Hello Hesperia! This month I am honoring not one but two great programs in Hesperia. They are the Police Explorers and Fire Explorers. I learned so much about two very different programs and yet so much alike. These programs also help prepare the youth for a future career with the police or fire departments.

The police explorer Sgt. Is Ken Lutz and deputy advisors are John Clough, Lisa Guerra, Tina Kirby and Derek Stokes. Explorers Raymond Guerra is the explorer commander and Nathan Campos is the vice commander. Curtis Bennington was just voted the Explorer of the year. Congratulations!

For the Fire Explorers Brian Headley is the post advisor. He is also in charge of the fire prevention and arson team. Brian's wife helps him so much with the program. Parker Smith is the explorer chief. A big thanks to firefighter and paramedic Jonathan Hearn; he is one of the associate advisors for the program.

The Hesperia Fire Explorers often participate in cooking meals at the station and encounter the same difficulties that any burgeoning chef would. However their task is somewhat compounded by regular, unscheduled emergencies that call them away from the kitchen, and require them to completely (and rapidly) shut down all stoves, oven, barbecues and other devices, and resume later (anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours later). This added angle of meal-preparation precipitates the need for strategic planning ahead of time, and undoubtedly teaches flexibility and improvisation in the kitchen.

Willie's Chicken Enchilada Casserole

2 large whole chickens
1 12-ounce tub sour cream2 large onions, diced
40 to 60 white corn tortillas
1 jar pickled jalapeno peppers
1 pound mild cheddar cheese, grated
1 tablespoon margarine
1 pound Monterey jack cheese, grated
5 cans cream of chicken soup

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Boil and debone chicken. Retain two quarts broth in sauce pan. Shred chicken. Dice onions and three jalapenos. Sauté onions and jalapenos in margarine and three tablespoons juice from jalapenos. Add cream of chicken soup, sour cream and chicken meat. Cook two minutes over medium heat.

Heat the chicken broth in sauce pan. Dip tortillas in broth to soften. Put one layer of tortillas in bottom of large roasting pan. Put approximately three-fourth inch layer of sauce mixture over tortillas. Add a thin, even layer of both cheeses. Layer tortillas, sauce, and cheeses again and continue until all sauce is used. Finish with remaining cheeses. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Serves 10 to 15 people.

Sgt. Ken Lutz offers up this great complete meal. The Hesperia Police Department and Hesperia Explorer Post 505 love to eat!

Summer Salad and Dressing

Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and white sugar. Shake well and serve over fresh baby greens or your favorite lettuce. Add cranberry raisins and candied nuts.

Spaghetti Sauce and Sausage

Use your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce. Start with a small amount of olive oil and add fresh garlic to taste. Lightly brown and add your favorite link style sausage. Add fresh sliced mushrooms and sauce. Slowly simmer to allow all the favors to blend. Add salt and pepper at the end to taste. Boil six quarts of water and add pasta. Cook about nine minutes or until tender. Drain well. Pour sauce over pasta and add fresh Parmesan cheese.

French Bread

Slice a loaf of French bread into one inch slices. Use pre-made garlic spread and layer thickly. Slide into the broiler for several minutes. Serve warm.

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Again thank you to both the police and fire departments for helping me put this column together. I admire all the time you give these programs and how successful they are. To work with so many young people takes a lot of organization, time and patience. Thank you; all of you because you care!

See you next month. Love, Charlene