February 2022 Clarke-Washington

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Stories | Recipes | Events | People | Places | Things | Local News February 2022

ClarkeWashıngton

ELECTRIC MEMBERSHIP CORP.

Vintage ride Alabama couple’s mission to promote and preserve classic muscle cars

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Manager Steve Sheffield Co-op Editor Sarah Turner ALABAMA LIVING is delivered to some 420,000 Alabama families and businesses, which are members of 22 not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed and taxpaying electric cooperatives. Subscriptions are $12 a year for individuals not subscribing through participating Alabama electric cooperatives. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office. POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, Alabama 36124-4014.

Adding coziness to your home

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ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL OFFICES:

340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 For advertising, email: advertising@areapower.com For editorial inquiries, email: contact@alabamaliving.coop NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE:

American MainStreet Publications 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181 www.AMP.coop www.alabamaliving.coop USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311

Our readers have traveled everywhere from Alaska to England this past year, and they took their favorite magazine along!

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Alabama People

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Choose chicken

As head of a sovereign nation and the top executive overseeing multi-faceted business enterprises, Stephanie Bryan’s combination of responsibilities is unique in Alabama.

Prepared in countless different ways, chicken can be a tasty and nutritious staple in our daily diets.

Printed in America from American materials

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D E P A R T M E N T S 11 Spotlight 25 Around Alabama 26 Outdoors 27 Fish & Game Forecast 30 Cook of the Month 38 Hardy Jackson’s Alabama ONLINE: alabamaliving.coop ON THE COVER

Look for this logo to see more content online!

VOL. 75 NO. 2

Take us along!

ALABAMA RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION

AREA President Karl Rayborn Editor Lenore Vickrey Managing Editor Allison Law Creative Director Mark Stephenson Art Director Danny Weston Advertising Director Jacob Johnson Graphic Designer/Production Coordinator Brooke Echols

Adding an area rug to a hard-surface floor can make us feel warmer, even with the same setting on the thermostat. That’s just one of several ways you can save on your home energy costs.

Pam and Tim Wellborn are founders of the Wellborn Musclecar Museum in Alexander City, home to more than 85 fully restored muscle cars from model years 1968 to 1971. Story, Page 12. PHOTO: Scott Baker

30 WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

ONLINE: EMAIL: MAIL:

www.alabamaliving.coop letters@alabamaliving.coop Alabama Living 340 Technacenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117

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External factors drive costs Office Locations Jackson Office 9000 Highway 43 P.O. Box 398 Jackson, AL 36545 (251) 246-9081 Chatom Office 19120 Jordan Street P.O. Box 453 Chatom, AL 36518 (251) 847-2302 Toll Free Number (800) 323-9081 Office Hours 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Friday (Drive-thru Hours)

Payment Options Mail P.O. Box 398 Jackson, AL 36545 P.O. Box 453 Chatom, AL 36518 Office During normal office hours at our Chatom and Jackson offices. Phone (855) 870-0403 Online www.cwemc.com Night Deposit 24/7 at Jackson & Chatom CWEMC App Available from the App Store and Google Play Bank Draft CheckOut Pay where you shop at any Dollar General, Family Dollar CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens and Walmart. 4 FEBRUARY 2022

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If you’ve read this column over the past year, you probably noticed how many times I commented on the rising cost of materials we use in our daily activities and how difficult it has been to maintain our inventory due to supply chain issues. Things often change quickly and that’s certainly been the case recently in the electric utility business. We experienced several years of extremely stable costs for electricity and materials but those days seem to be a thing of the past. Government regulations have forced the closure of most coal-fired electric generating facilities, which in turn has placed a greater demand on natural gas for electric generation. Gas prices can be extremely volatile as we saw last year. The price of natural gas was approximately $2.50/MMBtu in March 2021 but spiked to more than $6/MMBtu in October 2021. The increases in the cost of natural gas caused PowerSouth, our wholesale power provider, to add a PCA (power cost adjustment) to our wholesale power bill. As a result of general inflation rising to a 13-year high and the increase in our wholesale power costs, we struggled last year to make our operating margins and meet our financial covenants required by our lenders. We worked closely with CFC (Cooperative Finance Corporation) over the last few months on a Cost-of-Service Study and financial plan which indicated the need for additional revenue to meet our financial obligations and budget needs. The study indicated it was necessary to adjust

our facility/minimum charge. This is the first increase in nine years. The facility/minimum bill will be adjusted by $6 starting this month. The facility/ minimum charge helps offset the fixed cost to provide service (right-of-way maintenance, poles, wires, transformers, etc.) to each member. Clarke-Washington EMC is a notfor-profit, member-owned electric cooperative that strives daily to provide our members with the affordable and reliable service you have come to expect from us for nearly 86 years. Although any increase in the cost of service is regrettable, these changes will allow us to meet our financial obligations and continue to do important maintenance across the system including right-ofway trimming, herbicide application and pole inspection and replacement. Please rest assured as we continue to deal with an uncertain future regarding wholesale power costs and record inflation, we will do all we can to keep our costs as low as possible and still maintain our distribution system. Thank you.

Steve Sheffield General Manager

LEVELIZED BILLING There are no surprises with levelized billing. A levelized bill is based on the average billing for 12 months and you are billed for that average amount each month. For more information, please give us a call at 800-323-9081.

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hip from the Electric rs la o h sc a r fo ly p ap to e has joined other If so, you are eligible iv at er p o co l ca lo r u ion. Yo the Electric te ea cr Cooperative Foundat to a m ba la A f o out the state ion w ill be awarding at cooperatives through d n u fo e th g n ri sp is ion. Th their education at e u n ti Cooperative Foundat n co to ts en d u labama for st scholarships across A nal schools. o ti ca vo d an y ar d n o post-sec

in a copy of an ta b o s, ip h rs la o h sc e t thes om your high For more details abou fr n o ti ca li p ap ip h rs schola rner, Clarkeu Electric Cooperative T ah ar S : ct ta n co r o selor school guidance coun @cwemc.com. er rn tu s. at C M E n to Washing attachments ed ir u q re l al h it w s n o ti Don’t wait; applica 18, 2022 y ar ru eb F an th r te la o must be received n

Alabama Living

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SCOTCH LUMBER REBUILDS A mill fire is a devastating event on multiple levels and the Jan. 6, 2021 fire that destroyed the Scotch Plywood Company’s facility in Waynesboro, Miss., was no exception. The fire occurred while the mill was in operation, and every onsite employee, many of whom helped fight the fire, was accounted for and found unharmed. Except for a few pieces of equipment saved by the firefighters, the blaze resulted in a total loss of the mill, one of three Scotch owns. But before the smoldering embers cooled, leadership was moving forward. Aside from the concern for employee safety in Waynesboro, the group had to come to terms with the disruption in production of one mill and the logistical challenge of boosting production in another. The company needed to consider employee retention and maintaining relationships with landowners and customers, and what it would mean to not have a mill in eastern Mississippi to serve that part of the industry. Within 18 hours, company officials decided to rebuild at the same Waynesboro site and keep production moving by ramping up production of its Beatrice, Alabama mill. Timber would be shipped an additional 120 miles from Mississippi east to Alabama. Employees would be bused to and from work, daily. From the first days following the fire, the mission of the company was clear: to keep employees working, timber moving, land management intact, customers satisfied, landowners’ return on investment unaffected, and to ensure that every employee got home to their families. “Our greatest investment is in our people,” said Buddy 6 FEBRUARY 2022

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Douglas, plant manager for Scotch Plywood. “They make it happen.” For the plant managers of Scotch, the well-being of employees and their families, and the future of the surrounding community outweighed the potential risks and logistical struggles. Running a mill round-the-clock, they knew, would involve reducing some of the regularly scheduled maintenance that is vital to a mill running at its normal production hours. The challenge is managing costs. Not pushing the Beatrice mill to its maximum output was not an option, not with Waynesboro employees needing to work to support their families. With two charter busses, 12-hour days, and 12,000 tons of logs processed weekly, the Beatrice mill has continued to thrive. Scotch Plywood is more than just a place to sell timber, which is why there was a natural concern for landowners across the region following the Waynesboro fire. Beyond taking the trees and processing them into plywood, Scotch is an end-to-end solution for landowners. In addition to owning a plywood business, the Scotch Companies and their owners manage 460,000 acres of land in Alabama and Mississippi. In total, the group oversees 24 logging crews, employs 28 foresters and technicians, and manages multiple wood dealerships. Through its land management company, Scotch provides forestry expertise that many companies don’t offer. With the loss of Waynesboro, it was possible that Scotch would be too focused on its Beatrice mill to continue to www.alabamaliving.coop

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service landowners from Waynesboro. For generations, Scotch has helped large land owners not only sell and market their timber but has provided expertise in site preparation, seedling genetics, burning, thinning, logging, road building, land acquisition, and applying management best practices to ensure the land is cared for. Therefore, a major priority for Scotch was to reassure these landowners, many who have been with Scotch from the original handshake, that they were committed as always. As a complete solution for its large landowner partners, Scotch has deep expertise with boots on the ground when it comes to how well it knows the market, and how many vendor relationships it maintains around the region. For David Hall, President and CEO of Hall Timberlands, Scotch’s response to the fire at Waynesboro confirmed what he already knew about the type of people at the company. As the largest landowner for Scotch in Mississippi, his family has been trusting Scotch to manage his family’s land and timber since 1976, and for the longest time did so without a formal contract. “These are two family-owned businesses, and we have a seamless relationship with Scotch,” Hall said. “We see ourselves as an extension of their operations and vice versa. We buy land knowing that Scotch will handle the management aspect of it and get it to the Alabama mill

Alabama Living

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until Waynesboro is back online.” Because 60 to 70 percent of Hall Timberlands’ cuts go to Scotch, it was important for Hall to stay in the loop on everything that was happening with both the Waynesboro and Beatrice operations. “Sure, many might have considered alternate outlets for their timber,” Hall said. “But with Scotch, we have the security of knowing that the ROI is coming.” Another large landowner in Mississippi, Harry Haney, also has enjoyed a long-term partnership with Scotch Land Management that began in the mid-1980s with a word-of-mouth contract. Together, the two companies have developed tremendous trust for each other and have worked on annual harvests of Haney’s 43-year-old plywood logs. In addition to forest management, Scotch has assisted Haney with the purchase of approximately one-third of his current land inventory. “A landowner needs a land management company they can trust,” Haney said. “They didn’t hesitate to reassure me that they would rebuild.” Because of its economic impact, Scotch Plywood, like many mills across the Southeast, has a huge effect on the surrounding region. In the case of Waynesboro, Mississippi, it is estimated that Scotch’s influence stretches upwards of 100 miles in every direction from where it will emerge from the ashes. The decision to renew and retool the facility will have enduring implications beyond the employees who will by the second quarter of this year have resumed their shifts in Waynesboro. The eastern Mississippi region also is home to truckers, gas station owners, truck service companies, and retail outlet managers who depend upon the supply chain economy to help them raise their families in this area of the state. Indeed, in just 18 hours after a total loss, the resilient leaders of the Scotch Plywood Company weren’t merely deciding to rebuild a single mill, but an entire way of life for many who call this area home. FEBRUARY 2022 7

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Five ways to save energy when working from home By Abby Berry

Today, more Americans are working from home than ever before. More time spent at home means more energy used throughout the day. If you’re punching the clock from home, there are small steps you can take to reduce your energy use and save on electric bills. Here are five easy ways to save energy when working from home. • Use a smart power strip. Plugging in your most-used devices, like computers, monitors and routers, to a smart power strip ensures these devices aren’t drawing power when they’re not in use. Smart power strips also give you the option to select which devices should stay in “always on” mode. • Unplug your least-used equipment. If your home office includes equipment like printers and scanners, you’re probably not using these electronics every day. In this case, go ahead and unplug your least-used electronics and devices, since many of these draw energy even when they’re not being used. • Choose ENERGY STAR®-certified office equipment. If you’re looking to purchase new equipment for your workspace, look for the ENERGY STAR® label to ensure you’re getting the most energy efficient features. Computers, monitors, imaging equipment and other office electronics that receive the ENERGY STAR® rating include power management features to make saving energy easy, and most

When you’re working during the day, open blinds, curtains and other window coverings to let natural light into your workspace.

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are designed to run cooler and last longer. • Flip the switch and use natural light instead. It’s still chilly out there, so take advantage of natural light and additional warmth from the sun. When you’re working during the day, open blinds, curtains and other window coverings to let natural light in––and don’t forget to turn off the lights to reduce energy use! • Lower the thermostat. Home heating makes up a significant portion of your energy bills. Turn the thermostat down a couple degrees during the day to reduce energy use and save money. The Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat to 68 degrees or cooler during winter months. You’re more likely to stay focused and alert when it’s cooler in your home, so all the more reason to mind the thermostat. Working from home doesn’t have to take a toll on your energy bills, and whether you’re working remotely or not, these practical tips can help everyone reduce their energy use. Abby Berry writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56% of the nation’s landscape.

If you’re looking to purchase new equipment for your workspace, look for the ENERGY STAR® label to ensure you’re getting the most energy efficient features.

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| Alabama Snapshots |

Take us along! Our readers have been so busy traveling during the past year that we’ve stored a backlog of photos for our “Take Us Along” feature. Because of the shortage of entries for our “Snapshots” category this month (“Funny Bumper Stickers”), we decided to spotlight some of our favorite travelers – our readers! Send us a photo of you with your copy of Alabama Living and you might win our $25 monthly prize! Email your high-resolution photo to: mytravels@ alabamaliving.coop. Include your name, hometown, name of your electric cooperative, and the location of the photo. Include your social media handle so we can tag you! More photos, page 10.

Tim Daniel of Gulf Shores visited the historic Manitou Cliff Dwellings in Colorado with his copy. He’s a member of Baldwin EMC.

Rebecca Gregory and her granddaughter Sera traveled to Cartagena, Colombia, with their magazine last summer. They are members of Dixie Electric Cooperative. Peggy Givens of Black Warrior EMC visited her daughter and granddaughter (Molly in the picture) who live in Guildford, Surrey, UK. They enjoyed a day of sightseeing and lots of shopping at Harrods in London, along with her copy of the August 2021 magazine.

Lauren Mitchell took Alabama Living to see the Mystic Grill, a restaurant in Covington, Georgia, where “The Vampire Diaries,” “The Originals” and “The Legacies” were filmed. She’s a member of Arab Electric Cooperative.

Linda Shrader Wheeler of Huntsville, a member of Baldwin EMC, took her magazine along to Frisco, Texas, while she attended 2021 SeneGence International Global Training in the Ford Center Dallas Cowboys Training Camp.

April theme: “Easter Family Photos” Deadline to submit: February 28. Include your social media handle with photo submissions to be featured on our Facebook and Instagram! Alabama Living

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Online: alabamaliving.coop Mail: Snapshots P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Luke and Lydia Peterson visited their Uncle Jacob Irwin in Arizona this summer with their mother and grandmother, members of Baldwin EMC.

SUBMIT to WIN $10! RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at alabamaliving.coop and on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to have photos returned. FEBRUARY 2022 9

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Spotlight | February

Take us along!

We’ve enjoyed seeing photos from our readers on their travels with Alabama Living! Please send us a photo of you with a copy of the magazine on your travels to: mytravels@alabamaliving.coop. Please include your name, hometown and electric cooperative, and the location of your photo and include your social media handle so we can tag you! We’ll draw a winner for the $25 prize each month.

Eagle Awareness Weekends continue at Lake Guntersville The Eagle Awareness program turns 35 this year at Lake Guntersville State Park. What began as an initiative to pull the bald eagle from the brink of extinction has developed into much more. The weekends, held in January and February, feature live bird demonstrations, notable speakers, guided field trips for viewing eagles in their natural habitat, and the natural beauty of the mountains and the state park. The final weekends for 2022 are Feb. 4-6 and Feb. 11-13. Packages are available that include lodging for two nights, hot cider social and wine tasting on Friday evening, breakfast buffet on Saturday and Sunday morning and early bird coffee before morning field trips. One-day passes are also available. For lodge reservations, all 800-ALA-PARK or for camping reservations, call 256-571-5455. Also visit Alapark.com and under the parks tab, click Lake Guntersville. On the right side of the page, click Eagle Awareness.

John Ingle, a member of Baldwin EMC, sent us this photo of himself taken at Moonshine, Illinois, where he says the population is 2. “A nice place in the middle of nowhere to get a good hamburger,” he writes, but “the grill is closed at 12:30 sharp, (so) don’t be late for lunch.”

Whereville, AL Shannon Stone, a member of Central Alabama EC, traveled to Yellowstone National Park last August. She pronounced it “beautiful.”

Turner and Jackie Murphy of Evergreen, members of Southern Pine Electric Cooperative, traveled along the Foothills Parkway near Wears Valley, Tennessee. While vacationing there in the Smoky Mountains, they met “four nice ladies from Arab, Alabama, at this spot.”

Don Kimberly of Cullman EC writes that he was proud to take his magazine to Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, where he visited the original cabin of the gold claim assessor, 92 miles from the entrance sign to Kantishna Lodge in Eureka.

Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Do you like finding interesting or unusual landmarks? Contribute a photo you took for an upcoming issue! Remember, all readers whose photos are chosen also win $25!

Identify and place this Alabama landmark and you could win $25! Winner is chosen at random from all correct entries. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Send your answer by Feb. 11 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative, if applicable. The winner and answer will be announced in the March issue. Submit by email: whereville@alabamaliving.coop, or by mail: 10 FEBRUARY 2022

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January’s answer: This sculpture, titled “Tintinnabular,” by North Carolina artist Adam Walls is on display on South Railroad Street in Opelika. It’s one of four art works selected by the Opelika Main Street Design Committee to be displayed around the town’s downtown area as part of the Industry on Track exhibit. This and the other sculptures will be available for viewing until November 2022. (Photo contributed by Sarah Grace Tucker, Tallapoosa River EC) The randomly drawn correct guess winner is Ralph Crow of Tallapoosa River Electric Cooperative. www.alabamaliving.coop

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February | Spotlight Letters to the editor E-mail us at: letters@alabamaliving.coop or write us at: Letters to the editor P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Correction

Editor’s note: We received several emails about a photo included with the outdoors article on hunting for woodcocks on Page 32 of the January issue. Several readers pointed out that this photo was not of a woodcock, but of a snipe, a similar but different bird. We apologize for the error, which occurred during an online search process. The correct photo of a woodcock can be found with the story on our Alabama Living website.

Loved stories of flamingos, raisins and a blizzard

I would like (to thank) you and your artist friend for more great stories. I enjoy reading them to my wife. She, like many other campers, has those flamingos all over her camper lot. Some are dead, with police tape around them, while others stand nearby! Or [with] little skeletons riding on their backs. I can go on forever! We loved that story! But “Aunt Anne, Daddy and raisins” (December 2021)… well, your story brought tears to my eyes and a crackle to my voice as I tried to read about your beautiful family tradition. Whew, that was wonderful. I could see in my mind what was taking place! Wonderful stories...They’re all good but these brought laughter and warmth to us! And the painting of the mid ‘50s pickup in the blizzard (December 2020) is so real! I can recall those days by the lake (Michigan) in northern Indiana. Skip Dietz, Guntersville Your article in December 2021 (“Aunt Anne, Daddy and raisins”) was a wonderful family story. Being 82, I am so appreciative of stories such as this. Your story brought a smile to an old lady’s heart. I really needed it this Christmas. Thank you and God bless you. Veda Praytor, Lincoln

Headstones tell a story

I just wanted to let you know that I read and enjoyed your article “Oh, those tombs” (“Hardy Jackson’s Alabama”) in the January magazine. I have been researching my family tree for over 40 years and have spent a lot of time in cemeteries. The headstones tell a story, for sure, if you take the time to study them. Kim Self Hughes, Albertville I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your “Oh, those tombs” article. My sweet mother, who is 91 this month and living in a memory care facility, taught me to accept the fact that death is a part of living, and that as a Christian, I have no reason to fear death. I think that is the reason I feel a sense of calm in a cemetery or graveyard. Thanks again for the wonderful article and best of luck to you. Randall McCraney, Deer Park Alabama Living

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Find the hidden

dingbat! Thanks to all the hundreds of readers who skated their way through the February magazine to find the hidden ice skate on Page 34. It was hiding in the letter “B” in the word “Baking.” Chesteen McWhorter of Crane Hill, a member of Cullman EC, said it took her three times, but she finally found it. “First attempt I searched each page wearing my glasses. Second attempt, I took off my glasses thinking that might help. My third attempt, which is always a charm, I went straight to the recipe section. I just knew it had to be hidden in the bread. I kept staring at that beautiful loaf of bread on page 34, just knowing it was hiding in the white flour around the edges. I turned the page in all directions, brought it close, held it afar, only to be discouraged and set the magazine to my side on the couch. Then! I noticed something odd about that big letter, that capital “B”. There it was!” Playing off the letter “B,” reader Richard Railey, a member of Tallapoosa River EC from Wadley, wrote us a clever note: “This may “B” the “B”est hidden dingbat yet! “B”cause of my love for homemade “B”read I was able to find it. The skate dingbat can “B” found on page 34 in the top half of the “B” in the word Baking on the “B”ottom half of the page!” Congratulations to our randomly drawn winner, Janet Powell of Vinemont, a member of Cullman EC. This month, in honor of Presidents Day on Feb. 21, we’ve hidden a picture of a U.S. penny with Abraham Lincoln’s image. Good luck! Remember: the dingbat won’t be in an ad and it won’t be on Pages 1-8. Deadline is Feb. 11. By mail: Find the Dingbat Alabama Living PO Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Sponsored by

By email: dingbat@alabamaliving.com

Exercise motivation for the new year Now that the new year is under way, how are those exercise resolutions coming along? They’re much easier to make than keep, but there are steps you can take to increase your chances of success: Choose a specific goal. Every year, millions resolve to “lose weight” or “get in shape.” Focus instead on setting a specific, achievable goal. Make a detailed plan. Creating a written plan can help you stick to your goal. It allows you to consider what tactics to use when faced with challenges. Remember that change is a process. Be patient with yourself. Even if you make a misstep or two, restart and continue on your journey. Get support. Explain your goals to your close friends and family and ask for their help. Or, join a group, like an exercise class, that shares your goal and will help keep you accountable. Source: HealthMed Inc. FEBRUARY 2022 11

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Vintage r

Alabama couple’s mission to promote and preserve

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e ride

preserve classic muscle cars

This Paint Chip Cuda was replicated exactly like the Hot Rod Magazine of October 1969 introducing the brand new restyled 1970 Cuda, displaying all the available colors.

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Story and photos by Scott Baker

T

im Wellborn has been making grand entrances wherever he goes for many years. In the early 1980s, the Lineville High School building shook and classroom windows rattled every afternoon as he arrived in his 1970 Dodge Charger to pick up his sweetheart, Pam, as classes let out for the day. Together almost 40 years now, Tim and Pam Wellborn are still making their presence known, and often in that same vintage muscle car that Tim drove when they dated. That Charger R/T was not only a special ride for the young couple, but also represented the beginning of Tim’s hobby of restoring old muscle cars, dabbling in occasional restorations and establishing their own muscle car museum in Alexander City. The turning point into a true commitment occurred with a serendipitous event in the late ‘90s on a sidewalk in New York City when he happened to meet Bob Lutz, who at the time was president and vice chairman of Chrysler. That chance encounter – over a similar wristwatch, of all things – led to a spontaneous lunch. There, Tim and Bob hatched a plan to display the Wellborns’ Dodge K&K car at several major car events throughout Europe. The car was made famous in the 1970 Grand National and the land speed record-breaking events at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Chrysler provided an original 426 engine for the car. With Tim and Pam serving as emissaries at the events, the car was overwhelmingly popular. This beginning of their muscle car-collecting careers may have been fortuitous, but the Wellborns’ rise in the car world was no accident. Tim’s encyclopedic muscle car knowledge and Pam’s infectious personality make them a formidable car-collecting team. As perennial favorites at the Mecum Auction, the world’s largest collector car auction, they are sought out for their muscle car knowledge and entertaining style. Likewise, the Wellborn name attached or associated with a particular car automatically affirms the quality and increases the value of the car. Tim and Pam also share their expertise and knowledge as longtime board members of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame at Talladega.While their muscle carcollecting and promotion have made them a household name in the car-collecting FEBRUARY 2022 13

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world, their home base is in Alexander City, Alabama, home of their Wellborn Musclecar Museum. Tucked away in a vintage car dealership, the museum is a testament to their commitment and mission to preserving and promoting these high-performance vehicles. On display, Tim proudly says, is “a rotating collection of more than 85 fully restored and perfectly running muscle cars from model years 1968 to 1971.” That collection includes “Aero-Cars designed for NASCAR, Ford Boss Mustangs, GTOs, LS6 Chevelles, W30 Oldsmobiles, Buick GSX, and MOPARS which showcase all of the major manufacturers of muscle machines of that era.” The museum’s curator, Alton Freeman, is eager to share interesting stories about the provenance of the cars or in-depth, technical factoids about engines, interiors, and subtle year-to-year chassis modifications. Having been with the museum for several years, he’s also quick to entertain with anecdotes and heartfelt stories about the Wellborns’ connection to the cars. The cars alone are enough to warrant a visit; however, the stroll back in time with the added benefit of the curator’s stories make it a truly memorable experience. For more information, visit wellbornmusclecarmuseum.com. Clockwise, from top: 1970 Plymouth Superbird, one of 1,920 built so they could be raced on NASCAR speedways. Its pointed nose and wing allowed the car to surpass the 200 mph mark; visitors check under the hood outside the museum; a 1971 NASCAR Petty Plymouth Road Runner purchased directly from Richard Petty; the Wellborns outside their home with Tim’s father’s 1971 Hemi Charger.

Wellborn Musclecar Museum 256-329-8474 124 Broad Street Alexander City, AL, 35010 wellbornmusclecarmuseum.com Saturday - OPEN 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday and Monday – CLOSED Tues. - Fri. - Open by appointment only Admission: Adults - $11 Children 7-17 - $7 Children 6 and under -Free Private Tours by appointment; $50 for 1 to 5 people, regular rates apply for each additional person. Large group (10 or more) inquiries welcome; contact the museum for discounted group admission rates. Email wellbornmusclecarmuseum@gmail.com or call 256-329-8474. 14 FEBRUARY 2022

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| Worth the drive |

Have an idea for a great restaurant we need to visit? Send us the details at contact@alabamaliving.coop

Former UA, NFL player makes leap from football to food Story and photos by Jennifer Kornegay

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rom 2004 to 2007, Wallace Gilberry was a crucial part of the defense on The University of Alabama’s football team. After graduation, he went on to play pro ball for several teams, signing with the Kansas City Chiefs and ending his career in 2016 with Cincinnati Bengals, retiring from the NFL after nine seasons. Now, he’s hoping to score with diners at his namesake restaurant Berry’s Bistro, which he opened in his hometown of Bay Minette in the fall of 2021. From football to food may seem like an odd — and long — leap, but Gilberry already had some experience in the culinary industry. In fact, it almost kept him from ever donning an Alabama jersey. In high school, he worked at the IHOP in Bay Minette. He started in the kitchen and then moved to a server. “I was really good at it,” he said. “I was making $300$400 a week in tips and almost didn’t go to college thinking, this is working out fine, why do I need to leave?” His mom had other thoughts and strongly encouraged him to get a degree, so off to Tuscaloosa he went, where he studied communications. “I loved it, of course. I had fun, made great friends and wonderful memories,” he says, “so I am for sure glad I went.” Plus, the athletic prowess he displayed playing for Bama earned him a spot in the NFL. “I learned a lot from the game of football, and it gave me and my family a lot too,” he says. “But there is more to life than football.” Gilberry hung up his shoulder pads and moved back home a few years ago. He got back into the restaurant game with a hot wing spot in nearby Mobile that he owned with a business partner. But he’d always wanted to do something in his hometown.

Berry’s Bistro

712 D’Olive St. Bay Minette, AL 36507 251-494-0327 Search for the restaurant’s Bay Minette page on Facebook l Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday & Friday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday & Sunday

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Top photo: A classic cheeseburger at Berry’s Bistro with a side of loaded fries. Bottom photo: Former NFL and University of Alabama football player Wallace Gilberry, right, with his chef, Angellous McCryandle, at his recently opened Bay Minette restaurant, Berry’s Bistro.

“I just figured food and sports are great ways to reach people and connect with them. I’ve already done the sports thing, so I thought, ‘How about a restaurant here?’ I also liked the idea of the challenge it presented,” he says. “The restaurant biz is tough, but I like to challenge myself.”

Meeting expectations

So far, the challenge of opening and running his own restaurant has lived up his expectations, both the good and the less positive. “I think it is always hard to find good employees, but right now, it has been even harder,” he says. “But we’ve already got regular customers. I love that, and I love interacting with them, hearing and implementing their feedback.”

Berry’s Bistro seems to be meeting diners’ expectations too. Everything on the menu is cooked to order, and the selection list is short, but that’s on purpose. “I knew I wanted to do wings and burgers and wanted to be really good at a few things instead of trying to just be OK at a lot of things,” Gilberry says. Burger lovers are treated to big, juicy, well-seasoned beef patties. Berry’s focus on wings has resulted in seven tantalizing sauce options, including lemon pepper, mango habanero and BBQ as well honeygold, a sweet, tangy, syrup that clings to crisp skin on hefty chicken wings. While wings and burgers are staples — they’re the best sellers — Gilberry plans to change the menu regularly. “I don’t want to eat the same things all the time and figure others don’t either.” Berry’s also serves casual eatery standards like fresh-battered chicken fingers and hand-cut fries soaked for three days in house — “They’re not from some big ole bag!” Gilberry says. You can get sandwiches, too. The shrimpstuffed po boy is Gilberry’s favorite. “I love seafood, and we can get such fresh stuff here,” he says. “There’s really nothing better than fresh Gulf shrimp.” Bounty from the sea is also available at dinner, where chargrilled oysters generously topped with bacon and cheese are standouts in the starter section. “Steaks are a big hit at night too,” Gilberry says. And on Sundays, patrons at Berry’s do brunch, digging into fried chicken with fluffy waffles and sweet potato fries dusted with powdered sugar or savory shrimp over creamy grits. Gilberry gives credit to his team; his star kitchen quarterback is his cousin, Angellous McCryandle, who also runs a local catering business. “She is incredible, and I’m so lucky to have her doing this with me,” Gilberry said. His customer-first philosophy is a key part of his playbook too. “We try to customize whatever we can for folks. If we have it in the kitchen, we’ll do it. We want customers to feel at home here,” he says. He aims to please, but there is one request Gilberry is not sure he can meet, even when diners beg: a coach Saban sighting. “But maybe one day I can get ole Nick in here,” he laughed. www.alabamaliving.coop

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Alabama Living

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| Gardens |

Learning to love pruning

Knowing when to prune specific plants is important for plant health.

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f all the chores I do in the garden, pruning is the most intimidating to me. It seems counterintuitive to take sharp objects to the plants I love, and I always worry about doing them more harm than good. However, after years of trial and error and lots of self-education, I’ve become much more comfortable with the task of pruning. In fact, sometimes I even love it. Early in the process, it helped me to recognize that Mother Nature prunes. Sure, she uses natural forces, such as weather (think wind and ice) and wildlife (cue deer, rabbits and birds) to do the work while I have to use tools and my wits. But ultimately, we both have the same goals in mind: improving the health, beauty and productivity of our plants and ecosystems. It also helped me to understand that there are different reasons to prune — to maintain the health of plants, control plant size and shape, rejuvenate fading plants, shape and train plants, boost flower and fruit production and remove hazards, among them — and that each of these Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@gmail.com.

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reasons may call for a different pruning technique. Identifying my primary goal before making the first cut helps me feel more confident about pruning. One of my biggest worries, however, remains timing. Knowing when to prune can be a challenge because it seems each plant species and cultivar has a different schedule. For instance, pruning is often touted as a chore to do in February when many plants are dormant and leafless. But pruning some plants that time of year will adversely affect their fruiting and flowering schedule. The “May Rule” has helped me deal with that worry. It advises that most plants that bloom in or after May should be pruned in February and early March while those that bloom before May should be pruned only after their flowers fade. Of course, for every rule there is an exception. Some plants that bloom after May, such as oakleaf hydrangeas and several late-blooming azalea cultivars, form flower buds during the previous season on “old wood,” so cutting off last year’s stems and branches too soon will cut off this year’s flowers. If that weren’t enough to make pruning scary, there are all those other plants such as nonflowering or fruit-bearing trees, shrubs and vines, ornamental grasses or

even potted house plants to worry about. Some need little to no pruning, others should be pruned severely once a year and still others need constant pruning. And then there are all the tools and the pruning techniques to understand. It can be overwhelming! But after years of trial and error and trying to be brave, I’ve finally figured out the best way to tackle pruning — take it one plant at a time. I look up the needs and preferences of my plants before going after them with clippers and then I take the pruning process slowly. Using this approach, I’ve found that I actually enjoy pruning. Like weeding and planting, it can be an almost meditative process and seeing the results of my pruning, including sometimes clippings that I can use to propagate new plants, is quite gratifying. If you’re trying to improve your relationship with pruning, lots of resources are available to help, ranging from free how-to publications available through the Cooperative Extension System to award-winning books on pruning, some of which give plant-by-plant advice. Local gardening groups, garden centers and public gardens also often sponsor free or low-cost pruning workshops. And simply doing some online research (through reputable horticultural sources) on the plants in your life is a great way to gain knowledge and develop a stronger connection to those plants. And maybe even fall in love with pruning.

FEBRUARY TIPS • Plant roses, bedding plants and coolseason vegetables.

• Start seed for spring vegetables. • Make arrangements of cut daffodils and other winter-blooming flowers.

• Weed garden beds as unwanted plants emerge.

• Fertilize warm-season lawns if needed. • Prepare gardening equipment for the coming season.

• Keep bird feeders and baths clean and full.

• Start your own pruning education process. • Remove dead and diseased limbs. • Give your sweetheart something for or of the garden.

• Test and begin preparing soil for spring planting.

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Alabama Living

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| Alabama People |

Stephanie A. Bryan

Tribal Chairwoman The Poarch Creek Indians are Alabama’s only federally recognized tribe, and tribal members elected Stephanie A. Bryan their first-ever female leader in 2014. Her title is Tribal Chair and CEO, so she is head of a sovereign nation with close to 2,900 members and around 400 acres of reservation land while also overseeing diverse business holdings. Long years of poverty preceded the tribe’s current success, and Bryan does not have to think back too far to remember her own years raising a family, working two jobs and going to college. We talked to her about these parallel journeys. – Sallie Owen Gowan The State of Alabama recently marked 200 years of statehood, but Creek connections go back much further. Would you walk us through some history? The Poarch Creek Indians have a rich heritage as descendants of the original Creek Nation, which once covered almost all of Alabama and Georgia, tracing its roots to the Paleo period. The ancestors of the Poarch Creek Indians lived along the Alabama River, including areas from Wetumpka south to the Tensaw settlement. Unlike many eastern tribes, the Poarch Creeks were not removed from their tribal lands and have lived here for over 200 years in and around the reservation in Poarch, Alabama. What languages do you speak? I speak a little bit of Creek and a lot of deep South English! One of the things that I am proudest of is that we have made a huge effort to reconnect with our Creek language and other parts of our Indian culture that were almost lost over the centuries. It is truly music to my ears to hear our little ones speaking in the language of our ancestors. Tell us about your growing up years. I am a proud Alabamian, born and bred. I’ve always lived in the Poarch and Atmore area, and I love still being able to call this little slice of heaven “home.” Growing up, we lived on a little dirt road in a simple house with a front porch that was a gathering place for generations of family and friends. I honestly never knew we were poor because we had plenty of the things that really mattered – love, support, a deep connection to each other and our extended family as members of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. I am a product of our small town’s schools. I began kindergarten at Head Start in the Poarch Community, and then continued on to Huxford Elementary and Escambia County Middle School. I graduated from Escambia County High. To be honest, I did not have the money to go off to a four-year university, and that is one of the reasons I am so committed to offering scholarships to our tribal members. I was very fortunate that I could further my education at two wonderful community colleges: Jefferson Davis in Brewton and Faulkner State in Bay Minette.

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What is your typical day like? Well, there is no typical day, but I can tell you I usually start early and end late. I always have a full agenda of government business to attend to as well as work that relates to our gaming and other businesses. But I am the leader of a Tribe of people, and that means I spend a lot of time talking and trying to help folks directly. Tell us about your family and how you find work/life balance. It’s hard to believe that I married my wonderful husband, Keith Bryan, almost 30 years ago. Our three children and 10 grandchildren are incredible blessings in our lives, and we are lucky that they all live close by in Atmore, Spanish Fort and just down the road in Byrneville, Florida. Keith and I have a home in Orange Beach, Alabama. It is a wonderful place to spend time together and with our extended family. And I just really love sitting and listening to the ocean while reading a book. That quiet time rejuvenates me. The other thing that allows me to completely take my mind off work and my other responsibilities is cruising in the boat. I think all of us need to take breaks from technology and be present in the moment, and being on the water really allows me to do that. What motivates you to get up in the morning? I decided to go into public service because I wanted to help our people have better lives, and that is what still gets me out of bed, raring to go every day. I have a real passion to help others – our Tribal members and our neighbors – and I am focused on providing the tools they need to succeed and helping support and inspire them to go do great things in the world.

Do you know someone who’s worthy of an “Alabama People” interview? Tell us at contact@alabamaliving.coop.

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Alabama Living

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FEBRUARY 2022 21

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| Consumer Wise |

Energy-saving, budget-friendly

tips

By Miranda Boutelle

Q: A:

I don’t have a big budget for energy-efficiency upgrades. Can you share any budget-friendly, energy-saving tips?

You don’t need a lot of money to save on your energy bills. I have some suggestions that are low-cost, simple adjustments you can make in your home, whether you rent or own. We all want to afford being comfortable in our homes. If you’re having trouble paying your energy bills, you are not alone. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports one in three households face challenges meeting their energy needs. Decreasing monthly bills and being more efficient at home is something we all should practice. Here are some budget-friendly energy efficiency tips targeting one of the biggest energy users in the home: the heating system. Heating and cooling account for nearly half of a U.S. home’s energy consumption.

Add coziness to your home

One way you can feel warmer in your home without turning up the thermostat is by making your home cozy. The way our bodies perceive the temperature of a room is based more on the surfaces in the room than the air temperature. In general, harder surfaces feel colder. For example, your tile floor will feel cooler than your fabric sofa. Cold floors in a room make us feel colder. Adding an area rug to a hard-surface floor can make us feel warmer, even with the same setting on the thermostat. The same goes for windows. Windows are typically the least-insulated surface in a room and can feel cold in winter months. Adding or closing curtains can help the room feel warmer.

Check your windows

Make sure your windows are closed and locked. Locking windows pulls the sashes tighter together, reducing gaps that allow air to flow through and cause drafts. If your sash locks don’t form a tight fit, adjust them or add weatherstripping. Miranda Boutelle is the director of operations and customer engagement at Efficiency Services Group, which partners with electric utilities to provide energy efficiency services to members. She writes on energy efficiency topics for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. For more information, visit collaborativeefficiency.com/energytips.

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Weatherstripping around windows is a low-cost, easy-to-install solution to ensure warm air does not escape from your home. PHOTO COURTESY MARK GILLILAND, PIONEER UTILITY RESOURCES

There’s a variety of window weatherstripping products available for less than $20. Most are simple to install and only require tools you most likely already have around the house, such as scissors and a tape measure. Some are more permanent solutions, and some are intended to be used for one heating season and then removed. Temporary solutions such as caulk strips, putty, pull-and-peel caulking or window insulation films can be used if you rent your home and can’t make permanent changes.

Seal your doors

Weatherstripping doors is an easy do-it-yourself project. Make sure your doors seal tightly and don’t allow drafts to pass through around the edges or under the door. Make sure any doors leading to an unheated space—outside or into a garage—are sealed tightly. If you can see light around the edges or underneath the door, or feel air movement when the door is closed, you know you are losing energy. Because doors need to open and close easily, expect to do a bit of adjusting after installing weatherstripping. If weatherstripping isn’t installed correctly, it can make the door hard to close. Making it too loose defeats the purpose. You need to get it just right.

Close the damper

If you have a fireplace, make sure the damper is completely closed when not using it. Leaving the damper open is like leaving a window open—it’s just harder to see. The air you just paid to heat your home will go right out the chimney. The only exception is some gas fireplaces need to remain open for gas fumes to exit the home. If you have a gas fireplace, check the owner’s manual for more information on the damper position.

Layer up

Dressing for the season prevents going overboard on your energy use. It can be tempting to adjust the thermostat to increase your comfort. Putting on a sweater or comfy sweatshirt can have the same comfort impact without increasing your energy use. Slippers can be a big help, too, especially when your feet touch a cold floor. The next time you consider turning up the thermostat a few degrees, try some of these tips first to stay warm and leave increased energy bills out in the cold. www.alabamaliving.coop

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Alabama Living

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SOCIAL SECURITY

Get your Social Security benefit statement (SSA-1099/SSA-1042S)

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e’ve made getting your annual Benefit Statement even easier. The Benefit Statement, also known as the SSA-1099 or the SSA-1042S, is a tax form we mail each year in January to people who receive Social Security benefits. It shows the total amount of benefits you received from us in the previous year. You can use this information when you file your tax return, as it shows how much Social Security income to report to the Internal Revenue Service. If you live in the United States and you need a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S, go online to get your instant, printable replacement form using your personal my Social Security account at ssa.gov/myaccount. Look for your replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for the previous tax year in your personal account after February 1. If you don’t have access to a printer, you can save the document to your computer or email it to yourself. If you don’t have

Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached by email at kylle.mckinney@ssa.gov.

February Across 1 Three ___: well-known chocolate maker in Mobile 5 Romantic poet 8 It may be modern or fine 9 Huntsville chocolate maker 10 Gala 11 Distressed lady needing a knight in shining armor 14 Slide cry 15 A long way off 16 Marzipan or chocolate 17 Took out 20 Man in Manilow’s “Copacabana” 22 One who takes chances 23 Like transparent fabric 26 Rhine whine? 27 Boxing ref’s decision, abbr. 28 Romantic seaside getaway in the Fort Morgan Peninsula, 2 words 31 Sinatra wear 32 Valentine’s Day flowers Down 1 Romantic getaway in Point Clear, The ___ Hotel 2 Makes a choice 3 Empty space 4 They may be small or extra large 5 Prepare to propose 6 Shining 7 Pageant contestant bands 11 Good venue for a date invite 12 Passion 13 Last part 15 Town in Baldwin County which gives its name to a chocolate shop 16 Witty remark 24 FEBRUARY 2022

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a my Social Security account, creating one is very easy to do and usually takes less than 10 minutes. And that’s not all you can do with a personal account. If you receive benefits or have Medicare, your personal my Social Security account is also the best way to: • Request a replacement Social Security number card (in most states and the District of Columbia). • Get your benefit verification letter. • Check your benefit and payment information. • Change your address and phone number. • Change your direct deposit information. • Request a replacement Medicare card. • Report your wages if you work and receive Social Security disability insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits. If you’re a non-citizen who lives outside of the United States and you received or repaid Social Security benefits last year, we will send you form SSA-1042S in the mail. The forms SSA-1099 and SSA-1042S are not available for people who receive Supplemental Security Income benefits. If you don’t have a personal my Social Security account, you can create one today at ssa.gov/myaccount.

crossword 18 Green and Jarreau 19 Time just before an event 21 ___ Inn: charming boutique hotel in Mobile famous as a wedding destination 22 Romantic meeting

24 25 28 29 30

by Myles Mellor

Ad ___ committee Spa wear Resume, for short Lady referred to What a dieter wants to lose, abbr

Answers on Page 37 www.alabamaliving.coop

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February | Around Alabama

19

Gulf Shores Gulf Shores Woman’s Club scavenger hunt. Fundraiser for the group’s scholarship fund. Tickets on sale at Coastal Cakes, Fran’s on 59, Southern Shore Coffee, Too Hot Mamas and Wildflowers. Prize winners will be announced at the end of the hunt. Search GFWC/Gulf Shores Woman’s Club, Inc., on Facebook.

19

Cats of all breeds vie for awards (and pose for photos) at the Birmingham Feline Fanciers cat show. PHOTO BY ALLISON LAW

FEBRUARY

11

Dothan Astronomy Night at Landmark Park. Staff members will help guests view stars and planets through telescopes and binoculars on the gazebo lawn, and point out winter constellations. Nightwalks take place on the boardwalk; a starry hayride and campfire complete the evening. The Interpretive Center will be open for snacks, space crafts and a presentation on astronomy science. Scouts welcome. $5 members, $6 for Scouts and leaders in uniform, and $8 for nonmembers. LandmarkParkDothan.com

12-13

Irondale Birmingham Feline Fanciers Annual CFA All-Breed and Household Pet Cat Show, Mountain Top Coliseum/The Dome (formerly Zamora Temple), 3521 Ratliff Road. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. $10 adults, $5 seniors and children under 10. Proceeds benefit feline charities. Vendors will have art, jewelry, cat novelties and more. Search for the event’s page on Facebook.

19

Mobile USS Alabama Living History Crew re-enactment. World War II historical re-enactors drill at Battleship Memorial Park six times a year, bringing the stories of the crewmen who served in wartime to life. Highlight of the drill is the 1 p.m. call to battle stations and mock battle attack. Drill is included in regular admission to the park, 2304 Battleship Parkway. USS.Alabama.com

19

Chatom 33rd annual Indian Artifact and Collector Show, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chatom Community Center, 222 Dixie Youth Drive. No reproductions, fakes or illegally obtained artifacts allowed. For more information, email Bimbo Kohen at bimbokohen@outlook.com

Millbrook Millbrook Revelers Mardi Gras Festival and Parade, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Village Green on Main Street. Parade rolls at noon; past years have featured more than 60 vendors from around the Southeast. Children enjoy pony rides, inflatables, zip line, train rides around the park and more. No alcohol permitted. MillbrookRevelers.org

19

Orange Beach 30th annual Orange Beach Seafood Festival and Car Show, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Wharf. Arts and crafts, seafood booths, music on two stages and more. Car show features antique, classic and hot rod vehicles; awards to the top 10 cars. No admission fee; a $2 per car donation for parking goes to area schools. OrangeBeachAl.gov

28

Montgomery Alabama Humanities Alliance honors its Fellows of 2022. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Renaissance Montgomery Hotel, 201 Tallapoosa St. Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, and the late civil rights leader John Lewis will be honored. Event will feature a conversation with Stevenson, moderated by NPR’s Michel Martin; a poem by Alabama Poet Laureate Ashley M. Jones; and a tribute to the life and legacy of Lewis. AlabamaHumanities.org

MARCH

3-6

Selma 57th Bridge Crossing Jubilee. This annual event commemorates “Bloody Sunday” on March 7, 1965, when a group of African-American demonstrators were beaten by state troopers. See the event’s Facebook page and SelmaJubilee.com for updates on in-person event schedules.

4-5

Monroeville Monroeville Literary Festival 2022. Alabama’s most celebrated writers and scholars lead discussions, readings and workshops in this community event that invites everyone to explore the writing, music and art of the literary South. A highlight is the presentation of the Alabama Writers Awards, which honor the works of poets, novelists, essayists and educators. For details and schedule: MonroevilleLiteraryFestival.com Call or verify events before you make plans to attend. Due to the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, some events may change or be canceled after press time.

To place an event, e-mail events@alabamaliving.coop. or visit www.alabamaliving.coop. You can also mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations. Alabama Living

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| Outdoors |

Seeing red(fish) helps cure anglers’ winter blues

B

y February, most hunting seasons have ended or soon will. West of Mobile Bay, the marshes bordering Mississippi Sound Many sportsmen stay home in February, keeping warm by near Bayou La Batre frequently produce good redfish action. the fireplace while waiting for the coming spring fishing During the winter, spot-tails get in the deeper bayou as well as action. the West Fowl River and other streams flowing out of the marshBut nothing cures the winter blues like line-stretching action es. During cold days, look for sunny spots with shell bottoms that with a reel-screeching bull redfish on the other end. Cold weathmight hold more heat. er doesn’t bother redfish as much as it does speckled trout and Anglers can also fish the Perdido River delta near the Alaother salty species, especially the big bulls. In fact, cold water can bama-Florida line at Orange Beach. Rocky or concrete jetties at concentrate redfish in certain areas, making them easier to catch Perdido Pass and similar structures make ideal places to catch during the winter. bull reds. The hard structures absorb solar heat and radiate that “(Redfish) are very hardy fish and can also tolerate more flucwarmth into the water. Jetties also make excellent hiding places tuations in the salinity levels. We catch redfish in a multitude for crabs, baitfish and shrimp. The Dixey Bar at the southern end of places during the winter,” says of Mobile Bay can provide outcharter captain Andrew Carter of standing action for bull reds. Spanish Fort. During the winter, most anWhen cold weather hits the glers tempt reds with natural baits coast, redfish often seek deeper on the bottom. A live cocahoe canals, holes and channels where or mud minnow also makes an they can find more comfortable, excellent winter temptation. On stable temperatures. Anglers who a bare jighead, hook a minnow find redfish holes in the winter can through its lips and out the nosusually continue catching spottrils. Drag it very slowly along the tails until the weather changes. bottom, pausing periodically. Just Mobile Bay averages about 12 to the natural frantic wiggling of the 14 feet deep, but much of it runs minnow should provide enough considerably shallower. Large enticement for a cold, hungry redsandbars and mudflats dot many fish to attack. areas, particularly on the north“In winter, live or dead bait ern end of the bay near the Mobile doesn’t make much of a difference Causeway, which connects Mobecause when redfish are hungry, bile to Spanish Fort. However, the they’ll eat about anything,” Carter Mobile Ship Channel gives redfish says. “People catch a lot of redfish abundant deep water. Lined with with fresh, dead shrimp fished on docks and other structures, the the bottom.” channel and associated waters For bulls, use heavy tackle. also give redfish great places to Hook on a live mullet or cut baitambush bait. fish into steaks or strips. A whole The Theodore Canal runs about crab also makes a great offering 40 feet deep and enters the westfor bulls. Crack the top shell so Bobby Abruscato with A-Team Fishing Adventures shows off a ern side of Mobile Bay near Gail- redfish he caught while fishing in the Mobile Bay area of south succulent juices ooze out. Anglers lard Island. People can also find Alabama. Redfish can tolerate cold water better than speckled could also break crabs in half to redfish in the deep turning basin trout and other fish so they stay more active in the winter. make two baits. PHOTO COURTESY OF A-TEAM FISHING ADVENTURES near Magazine Point and in othWhile most people use natural er holes. Fish also venture up baits in the winter, redfish also hit the deeper rivers of the lower Mobile-Tensaw Delta and other lures. A jighead tipped with a soft-plastic trailer hopped along the streams flowing into Mobile Bay. bottom can work. Also try slow-rolling spoons or spinnerbaits “In the winter, bait comes out of the marshes so many redfish just off the bottom. move into the lower parts of the deeper rivers to intercept any“If we can’t get any shrimp, we start throwing soft plastics,” thing coming out of the delta,” Carter says. Carter says. “One of my favorites is a Matrix Shad. Since most of the shrimp left the rivers and marshes, redfish feed more heavily upon finfish. Therefore, anything that looks like a finfish is generJohn N. Felsher is a professional freelance writer who lives in ally pretty good for redfish in the winter.” Semmes, Ala. He also hosts an outdoors tips show for WAVH FM Fishing in the winter takes patience, but in the right place, anTalk 106.5 radio station in Mobile, Ala. Contact him at j.felsher@ hotmail.com or through Facebook. glers can warm themselves with great action. Bites might come in spurts, but when redfish prowl, things can get crazy fast.

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DOUG HANNON’S FISH & GAME FORECAST 2022 FEBRUARY

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EXCELLENT TIMES A.M.

9:54 - 11:54 10:42 - 12:42 11:30 - 1:30 NA 1:06 - 3:06 1:54 - 3:54 2:42 - 4:42 3:30 - 5:30 4:18 - 6:18 5:06 - 7:06 5:54 - 7:54 6:42 - 8:42 7:30 - 9:30 8:18 - 10:18 A.M.

9:06 - 11:06 10:42 - 12:42 11:30 - 1:30 NA 1:06 - 3:06 1:54 - 3:54 2:42 - 4:42 3:30 - 5:30 4:18 - 6:18 5:06 - 7:06 5:54 - 7:54 6:42 - 8:42 8:30 - 10:30 9:18 - 11:18 10:06 - 12:06 10:54 - 12:54 11:18 - 1:18 NA 12:30 - 2:30 1:18 - 3:18 2:06 - 4:06 2:54 - 4:54 3:42 - 5:42 4:30 - 6:30 5:18 - 7:18 6:06 - 8:06 6:54 - 8:54 7:42 - 9:42 8:30 - 10:30 9:18 - 11:18 10:06 - 12:06

GOOD TIMES

MOON STAGE

PM

10:18 - 12:18 11:06 - 1:06 FULL MOON 11:54 - 1:54 12:42 - 2:42 1:30 - 3:30 2:18 - 4:18 3:06 - 5:06 3:54 - 5:54 4:42 - 6:42 5:30 - 7:30 6:18 - 8:18 7:06 - 9:06 7:54 - 9:54 8:42 - 10:42 PM

9:30 - 11:30 11:06 - 1:06 NEW MOON 11:54 - 1:54 12:42 - 2:42 1:30 - 3:30 2:18 - 4:18 3:06 - 5:06 3:54 - 5:54 4:42 - 6:42 5:30 - 7:30 6:18 - 8:18 7:06 - 9:06 8:54 - 10:54 DST 9:42 - 11:42 10:30 - 12:30 11:18 - 1:18 11:42 - 1:42 12:06 - 2:06 FULL MOON 12:54 - 2:54 1:42 - 3:42 2:30 - 4:30 3:18 - 5:18 4:06 - 6:06 4:54 - 6:54 5:42 - 7:42 6:30 - 8:30 7:18 - 9:18 8:06 - 10:06 8:54 - 10:54 9:42 - 11:42 10:30 - 12:30

AM

PM

4:21 - 5:51 5:09 - 6:39 5:57 - 7:27 6:45 - 8:15 7:33 - 9:03 8:21 - 9:51 9:09 - 10:39 9:57 - 11:27 10:45 - 12:15 11:33 - 1:03 NA 1:09 - 2:39 1:57 - 3:27 2:45 - 4:15

4:45 - 6 :15 5:33 - 7:03 6:21 - 7:51 7:09 - 8:39 7:57 - 9:27 8:45 - 10:15 9:33 - 11:03 10:21 - 11:51 11:09 - 12:39 11:57 - 1:27 12:45 - 2:15 1:33 - 3:03 2:21 - 3:51 3:09 - 4:39

AM

PM

3:33 - 5:03 5:09 - 6:39 5:57 - 7:27 6:45 - 8:15 7:33 - 9:03 8:21 - 9:51 9:09 - 10:39 9:57 - 11:27 10:45 - 12:15 11:33 - 1:03 NA 1:09 - 2:39 2:57 - 4:27 3:45 - 5:15 4:33 - 6:03 5:21 - 6:51 5:48 - 7:18 6:09 - 7:39 6:57 - 8:27 7:45 - 9:15 8:33 - 10:03 9:21 - 10:51 10:09 - 11:39 10:57 - 12:27 NA 12:33 - 2:03 1:21 - 2:51 2:09 - 3:39 2:57 - 4:27 3:45 - 5:15 4:33 - 6:03

3:57 - 5:27 5:33 - 7:03 6:21 - 7:51 7:09 - 8:39 7:57 - 9:27 8:45 - 10:15 9:33 - 11:03 10:21 - 11:51 11:09 - 12:39 11:57 - 1:27 12:45 - 2:15 1:33 - 3:03 3:21 - 4:51 4:09 - 5:39 4:57 - 6:27 5:45 - 7:15 6:11 - 7:41 6:33 - 8:03 7:21 - 8:51 8:09 - 9:39 8:57 - 10:27 9:45 - 11:15 10:33 - 12:03 11:21 - 12:51 12:09 - 1:39 12:57 - 2:27 1:45 - 3:15 2:33 - 4:03 3:21 - 4:51 4:09 - 5:39 4:57 - 6:27

The Moon Clock and resulting Moon Times were developed 40 years ago by Doug Hannon, one of America’s most trusted wildlife experts and a tireless inventor. The Moon Clock is produced by DataSport, Inc. of Atlanta, GA, a company specializing in wildlife activity time prediction. To order the 2022 Moon Clock, go to www.moontimes.com. Alabama Living

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Home cooks whip up some cheesy pleasers Every fall, the Creative Living Center cooking contests at the Alabama National Fair draw an array of contestants hoping to score a ribbon (and some prize money) for their culinary concoctions. Alabama Living continues to sponsor a contest at the Fair, and this year we continued with the theme of “Say

First place

Cheese, Please.” Our contestants whipped up some tasty dishes, and we’re happy to share the recipes with you. Next year, we’re planning to change our contest’s sponsored theme. What kind of food would tempt you to enter? Send an email to contact@alabamaliving.com and let us know!

Second place

Third place

Tif Smith, Montgomery

Margaret Goins, Montgomery

Mary Lyons, Tallassee

Smoked Cream Cheese and Bacon Jam

Farmers Pie

Five Cheese Cheesy Pimento Spread

12 1 1 8 ¼ ½ ¼ ¼

ounces bacon large sweet onion, chopped small red onion, chopped ounces cream cheese Spice Supreme brand of Smoky Rub for Beef or Pork cup balsamic vinegar cup brown sugar cup Alaga maple syrup cup of your favorite jam (I use caramel apple jam made by Chicken and Sweets Southern YardBird of Prattville) Red pepper flakes to taste

Fry bacon and retain grease. Add onion and saute until tender; set aside. Using a basting brush, apply bacon grease on one side and around edges of the cream cheese block and season with Smoky Rub seasoning. Place cream cheese, seasoned side down, inside a round iron skillet. Brush top with bacon grease and apply dry rub. Score cheese with backside of knife. Place in smoker for 1 hour and 45 minutes at 250 degrees F. I used pecan wood for smoking.

1 ½ 2 1 1 1 1 4 ½ 1 ¼

pound ground sausage chopped onion cups Colby cheese, shredded cup broccoli, chopped and blanched cup cooked brown wild rice tomato, cored and chopped Small can sliced black olives pie crust large eggs cup whipping cream teaspoon crushed garlic teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown sausage about five minutes; add onion and continue to cook until onion is fragrant and translucent. Drain thoroughly. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, broccoli, rice, tomato and olives. Transfer into pie crust. Combine together eggs, whipping cream, garlic and pepper. Pour over sausage mixture. Back 10 minutes; reduce to 400 degrees and bake additional 35 minutes or until brown. Optional: Sprinkle more cheese on top and place back in oven five to 10 minutes to melt.

8 1 ¼ ¼ ¼ 1 1

ounces cream cheese, softened cup cottage cheese teaspoon garlic powder teaspoon onion powder teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes cup mayonnaise cup shredded white sharp cheddar cheese 1 cup shredded Gouda cheese 1 cup Colby and Monterey Jack shredded cheese ½ cup drained and pressed dry pimentos In the mixing bowl attached to a stand mixer, add cream cheese, cottage cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes and mayonnaise; mix well (about three minutes). Add shredded cheeses one at a time. Keep mixing until thoroughly mixed. Add pimentos and mix again. Spread on mini flatbreads or crackers or as a sandwich.

Bacon and sweet onion reduction: While cheese is cooking, mix together vinegar, brown sugar, remaining bacon and onions and cook over medium heat until reduced. Add Alaga syrup and jam. Let simmer until it gets thick. After cheese comes out of the smoker, add the bacon jam to the top of the smoked cheese skillet. Serve with corn chips.

The ‘Say Cheese, Please’ winners, from left, Mary Lyons, Margaret Goins and Tif Smith, stand with Alabama National Fair 2021 president Seth Gowan.

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Alabama Living

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| Alabama Recipes |

chicken

Don’t be about this bird F

ried, baked or barbecued, in salad, soup or sandwiches, chicken can be one of the best low-calorie and lowfat sources of protein in our diet, and one that can provide important nutrients from pregnancy through our later years. Our readers sent us a variety of recipes using chicken in several different forms. Whichever is your favorite, it’s good to know that chicken offers both variety and nutritional value for your meal planning. Check out these benefits:

• Chicken has tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for raising serotonin levels in your brain. Serotonin is the “feel-good” neurochemical linked with mood. • Dark and white meat chicken contains vitamin B12 and choline, which together may promote brain development in children, help the nervous system function properly and aid cognitive performance in older adults. • For those who struggle with chewing or swallowing foods, or with changes in taste, chicken is a versatile source of high-quality protein. Thirty grams of protein per meal also can benefit muscle growth and bone health. • Chicken provides under-consumed vitamins and minerals, and can be center of the plate for a heart-healthy, low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, such as the DASH diet. • Lean chicken meat is an excellent source of protein that the body can use easily. Foods high in protein may be a tool for managing weight and a normal blood sugar. Source: Chicken Check In, a service of the National Chicken Council (NCC), based in Washington, DC. The NCC is the national, non-profit trade association representing U.S. chicken producers to provide information and help answer questions about how chicken is raised and processed in the U.S. NCC member companies include chicken producer/processors, poultry distributors, and allied supplier firms. The producer/processors account for approximately 95 percent of the chicken meat produced in the United States.

Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie, recipe on page 32

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For all the ways you can have chicken, sometimes it can be hard to get creative. At the Buttered Home, we took a traditional chicken casserole and jazzed it up a bit. Our Brooke Burks Mushroom and Swiss Chicken Casserole is a delicious spin on a classic. Taking sautéed mushrooms and pairing them with Swiss cheese breathes new life into this staple casserole recipe.

Photo by The Buttered Home

Mushroom and Swiss Chicken Casserole 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded 1 teaspoon onion powder 8 ounces white mushrooms, cleaned and sautéed in 2 tablespoons butter 1 cup sour cream 14 ounce can cream of chicken soup 1 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup water 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 11/2 teaspoons salt 1 cup swiss cheese, shredded Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix sour cream, cream of chicken soup, water, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper. Add in shredded chicken and sautéed mushrooms. Mix well. Fold in cheese. Pour in a slightly greased 9x13-inch casserole dish. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes until the top is browned and bubbly.

Cook of the Month: Robin O’Sullivan, Wiregrass EC

P

izza with a chicken crust? Yes, it’s possible and Robin O’Sullivan’s recipe proves it can even be delicious, topped with chopped veggies, marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Robin, who is a vegetarian, makes the pizza for meat-loving friends like her boyfriend, John Tate, who says she’s very good at cooking meat even though she doesn’t eat it herself. If you still want to go meatless with this recipe, “you could use a Robin O'Sullivan and John Tate meat substitute instead of the chicken,” she says. The crust doesn’t puff up like a traditional dough crust, but makes a perfect low-carb base for the toppings, she adds. Robin is a frequent contributor to our food pages, and this marks the third time she’s won Cook of the Month since 2017. She teaches history at Troy University’s campuses in Dothan and Troy.

Winter Vegetable Pizza with Chicken Crust 1 1/2 1 1/2 2 1/2 1 2

pound boneless chicken, breast or thighs cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated tablespoon garlic, minced teaspoon salt eggs cup marinara sauce cup shredded mozzarella cheese cups chopped vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale), lightly sautéed beforehand

Cook the chicken via your favorite method (sauté it or cook in a CrockPot), then shred it and place in a large bowl. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray your pizza pan with oil (or line with parchment paper). Add parmesan cheese, garlic, and salt to the chicken. Add the eggs and mix well. Spread the chicken mixture on your pizza dish; the crust should be about 1/4 inch thick. Bake 15 minutes, then let it rest for 10 minutes. Spread sauce, vegetable toppings, and mozzarella cheese on the chicken crust. Bake 10 more minutes. Cook’s note: Alfredo sauce or pesto sauce can be used instead of marinara sauce. Swap out cheeses or vegetables. Personalize however you like.

Photo by Brooke Echols Alabama Living

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Grandma Tempie Island Chicken ½ ½ ½ 1 ¼ 2 2

lemon lime orange tablespoon brown sugar teaspoon parsley flakes tablespoons onion, finely chopped tablespoons bell pepper, finely chopped 1 teaspoon butter or margarine 6 chicken tenderloins

In a large bowl combine the first 7 ingredients for a marinade. Squeeze the lemon, lime, and orange into a bowl and stir. Remove 1/3 marinade for basting, cover, and refrigerate. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add chicken and marinade to the bowl and coat the chicken. Bake the chicken on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet covered with butter or margarine for 40 minutes. Turn once and baste after 20 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes and a vegetable salad. Joyce A. Harris-Stokes Tallapoosa River EC

Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie 2 frozen deep-dish pie shells 1 large can chicken or smoked chicken 1 can English peas 1 can sliced carrots ½ cup milk Salt and pepper 1 can cream of potato soup 1 can cream of chicken, mushroom or celery soup (celery soup recommended) Slice or dice chicken into small bites. Mix all ingredients together and pour into one pie shell. Top with the other pie shell. Cut holes in the top to vent, 1-2-inches long. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven until shell is golden brown. Beth McLarty Cullman EC

Chicken Paprikash 1 pound chicken pieces, cut up, rinsed and patted dry (or alternatively bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs) 1 medium-large onion, diced 1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced 1-2 tablespoons sweet paprika (recom mended: Szeged Hungarian paprika) 1-2 cups water or chicken stock (stock recommended) 8 ounces sour cream 1 tablespoon flour Wide egg noodles, cooked or Galushka dumplings (recipe below) In 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, sauté the pepper and onion until the onion is transparent. Take the pot off the heat and add the paprika and chicken, then gently mix to coat the chicken. Add just enough water or stock to partially cover but not submerge the chicken; add a pinch of salt and return to the heat. Cover the pot and cook at a low simmer for an hour. Take the pot off the heat. In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream and flour until smooth. Temper this mixture by adding a little of the cooked chicken broth to the sour cream (this will prevent the sour cream from curdling) before adding the mixture to the pot. Mix the sour cream mixture into the pot sauce. Return the pot to the heat and very gently reheat the stew (absolutely do not let it boil, otherwise the sauce will curdle). Serve over wide egg noodles or the more traditional Galushka dumplings. Galushka Dumplings: 2 large eggs 1-1/2 cups flour 2/3 cup water 2 pinches salt Spaetzle maker (optional) Lightly beat the eggs with water. Mix the flour and salt together, then gradually add the egg mixture to it to form a smooth, almost runny batter (adjustwith more water or flour). Let stand at

Cook of the Month! Please send us your original recipes, developed by you or family members. You may adapt a recipe from another source by changing as little as the amount of one ingredient. Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” only once per calendar year. To be eligible, submissions must include a name, phone number, mailing address and co-op name. Alabama Living reserves the right to reprint recipes in our other publications. 32 FEBRUARY 2022

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room temperature for 30 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Using a spaetzle maker push the batter into the boiling water. The dumplings are ready when they float up after about 3 minutes. Alternatively, dip a teaspoon in the boiling water, take a scoop of batter and put in the water. The batter should just slide off the spoon. Repeat for the remaining batter. You can serve the dumplings separately or put them into the paprikash. Louis Toth Arab EC

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Green Sauce 1 pound chicken breasts, skin on if possible 12 10-inch flour tortillas 1 16-ounce package shredded Monterey Jack cheese 1 28-ounce can green enchilada sauce 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 medium onion, sliced 4 tablespoons butter Bake chicken in a 350-degree oven until juices run clear. Let cool, remove skin, and shred. While chicken is baking, add butter to a saucepan and melt over low heat. Add onions and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned/ caramelized. To shredded chicken, add cumin, chili powder and onions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. LIghtly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. Fill each tortilla with equal amounts of chicken mixture and shredded cheese, reserving some cheese for topping. Roll up each tortilla and place in baking dish. Cover with enchilada sauce. Bake 30 minutes. Top with reserved cheese and bake 5 minutes more. Kathy Skinner Tallapoosa River EC

Themes and Deadlines: May: Beef | February 4 June: Summer Salads | March 4 July: Cobblers | April 1

3 ways Online: alabamaliving.coop to submit: Email: recipes@alabamaliving.coop Mail: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

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ENERGY ENERGY CONSERVATION CONSERVATION BINGO BINGO Cross off a square for each energy conservation task you complete. Share this with your friends Cross off a square for each energy conservation and family to see who can get a “BINGO” first! task you complete. Share this with your friends and family to see who can get a “BINGO” first!

B B

Turn water off while brushing Turn water off your teeth while brushing your teeth

II

N N

Use a reusable Use abag reusable

Pick up trash

bag

Pick up trash

Unplug unused Collect items to phone recycle Unplugchargers unused Collect items to phone chargers recycle

Use a smart power strip Use a smart

Take a 5-minute Use solar lights Takeshower a 5-minute Useoutdoors solar lights shower outdoors

FREE FREE

Carpool with friendswith Carpool

Pick up trash

Reuse a water bottle Reuse a water

Use a smart power strip Use a smart

friends

bottle

Alabama Living

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Pick up trash

power strip

power strip

G G

O O

Carpool with friendswith Carpool

Reuse a water bottle Reuse a water

Walk Turn off lights somewhere Walk when leave Turn you off lights instead of riding somewhere roomleave whena you in aof car instead riding a room in a car

friends

bottle

Unplug unused Use a reusable phone Unplugchargers unused Use abag reusable phone chargers bag

Turn off lights Take a 5-minute when you leave Turn off lights Takeshower a 5-minute a room when you leave shower a room Walk Turn water off somewhere Walk while brushing Turn water off instead of riding somewhere yourbrushing teeth while in aof car instead riding your teeth in a car

Collect items to recycle Collect items to recycle

Use solar lights Useoutdoors solar lights outdoors

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| Our Sources Say |

Hope and a prayer T

oday’s availability of electronic information and social media is a blessing and a curse. I have trouble processing all the information available to me each day. And, I don’t do social media. All that constant information leads to a problem of retention and, more importantly, remembering the messages in the details. For example, Winter Storm Uri caused major power outages across Texas and the Midwest last February. Texas had the most severe problems with sub-freezing temperatures that resulted in power plant outages, renewable power failures, transmission outages, and power outages that lasted almost two weeks. More than 100 people died of exposure because they didn’t have power or heat. The Texas economy suffered from disruptions in business, and artificially high power prices were imposed on customers through ERCOT’s deregulated market structure. It was a terrible weather event that consumed the news for weeks. There were personalized stories about the fate of people without power. After the storm cleared and temperatures moderated, the people who had power through the storm faced huge power bills for service. However, how much do you hear about Winter Storm Uri as its anniversary approaches? As I write this in late December 2021, a story dominating the headlines this week is another winter storm across the Pacific Northwest and the Sierra Nevada regions. It has dumped unprecedented snow across Washington and Oregon and more snow is forecasted. The northwest has experienced frigid temperatures, with Seattle, Washington, recording 17 degrees and Bellingham, Washington reaching 7 degrees. Both broke records set in 1968. The winter storm has disrupted travel and closed roads from San Francisco to Reno for more than three days and shut down Interstate 80 from Nevada to California because of large snow packs. Garbage and city services have been discontinued in many areas because of the snow and more than 5,000 electric customers have been without power due to the severe weather. Despite the similarities to last year’s storm, the stories make little or no mention of Winter Storm Uri. The difficulties with this year’s storms raise the question of whether the Midwest and Texas are any better prepared for another major winter storm than last year. The Midcontinent System Operator (MISO), which provides power to most of the Midwest under a structured market approach that is largely deregulated, has implemented emergency pricing reforms, improved scarcity pricing platforms, and mandated power generators to provide weekly fuel supply data. However,

Tyler Jubert, a power analyst for S&P Global Platts Analytics, says, “This winter still remains vulnerable to emergency alerts driven by high congestion or capacity shortages.” In English, that means wind and solar power may be in the wrong location and there may not be enough traditional coal and natural gas-fired generation to meet high demands caused by extreme weather. Texas is likely not as well situated for a major winter storm as MISO. The Texas Legislature has passed laws to make the electric grid more reliable during freezing weather, including the governance of ERCOT, Texas’ grid operator, and a requirement for power generators and transmission companies to be more resilient during extreme weather. Governor Gregg Abbott said, “Everything that needed to be done was done to fix the power grid” as he signed the legislation. However, some industry experts believe the Texas grid and deregulated markets are too heavily geared toward price most of the time and not enough toward reliability for extreme weather. For instance, the Texas legislation doesn’t require power generators to complete reliability upgrades until late 2022 at the earliest. The legislation also provides many exceptions that allow power generators to avoid costly winterization programs so they can keep their cost of service low during other times of the year. Also, the legislation does nothing to resolve the high costs of power experienced by customers last winter or provide a plan for dealing with those expected high costs during extreme weather in the future. If there is another winter event, power generators will likely again incur exorbitant costs that will be passed on to their consumers because of artificially inflated prices resulting from Texas’ deregulated market structure. All of which means the deregulated power grids in the west are still at risk for outages and high expenses if there is another major winter storm this year. As the college football bowl season concludes, many games are decided at the very end with one team needing one more touchdown to win. The announcers talk about a Hail Mary on the last play or a team playing on a hope and a prayer to win as the clock winds down. Hopes and prayers don’t work as well for electric utilities as they do for football teams. While we may have problems with a severe winter storm, we value reliability as much as cost and our system has been planned and built for the power to stay on. I like our plan a lot better than a a hope and a prayer. I hope you have a good month.

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.

www.alabamaliving.coop

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| Classifieds | How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace Closing Deadlines (in our office): April 2022 Issue by February 25 May 2022 Issue by March 25 June 2022 Issue by April 25 Ads are $1.75 per word with a 10 word minimum and are on a prepaid basis; Telephone numbers, email addresses and websites are considered 1 word each. Ads will not be taken over the phone. You may email your ad to hdutton@areapower.com; or call (800)410-2737 ask for Heather for pricing.; We accept checks, money orders and all major credit cards. Mail ad submission along with a check or money order made payable to ALABAMA LIVING, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124 – Attn: Classifieds.

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Answers to puzzle on Page 24

Alabama Living

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| Hardy Jackson's Alabama |

Illustration by Dennis Auth

Looking for a “Third-Float Girl”

F

at Tuesday is March 1, with Ash Wednesday right behind on March 2, ushering in the Lenten season. It’s not too early to start thinking about what you might be giving up. Me? I’m giving up Mardi Gras. Which is pretty easy to do. I don’t plan to attend. Check that one off my list. Truth is, I have been giving up Mardi Gras every year since back in the ’60s, which was the last time I was there. I grew up on the edge of Mardi Gras, in a South Alabama county too far north from Mobile for our schools to be closed like they did down on the coast. So carnival had to wait until I was in college and had a roommate from Mobile who invited me down with the promise of parades, parties and girls – lots of girls. He knew where to find them, so he said. So he took me to some parties – not the upscale, exclusive balls put on by the upscale, exclusive mystic societies. He was not that well connected. He could get me into second-level social gatherings, but even there my country credentials were not enough to get more than a nod from girls who went to high schools named after saints. After watching me socially flounder, my host announced that it was time for a trip to the Cawthon Hotel. The Cawthon was an ancient hostelry overlooking Bienville Square, which housed most of the high school bands that were there to march in the parades. And with the bands came the majorettes, flag corps, and cheerleaders. It was like a candy store for the testosterone afflicted. Or so my host led me to believe. Now the girls were there – down from the hinterlands, from

Harvey H. (Hardy) Jackson is Professor Emeritus at Jacksonville State University. He can be reached at hhjackson43@gmail.com

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towns like Monroeville, Greenville, Butler and Thomasville. Though back home they were good girls – Baptist, Methodists, Holiness, Assembly of this and Church of that – they left their Sunday learning behind them and arrived ready to party. Or so my host led me to believe. But my host was wrong. Most of the girls packed parental warnings with their uniforms and got off the bus determined not to succumb to the temptations of the city. As for the others, the ones who came set for succumbing, there were savvy chaperones who knew which of their girls needed watching and watched them. Nevertheless, I had a good time doing what most folks do at Mardi Gras. I watched parades, caught throws, mixed and mingled – the stuff I could actually tell my Mama about. But that was long ago. Today the Cawthon Hotel is long gone, victim of the wrecking ball that has gotten so many of our landmarks. With it has gone that tower of temptation that lured small-town boys like me to the big city looking for decadence and finding disappointment. And in its place there is the third float. You see, a few years ago one of the women’s mystic societies had a problem. Some of its younger members were displaying a tendency to get rowdy as the society’s parade wound its way through the town. Some of the society’s more decorous, respectable members were not pleased. So rather than create a scandal by banning the free spirits from parade and society, it was decided to put the whole lot of them on the third float – where they could be watched and, if necessary, restrained. I can see a trend here. I can see the practice becoming widespread among the mystics. And when it does, boys like I once was will descend on Mobile looking for a “Third-Float Girl.” Only to stand on the sidelines as the parade passes them by. www.alabamaliving.coop

1/19/22 3:24 PM


AL STATE FEB22.indd 39

1/19/22 3:24 PM


AL STATE FEB22.indd 40

1/19/22 3:24 PM


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