Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanks Continental Mills!

Santa Train® 2010 is sold out but preparations continue for the 11,000 guests that will be visiting North Bend, Snoqualmie and the Northwest Railway Museum over the next 4 weekends. Dozens of volunteers are decorating the Snoqualmie Depot, preparing thousands of gifts, and getting the historic kitchen car ready for use.

One of the most important “ingredients” for a successful event is cookie dough - enough for 22,000 cookies. Thanks to a donation of 46 cases of mix from Continental Mills of Seattle, Krusteaz® cookies will be baked and served in the Museum’s army ambulance kitchen car. Cookies are baked in the double army range fired with coal.

Cookies are produced by an efficient team of Museum Volunteers including Karen L., Kathy S., Charlsia S., Teena K., Ken L., Helga M., and Lucerne S. (Lucerne has participated in nearly every Santa Train since its inception!) and Jason P., who was camera shy. The mix the dough, load cookie sheets, tend the fire in the stoves, box the cookies for distribution during the event.

Instrumental in arranging the donation of Krusteaz cookie mix was Mike Castle of Continental Mills. Approving the contribution was Mike Merridith. Susan H. – who is the Museum’s President – contacted Continental Mills to describe the event and how the cookies will be used. Thank you Continental Mills!

The US Army Ambulance Kitchen Car 89601 was constructed in 1953 using plans refined during WW II. It was stationed at Washington’s Fort Lewis for more than twenty years awaiting a call to service that never came. Following retirement, it was purchased by Kennecott Copper near Salt Lake City to be converted to a tool car. Changes in that company’s operations saw the car surplused before it was converted; it was subsequently donated to the Northwest Railway Museum. It is a complete example of a 1953 kitchen car and features a double coal-fired army range, water raising system, ice reefers, serving and food preparation counters, and even a shower!

Santa Train is the Museum’s signature family event that was first operated in 1969 and now serves nearly 11,000 guests per year. The event features a trip by train from North Bend to Snoqualmie, a visit with Santa who gives each child a small gift, and a visit to the kitchen car for cookies, coffee and hot cocoa.

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