin mess

The ship's captain traditionally takes his meals in the cabin mess.

U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (June 10, 2010) -- Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Nicholas Roby, from Louisville, Ky., tosses sauteed vegetables in the commanding officer's galley aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4). Nassau is the command platform for the Nassau Amphibious Ready Group supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chris Williamson.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lemonade pork chops

Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives is one of a handful of Food Network TV Shows that I regularly watch. I look forward to the show each Monday and Friday.

Unlike most FN shows, Triple D captured my interest from the beginning. It, and companion shows like chef Robert Irvine's Dinner: Impossible, help me charge my culinary batteries each week.

These establishments all share a common thread. Many are run by chefs who have a passion for scratch-made food. It's fun to get a behind-the-scenes peak in the same restaurants that I love to visit.

I view Triple D though the eyes of a professional cook, often recreating the dish in question. The process gives me a chance to explorer new flavor combinations, especially new ways to flavor and present old standbys.

Late last April I watched the "Surf 'n Turf" episode on the show, where Guy visited the Gold-N-Silver Inn in Reno, Nevada. The lemonade pork chops impressed me the most.

Here's my rendition of the pork chop dish:


4 lemons, quartered
1/2 cup sugar
1 quart catsup
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 medium onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper

Process lemons and sugar with 3 cups water in food processor or blender until smooth. Press mash through strainer and discard pulp. Pour lemonade into medium-size saucepan.

Add remaining ingredients to lemonade in saucepan. Stir to combine. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until flavors blend, about 1 hour.

Yield: 4 quarts


3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons seasoned salt
25 pork chops, 5 ounces each
2 quarts lemonade barbecue sauce

Combine flour and seasoned salt in a shallow pan. Pat pork chops dry with paper towels to remove any moisture. Dredge in seasoned flour. Shaking off excess flour.

Heat oil in heavy skillet or on griddle. Lightly brown chops on both sides. Layer in a 12x20x2-inch hotel pan.

Pour barbecue sauce evenly over chops. Cover pan with double layer of aluminum foil. Bake in a 350-degree oven until pork chops are fork tender, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Skim excess grease before serving.

Each person gets 1 pork chop.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Evaluation time

Ney evaluations can be intense. It looks like one evaluator enjoys taking time out to teach the young cooks.

SAN DIEGO (June 9, 2010) Frank Gonzalo, assigned to the Commander, Naval Air Forces Supply Maintenance Inspection Team, instructs Culinary Specialist Seaman Justin Untalan on how to make a quesadilla in the chief's mess aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). The Nimitz Supply Department is preparing to compete for the Capt. Edward F. Ney Memorial Award, which recognizes the best messes in the Navy.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nichelle Noelle Whitfield.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Standing watch

Although the caption doesn't give CS2 Kowall's unit, I suspect that he may be a Seabee. Seabee cooks are equally at home with a M-60 machine gun as with a spatula.

PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan (June 4, 2010) -- Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Pete Kowall, from Enterprise, Miss., provides security during a mission in Sharana district. Kowall works for the Paktika Provincial Reconstruction Team as a supply technician and also works as a gunner while on missions outside the base.

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Demetrius Lester.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Southwest green beans for a crowd

Here's a recipe for green beans that one of our residents shared with me last month. I like it because it adds a healthy flavor punch to the green beans.

The resident, an accomplished cook, offered this advise:

"The more crispier the bacon, the better. The longer you cook it, the better"

I agree. The bacon with its rendered fat, tomatoes and chicken base all work together to form a rich sauce for the beans. The jalapeno adds punch to the dish.


Sysco sells 12 (2-pound) packages of frozen green beans in each case. For a vegetarian dish, saute the onions and tomato in butter or olive oil. Vegetable base can be used in place of the chicken base.

8 ounces bacon, diced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3-4 jalapeno chilies, minced
5 tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons chicken base
4 pounds frozen green beans
Black pepper, to taste
1 cup chopped cilantro

Saute bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon to a folded paper towel. Reserve bacon for later.

Drain all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add onion and jalapeno chilies and cook until lightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer until tomatoes break down render their juices. Add chicken base and pepper and stir.

Add beans. Stir, cover and cook until beans are crisp tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in cilantro and bacon. Adjust seasoning.

Serves 25 (1/2-cup) portions.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Head cook needed at Boy Scout camp

I found this job ad on the Sacramento Craigslist this morning. If you're interested in one of the jobs, please contact the Boy Scouts. You must apply quickly as the closing date is noon, Monday, June 7.

One head cook is needed for summer camp operation in the High Sierra near Kirkwood Mountain Resort. It is an 8-week operation (Start date: Sunday, June 13th and end date Monday, the 9th of August). Experience cooking for 200 to 250 people three meals per day necessary. Responsible for ordering and receiving food along with cleaning supplies. Direct a staff of 4 - 6. Current ServSafe certification required.

One assistant cook is needed for summer camp operation in the High Sierra near Kirkwood Mountain Resort. It is an 8 week operation (June 13th to the 9th of August). Experience cooking for 200 to 250 people three meals per day necessary. Current ServSafe certification required.

The camp is Camp Winton (established in 1958), a Boy Scout camp owned and operated by the Golden Empire Council, headquartered in Sacramento, California. It is located on the southern shore of the Lower Bear River Reservoir off Highway 88 (between Jackson, California and Kirkwood Mountain Resort) at an elevation of 6,000 feet.

The camp is hilly and no personal vehicles are allowed in camp. The camp is accessible by foot and boat only. The job requires that you live at camp the entire time. The camp provides lodging and meals. The work schedule is a six day work week with a 24 hour period off from Saturday noon to Sunday noon each week.

If you are interested in applying for the job, please download the Camp Staff Application, fill it out and submit to the office, preferably by fax (number is on the first page of the application).

Your application must be received no later than noon, Monday, June 7th. Interviews will be conducted the afternoon of Monday, June 7th and the afternoon of Tuesday, June 8th in Sacramento, California.

If you are offered the position, you must become an adult member of the Boy Scouts of America. Please be advised that the registration process includes a background check.

May birthdays

Back in the "day," we baked all products in the bakery from scratch, including cake icing. That's boxed icing mix behind the baker. Of course, the real talent here is CS2 Vitug's cake decorating skill. That doesn't come out of box.

PACIFIC OCEAN (May 28,2010) Culinary Specialist 1st Class Lamberto Vitug decorates a birthday cake for Sailors celebrating May birthdays aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5). Peleliu is on a scheduled 2010 western Pacific deployment.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Russell.