Pioneer Potluck: About more bears in the neighborhood

North Nikiski, Turnbull Residence



AUGUST 2014 John and Nikki live on the top of a hill that over looks a beautiful lake. They live in a dome house - yes, it’s round. John and his friends built it a long time ago. It had to be painted this year. John did get it painted between rain and more rain.

He cleaned out his paint bucket and sloshed the residue beside his big shop that he also built with help from friends. On Mondays and Thursdays Bob stops to see him on his way home from working at M&M market. The meeting place is in the back part of the big shop, next to a monster stove - you guessed it - that John built. He has a chair beside the stove and that is where John does his “pondering.” With the help of his friends, Bob and Dan, they do a great job!!

Thursday, John was positioned on his chair beside the big stove, pondering the universe, when around the corner of the shop came a little bear. The bear had stepped in the residue paint and made tracks into the shop - looking for goodies. Before John could decide what to do with his intruder - mom bear came around the corner, also stepping in the residue paint - looking for baby bear and maybe goodies inside the shop.

Well, John designed the shop - John has been very happy with everything in his shop - but he forgot ONE thing - a back door!! Or an escape window!

Nowhere to get away from the curious bears, and not knowing what else to do--John jumped up - picked up that chair that he was pondering on - and started waving the chair like he was a lion tamer! He let out a couple of “:get out of here - go - go - get gone” - waving his chair high above his head..YUP they left. Wouldn’t YOU?

Now John has something else to ponder - an escape door in the back of his shop!!

PS Sunday one of the bears showed up in his yard again.

I think the bear was just checking to see if John still had his chair in his hands - shouting at the top of his lungs. Nope! John was sitting on his chair in the back of the shop - pondering!


What to do with all those tomato’s??

This recipe is so simple and so tasty!

4 fresh tomatoes chopped fine-put in a colander to drain

You should have about 2 cups

1/2 cup of minced fresh cilantro-or parsley

2 to 3 cloves of fresh garlic-mashed with knife and minced

1/2 cup of very finely chopped onion-or green onions

1 can 4oz chopped green chilies

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For a little kick - 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper(op)

Add all the chopped vegetables, herbs and spices to a bowl-mix and cover. Refrigerate for 4 hours.


I made dozens and dozens of these cookie this last week for the going away Bon Fire at Susan and Porters. Granddaughter Cecile and son, Michael went back to Washington after a wonderful visit. Bob ate the last of the crumbs last night.

Combine and set aside:

2 1/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup cocoa

1/2 tsp salt

In a large mixer bowl beat:

1 cup butter at room temp

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla or half and half vanilla and almond extract

1/2 cup instant coffee granules-optional

Beat until creamy.


2 eggs and beat well.

Add the flour mixture gradually in small amounts, mixing well, - you may have to finish mixing by hand.

Stir in:

2 cups milk chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans -optional

Drop by heaping tablespoons on ungreased cookie sheets Bake 350% for 8 to 10 minutes - Do not over bake, the middle will look wet and unbaked. Cool in pan 3 to 5 minutes and remove to wire rack. Makes about 18 large cookies and 3 dozen smaller cookies. This is a favorite cookie of Susan and me too.


With the upcoming Labor Day holiday - this is one of the best sauces to put on chicken, pork ribs or those rib-eye steaks. Plus it uses the rhubarb in your garden!

In a medium sauce pan, bring to boil:

2 cups fresh rhubarb chopped fine-to use frozen rhubarb-thaw and drain off liquid before you cook.

Add 3/4 cup water

Simmer 5 minutes.


2 medium onions chopped fine

2 tblsp vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, mashed with a knife and chopped fine

Sauté one minute.

Add to sauce pan with the rhubarb, the sautéed onions and garlic

2 cup ketchup

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup dark corn syrup

2 tblsp apple cider vinegar

4 tblsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tblsp yellow prepared mustard

2 tblsp Tabasco - op

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Simmer slowly, stirring occasionally, it will burn.

*You may have to add by the tablspoon full brown sugar, depends on how tart the rhubarb is.

You can use this after 5 minutes of simmering or put in crock pot on low for one hour.

Store in jar with lid for about 2 weeks. Double this and can in small jars for future use.