Many fire departments are steeped in tradition. Here in the Seattle Fire Department the bells hit at 0700 hours at all of our stations to wake those of us who are lucky enough to be sleeping. It is still called the “hitch” from when we had horse drawn engines and trucks. In past articles here you’ve heard me talk about the “clutch.” New recruits are expected to be the first ones to show up for work and the last ones to leave at the end of the shift. They also usually do all the house work. It’s not written down as a requirement but it is tradition. Every department has traditions. Some traditions can be hard for those outside the department to understand. My wife has always had a hard time trying to comprehend one particular tradition we have here in the SFD: if it is your birthday, you have to provide the dessert for the station. My wife thinks that is backwards. Regardless, it is the way it is done here. Also, if you get your picture in the paper or are make the T.V. news while one duty, you have to provide dessert. AND any time you do something for the first time while on the job, you provide dessert. This one really hurts when you’re a new recruit! And finally, if you happen to be so lucky as to work some overtime, you better provide dessert! So if you find yourself needing a quick dessert for your crew at work or at home, here is a great tasting and simple dessert for ya. Enjoy!
Suey’s No Frills Upside Down Cake
By Michael “Suey” Sulak, Seattle Fire Department, Station 8, Ladder 6
1 box yellow cake mix (see back of box for other ingredients like eggs and oil)
1 can pineapple chunks
1 can cherry or berry pie filling
4 tablespoons butter
Pre-heat an oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9X12 inch baking dish. Pour the pineapple chunks and pie filling into the baking dish and mix together. Prepare the cake mix per the directions on the box. Pour the cake mix evenly over the pineapple and pie filling. Dot the top with the butter and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes or until the cake is done. Serve with ice cream on the side. Serves 4-6.
*Note: The term “Beanery” is still alive and well in the Seattle Fire Department and is still the name we apply to the kitchen today. Because of low wages early in SFD’s history, the firefighters could often only afford to buy beans for their meals. Beans were cheap and provided a high source of protein. The procedure was to soak the beans overnight and simmer them all day long in the kitchen…thus the term “Beanery.”