All Aboard! The Chili Express Cookbook
Working On The Railroad
Are you ready for an adventure? “All Aboard! The Chili Express”, where once upon a time, I was the co-owner of the Fillmore & Western Railway, which served as a movie, excursion and dinner train. My jobs included arranging the concessions and bar area, hiring entertainment and catering, and setting up the gift shop for each afternoon excursion… AND so much more. Visit the Fillmore & Western Railway to learn more about their available excursions and events. (Note: the F&W is currently non-operational. – Jan)
I decided to publish my own unique cookbook, which I titled, “Main Line Recipes”, to include “old timers” railroad terminology, along with recipes, of course. This led to my traveling to many states selling my book to other excursion railroads and to the fun and excitement of book signings. Not to brag, but my cookbook was not only sold to excursion train gift shops, but found its way into train hobby shops and railroad museums.
Leona Valley and Sertoma
After selling the Fillmore & Western Railway to another railroad enthusiast, I moved to Leona Valley. There I was introduced to the Leona Valley Sertoma and the beginning of a whole new adventure. In this next chapter of my life, I found a new calling and quickly moved up the leadership ladder. I have had the opportunity to meet some great people and have been involved with coordinating fundraising events with the group since 2006.
As I mentioned earlier, part of my job with the Fillmore & Western Railway included booking entertainment and this experience comes in handy as a member of Leona Valley Sertoma. What better way to raise funds than through entertaining an audience? This has resulted in booking the same murder mystery troupe who performed on those train excursions, to perform in Leona Valley. The concept was a huge “sell out” success, resulting in five different performances. Thus, our Lakes and Valleys community residents have enjoyed five different Murder Mystery dinner performances with the funds raised going to support things like our Scholarship Program. Hopefully, in the post-pandemic times ahead we can bring more entertainment to our Lakes and Valleys residents.
Let me close by encouraging all you readers to get involved in your communities and be a part of “making a difference”. For those living in the Leona Valley area, I invite you to come see what Leona Valley Sertoma is all about. We hold breakfast meetings at 8am,on the first and third Saturday of each month, at Jack’s Place, in Leona Valley. For details email Jan at – firstname.lastname@example.org
I suppose I could have shared so much more of my past railroading and more recipes from my cookbook, but, maybe I save that for another time. I’ll close with one of the recipes from my cookbook. I hope you like it.
— Jan Clark – Sertoma Member
From My Cookbook: Main Line Recipe to Include Railroad “Lingo” Language
By: Jan Clark
Educational and Tasteful ~~ “Doubleheader” Chili Meaning: A train hauled by two locomotives, especially in mountain areas, snow and where heavy trains are involved.
1Lb. sweet Italian sausage / casing removed 1Lb. lean ground beef 2 C. finely chopped onion 1C. ea. chopped red and yellow bell pepper 3 cloves fresh garlic minced ¼ C. flour 2 Tbs. chili powder 2 Tsp. ea. cumin seed, basil and oregano leaves 1 Tsp salt and pepper 3 cans (28 oz. ea.) Italian tomatoes chopped & undrained 1 sm. can tomato paste 1 can ea. butter beans & dark red kidney beans undrained 1 can black beans drained 3 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce 1 ¼ Tsp. hot pepper sauce (optional or to taste) add a little water if necessary.
In a large pot, cook both meats with onions , peppers and garlic until veggies are tender and drain off fat. Add flour, salt, pepper and dry seasonings. Stir in all beans and sauces… Simmer for 1 hour.
Optional: You can spoon chili over cooked rice or small – cooked macaroni pasta
Garnish Optional: chopping all black olives, long green onions, bell peppers, seedless tomatoes and shredded cheese of choice.
– Bon Appetit, Jan Clark