6/27/07 news article [here]

jojo baker dancing to his own tune! Every Sunday morning, jojobaker rode his “horse” Southward from a town called Bonner’s Ferry to Sandpoint, Idaho, with CDs and recipes in his saddlebags to share with friends over the airwaves from five to ten a.m. 

During these five hours he practiced the three “G”s; Good music to fill the soul, Good food and recipes to fill the body and Good friends listening to fill the spirit. 

In March of 2004, JoJo took a break from the air waves, partly because his schedule was getting very busy (Auctioneering and Catering), but mostly because management took away his horse and made him empty his saddle bags. Rather than argue with the management JoJo decided to just let things ride. JoJo is still alive and kicking even after Sunday radio. In addition to hosting his Sunday show, JoJo is stll in the radio business with Bluesky Broadcasting.

He has a good relationship with management and is focusing his time in Bonners Ferry with the local AM station, 1450 KBFI - News Talk Sports. And yes, JoJo has acommunity talk show every Tuesday in his Bonners Ferry office, simulcasting on the local AM (KSPT) station in Sandpoint.

jojo baker - perpetually on the phone.JoJo has committed himself to the community in which he lives, Bonners Ferry (Boundary County). JoJo is the president (2004) of the Greater Bonners Ferry Chamber of Commerce, member of the Rotary Club of Bonners Ferry, and also a member of The Bonners Ferry Lions Club.

So if you have a community activity or upcoming event, please call or email JoJo for radio sales promotion, auctioneering fund raising and catering.

Remember, JoJo brings the BAR-B-Q to you!
(208) 290-4049




Spokesman-Review
Lifestyle

"D.J. jazzy chef"
[link to web article] Jo Jo Baker charges up appetites every Sunday on his radio show

Leslie Kelly - Staff writer

His voice is like a cup of French roast with cream -- rich, smooth and just what you need to help wake up on a Sunday morning.

When Jo Jo Baker -- host of an early morning radio show on Sandpoint's KPND -- starts talking about cooking cornmeal waffles or whipping up a Mexican scramble, mouths start to water all around Kootenai and Bonner counties.

"Oh, the kids are going to love these Breakfast Blossoms," he purrs, in a delivery that's a little bit Barry White blended with a smidge of the Food Networks' bubbly Emeril Lagasse.

In between spinning a wildly eclectic mix of music -- Django Reinhardt might segue into country rocker Chris Rea, followed by Sarah Vaughan -- Baker walks his listeners through some mouthwatering morning recipes.

"It all got started because I got hungry," said Baker, whose real name is Joe Tajan.

Now, he makes his legions of loyal listeners hungry every week between 5 and 10 a.m.

None of his dishes are particularly complicated. Those Breakfast Blossoms are simply Pillsbury-type biscuits baked in a muffin tin with jam and cream cheese.

But it's the way he describes them -- in that soft, silky bedroom voice -- that inspires his audience to rise and shine and preheat their ovens.

"Oh, it's cold out there today. You should make yourself a big pot of coffee and a batch of these Blossoms and stay off the roads," Baker suggests so convincingly.

While he sounds like he was born to be on the radio, Baker came to his turn behind the microphone later in his life. (He's in his mid-50s, "I'm 53 or 54, I guess," he said.)

A native of Houston, Texas, Baker has been interested in food since he was a kid.

"I grew up in a house with three sisters, and my Mom enrolled all of us in cooking classes one summer. I remember making a cherry-pineapple upside cake," he said. "Meals were always a big deal at our house. We all sat down together, especially Sundays after church when my Dad would barbecue."

After high school, this self-described hippie took off to see the world, hitch-hiking to Aspen, Colo., where he landed his first cooking job.

"I ended up following this one chef to Hawaii," Baker said. "I learned a lot from him -- prep, prep, prepping. And working the saute line." He went back to Texas to take care of his ailing father, but soon hit the highways again, this time with the woman who he would later marry."We wanted to go to Canada and live off the land," he said. "We got as far as the Yaak River area in Montana." That was 1973. The couple later bought 20 acres off the Pack River Road, and built a log cabin.

"At the time, I was working at a place called the Chateau Supper Club (outside Sandpoint, it's now the Outlaw Bar), but when my oldest son was born, I decided to quit staying up late and get a day job," Baker said. He did some logging, some construction. He enrolled in baking courses, and learned to bake bread and make pastries. He was also got involved in Toastmasters, which "gave me a lot of confidence."

Baker gravitated back to the kitchen, cooking with former Sandpoint chef Greg Grass, who worked at various eateries before starting a place of his own."I experimented with all kinds of breads," he said. "People loved them."

Around the time that restaurant went under, Baker approached the owner of KPND and asked about the possibility of learning the control board, taking over the dreaded early Sunday shift."I was making $5 an hour running church programming in the beginning, but it was so tempting to get on the air," he said. So, the career of Jo Jo Baker was launched.

Some seven years later, he's still urging listeners to fire up their cast iron skillets on Sunday. "Hold on, after this song, we're going to do some Dutch babies," he says. "Oh, they're so good."

When he's not tempting folks to get creative in the kitchen over the airwaves, Baker also sells radio advertising in the Bonners Ferry area and, occasionally, does food product demonstrations at area supermarkets.

He used to work at Alpine Lumber, where his voice could be heard reciting recipes when customers were put on hold." People from all across the country were calling up, just asking to be put on hold," he said.

He can also be spotted on the road in his racy red Bug, a VW Beetle that's plastered with decals from businesses that pay to be displayed on his car.

But Baker's consuming passions remain his family -- he openly brags about his two grown sons -- and food."My wife loves to cook, too," he said. "We have fun in the kitchen together. It's a great way to relieve stress."

These days, he's doing his best to follow the advice he gives when signing off each week, bits of wisdom he's picked up from author Tom Robbins: "It's never too late to have a happy childhood. Forgive your parents and keep things light."

Cornmeal waffles

From the goodcooking.com Web site

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup cornmeal, sprinkled over and stirred into 1 cup boiling water
6 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter

Sift dry ingredients together. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Beat egg yolks (separately), add milk, butter, cornmeal and combine with dry ingredients. Mix well. Gently fold in the beaten egg white, mixing thoroughly.

Bake in a hot waffle iron that has been sprayed with a pan coating such as Pam. Serve with warm maple syrup.

Yield: 12 servings

Nutrition per serving: 216 calories, 10 grams fat (42 percent fat calories), 5 grams protein, 26 grams carbohyrdrate, 85 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram dietary fiber, 540 milligrams sodium.

Mexican Scrambled Eggs

From Aida Gabilondo's "Mexican Family Cooking."

6 tablespoons salad oil

4 corn tortillas, cut in thin strips
1/2 cup tomato, chopped
1/4 cup white onion, chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeded and chopped
4 eggs, beaten with salt until frothy

Heat half the oil and saute the tortilla strips. Drain.

Heat remaining oil in skill and saute the chopped tomato, onion and pepper for 30 seconds over medium heat. Put tortillas back in the skillet.

Pour beaten eggs into the skillet over the ingredients and cook, stirring often. Serve on warm plates with refried beans and garlic toast.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutrition per serving: 647 calories, 54 grams fat (75 percent fat calories), 16 grams protein, 30 grams carbohydrate, 425 milligrams cholesterol, 4 grams dietary fiber, 214 milligrams sodium.


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