Firefighters take action in the kitchen

Late last fall, I had breakfast with the Retired Fire Fighters of Mesa County. There were about 20–25 good looking and humorous guys. (Jealous ladies?)

The group is made up of local retired firefighters and some firefighters who retired to Mesa County from other parts of the country, including Alaska and California. The group welcomes currently serving firefighters as well.

It makes for a dynamic group full of energy, great stories and delicious recipes, because as we all know, firefighters have to eat while are on their long shifts.

A few years ago, I actually cooked with them at the fire station near Pomona Elementary School. I learned that not all firefighters cook, but those who do really can whip up some good eating.

Ted Boothroyd, one of founders of the Retired Fire Fighters of Mesa County, admitted that once the firefighters at his station in California got a taste of his cooking, he was immediately relieved of culinary duty. But he was allowed to assist in putting together the “Fire Fighters Cookbook, which they shared with me along with numerous other firefighter cookbooks.

Here is a recipe from Ted’s book along with some from our local stations.

A big thank you to all firefighters. We appreciate your dedication and bravery as you protect our community.

Quick Skillet Stew and Dumplings

From “Santa Rosa Firehouse Favorites” by the Women’s Auxiliary of the Santa Rosa Fire Department.

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onions

2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce

1 10-ounce package frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

2/3 cup water

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup Bisquick mix

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

Brown beef and onion in large skillet; pour off any excess fat. Add 1 can tomato sauce, vegetables, water, salt, thyme, pepper; cook until it starts to boil.

Mix Bisquick mix and milk. Spoon mixtures around edge of the beef mixture in 5 or 6 rounds, simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then add rest of tomato sauce, cover and simmer another 10 minutes.

Swedish Oven Pancakes

From Grand Junction firefighter Steve Reynolds.

4 eggs

1 cup flour

2 cups milk

Pinch of salt

Pinch of sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of cinnamon

1/2 stick butter

Beat eggs until fluffy; meanwhile melt butter in a 9-by-13 glass baking dish in oven. Beat in flour, milk, salt, sugar; add vanilla. Add melted butter to batter, pour into the baking dish, top with cinnamon.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 20–25 minutes until fluffy and knife comes out clean when tested. Serve with syrup, fruit sauce, butter and powdered sugar or topping of our choice.

Beef (or wild game, pork or chicken) With Garlic

From local firefighter Mike Zag. Wild game is his preference.

2 1/2 pounds meat (he used round steak)

1 medium onion, chopped

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 family size can of cream of mushroom soup

1 regular size can of golden mushroom soup

1 cup water

Trim meat and cut into steaks or cubes. Roll meat in flour and set aside.

Mix all above ingredients except the excess flour in a medium size roasting pan or slow cooker. Roast at 350 degrees for 3 1/2 hours or slow cook for 9 hours on low. Mike serves this over rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.

Seafood Pasta Creation

From local firefighter Tim Bevan.

1 can evaporated milk

1 tablespoon spaghetti seasoning

Cayenne pepper to personal taste

1/2 to 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 medium red onion, diced

1 small head broccoli flowerets

2 cloves garlic-crushed

1 package penne pasta, cooked


1/4 pound medium shrimp, cooked

8 ounces clams plus liquid

1/2 bay scallops

Heat milk along with clam juice, spaghetti seasoning, cayenne pepper to personal taste, and clams, scallops and shrimp until heated through.

Thickened with cornstarch and a little water until thick enough to toss with pasta. Toss with other ingredients and top with Parmesan cheese.


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