The JOTW Virtual Potluck:

The JOTW Virtual Potluck:

Ned Lundquist's popular “Job of the Week” e-newsletter and website is conducting a virtual potluck picnic for the long Labor Day weekend. Ned has faithfully received and shared job opportunities with the 10,000-plus subscribers in his weekly compendium, and has really made a difference for many communicators. Even more so, the JOTW family has bloomed into a true virtual community. For this Potluck, his peeps, who call themselves “Nedworkers,” are sending their recipes to Ned at, where they are posted at The photos are being posted at The picnic is being virtually hosted by Jack Duggan in southern Oregon’s “hidebound hills, home of Forest Creek Studios, snugly tucked between Timber Mountain and Mount Isabelle.”

Here's what people are bringing. Add your own:

*** From Sarah Stanley:


I'll bring pineapple zucchini bread. It's the perfect food for satisfying hunger, taming a sweet tooth, or convincing yourself that you are getting on of your 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables. The recipe and a picture is available at the following link:

Looking forward to meeting everyone!

– Sarah Stanley

*** From Ken Frager:

Count me in for bringing some Maryland Crab cakes. I’ll use just a little sumpin, sumpin…that’s something, something but I wanted to get the pronunciation right…to hold the lump crabmeat together, add some Old Bay seasoning…and then maybe if someone can bring some vine ripened tomatoes we’ll be rockin’. Traveling all the way to Oregon, even for a virtual trip, might be a bit much over the holiday weekend, with airport screenings, flight delays, and the like. I mean, I might have to take time off from work and since I am on my own now and just getting started, time is precious. So if I don’t make it, please drink a Natty Boh for me, drive gently, and enjoy the crab cakes.

Ken Frager


*** From Jim Parsons:

Count me in for beer–Pyramid Hefeweisen, Alaskan Amber, and–if I can do some sweet-talking–a keg of Mac and Jack's African Ale.


*** From Paul Hart:

What a great idea! I'll work on my BBQ beans. You have an outlet for the margarita machine?


Paul Hart

(Let’s ask Jack.)

I bet we could get one of those emergency generators at Lowe's. This would be sort of an emergency… no margaritas.

*** From Amy Heisler :

Hi Ned! Hi Jack! I'll need an extension cord for my crockpot, hope that's not a problem!

AmyH's Best Meatballs Ever

One big red bag of frozen Armour brand meatballs (any other kind just won't do).

One jar hot chunky salsa

One jar apricot preserves

Cinnamon to taste

Mix salsa, apricot preserves and a couple healthy shakes of cinnamon in slow cooker. Add meatballs.

Cook on low for a MINIMUM of six hours, four on high. The soaking through of the sauce is the key to perfection. Any less time and your meatballs will be a severe disappointment to all who try them.


Amy Heisler

Says Ned: I dunno. Pretty strong claim for something that comes out of a bag in the freezer.

What do you think.

Don't think they can top Henry Lundquist's Swedish Meatballs.

*** Says Jack:

Well, Ned, out here in the hinterlands we prefer our meatballs to be made of venison or elk, if available. I understand further north they prefer moose.

I've had Swedish meatballs. They were sweet, just like the gal who owned 'em. 🙂

That said, I don't think we can rule out someone's recipe for using freezer bag material. After all, venison usually goes in the freezer as soon as it's boned out.

So I say we have to try both. Put pictures of each up, side by side, and let the viewers decide.

I'll take my meatballs with a cold bottle of 1554.

*** Responds Amy: The meatballs are just a vehicle for the sauce. Although the meatball composition is a strong factor in the end result.

These meatballs are like crack, you have one and you have to have more. I've seen people dredging the bottom of the crockpot for scraps. It's kind of scary.

They also get invited to more parties than I do. When declining invitations, I've been told to “Just drop the meatballs if you can't make it.”

I'm willing to discover meatballs better than these. How can that possibly be a bad thing?

*** Jack replies:

Bring it on, says I. Meatballs like crack! Doubt Armour would use that as an advertising slogan, but I think it has a ring to it. Yes, Amy, we even get modern conveniences like electricity here in the hinterlands. But we still keep the outhouse in good shape, just in case….

*** Hwee Suan Ong, originally from Singapore but living in Dubai and recently returned from Kenya and Morocco, offers this:

suan is contributing an imaginary moroccan chicken tagine – a typically moroccan dish – chicken stew that is simmered in olives, lemon and an exotic mix of spices – cooked and served in a ceramic plate and covered with a conical-shaped lid. a visual below:

*** From Jodi Reinman:

Hi Ned,

Here's a little something for the potluck. It's a Sicilian side dish that my Mom used to make. Although it doesn't really have an official name, and it's kind of simple – it's very satisfying and tasty. I chose it because most people are surprised to love it and happy to find out how simple it is to make.

Attached is a photo. If you (or anyone else) is interested in the recipe, I have it listed on a blog I just started at It's called “Italian Sausage and Mustard Greens.”

I look forward to the picnic!


P.S.-By the way, I've enjoyed your newsletter since recently joining after being laid off a couple months back. Thanks for such a great resource!

(Ned says: I love that serving dish. Ci sono molto Siciliano. Where is it from in Sicily? Do you have a chicken pitcher to match? The photo is posted at

*** Jodi responds:

Hi Ned,

I've no idea about it's origin in Sicily – I'll have to ask my Mom. I'm thinking it was just something my Grandpa threw together with greens from his garden.

As far as the chicken pitcher – I don't have one. But it's funny I was looking at one the other day, but more as vase for flowers.

Anyway, have a good evening.


*** From Debra Bethard-Caplick, MS, MBA, APR:

Good morning, Ned! Here's my dessert contribution.


Debra Bethard-Caplick, MS, MBA, APR

Strategic Communications

4-H Funny Cake

This is a recipe my mother has been making for as long as both my sister and I can remember, so it’s well over 50 years old. This is a WONDERFUL, rich chocolate cake — you'll never detect the lack of oil or eggs. It’s the perfect cake for lactose intolerant people or strict vegetarians. I've made it for years; it's the best chocolate cake I've ever had – and if you cover the pan with aluminum foil and let it sit on the counter overnight, the top turns a bit gooey, almost as if it’s making its own frosting! When served warm right out of the oven, it goes excellently well with Breyer’s all-natural vanilla ice cream. And in this economy, it takes a sense of humor to cope.

3 cups Flour

2 Cups Sugar

½ cup Cocoa

2 Teaspoons Baking soda

1 Teaspoon Salt

2 Teaspoons Vinegar

2 teaspoons Vanilla

2/3 cup Oil

2 Cups Cold water

2 teaspoons Almond extract

Directions: Mix together first 5 ingredients. Add remaining ingredients all at once. Mix well. Spread in greased and floured rectangular cake pan (you can use cocoa instead of flour. Bake at 350 degrees, about 30 minutes.

If you really need frosting, try this:

Fluffy White Frosting

Teaspoons Flour

¾ Cup Milk

¾ Cup Butter

¾ Cup Sugar

½ Teaspoon Vanilla

Cook milk and flour until thickened. Cool. Then add rest of ingredients and beat until smooth.

*** Says Ned: Funny? You think this is funny? It looks pretty hard to make, what with having to follow directions and all. So where's the picture? Ned)

*** Says Jack: I don't know, Ned. Bringing a 50-year-old cake to a potluck? I think the funny comes from people trying to cut it. 🙂

*** From Barbara Puffer, ABC:

Okay…so here I am with my contribution to the virtual picnic. I just love picnics. I even dressed for it.

My submission is all hot and gooey the way it is best. This item is what I call my meximush … but you can call it Mexican Bean Dip if the name is more informative. It's very popular among my vegetarian friends. This is a large pan (9″ X 13″) but you can always halve the recipe. And it always looks better in a Longaberger basket .

• Start with two 16 oz. containers of spreadable cream cheese. Do yourself a favor and buy light. You won't notice a difference in the taste.

• Next, spread 32 oz. of refried beans (homemade or one can is typically 16 oz., spicy or plain depending on taste) and spread it over the cream cheese.

• Next, add either a 24-oz. jar of your favorite salsa OR homemade. Homemade with fresh veggies and cilantro is big in CT at this time of year.

• And now, a creative option — you might want to add something here such as sliced black olives or peppers, or a friend once even added mushrooms, but cut them small If it's a crowd with kids, they seldom like that extra stuff.

• Finally, add a big pile of your favorite cheeses shredded. A good sharp cheddar should be the anchor in the mixture. I like a mix of cheddar and jack, myself. Don't think too hard. Grocery stores sell bags of mexican mix cheeses. Be generous and pile it high.

• Cook at 350 degrees for about a half hour or until bubbly…do not overcook the cheese but you want every layer of the mixture to seep into each other.

• Serve hot or cold or start hot and let it cool…either way, it's a delicious mixture on scoops chips or a cracker. You will need a couple of spreaders or a spoon because the chips will break in scooping.

• Grab your sombrero and your margarita and chow down!!

See you at the picnic!

Barbara Puffer, MA, Accredited Business Communicator

Puffer Public Relations Strategies

Guilford, CT

(Yes, there is a photo of the meximush, and Barb, both dressed for the picnic, at

Jack says: My wife told me that even for a virtual picnic I could not wear my “holy” jeans. Sheesh! Glad someone is dressing for it!

Do not uncover this dish before you arrive! I know of at least three neighbors who will immediately find some excuse to follow the scent and join the event.

*** From Susan Burnell, APR:

Hi Ned,

My contribution to the virtual potluck…enjoy!

Hurricane Cookies

(Called this because when there's an impending tropical storm I make a double or triple batch ahead of time. Baking them keeps me occupied, and I can share them with neighbors in case the power goes out. They keep well, but they don't last long at our house, storm or no storm. They disappear pretty fast at potlucks too.)


1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup Rice Krispies

1 cup Craisins (cranberry or orange flavor)


Set oven to 350

Blend margarine and sugars with mixer on low speed

Add egg and vanilla, mix well

Add flour and baking soda, mix until smooth

Stir in oats, Rice Krispies and Craisins

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on greased cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until brown

Cool and store in an airtight container

Cheers from Houston,


Susan H. Burnell, APR

Imagination Ink – Business Writing & Public Relations

Houston, TX

*** Adds Jack:

The only hurricanes we get up here would be from a fire, and it's the one thing I do everything to prevent. 'Course some have been known to dub me a blowhard, so I'll just have to test my talent, 'cause Susan's cookies sound scrumptious. The fact that she makes 'em up before a storm with the intention of sharing them with neighbors, well, that's just too cool. I'll find a special spot for Susan somewhere up here at Forest Creek Studios.

*** The Job of the Week newsletter and are a service of The Job of the Week Network LLC. Ned Lundquist, ABC, is editor and publisher.

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Job of the Week

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1 Comment to "The JOTW Virtual Potluck:"

  1. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    August 26, 2008 - 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I'm not very handy in the kitchen, so count me in for the cups and plates!

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