Pat Haugen_Spotted at Seacole

Meet Pat Haugen, Seacole Surface Finishing Account Manager

Pat Haugen_Spotted at Seacole

We had a chance this month to catch up with surface finishing account manager and newest Seacole employee Pat Haugen. Pat works with Seacole customers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Take a moment to get to know Pat!

What is your role at Seacole?

I’m the surface finishing account manager for Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

What trends are you seeing this year?

Personally, I am looking for a good year to develop more business primarily in Wisconsin and Iowa. There is a lot of potential in plating, anodizing, and pre-paint well-suited for Seacole and our suppliers. Overall, the economy is heating up. I expect Seacole will have a good year.

What advice would you give people in your field?

Put yourself in your customers’ or prospects’ shoes and try to see yourself from their point of view. Listen to their concerns and look for where you can help. Be persistent; it takes time to earn trust.

What is your favorite Seacole product?

My favorite group of products would be electroless nickel. It is a complex process, and we have very good products with Metalchem.

What might someone be surprised to know about Seacole?

All the diverse things we do and do well.

What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?

Get coffee! I like the coffee at Seacole: strong!

Do you have a secret for staying productive?

Have some method for staying on track. Write it down, make a list, prioritize your activities into what you can do now to influence the desired result. Don’t get down, just start and it will happen.

Before starting your career, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I worked concrete construction of grain buildings one summer in college. It was hard work, but I really got in shape.

What is something you can’t live without?

Family – all but especially my wife and grandkids.

Friends – both new and old but especially the old ones that know me the best.

Fun –Go Wild! Skol Vikings! Win Twins! And vacations to relax.

Pat’s Motto:

Work hard and have fun. You only have one life to live; appreciate it.

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Cookie Chemistry_Seacole

Christmas Cookie Chemistry: A Look Inside the Oven (and Seacole’s Favorite Cookie Recipe)

Cookie Chemistry_Seacole

We’ve decked the halls at Seacole and we’re all settling in for some festive time off at the end of month. And if your office is like ours, the Christmas cookies are . . . everywhere!

And that got us thinking: what’s the chemistry behind a good cookie?

Cookie Chemistry at Work

Baking cookies (and treats of all kinds, actually) is an example of chemistry in action. Baking is one of the first chemistry experiments we do as kids. The ingredients you use, the amount you beat the dough, the temperature of the oven, and baking time work together to set off chemical reactions, resulting in the perfect cookie.

Cookie Chemistry Basics: Spread, Rise, Color, and Flavor

The spread, or diameter, of your cookie is determined by the butter. If you use melted butter in your dough, it’s very wet when the cookies go in the oven. Their structure quickly breaks down in the heat, expanding the cookie’s diameter. Using colder butter helps maintain the structure.

Your cookie’s rise occurs when the water in your dough is converted from liquid to gas (i.e. steam). The steam pushes the dough up as it starts to rise. Then, the baking soda and baking powder combination cause a chemical reaction, producing carbon dioxide. This makes the cookie rise even further and creates holes in the dough, resulting in a light and flaky cookie. Also, did you know a cookie won’t rise in temperatures lower than 212 degrees Fahrenheit? That’s the boiling point of water. Any lower and the water in the dough won’t convert to steam.

Just when you thought the chemical reactions were done, the last few minutes of the bake cause two delicious chemical reactions. As the sugars break down, they caramelize and create that signature “fresh-baked cookie” odor. Then the proteins in the egg and flour finally succumb to the Maillard reaction. This reaction occurs when sugars and proteins are heated together, for delicious results. It’s responsible for the toasty flavor of your favorite cookie.

Cookie Chemistry: Advanced Skills

Now that you’ve mastered the basics, here are a few chemistry tips for perfecting your favorite cookie. We’ve already mentioned that using melted butter in your dough will create a flatter, chewier cookie. Using cold butter creates a cakey, fluffy cookie.

Baking soda (aka sodium bicarbonate) and baking powder (baking soda plus a dry acid, such as cream of tartar) can alter your cookie chemistry, too. Switching out soda for powder will create extra rise because baking powder leavens the dough when it’s mixed in and when it’s heated.

Another pro tip? Use more flour for a thicker cookie. And, dark sugars such as molasses and honey will get you a toastier flavor than white sugar.

Seacole’s Favorite Cookie Recipe: Aunt Mary’s Sugar Cookies

Here’s a sugar cookie recipe straight from the kitchen of Seacole owner and founder Gregg Elliott.

Aunt Mary’s Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter

2 eggs

1 ½ cup white sugar

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. fresh baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla

3 cups flour (reserve 3 Tbsp. for rolling)

Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together three times. Cut into butter like a pie crust. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until light. Add sugar and vanilla to eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Combine all ingredients and hand mix gently. Store in the refrigerator overnight.

Roll thin or make into balls and press with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar. Bake at 300–325 degrees for 10–12 minutes. Enjoy!

Happy Holidays from the Seacole team!

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Plant De-Icing Tips_Seacole

Think Spring This Winter! Plant-Safe De-Icing Products for Ice and Snow

Plant De-Icing Tips_Seacole

Recent winter storms brought ice and snow to Minneapolis, Boston, and Houston. Many property owners were caught unprepared for the icy road and walkway conditions. Finding an effective deicer that’s also safe for your landscaping can be tricky. Here are a few tips on what to look for when you’re hunting for this season’s supply of ice melt.

Choose Your Road Salt Wisely

De-icing products all look alike on store shelves, but each product is very different. Salt is the most popular de-icing agent, but did you know there are different types of salt? Each one has its own ice-melting capacity, price point, and degree of safety.

Rock Salt, aka sodium chloride, is the most common de-icing agent. It’s available, affordable, and easy to spread. But, it only works down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (sorry, Minnesota). And of all your salt options, rock salt is the most harmful to plants. So, if you’re using it adjacent to grass or landscape beds, it’s not your best bet.

Calcium chloride is another salt option. It works faster than rock salt and at colder temperatures, down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. But while it won’t hurt your concrete walkways, it will damage or kill your plants. So, it’s more effective for colder climates, but it won’t save your landscaping.

Potash, aka potassium chloride, is better known as a fertilizer. But it is also an effective deicer and safe for your plants as long as you don’t overdo it on the application. Don’t use more than 5 pounds per 100 square feet. Potash is not as fast as rock salt or calcium chloride, but is ultimately more effective.

Magnesium chloride is the most plant-safe bet of your solid ice melt options. It works down to a Minnesota-friendly -13 degrees Fahrenheit and requires just 1–2 pounds per 100 square feet. Magnesium chloride is safe for plants and your paving.

For the Best De-Icing Results, Spray, Don’t Spread

Solid salt ice melt is a conventional choice for de-icing, but Seacole has an innovative and plant-safe option. Our PA Liquid Deicer works in Arctic Circle-level temperatures (below -40 degrees Fahrenheit!). Plus, a single application of our liquid deicer will last longer than solid rock salt. It’s also safe for plants and driveway and walkway surfaces. You can apply our liquid deicer with a standard lawn and garden sprayer.

This winter, don’t let your de-icing product wreak havoc on your spring landscaping. Choose a plant-safe solution like our PA Liquid Deicer for effective and safe ice melting, even in sub-zero weather. Contact Seacole today to place your order.

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