Blackburn Canyon Burns-Tehachapi Responds

Today while shopping in Palmdale, we saw a large plume of smoke rising from the mountains above the dessert. It was alarming in the fact that the plume of smoke was rising from the Tehachapi Mountains very near our home. OK it was in fact about 15-20 miles from our actual home, but a wildfire is a fast-moving and unpredictable thing. We drove past it on Hwy 58 to get home, and it was pretty ugly.

A plane had crashed into an area of very dry brush setting off the fire. To make matters worse the fire was started in a remote area with no road access. Fire crews were relying heavily on water and fire-retardant drops from above.

We arrive home just shortly after 3:30pm. I had a message waiting fro me on my answering machine. It was my Pastor, Dianna Ryder. She was calling to ask me for my help. The salvation Army had contacted her about possibly getting food prepared and sent up to the firefighters in the hills. Being the resident food expert, this was right up my alley. I grabbed what supplies I thought I needed, and returned her call as I was heading for my car.

I was at my church in 30 minutes, and there were already people there before me. The call had gone out to the members of the church and the community (you gotta love the Internet for getting a quick response) that we needed supplies for making sandwiches and hands at the ready to put them together.

We put over 250 ( I think the exact number was around 275) cold cut and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We also filled baggies with chips and snacks. We had donations of fruit and bottled water from everywhere! It was a LIVE LOAVES AND FISHES MOMENT!!!! From five loaves and seven fishes came a multitude of food water and supplies for the heroes on the Mountain fighting an out-of-control blaze.

Yes those men and women on the ground, and in the air putting the wildfire out are the real heroes of the day, but the men and women who gave their time, money, food and bottled water at the Tehachapi Community Congregational Church are, in my heart, heroes too!!! God bless every one of them...

Here is the recipe for "sandwiches for the multitudes"
One really big table
Sanitizing solution
24 loaves of bread
25 Lbs. various cold cuts
20Lbs. Sliced cheese of choice
2 Qts. Mayo
2 Qts. Mustard
12 volunteers
bottled water from everyone who showed up
Find one big table and sanitize it. Lay out 10-12 loaves of bread flat like tiles on the table. In alternating rows spread mustard down one row then mayo down the next, repeating until you have covered all the bread with either mayo or mustard. Then on the mayonnaise covered slices, place cold cuts. On the mustard covered slices place your choice of cheese. Fold the cheese and mustard covered bread over the meat and mayo covered bread. Repeat with remaining bread, condiments, and cheese. Pack in little plastic baggies and stack in boxes. Send to Salvation Army for hungry firefighters alone with water bottles donated from the community....VOILA! A bunch of tired, hungry heroes fed and refreshed.

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