Factory tours Valentine ideas
Gary Harrison CO-OP EDITOR
Terri Faulkner 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. AREA cooperative member subscriptions are $3 a year; non-member subscriptions, $6. 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.
ALABAMA RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION
AREA PRESIDENT Fred Braswell EDITOR Lenore Vickrey MANAGING EDITOR Melissa Henninger CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mark Stephenson ART DIRECTOR Michael Cornelison
VOL. 67 NO. 2 FEBRUARY 2014
4 Why does my power go out? 20 Gifts for your sweetheart
On the Cover: Visitors to Hyundai Motor Manufacturing’s Alabama factory watch cars in production. PHOTO: Robert Burns, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama
Valentine’s doesn’t always have to mean flowers and candy, especially when native Alabama-made arts and crafts and romantic getaways make such unique gifts.
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340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.areapower.coop
26 Worth more than one trip
It might take more than one drive to experience all there is to see at this Auburn restaurant, which also includes a fresh produce market and a nursery.
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National Country Market 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181 www.nationalcountrymarket.com www.alabamaliving.coop
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FEBRUARY 2014 3
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
John Livings President
Why does my power go out?
Tom James Vice President Andrew Callaway Secretary/Treasurer Aaron Ellis Parker Gray Mount Albert Perry James Sikes Irvin Wells
TELEPHONE Montgomery 334.288.1163 Union Springs 334.738.2500 Toll-Free 1.888.349.4332 24- Hour Outage Reporting 24-Hour Automated Account Information 1.866.285.2359 PAYMENT OPTIONS By Mail: Post Ofﬁce Box 30 Union Springs, AL 36089 In Person: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday 9100 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL 36117 402 East Blackmon Union Springs, AL 36089 Night Deposit: Available at both ofﬁces Credit Card: Visa and MasterCard accepted in ofﬁce, online and through automated phone system Online: www.dixie.coop
4 FEBRUARY 2014
R. Gary Harrison CEO/General Manager
Have you ever been sitting around and suddenly you’re in the dark? You walk outside, see the moon, not a cloud in the sky and wonder, “Why is my power out?” Well believe me, we don’t want your power to be out. That is why we spend a large portion of our budget, and a great deal of planning trying to make sure it doesn’t go out. But, outages are inevitably going to occur at some point in time, which brings us back to the original question of “Why?” We keep extensive records of the outages that occur in order to determine the most common cause of outages, and to evaluate any measures we may be able to take to improve system reliability. We also use this information to compile monthly reports that are presented to cooperative management and your board of trustees. We break the outages down by cause, and then calculate the number of outages per cause, the total consumer outage hours, and the average outage hours per consumer. In 2013, the greatest number of outage hours was due to power supply. In one instance, the high voltage transmission to one of our substations went out. In another situation this past summer, two transformers failed in our Notasulga substation within one month of each other. These types of outages impact thousands of member-owners at one time. Trees are also a big contributing factor with outages. Last year, we had our two rightof-way crews and a contract crew cutting right of way. We also had another contract crew cutting dead trees. Despite our eﬀorts to maintain the rights of way, we still had 150 tree-related outages scattered over our 2,000 miles of overhead distribution line. In 2013, animals accounted for 91 outages. Curious squirrels will stand on a
grounded piece of equipment and reach up to touch something energized. Then there goes the power, which is not good for you, and I can tell you it is not good for the squirrel either. Large birds can also cause problems as they perch on a piece of equipment and then attempt to fly away making contact with both an energized and grounded piece at the same time. In order to minimize the outages caused by animals, we use a lot of insulated wire around lightning arrestors, transformers, and other equipment that squirrels are known to contact. However, if you have squirrels around, you know how creative they can be. In our largest substation between our Arrowhead office and Interstate 85, two squirrels decided on a rainy Saturday morning in December to play in the steel structure. Well, one of them made a fatal mistake and hit the energized equipment putting East Montgomery in the dark for 50 minutes. We actually got the whole event on video. Interestingly, they weren’t being pursued by a larger animal, were over 100 yards from the nearest tree, and were nowhere near a food source. They appeared to just be playing a good old-fashioned game of chase. We had another really interesting animal related outage in South Montgomery this winter when a beaver, in the middle of the night, cut a tree onto a distribution line. Animals aren’t the only things that impact our reliability. In fact, this past year humans caused 17 of our outages. These outages were due to car accidents, people cutting trees too close to power lines causing the trees to fall on our lines, people digging into underground lines, and things of this nature. As much as you try to prepare, you can
see that there are just so many factors that are beyond our control when it comes to outages. Which brings us to our next outage cause — weather. I never really knew how many violent small storm cells we have in central Alabama until I started working for Dixie 26 years ago. I have seen the results of these lightning strikes on our lines, on trees, and on homes of our member-owners that were incredible. I have seen where winds over 50 miles per hour blew and knocked trees onto several spans of wire resulting in downed poles. Meanwhile just a few miles away there would be no clouds. This winter, I must say that I have seen a new cause like none we have experienced before. In early January during the extremely cold weather, a power line serving the area around
Marler Road in Cecil was loaded to 100 Amps when the temperatures were at 26 degrees F. When the temperature dropped to 14 degrees F, it jumped to 320 Amps causing the primary lines to sag into the neutral wire located four feet below. Crews actually had to lower the neutral wire to keep the power flowing. Thankfully this area is already in the process of getting an upgrade, so that won’t be a problem again. In total this past year, there were 60 outages caused by weather. Our records indicate that overall we averaged three outage hours per member-owner in 2013. But believe me, we know that some of you are thinking, “I don’t remember having an outage,” while others are thinking, “I know we had an outage that lasted longer than three hours.” Just remember that this is
an average and some of you saw more outage time than others. Three hours may seem like a long outage to some of you. However, when you look at our overall reliability, the power was on to our entire electric system 99.96 percent of the time. All things considered, I think this is pretty significant when you think about the thousands of miles of line we serve. In closing, I realize how dependent we all are on a reliable source of electricity, and no one likes to be without it. Please know that, as our mission statement says, we are focused on safely providing you with reliable electric service at an economical cost. That is our commitment, and we are always looking out for you.A
How does the cold weather impact your power usage? Cold weather has a significant impact on the amount of electricity we use each day. Many people do not realize that a thermostat set at 65 degrees F during a 12 degree F day will cost you much more than the same thermostat setting on a 60 degree F day. This is because your heating unit must run a much grater amount of time to achieve the desired temperature in your home. In order to better demonstrate the impact of our recent cold weather, we have provided a graph below from our MyUsage.com usage monitoring system. This graph shows the usage for a residential member-owner from mid-December 2013 through January 9, 2014. The green bars represent the usage, the red dotted line represents the high temperature for each day and the blue represents the low temperature for each day. As you can see, when the low temperatures dropped to between 12 and 17 degrees F around January 7 and 8, this member-owner’s usage almost doubled from the previous day. In fact, on that one day, their usage was more than triple their typical daily usage. This type of information is always valuable because it helps you to prepare for potentially higher power bills by allowing you to see your usage each day. It also gives you an opportunity to make adjustments around your home and with your usage habits in order to possibly reduce your monthly electricity consumption. If you would like the ability to monitor your usage, you can register your account at www.myusage.com. Similar graphs and information are also available through our customer service portal on our website at www.dixie.coop, or through our mobile apps.
FEBRUARY 2014 5
PREPAY YOUR CHOICE TRADITI ONAL BILLIN G
PREPAY LETS YOU:
• Say goodbye to deposits and monthly bills • Customize a payment schedule • Buy electricity when convenient • Monitor consumption
Prepaid Electric Service from Your Cooperative YOUR POWER. YOUR PLAN. YOUR CHOICE. WHAT IS PREPAY? Prepay is a pay-as-you-go plan that offers you the opportunity to pay when you want, in the amounts you want, similar to a prepaid cell phone. Instead of receiving a traditional paper bill that is generated once each month, usage is calculated daily. Prepay members never pay a late charge, and avoid paying large deposits. IS PREPAY THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOU? Would it be easier for you to make daily, weekly or biweekly payments rather than one large payment each month? If so, Prepay may be for you. Also, statistics indicate that prepay electricity programs help lower electric consumption due to member awareness of usage patterns. So, any residential member-owner interested in monitoring his or her electric use would beneﬁt from the Prepay program.
YOUR POWER. YOUR PLAN. YOUR CHOICE.
6 FEBRUARY 2014
If you think Prepay may be the right choice for you, stop by one of our ofﬁces or give us a call today.
Statement of Nondiscrimination Dixie Electric Cooperative is the recipient of Federal financial assistance from the Rural Utilities Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is subject to the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, and the rules and regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture which provides that no person in the United States on the basis of race, color, national origin, age or disability shall be excluded from participation in, admission or access to, denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any of this organization’s programs or activities. The person responsible for coordinating this organization’s nondiscrimination compliance eﬀorts is the Chief Executive Oﬃcer/ General Manager, R. Gary Harrison. Any individual, or specific class of individuals, who feels that this organization has subjected them to discrimination may obtain further information about the statutes and regulations listed above from and/or file a written complaint with this organization; or USDA, Director, Oﬃce of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington DC, 20250-9410; or call (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD). Complaints must be filed within 180 days after the alleged discrimination. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible.
CHECK OUT OUR MOBILE APPS Go to the Apple or Android store to download your FREE mobile app today. This convenient app lets you make payments, view your billing history, or monitor your usage. You can even set up alerts to remind you when your bill is due.
For account access 24/7, visit us online at
www.dixie.coop and select the customer service portal button.
FEBRUARY 2014 7
We Want to Hear from You Customer surveys oﬀer valuable feedback to help us better serve you Over the past year, we have asked you, our member-owners, for feedback regarding your cooperative. We realize that you all have very busy schedules, but if you have not yet completed a survey, we encourage you to take the time to complete our online survey. Those members who participate will be entered into our quarterly drawing for a $100 Visa gift card. When we receive completed surveys, the data is analyzed to help us better understand how our memberowners use electricity, along with how we can provide programs that can help you the most. Survey questions will cover topics including member satisfaction, appliance usage, types of heating, air
conditioning and water heating, interest in co-op programs and services, communication opportunities, home information and basic demographics. Rest assured, all information we gather from our surveys is kept strictly confidential and will not be shared with anyone outside of Dixie Electric Cooperative. However, if you do not wish to answer a particular question, please skip over it. We do not want any information you feel uncomfortable providing. Thanks in advance for participating in our member-owner survey. At Dixie, our goal is not just to provide electricity, but to also serve our member-owners in the most reliable, eﬃcient and economical means possible. At Dixie, we are always looking out for you.
Dixie Electric Cooperative will award four $2,500 scholarships to students in our service area this spring. To receive an application, visit our website at www.dixie.coop and click the scholarship opportunity link on the home page, or contact the cooperative’s communications coordinator at (888) 349-4332. The deadline for applications is March 14, 2014.
December 2013 Solar Energy Production
68.4 kWh This is enough energy to power a refrigerator for approximately 15 days. To monitor our solar output, learn about our energy eﬃciency programs, or access your account 24/7, visit us online at
www.dixie.coop. 8 FEBRUARY 2014
In February FEB. 20-23
Red Door Theatre set for ‘Mama Won’t Fly’
Race participants prepare to start at the 2013 Critter Crawl at the Alabama Nature Center in Millbrook.
The Red Door Theatre in Union Springs will host the play “Mama Won’t Fly” Feb. 20-23. The play begins with a race against the clock when Savannah Sprunt Fairchild Honeycutt agrees to get her feisty mother all the way from Alabama to California in time for her brother’s wedding. Savannah’s problem: Mama won’t fly! With only four days to make it to the ceremony, Savannah has no choice but to drive cross-country with her mother in a vintage sedan. On Feb. 20-22, dinner starts at 6 p.m. and the performance begins at 7:30 p.m. A Sunday, Feb. 23 matinee is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Dinner is $15 and the play is $15. For more information, call 334-738-8687 or email conecuhpeople@ knology.net.
Make plans to run wild at the Critter Crawl Start the new year off right with a little exercise and a breath of fresh air at the Alabama Nature Center’s (ANC) Fourth Annual Critter Crawl in Millbrook Saturday, Feb. 15. This year, the Critter Crawl will feature a newly mapped 10K run or a 5K run along the trails located at Lanark, home of the Alabama Nature Center, a hands-on outdoor education facility, and headquarters of the Alabama Wildlife Federation. The Critter Crawl takes runners through a portion of the Alabama Nature Center’s five-mile trail system. Pre-registration is $25 (10K and 5K) or $20 (1 mile). Registration on site that day is an additional $5 charge. Prizes will be awarded for male and female overall, Masters (40+) and Grand Masters (50+). Also, three deep in the following age groups: 8 and under, 9-12, 13-18, 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-69, 70+. An addition to the line-up at this year’s event there will be a costume contest. Prizes will be awarded. Music and food will be provided, plus door prizes and lots of room for kids to play. The 5K starts at 9 a.m. and 1 mile starts at 10 a.m.; both races start and finish at the ANC pavilion. Visit www.alabamawildlife.org or call Elizabeth Johnson at 334285-4550 for more information, or register online at www. active.com. Participants may pick up race packets at the ANC Pavilion Friday, Feb. 14 from 1 - 5 p.m. Alabama Living
MARCH 8 AND 9
Artists ready for Orange Beach Festival of Art The Orange Beach Festival of Art is set for March 8 and 9, and will feature more than 100 local and regional fine artists of visual, performing and culinary arts. The festival is a fine arts juried event held every second weekend in March for the past 40 years on the grounds of the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach and Waterfront Park on Canal The Orange Beach Festival of Art ofRoad. Festival hours are fers many art opportunities for young Saturday and Sunday from people. Above, a 2012 festival attendee 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is free shows off her sock puppet. with public parking at The Wharf. Shuttles will be provided at a rate of $2 per way, to and from the festival. No public parking will be available on site. Musicians will include Roman Street, Sugarcane Jane, Three Bean Soup and Brent Burns. Culinary selections featured at the festival offer gourmet flair, while still providing plenty of child-friendly options. Kid’s Art Alley offers young festival goers plenty of hands-on fun. For more information, visit orangebeachartsfestival.com or call 251-981-ARTS (2787). FEBRUARY 2014 9
AREA welcomes new staff members Jacob Johnson has joined the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives (AREA) as director of advertising and marketing. Johnson Johnson comes to AREA from Walker360, an advertising and printing firm. He previously worked in sales for a national broadcast company and started his own branding/advertising consultancy in 2009. Johnson is a communications graduate of Auburn University.
Randy Glaze has joined AREA as manager of safety and loss control. He previously worked at Altec, Inc. as safety training instructor. Before that, Randy Glaze spent 16 years with International Paper in Selma where he was electrical safety coordinator. He holds two technical degrees and a Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Management from Troy University. Randy was recently accepted into the Advanced Safety Engineering Management program with the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Keith Twitty has joined AREA as manager of safety and loss control. He was previously with TVPPA as technical programs manager Twitty and a journeyman/lead line worker. Twitty served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1986 to 1992. He is a graduate of Wallace State Community College and completed the TVPPA Lineman Apprentice Training Course at Nashville State Technical Institute.
Disability benefits for what (severely) ails you The month of February is a time to recognize a number of unfortunate ailments that disable and take the lives of too many people. February is American Heart Month, focusing on heart disease and how to prevent it. Every year more than 700,000 Americans have a heart attack and about 600,000 die from heart disease — making up about a fourth of the nation’s deaths. Feb. 4 is World Cancer Day, a chance to raise our collective voices in the name of improving knowledge about cancer. Feb. 14 is National Donor Day, encouraging everyone to become an organ donor, giving the ultimate Valentine to someone in need. These awareness campaigns remind us how critically important Social Security disability benefits are for people with severe disabilities and their families. Many people do not like to think about disability. However, the onset of disability is unpredictable and can happen to anyone at any age. The unfortunate reality is that one in four 20-year-old workers become disabled before reaching retirement age. When severe illness or injury robs a person 10 FEBRUARY 2014
of the ability to work and earn a living, Social Security disability benefits can provide a critical source of financial support at a time of need. When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn credits. These credits count toward retirement, survivors, and disability benefits. The number of credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age, and some of the work must be recent. For example, the younger you are the fewer credits you need to have. For most people, you need to have worked at least a total of 10 years, but if you are younger, you may qualify with as little as a year and a half of work. You don’t need to have had a heart attack, organ transplant, or cancer to qualify for disability benefits. However, you must have a disability that is severe enough to render you unable to work and that is expected to last a year or longer, or result in death. If you have such a disability, you should start your application now. That’s because it takes time to determine whether you qualify for benefits. It usually takes three to four months for a medical decision from the state agency that evaluates your condition.
If your application is approved, your first Social Security disability payment will be made for the sixth full month after the date the state agency determines that you qualify for disability benefits. Take advantage of our online disability starter kits. The kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application, and provides information about the specific documents and information that we will request from you. You will find the starter kits at www. socialsecurity.gov/disability. Once you complete your online disability starter kit and you’re ready to apply, the most convenient way to accomplish this is online at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability.
Kylle’ McKinney, Alabama Social Security Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached in Montgomery at 866-593-0914, ext. 26265, or at kylle. email@example.com.
Be my Valentine ... I dare you Many folks, middle-aged men mostly, do not look forward to Valentine’s Day. Not just because they are expected to send the woman they love flowers and candy and such stuff. They can handle that. But they fear that the object of their affection might consider the gift insufficiently romantic and judge them thusly. That happened to a guy I knew who briefly lived under the mistaken assumption that the true measure of love was presenting your dear one with a gift that you would buy for yourself – give unto others as you would have them give unto you, or something like that. He loved to fish. See where this is heading? What better way to say “I love you” than with a new rod and reel? The relationship was over before the year was out. That’ll learn him. Personally, I do not look forward to Valentine Day’s because it brings back memories of when I was in elementary school. Of all the events on our calendar, none created more consternation and concern, anxiety and angst than the ceremony of acceptance and rejection that occurred every Feb. 14. Teachers seemed to love it because preparation kept us busy. They knew that the idle hands of pre-adolescents are surely the devil’s workshop. Preparing started innocently enough. No sooner was Groundhog Day past than our teacher would bring out the scissors, colored paper and paste, from which the artistic among us (usually the girls) would create hearts and flowers. Cupids were too complex for our meager talents, but the guys had lots of fun drawing bows and arrows. All this creativity notwithstanding, Alabama Living
as the day approached we nervously waited to see who would give what to whom. Freud, or one of those other likeminded psychologists, contended that there is a “latent period” in young lives when they are not interested in the opposite sex. Freud never attended my elementary school, where most of my classmates skipped any “latent period” that might have been lurking in the corners of our young lives.
Boys wanted girlfriends and girls wanted boyfriends. Problem was, the number of what might today be called “trophy” selections was limited, so a lot of the girls “liked” the same “cute” boys, and most of the boys “liked” the same “cute” girls. The exchange of valentines on Valentine’s Day would force a public declaration of affection, followed by reciprocation or rejection. As the day approached, you could cut the tension with a knife. Symbolism was everywhere. What if you gave “cute girl” your
handmade valentine and Bubba trumped you with a store-bought better one? What if Johnny upped the ante with a Milky Way taped to his card? Then there was the gnawing fear that Billy Ray would give his token of love to the “cute girl” you “liked,” and she would give him one in return – leaving you with a broken heart. And what was going through the minds of those who were afraid they would get no valentines at all. Teachers attempted to remedy that situation by instructing us to give valentines to everyone. Most of us responded by passing out to classmates those massed produced cards bought in bulk from the drug store. Then we gave a “special” Valentine to the “cute girl” or the “cute boy” that we wanted to sit with us in the lunchroom. Thus by the end of the day we all knew who “liked” whom, who was “popular,” and whose love was and would remain unrequited. Think of the scars left on our adolescent psyches. Oh, we got over it, mostly. But every Feb. 14, it comes back to haunt some of us. Now, should I go with flowers or candy or something from Bass Pro Shop? Ed. Note: This is the first in a series of periodic columns on humorous people, places and things in Alabama. Harvey H. (“Hardy”) Jackson is retired professor emeritus of history at Jacksonville State University whose most recent book is The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera, featured in the January 2013 Alabama Living. His work appears in the Anniston Star and Northeast Alabama Living.
FEBRUARY 2014 11
Alabama-Made: 11 Family Friendly Places to See, Touch and Taste Alabama’s Manufacturing
The Honda plant in Lincoln gives visitors a look at how the Odyssey and Ridgeline are produced. PHOTO BY HONDA
What do cars, cookies and bamboo bikes have in common? Like many other great products, they are all made here in Alabama. Take shopping local to a whole new level and head to the factories to see your favorite Alabama products in production. You’ll develop a new appreciation for “Made in Alabama” and have some great family fun, too. 12 FEBRUARY 2014
By Jacqueline Rosser
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama
Do you drive a Honda? Tour the Honda Manufacturing Plant in Alabama and see how your ride is made. Many of Honda’s vehicles are produced at their Lincoln plant. On the tour you’ll walk the production floor watching sparks fly as the weld robots assemble the Honda Odyssey and Ridgeline. From engines to paint colors and more, you’ll see what it takes to make an awardwinning vehicle. The free tour of the Honda plant is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Visitors must be at least 12 years old. Wear fully enclosed shoes and long pants. www.hondaalabama.com www.alabamaliving.coop
A tour of Bud’s Best Cookies includes samples. PHOTO BY KRISTIE LAROCHELLE, KP STUDIOS
Golden Flake Chips
Crunchy and delicious Golden Flake Chips are a lunchtime staple across Alabama. Pay a visit to the Golden Flake factory in Birmingham to watch plain potatoes transform into deep fried delights. One of the highlights of the tour is the fresh samples of warm chips, pork rinds, etc. shared with visitors along the way. If you can’t make it to the factory Golden Flake offers online tours on its website: www.goldenflake.com. Tours are typically offered Monday-Thursday at set times each morning. Small groups (less than 10) generally don’t need a reservation, but you may want to call in advance (1-800-239-CHIP) to verify availability. Visitors must be at least 5 years old. Wear closed toe/heel shoes suitable for walking.
Bud’s Best Cookies
Hop aboard the CookieLand Express and travel to a delicious world filled with cookies. Bud’s Best Cookies tour in Birmingham shows visitors how their signature bite-sized cookies are mixed, baked, packaged and shipped. Come with an appetite; you’ll enjoy samples on the tour and to take home. Tours are free, but reservations are required. Set up your tour by calling their offices at 800-548-1504. www.budsbestcookies. com.
Working Cows Dairy
Meet the farmers behind Working Cow Dairy when you stop by their Slocomb farm at milking time. Jonny de Jong, CEO of the family run farm, says, “We suggest people come by at 7 in the morning or 5 in the afternoon to see the cows being milked and things of that nature.” While you’re at the farm, stop by their store and pick up a bottle of fresh and delicious Alabama organic milk. www.workingcowsdairy.com/
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama
Samples of delicious Blue Bell ice cream await visitors to the creamery’s Sylacauga plant. PHOTO BY BLUE BELL CREAMERIES
Blue Bell Creamery
If you’re in Montgomery, take the family over to the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama plant. This busy Alabama facility assembles almost 1,500 vehicles each business day. The Hyundai plant tour is free for visitors age 6 and up. Reservations are required and can be made online up to a year ahead of your visit. This tour often fills up well in advance; book early if you want to go. www.hmmausa.com. Visitors to Hyundai’s plant south of Montgomery can see robots in action. PHOTO BY ROBERT BURNS, HYUNDAI MOTOR MANUFACTURING ALABAMA
After enjoying an informational tour of Blue Bell Creamery in Sylacauga visitors are treated to a serving of their luscious ice cream. The tour features a video presentation and a walk overlooking the production area. Visitors can also visit the Blue Bell Country Store and Parlor. The Blue Bell Creamery tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and is offered Monday-Friday. There is a small charge for the tour. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 256-249-6100. More information: www.bluebell.com
Golden Eagle Syrup
Since 1929 Alabamians have been enjoying Golden Eagle Syrup’s delightfully sweet flavor. If this is your favorite syrup, or even if it’s not, a tour of the production facility in Fayette is fascinating. You can visit any time, but it’s much more enjoyable when they’re in production (generally Tuesday-Thursday). Call 205-932-5294 for more information about the tour. www. goldeneaglesyrup.com/ Alabama Living
FEBRUARY 2014 13
Watch a motorhome come together in the Red Bay factory of Tiffin Motorhomes. PHOTO COURTESY OF TIFFIN MOTORHOMES AND CONSTELLATION IMAGEWORKS
Back Forty Beer Co.
Have you ever wondered how a motorhome is made? Head to Red Bay and take a tour of Tiffin Motorhomes, home of some of the most popular motorhomes in the country. You’ll meet the expert craftsmen that help construct the beautiful homes on wheels and see production in action. Tours are held Monday-Friday at 9:30 a.m. Appointments are not necessary for small groups. Large groups (10 or more) should call in advance to schedule an appointment. Full details are available on the Tiffin Motorhomes website, tiffinmotorhomes.com
If you think a brewery tour and children don’t mix, think again. Back Forty Brewery’s Grains to Glass tour in Gadsden is fun for adults and children alike. Children will enjoy munching on freshly malted hops while adults indulge in local craft beers as they explore the brewing process. Brad Wilson and his brother Jason run the brewery (5th generation in the beer business) and seek to make this manufacturing facility family and community friendly. “We want to reach out to the community… we want to be a place where people can come and handle the business of their day and interact with the community,” said Brad Wilson. If you come in for a tour, don’t be surprised to see Brad’s almost two year old daughter Keller running around in her pink brewing boots. They do more than just make beer here; they foster family and community connections. Tours are offered on Saturdays 3-9 p.m. No reservation needed. backfortybeer.com
Inside the Back Forty Brewery in Gadsden. PHOTO BY ERIC WRIGHT
Visitors to the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance can watch production at Daimler’s only U.S. plant. PHOTO COURTESY MBUSI
Mercedes-Benz U.S. International
Mercedes-Benz U.S. International has been producing vehicles at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Vance (Tuscaloosa County) since 1996. Visitors can tour the factory and check out the history of Daimler-Benz in the Mercedes-Benz Visitor Center’s Museum, the first of its kind outside Germany. Adjacent to Daimler’s only U.S. automobile manufacturing plant, the center exhibits propel people down a multimedia path through the past, present and future of automotive technology. Factory tours are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. and at 12:30 p.m. and 12:45 p.m. Tours typically last about two hours. Cost is $5 per guest. Advance reservations are recommended. Call 205-507-2252 or 888-286-8762. MBUSI recommends visitors download its Tour Guidelines and Requirements from its website at www.mbusi.com, and reading the Factory Tour FAQ guide before calling for reservations.
14 FEBRUARY 2014
When you think of bikes, you probably don’t think of bamboo, but once you watch the bike making process at HERObike in Greensboro, you’ll likely associate the two forever. While HERObike doesn’t offer a formal tour, the studio is very open and visitors are welcome to come in and watch the production at any time. If you like what you see and want a bamboo (locally grown in Alabama) bike of your own, classes and kits are available for purchase. www.herobike.org A HERObike staff invites visitors to watch them create bicycles out of an atypical ingredient: bamboo.
FEBRUARY 2014 15
Gerald Swindle, a professional bass angler from Warrior, Ala., lands a bass he caught on a squarelipped crankbait. Swindle will be one of nine Alabama anglers fishing the 2014 Bassmaster Classic. PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER
Classic returns home with big impact
By John N. Felsher
hen the top 56 professional bass anglers in the world compete in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, one will take home a check for $500,000 and possibly millions more in endorsement contracts. Regardless of who wins, though, Alabama will reap the benefit. The 44th annual Bassmaster Classic will take place in Birmingham and on Lake Guntersville Feb. 21-23. The competitors will run out of Guntersville City Harbor to fish the 69,100-acre lake for three days and bring their daily catches to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Arena, for the official public weigh-ins. When the “Super Bowl of Fishing” comes to town, it makes a huge impact. Besides the anglers, thousands of fans, media and others will pour into Birmingham. Many fans from surrounding cities and states only come in for one day, but many anglers bring their families and stay more than a week. In addition, representatives from hundreds of companies around the world will gather for the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo, held in conjunction with the tournament weigh-ins at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. “More than 100,000 people attended the 2013 Classic in Tulsa, Okla.,” says Michael Mulone, a B.A.S.S. spokesman. “When we bring a Bassmaster Classic to a state, there’s a sense of pride for both the state and B.A.S.S. The B.A.S.S. staff alone books nearly 4,000 hotel rooms. That doesn’t count all the companies bringing exhibits to the event or fans coming from out of town. When a Bassmaster Classic comes to a town, it usually leaves about a $21 to $24 million economic impact. The lion’s share of the economic impact will be in the Birmingham metropolitan area.”
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Birmingham hosted seven previous Classics, most recently in 2010 when Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., won on Lay Lake. The 2014 Classic will be the 12th such event held in Alabama since 1971, more than twice as many as any other state. The hosting Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, better known as B.A.S.S., began in Montgomery and now calls Birmingham home. Although Bassmaster magazine ranks Lake Guntersville number 4 on its list of the top 100 bass lakes in the nation, the largest lake in Alabama only hosted one previous Bassmaster Classic. In 1976, Rick Clunn of Ava, Mo., won his first of four classics on the Tennessee River impoundment. While the Bassmaster Classic hasn’t visited Lake Guntersville in 38 years, other major tournaments ran on the lake. In 2010, former Bassmaster Classic champion Skeet Reese from Auburn, Calif., caught more than 100 pounds of bass during three days of competitive fishing. The year before, Aaron Martens won a Bassmasters Elite Series tournament on Lake Guntersville with more than 107 pounds. Martens, of Leeds, heads a pack of nine Alabama anglers vying to win the big event in their home state. Originally from a suburb of Los Angeles, Martens moved to Alabama because of the great fishing the state offers. “We moved to Alabama to be more centrally located to the lakes we normally fish,” he says. “Alabama is beautiful and the people are really nice. Alabama, particularly the Birmingham area, is the heart of bass fishing in America. This area has a lot of great lakes and rivers to fish.” Martens fished in 14 previous Classics since 1999 and placed www.alabamaliving.coop
second in four of them, losing twice to Kevin VanDam. In 2002, he placed second behind Jay Yelas on Lay Lake. In 2013, he earned his second Angler of the Year title. During his career, he earned more than $2 million in tournament winnings with six victories in B.A.S.S. events. The home team also includes Chris Lane of Guntersville, the only former Bassmaster Classic champion from Alabama fishing the current event. Lane will make his fourth classic appearance, having won five events since 2000 including the 2012 Bassmaster Classic on the Red River in Shreveport, La. Lane grew up in central Florida, but moved to Alabama in 2009. He’ll compete against his brother, Bobby, from Lakeland, Fla. “It’s a fantastic feeling to compete in my hometown,” the former champion says. “Competitive bass fishing has a lot of roots in Alabama. This is where B.A.S.S. originated. As far as I’m concerned, Lake Guntersville is the best bass lake in the country. I look for records to fall for the amount of people coming to the amount of boats on the water watching their favorite anglers to the amount of weight coming to the scales.” Other Alabama competitors include Gerald Swindle of Warrior fishing his 14th Classic. Randy Howell of Springville fished 11 previous classics. Steve Kennedy of Auburn competed in six classics and Greg Vinson of Wetumpka will make his second appearance. Coby Carden of Shelby and David Kilgore of Jasper will each fish their first classics. Also making his first classic appearance, Jordan Lee will represent Auburn University. The 22-year-old student from Cullman qualified for his first classic by winning the 2013 Carhartt College Series National Championship. The youngest competitor this year, Lee was the runner-up to his brother Matt in the 2012 Carhartt
College Series, making the second year in a row that Auburn University sent a student to fish the big show. Fans watching the weigh-ins should see some impressive catches with so many excellent anglers competing in one of the best bass fishing lakes in the nation at the best time to catch monster bass. In late winter, bass normally reach their largest size of the year as females swell with eggs before the spring spawn. A big female largemouth in February could carry several additional pounds of eggs before she deposits them into a nest in March or April. To avoid depleting the resource, the tournament will release any bass brought to the scales. “It’s going to be a tough tournament,” Martens says. “The best anglers in the world will be fishing it at the right time of the year. One of the things I look forward to when fishing a classic is meeting people. We get to meet a lot of fans from all over at these events.” All year long, Lake Guntersville gives up numerous bass in the 3- to 8-pound range and some in the 9- to 12-pound range. Charlie Bertus of Huntsville landed the official lake record largemouth, a 14.50-pound lunker he caught on Feb. 21, 1990. In 2010, Duanne McQueen of Stockbridge, Ga., landed the lake record smallmouth, a 5.85-pounder. “Late February is a great time to fish Lake Guntersville, but it all depends upon the weather,” Lane says. “I’m expecting some giant limits of bass. I think it will probably take about five bass weighing 25 to 30 pounds per day to win. I think the big bass might be in the 10- to 12-pound range. The lake has some giant bass so it wouldn’t surprise me if someone caught a bass in the teens.” For complete schedules and more information on the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, visit www.bassmaster.com/classic. A Kevin VanDam, a four-time Bassmaster Classic champion from Kalamazoo, Mich., shows off a bass he caught. He will be trying for his unprecedented fifth Bassmaster Classic title in 2014. PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER
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Kevin VanDam, a professional bass angler from Kalamazoo, Mich., lifts up his world championship trophy after winning his fourth Bassmaster Classic title, on Feb. 20, 2011, in New Orleans. He will be trying for his unprecedented fifth Bassmaster Classic title in 2014. PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER
Super Bowl of fishing is ‘part of the American lifestyle’ By John N. Felsher
alled by many the “Super Bowl of Fishing,” the 44th annual Bassmaster Classic returns home to Alabama when the best anglers in the world gather to fish Lake Guntersville Feb. 21-23. The biggest event in professional bass fishing started in Alabama. In 1967, Ray Scott of Pintlala started collecting membership fees for an organization dedicated to people who like to catch largemouth bass. He dubbed the organization the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, better known as B.A.S.S. Scott established the first headquarters for his organization in Montgomery. In the late 1960s, Scott organized fishing tournaments and gave away prizes to anglers who caught the heaviest stringers of bass. In 1971, he created a championship for those anglers and called it the Bassmaster Classic. Thus began four decades and counting of professional bass fishing at the highest level. Today, B.A.S.S. officials announce the classic venue a year in advance, but in those days, Scott kept the tournament location secret to keep competition equal. In October 1971, Scott picked 24 anglers and flew them and their wives to Atlanta. There, they boarded a chartered plane with about 30 outdoor writers, destination unknown. The group landed in Las Vegas, Nev., to fish Lake Mead. When it ended, Bobby Murray, a 26-yearold competitor from Hot Springs, Ark., made history by becoming the first Bassmaster Classic champion in history. For the effort, he collected a check for $10,000. Legendary lure maker Tom Mann of Eufaula, Ala., took second. “It was a mystery flight,” Murray remembers years later. “When the airplane reached 10,000 feet, they told us where we were going. We could pack 10 pounds of tackle and four rods. They were trying to make the playing field as fair as they could. Before the first Classic, not one of the 24 anglers had ever been on Lake Mead.” At the time, few people knew anything about professional bass fishing. When a brief story about a guy winning $10,000 for catching bass in Nevada went over the news wires, few editors believed it. Who would get paid to catch fish and then release them? Now, the 56 anglers from 23 states fish18 FEBRUARY 2014
ing the 2014 Bassmaster Classic will compete for a share of the $1 million purse, plus potentially millions more in endorsement contracts. This year, the Classic competitors will fan out over the 69,100-acre Lake Guntersville. After three days of practice, they will begin their daily competition each morning at 7 at the Guntersville City Harbor. All 56 competitors fish the first two days. Only the top 25 anglers fish the final day. While the original competitors weighed their fish on a floating boat dock before about 30 writers and 30 spectators, thousands of fans and hundreds of journalists will gather in the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Arena to watch the 2014 Bassmaster Classic. The free public weigh-ins will begin at 3 p.m. daily. “We had more than 100,000 people attend the 2013 Classic in Tulsa,” says Michael Mulone, a B.A.S.S. spokesman. “This will be one of our biggest classics in size and scope. We’ll use more expo space in Birmingham than we’ve ever used before and all events are free. The Bassmaster Classic is not just a fishing tournament. It’s part of the American lifestyle.” While waiting for their favorite professional anglers to return with their catches, fishing fans might also wish to visit the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo. Hundreds of companies will put up displays for fishing fans to peruse. The free expo will be from noon to 8 p.m. Feb. 21, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 22, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 23. At the Expo, visitors can explore more than 220,000-square feet of exhibit space at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex and attend seminars on different topics at sponsor booths. “At the Expo, people can mingle with their favorite professional anglers and prominent people in the fishing industry like Bill Dance, Hank Parker and others,” Mulone says. “Most people are not going to play in an NFL game and throw a football like Peyton Manning, race against Jimmy Johnson in NASCAR or compete against Tiger Woods on a golf course, but they can all use the exact same equipment in exactly the same place as Kevin VanDam to catch bass.” Visit www.bassmaster.com/classic. A www.alabamaliving.coop
FEBRUARY 2014 19
Valentine’s Day with a gift from the heart By Marilyn Jones
For some, Valentine’s Day is a romantic holiday. But for others it’s a day to remember everyone they love: parents, children and friends. “The person I always think of every Valentine’s Day since I of Dauphin Island. “The people I love want chocolate, so I buy was very young is my dear mother,” says Vickie Ashford of Bir- them candy, a card and some sort of trinket for Valentine’s Day. mingham. “I am the tenth of 11 children. I’ve done this for years. My mother always found a way to make “I don’t think it’s just a romantic holiday, each and every one of us feel special. I think it’s about remembering the ones we “That’s why I don’t have to think twice love,” Steiner adds. about making her feel special every day, and Valentine candy and other treats especially on a day dedicated to love,” she Morgan Price Candy Company in Decaadds. “She loves flowers, but not cut flowtur is a great source for everything chocolate. ers, only those that she can plant and watch They’ve been creating candy for Valentine’s grow, enjoying them longer. Now, at age Day and all year round since 1987 when 87, she especially likes to enjoy her gifts as Mary Morgan began a mail order candy long as she can.” company out of her home and a church “On Valentine’s Day I always think of kitchen. Because of the quality of her candy how my dad would stop at a local drug and attention to detail, her business grew store and bring home chocolate covered Your Valentine might fancy one-of-auntil she had to open a candy store. cherries for my sister and me, and a Whit- kind handcrafted jewelry from Coastal Today the tradition continues under the man’s Sampler for mom,” recalls Meg Lewis Arts Center Gift Shop in Orange Beach. of Montgomery. “Now I try to do something small for the office guidance of Nancy Curl. The candy, made from time-honored and my close friends.” Continued on Page 22 “I remember my husband and children,” says Machelle Steiner 20 FEBRUARY 2014
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Continued from Page 20 recipes, is available at the Decatur store and can be shipped to all parts of the country. “Hope’s Cheesecake in Gulf Shores ships nationwide as well,” says Kim Chapman of Silverhill. “If you’re remembering someone out of town, they make it easy to send a nice gift. Just about everyone loves cheesecake.” For the cheese lover, Belle Chèvre in Elkmont is an excellent choice for goat cheese. Belle Chèvre has produced a variety of internationally acclaimed cheeses since 1989 using European farmstead techniques. Belle Chèvre offers individual cheese selections, breakfast spread, cheesecake, cookies and gift boxes at their store. These items can also be shipped.
Artwork by Rebecca Koontz of Greensboro and carved baby blue birds by Dallas County artist John Sheffey are featured at Black Belt Treasures in Camden. Photo courtesy Black Belt Treasures
Gift Shop Ideas
“My wife appreciates gifts that remind her of nature or perhaps something hand made,” says Mark Lyman of Tillman’s Corner. “That’s why I look for gift shops with handcrafted items.” Black Belt Treasures in Camden is an exceptional place to buy made-by-hand creations. “We’re a nonprofit arts center representing more than 300 artists,” says Kristin Law, art program and marketing manager. The sprawling store offers everything from baskets and pottery to folk art, sculptures and quilts. “We also have a wide array of art classes taught by our regional artists — and a gift certificate to a class also makes a great gift for Valentine’s Day,” adds Law. “I have personally had couples take my pottery and hand-built ceramics class together.” “Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment in Huntsville is the Southeast’s largest center for the arts,” says Charles Winters of Huntsville. There are working artists, small businesses, restaurants and live performances in this building that used to be a textile mill. Down south, several locally owned shops at The Wharf in Orange Beach, including Fish on a Dish Unique Gifts, stock works of locally created art and handcrafted items including paintings, sculpture and jewelry. Another excellent source for unusual items is museum and tourist attraction gift shops. At the Coastal Arts Center at Orange Beach, the gift shop has one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, pottery and artwork. Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Theodore also has a spacious gift shop filled with unusual gifts including a large selection of Coke-related merchandise.
Getaways are always great gifts for couples to give each other and Alabama has a lot to offer for those not wanting to journey far from home. Check out one of the bed and breakfast destinations in Alabama, such as Winston Place in Valley Head at the base of Lookout Mountain. If skiing is something you enjoy, Cloudmont Ski Resort in Mentone offers skiing, horseback riding and hiking trails. And in Montgomery, the Harriott II Riverboat offers Valentine’s romantic cruises including dinner, roses, champagne and live entertainment. Sure, Valentine’s Day can be construed as a “Hallmark” holiday, but isn’t it fun to turn it around and make it about the love we have for the special people in our lives? We’re sure Saint Valentine would approve. A 22 FEBRUARY 2014
Clockwise, artwork by local artists can be found at Fish on a Dish Unique Gifts at the Wharf in Orange Beach, at Black Belt Treasures in Camden, and at Coastal Arts Gift Shop in Orange Beach.
A romantic cruise on the Alabama River aboard the Harriott II Riverboat might be the ticket to make your Valentine’s Day extra special. Below, bring home a piece of the Gulf with a gift from Fish on a Dish Unique Gifts in Orange Beach.
For more information:
Morgan Price Candy Company: www.morganpricecandy.com Hope’s Cheesecake: www.hopescheesecake.com Belle Chèvre: www.bellechevre.com Black Belt Treasures: www.blackbelttreasures.com Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment: lowemill.net The Wharf: alwharf.com Coastal Arts Center: www.coastalartscenter.com Bellingrath Gardens and Home: www.bellingrath.org Alabama Bed and Breakfast listing: www.bedandbreakfast.com/ Alabama Cloudmont Ski Resort: http://cloudmont.com/ Harriett II Riverboat: www.funinmontgomery.com/parkswww.alabamaliving.coop items/harriott-ii-riverboat
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February Gardening Tips
Plants to love: explore your options before you commit
t’s February, the month when we celebrate love, and if you want to establish a more loving relationship with your landscape and garden there is no time like the present to find a botanical soulmate— or mates. While fall is prime planting season for trees, shrubs and many other perennials, most can still be planted successfully from now through early spring. But, as with all good long-term relationships, compatibility is key to a successful future so take time this month to explore your options before you commit. Personally, I’m drawn to plants that are both good looking and low-maintenance. Luckily, I can find just that combination of virtues in plants that have roots right here in Alabama and the Southeast: native plants. Native plants are already adapted to our environment so they are capable of flourishing without much pampering. They’re also supportive and nurturing, providing food and shelter for birds, insects and wildlife in our ecosystems. And there are so many to choose among—trees, shrubs, ferns, vines, herbaceous perennials, grasses and bulbs—so there is a native plant to match any spot in the landscape. Looking for something tall and handsome—a tree for instance? I am madly in love with silverbells and native dogwoods and magnolias, all of which are goodlooking and give me flowers. But there are also plenty of other appealing options—both blooming and nonblooming, deciduous and evergreen—to c o n s i d e r, such as hicko-
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ries, oaks, maples, cedars, plums and pines, to name a few. Drawn to smaller plants that are big on looks? There are lots of potential matches on the native shrub list. If you love those flowers, try native azaleas and hydrangeas as well as buttonbushes, sweetshrubs, buckeyes and viburnums. Want a fruitful relationship? Native holly, beautyberry and winterberry shrubs produce gorgeous berries that are lovely to behold and loved by birds and other critters…or plant native blueberries so you and the wildlife can eat. If you want plants that will stick around for a long time but still add lots of color to your life, explore the many choices of flowering native herbaceous perennials such as aster, hibiscus, phlox, coneflower, coreopsis, yarrow and many, many others. Want something that gives you cover but won’t take over your life or landscape? Try native honeysuckle or wisteria, passion vine, trumpet vine and jasmine. Prefer something dignified but interesting? Native grasses, ranging from the whimsical, wispy color of purple muhly grass to the simple beauty of native sea oats or rushes, could be just the match. Have a yen for a shady character? Get yourself some Christmas, Southern wood, shield and lady ferns. As you can see, the possibilities for new loves in your garden are extensive. Thankfully you don’t have to choose just one, but you may want to know more about them all before you commit. To my knowledge there is no online matchmaking service available to link gardeners with plants (though maybe that’s a great idea for some enterprising, tech-savvy entrepreneur). However, you can do your own research (online or at your local library or garden center) to find out more about each plant’s personality and traits. Three online options are the Plant Native website (www.plantnative.org/rplalgams.htm), the Alabama Plant Atlas site (floraofalabama.org) and in the Alabama Cooperative Extension
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Divide and move perennials, unless they are beginning to show new growth. Clean up limbs and other yard debris that may have fallen in the winter weather. Order seeds for the spring and summer garden. Plant roses and hardy perennials. Transplant deciduous shrubs and trees unless the buds have begun to swell. Start warm-season vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers and summer bedding plants, in cold frames or indoor settings now. Prune summer flowering shrubs now. Don’t prune the spring bloomers until after they flower! Check seeds you have saved from last year to make sure they are still viable (seed coat in good condition and not rotted). Clean out moldy or sprouting seeds each time you refill bird feeders. Give your sweetheart live plants, seeds or gardening tools for Valentine’s Day. Attend gardening workshops and classes or get involved with your local gardening groups. Shop for off-season garden supplies that may be on sale this time of year. Repair and spruce up window boxes, lawn furniture, bird houses and feeders, garden tools and other outdoor equipment and items.
System’s publication Herbaceous Perennials for Alabama (www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ ANR-0566/ANR-0566.pdf). Another source of information on plants (both native and nonnative) that will stick with you for better or worse is Felder Rushing’s book Tough Plants for Southern Gardens. As you’re looking for new loves, though, don’t forget your old flames. Take care of the plants that are already in your life and landscape and start planting those good-provider plants for the spring and summer. Now is the time to plant cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, beets, carrots, radishes, mustard, asparagus, English peas, Irish potatoes, onion sets and strawberries! A
Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@ gmail.com.
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Worth the Drive
The Crepe Myrtle Café at Blooming Colors Open for breakfast and lunch 1192 Donahue Drive, Auburn 334-887-0887 www.crepemyrtlecafe.com
To taste all these crepes (including dessert!) definitely requires more than one visit By Jennifer Kornegay
The fresh produce at The Market and the Crepe Myrtle Cafe are ample reasons to visit Blooming Colors in Auburn.
here are several food and restaurant types common across Alabama: places like meat ‘n threes, BBQ joints and catfish houses. But in Auburn, tucked behind Blooming Colors garden nursery is The Market (selling fresh, local produce), and tucked behind that is The Crepe Myrtle Café. And in this small café, they specialize in one thing: crepes. In fact, almost the entire menu is devoted to this sophisticated substitute for a sandwich. Crepes? And only crepes? It may sound a little risky to have such a narrow focus. And crepes are certainly not a Southern staple. I can hear my dad’s booming bass voice declaring (jokingly), “Real men don’t eat quiche!” I imagine whoever coined that phrase (which he loved to repeat any time my mom served quiche) would feel the same way about crepes. But a single bite of these singular creations is all it will take to make you a believer (even if you are the manliest of men), and bring you back time and again so you can try every single version of crepe that the café makes. They may serve crepes almost exclusively, but there are many, many different types of crepes. Or more accurately, there are many, many different ways to fill the basic crepe. There’s the Caesar with roasted chicken, melted mozzarella, romaine lettuce and tomatoes drizzled with classic Caesar dressing. There’s the Steak and Bleu, a mouth-watering mix of juicy marinated flank steak, roasted peppers, caramelized onions and tangy blue cheese crumbles. Or the Mexican, with citrus marinated chicken, Monterey jack and cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, sour cream and homemade salsa. The Tomato Lover and Roasted Veggie crepes take delicious advantage of The Market’s access to amazing area produce; both
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are stuffed with tomatoes, zucchini, squash, onions, mushrooms, peppers and more, and this ingredient list changes based on the season and what’s at its peak. Imagine one of the best Greek salads you’ve ever had rolled into a thin, airy crepe, and you’re actually fantasizing about the café’s Greek Chicken Crepe. Briny (kalamata olives), salty (feta), crunchy (raw spinach), hot (pepperoncini peppers) and smoky (roasted red peppers) merge into one fabulous flavor. And while the Tzatziki sauce makes it a messy affair to eat, there’s a napkin dispenser on each table, so you can do it. Eleven different savory crepes are always available, plus soups and salads and a few “daily special” offerings. But note the word savory in the above sentence. There are still more crepes: A selection of eight dessert crepes makes it hard to resist ending your lunch on a sweet note. Crepe traditionalists will swoon over the Nutella Crepe. With an ooey-gooey smear of the chocolate-hazelnut spread sliding between layers of slightly chewy crepe, this delight rivals the confections peddled from street carts in Paris. The Apple Sizzle challenges your mom’s apple pie. And the Peaches N’ Cream, with its grilled whiskey-soaked peaches, sweetened sour cream, brown sugar and candied pecans, takes the crepe far below the Mason Dixon line. Even if, for some reason, none of these sound appetizing to you (maybe you were born without taste buds or lost them in a tragic accident), there are other reasons to visit. Blooming Colors is jampacked with plants and pots and garden accessories. And The Market is a bigger, cuter version of your favorite roadside veggie stand. Rows of wooden crates hold whatever happens to be growing at the moment, shelves are stacked with jars of raw local honey and homemade salsas and sauces, a freezer is full of casseroles to go and a table displays rustic pottery made by an area artist. Visit The Market for the best bounty from Alabama farmers, ripe and ready to take home. And visit the café for crepes, crepes and more crepes. A
Jennifer Kornegay is the author of a children’s book, “The Alabama Adventures of Walter and Wimbly: Two Marmalade Cats on a Mission.” She travels to an out-of-the way restaurant destination in Alabama every month. She may be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tables indicate peak fish and game feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour before and an hour after. Minor peaks, half-hour before and after. Adjusted for daylight savings time. a.m. p.m. Minor Major Minor Major
FEB. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 MAR. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
-06:46 07:16 07:31 08:01 02:01 02:31 03:16 01:31 03:16 08:46 09:46 10:31 11:16 11:46 -07:01 01:16 01:46 02:16 02:46 03:01 -11:46 09:31 10:01 10:31 10:46 11:16 11:46 06:01 06:31 12:46 01:16 01:46 02:31 03:16 01:01 11:31 08:46 09:31 10:16 11:01 05:16 -12:16
06:31 12:16 12:46 01:16 01:46 08:16 08:46 09:16 10:16 11:46 04:01 04:31 05:01 05:31 06:01 06:31 12:46 07:31 07:46 08:16 08:31 09:01 09:46 04:16 04:16 04:31 04:46 05:01 05:31 05:46 12:01 12:16 06:46 07:01 07:31 08:01 08:46 09:31 02:31 03:16 04:01 04:31 04:46 11:31 05:46 06:16
12:16 12:31 01:01 07:31 08:16 09:16 10:46 ---01:31 02:46 03:46 04:46 -12:31 07:16 08:01 09:01 10:01 11:46 ---01:46 03:01 03:46 04:31 05:01 -06:16 07:01 07:46 08:31 09:31 11:01 ---01:31 03:01 04:01 05:01 11:46 06:31 07:16
05:46 06:16 07:01 01:46 02:16 03:01 04:01 05:16 06:46 08:01 09:16 10:01 10:46 11:31 05:31 06:31 01:01 01:46 02:31 03:16 04:16 05:31 07:01 08:16 09:16 09:46 10:31 11:01 11:31 05:46 12:16 12:46 01:16 01:46 02:31 03:31 04:31 06:01 07:31 08:46 09:46 10:31 11:16 05:46 12:01 12:46 FEBRUARY 2014 27
Send your questions to: James Dulley
Alabama Living 6906 Royalgreen Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45244
You can also reach Dulley online at: www.dulley.com
replacing ovens, ranges, and other tips
By James Dulley
Iâ€™m updating my kitchen appliances. I am a bit of a chef, so I want efficient tools. What are the best appliances for cooks? Can you share a few energy-efficient cooking tips?
If youâ€™re a frequent cook, you consume a lot of energy. The major energy user is the refrigerator. Odds are if you prepare a lot of food, you have a large refrigerator and open it often. Place commonly used items (milk, butter, etc.) near the front of your fridge. Keep the fridge fairly full; use water jugs if needed. In addition to selecting efficient cooking appliances, there are simple tips to cut your energy use. Keep in mind cooking tips change from winter to summer. During winter, the heat and humidity from cooking help warm your house and reduce the heating load on your furnace or heat pump. During summer, this same heat makes your air conditioner run more, increasing electric bills. When installing kitchen appliances, locate them properly. The cooking range and oven should not be directly next to the
is a nationally syndicated engineering consultant based in Cincinnati
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Use microwave oven for cooking smaller amounts of food. SOURCE: AMANA
refrigerator. Their heat makes the refrigerator compressor run longer. Also, donâ€™t put the range or oven under a window; a breeze can carry away heat before it gets into your pots and pans. The most efficient electric range heating elements are induction units. These elements produce magnetic energy which warms magnetic (usually iron and steel) pots and pans. If there is no utensil on an induction element, the element does not get hot. Induction elements provide heating control almost as precise as gas burners. Induction elements offer an energy advantage: Nearly all of the energy goes into the pot or pan to heat food. With a regular resistance element, the heat transfers from the range top to the base of the pot. A lot of heat is lost to the air, never getting to the food. Since you do not always want to use magnetic cooking dishes, your range should have only one or two induction elements. The others should be standard resistance or halogen. Halogen elements heat up faster, but are not as efficient. Opt for different sizes, then match the size of the pot to the element size for less heat loss. When it comes to ovens, electric is preferred by most professionals. It holds more even heat than gas for baking. Another advantage, especially during summer, is that electric does not introduce extra moisture to your house. Extra moisture means more
work (and energy use) for your air conditioner. When gas or propane burns, the basic products of combustion are water and carbon dioxide. A convection oven saves energy as compared to a standard oven. Even though the small air circulation fan uses some electricity in a convection oven, they cook so much faster that there is significant overall savings. Not all foods roast and bake well in the convection mode, so you will not be able to use it for everything. Choose a self-cleaning oven model because it often has heavier wall insulation needed for the super-high cleaning temperature. Want great energy savings in the kitchen? Use small countertop appliances when possible. For example, a small toaster oven, especially one with a convection option, uses significantly less electricity than large oven elements. This is true even though the large oven has more wall insulation. Countertop electric woks, rice cookers, etc. are other good examples. During summer, use them outdoors to reduce indoor heat. Microwave ovens are still the most efficient appliance for cooking individual food items. They run on lower wattage and offer short cook times. If you are cooking larger quantities of food, a large oven remains the best choice. Plan your baking to make similar-baking-temperature foods simultaneously or consecutively while the oven is hot. A www.alabamaliving.coop
Around Alabama February
Annual Seafood Festival promises to be a delight for young 22 andThe22nd old. The 2014 event will be held Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Orange Orange Beach • Seasfood Festival and Best of Baldwin Expo
Beach Sportsplex, on William Silvers Parkway, just off Canal Road. Arts and crafts vendors will be selling an assortment of wares including jewelry, pottery, metal items, candles, plants and more. If arts and crafts are not your thing, check out the musical acts and car show typically featuring more than 100 vehicles. To round out the day’s events visit the KidsZone, the silent auction and of course, the seafood booths! Also on the 22nd and new this year is the Best of Baldwin Expo which is being held in conjunction with the Seafood Festival. The new Expo is an indoor event at the Event Center at The Warf and will showcase many area museums, historical venues, home-based businesses and arts and crafts vendors who need to be in a more controlled environment. Be sure to park at the Event Center and use the free shuttle that will be running between both locations! The Festival and Expo will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit the Orange Beach Parks and Rec website, www. obparksandrec.com, or call their office for more information, 251-9811524.
7-9 • Gadsden, Altrusa Antique Show. Gadsden Convention Hall, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. All exhibits for sale. Sponsored by Altrusa International, Inc. of Gadsden. Tickets are $5, bring in this ad for $1 off your ticket at the door. Contact the Show Chair, Connie Meloun, at 256-549-8321 for information. 8-15 • Birmingham, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” Watch the Mark Twain classic come alive on stage at the Birmingham Children’s Theatre. Meetand-greet with the cast after the show. Tickets: ages 6 and up $9-$11. Information: 205-458-8181 or www.bct123.org
15 • Wetumpka, CrossFit’s “Mission Possible” fitness competition to benefit Mision Vida Nueva, a nonprofit organization providing a home for orphans in Guatemala. The mission is also to provide an education and teach the children about Jesus Christ. The competition will be from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Email: email@example.com 15• Mobile, Mardi Gras. Experience America’s oldest Mardi Gras in historic Mobile, known for it’s family-friendly atmosphere. Guests young and old will delight in elaborate costumes, parades, food and music. 20-22 • Union Springs, “Mama Won’t Fly!” at the Red Door Theatre. Friday and Saturday dinner at 6 p.m. and play begins at 7:30. No dinner Sunday, showtime at 2:30 p.m. A family-friendly comedy from the same playwrites that brought “The Hallelujah Girls” to the theatre in 2013. Dinner is $15 and the play is an additional $15. Information: 334-738-8687 or www.reddoortheatre.org 22 • Fort Payne, Winter Gospel and Bluegrass Jubilee at The Pickin Post. The Jubilee will feature Canaan’s Crossing and Barry Rowland and Deliverance beginning at 6 p.m. Reserved tickets are $15 and general admission is $10. Seating is limited. For tickets call Adam Berry at 256-605-1801. 22 • Marion, Low Country Boil. Hosted by the Perry County Historical Society from 5-7 p.m. An evening of lowcountry-style cooking with a wide
variety of country and old time music. Information: 334-683-6336. 28 • Troy, Minetti String Quartet concert. Crosby Theatre at 7 p.m. The Australian-based quartet has won more international prizes in 10 years than any other quartet in the world. General admission tickets are $20; students are $5. Tickets are available online at www. troyartscouncil.com
March 1 • Rainsville, “An Evening with Coach Gene Stallings.” Dekalb County Schools Coliseum. Dinner will also be served. For tickets contact Adam Berry, 256-605-1801. 8 • Robertsdale, Baldwin County Beekeepers Association Workshop. PZA Civil Park on Hwy 104 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. $40 per person or $45 per family. Bring your supplies and protective gear. Information: 251-213-0168 or bemisroger@hotmail. com 8• Hanceville, Swamp John’s. A Fundraiser for the Dodge City Fire Department from 4-7 p.m. Your choice of fish, chicken or shrimp along with french fries, cole slaw, pickles, onion, hush puppies, tea and desserts. $10.00 per plate. Tickets can be purchased at Dodge City Town Hall or from one of the firefighters.
Minetti String Quartet plays in Troy February 28
To place an event e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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FEBRUARY 2014 29
How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace
Market Place Miscellaneous LUMBER FOR SALE: CIRCULAR SAW Red & White Oak, Hickory, Ash - $1.20 BFT; Heart Pine - $5.00 BFT – 5” Treated Round: One Side Flat Fence Post 8 FT Long $9.50 each - Loring White (334)782-3636 (Tallapoosa) 18X21 CARPORT $695 INSTALLED – OTHER SIZES AVAILABLE - (706) 226-2739 DIVORCE MADE EASY – UNCONTESTED, LOST, IN PRISON OR Aliens. $149.95 - 26 years experience – (417)443-6511 METAL ROOFING $1.79/LINFT – FACTORY DIRECT! 1ST QUALITY, 40yr Warranty, Energy Star rated. (price subject to change) - (706) 226-2739 WALL BEDS OF ALABAMA / SOLID WOOD & LOG FURNITURE / HANDCRAFTED AMISH CASKETS / ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct (256)490-4025, www.andyswallbeds. com, www.alabamamattressoutlet. com PUT YOUR OLD HOME MOVIES, PHOTOS, SLIDES or TAPES on DVD – (888)609-9778 or www.transferguy. com AERMOTOR WATER PUMPING WINDMILLS – windmill parts – decorative windmills – custom built windmill towers - call Windpower (256)638-4399 or (256)638-2352 COMMERCIAL ROOF LEAKS STOPPED QUICK – Even in the rain – Dealers (573)489-9346, azteccollc@ socket.net KEEP POND WATER CLEAN AND FISH HEALTHY with our aeration systems and pond supplies. Windmill Electric and Fountain Aerators. Windpower (256)638-4399, (256)899-3850 FREE BOOKS / DVDS – SOON government will enforce the “Mark” of the beast as church and state unite! Let Bible reveal. The Bible Says, POB 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771 – email@example.com, (888)211-1715 USED PORTABLE SAWMILLS – BUY / Sell. Call Sawmill Exchange (800)4592148 or 713-sawmill. USA & Canada – www.sawmillexchange.com FLOORING FOR YOUR HOME! 1ST Quality – NO Seconds: Hardwood, Laminate, Carpet, Luxury Vinyl Tile & Planks, Sheet Vinyl, Ceramic Tile – In Home Estimates and Professional Installation available – ProTrax Flooring (334)531-3020, protraxinfo. gmail.com
30 FEBRUARY 2014
Business Opportunities PIANO TUNING PAYS – LEARN WITH American Tuning School home-study course – (800)497-9793 DR POWER EQUIPMENT WANTS YOUR IDEAS! Earn $300 for qualified new ideas for property tools and equipment. Go to www.drpower. com/300 and submit your idea
Vacation Rentals SMOKIES TOWNSEND, TN – 2BR / 2BA, Secluded Log Home, Jacuzzi, Fireplace, Wrap-Around Porch, Charcoal Grill. (865)320-4216, firstname.lastname@example.org PIGEON FORGE, TN: $89 - $125, 2BR/2BA, hot tub, air hockey, fireplace, swimming pool, creek – (251)363-1973, www. mylittlebitofheaven.com GATLINBURG TOWNHOUSE ON BASKINS CREEK! GREAT RATES! 4BR/3BA, short walk downtown attractions! (205)333-9585, email@example.com PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – OWNER RENTAL – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)790-0000, firstname.lastname@example.org, www. theroneycondo.com GATLINBURG, TN – FOND memories start here in our chalet – Great vacation area for all seasons – Two queen beds, full kitchen, 1 bath, Jacuzzi, deck with grill – 3 Night Special - Call (866)316-3255, Look for us on FACEBOOK / billshideaway HELEN GA CABIN FOR RENT – SLEEPS 2-6, 2.5 BATHS, FIREPLACE, Jacuzzi, washer/dryer – (251)9482918, www.homeaway.com/101769, email email@example.com PIGEON FORGE, TN – 3 BEDROOM, 2 bath house – Walking distance to parkway, light# 1 - $85.00 / night – (256)309-7873, (256)590-8758 GULF SHORES / FT. MORGAN / NOT A CONDO! The original “Beach House” on Ft. Morgan peninsula – 2BR/1BA – Wi-Fi, pet friendly, nonsmoking – $695/wk, (256)418-2131, www.originalbeachhouseal.com CABIN IN MENTONE – 2/2, BROW view, hottub – For rent $100 / Night or Sale $199,000 – (706)767-0177 GULF SHORES PLANTATION CONDOS – Beachview sleeps 6, Beachfront sleeps 4 – (251)223-9248 APPALACHIAN TRAIL – CABINS BY the trail in the Georgia Mountains – 3000’ above sea level, snowy winters, cool summers, inexpensive rates – (800)284-6866, www.bloodmountain. com
Closing Deadlines (in our office):
FT. WALTON BEACH HOUSE – 3BR / 2BA – Best buy at the Beach – (205)566-0892, mailady96@yahoo. com MENTONE, AL – LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN – billiard table, Jacuzzi, spacious home, sleeps 14 – www. duskdowningheights.com, (850)7665042, (850)661-0678. GULF SHORES, GULF FRONT – SEACREST CONDO: 1BR / 1BA, KING bed, hall bunks, granite countertops, free WiFi – (vrbo#435534), (256)3525721, firstname.lastname@example.org
April 2014 – Feb. 25 May 2014 – March 25 June 2014 – April 25
Musical Notes PIANOS TUNED, REPAIRED, refinished. Box 171, Coy, AL 36435. 334-337-4503 PLAY GOSPEL SONGS BY EAR - 10 lessons $12.95. “LEARN GOSPEL MUSIC”. Chording, runs, fills - $12.95 Both $24. Davidsons, 6727AR Metcalf, Shawnee Missions, Kansas 66204 – (913)262-4982
DISNEY – 15 MIN: 5BR / 3BA, private pool – www. orlandovacationoasis.com, (251)504-5756
BECOME AN ORDAINED MINISTER correspondence study. Founded in 1988. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, 7558 West Thunderbird Road, Ste. 1 - #114, Peoria, Arizona 85381. http://www.ordination.org
GULF SHORES RENTAL– GREAT Rates! (256)490-4025, (256)523-5154 or www.gulfshoresrentals.us
FREE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE – write to 23600 Alabama Highway 24, Trinity, AL, 35673
PIGEON FORGE - COZY CABINS FOR Rent by Owner (865) 712-7633, vrbo. com/483181 GULF SHORES COTTAGE – WATERFRONT, 2 / 1, PET FRIENDLY – RATES AND CALENDAR ONLINE http://www.vrbo.com/152418, (251)223-6114 LEWIS SMITH LAKE – NICE 3BR / 2BA house on deep water, covered dock, satellite TV’s, Central heat/air - $100 / night – (256)352-5721, email@example.com
Critters CHIHUAHUA PUPPIES. REGISTERED, guaranteed healthy, raised indoors in loving home, vet records and references. (256)796-2893
Fruit, Nuts and Berries OLD TIMEY WHITE AND YELLOW SELF POLLINATING SEED CORN – (334)886-2925
GULF SHORES PLANTATION GULF VIEW, BEACH SIDE, 2 bedrooms / 2 baths, no smoking / no pets. Owner rates (205)339-3850 CABINS / PIGEON FORGE: JAN – MAR LOW WINTER RATES – (251)649-3344, (251)649-4049, www.hideawayprop.com ORANGE BEACH CONDO, 3BR/3BA; 2,000 SQ.FT.; beautifully decorated; gorgeous waterfront view; boat slips available; great rates - Owner rented (251)604-5226 VACATION RENTALS – MENTONE and GUNTERSVILLE – Hottubs – www.mentonelogcabins.com, www.vrbo.com/404770 - (256)657-4335 GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – aubie12@ centurytel.net, (256)599-5552
Travel CARIBBEAN CRUISES AT THE LOWEST PRICE – (256)974-0500 or (800)726-0954
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; 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 â€“ Attn: Classifieds.
The Alabama Military Support Foundation seeks your support as you start working your 2013 Alabama State taxes. You can demonstrate your support for Guardsmen and Reservists by making a contribution by using a check off box on the bottom of the Alabama State tax form. The mission of the foundation is to educate employers on the active role played in the defense of our nation by Guardsmen and Reservists, and to inform them on their legal rights and responsibilities. Funds donated to the foundation will be used to educate and recognize outstanding employers who go above and beyond to support employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. Your financial contributions to the Alabama Military Support Foundation will be greatly appreciated.
FEBRUARY 2014 31
Pasta Cook of the month: John Piraino, Baldwin EMC
Baked ziti 1 pound dry ziti pasta 1 onion, chopped 1 pound lean ground beef 2 26-ounce jars spaghetti sauce (don’t use any “chunky style” sauces)
12 slices provolone cheese 1½ cups sour cream 16 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded 1 ⁄8 cup sugar 2 teaspoons dried basil
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes**, drain. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add 1½ jars of spaghetti sauce (mix remaining with ziti**), sugar and basil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with tall sides with non-stick cooking spray. Layer as follows: ½ of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, ½ sauce mixture, remaining ziti, provolone cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cheeses are melted. **Tips: mix first layer of ziti with some sauce. Cover with foil before baking. Last 5 minutes, remove foil to get cheese nice and browned. For cooking ziti, cook 2 minutes less than package suggests, as it will finish cooking while baking. Use taller casserole dish, lower ones tend to overflow.
You could win $50! Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are:
April May June
Party Foods Wild Game
February 15 March 15 April 15
consider pasta one of my love languages. With so many variations and ease of preparation, anyone can discover and prepare many delicious pasta dishes. Valentine’s Day is coming up and I hope you will try one of these pasta recipes. Cooking for your honey is always a sweet way to his or her heart, and cooking is a great way to show you care about someone.
online at alabamaliving.coop email to email@example.com mail to Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124
Mary Tyler Spivey is a graduate of Huntingdon College where she studied History and French but she also has a passion for great food. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
32 FEBRUARY 2014
Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe.
Easy pasta pesto with chicken ¾ pound shell-shaped pasta 12 ounces cooked chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces 1 11-ounce container pesto 1 cup jarred roasted red peppers, sliced into thin strips
1 cup halved red grape tomatoes 1 tablespoon olive oil ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Cook pasta in boiling, lightly salted water according to package directions. Drain. In a large bowl, toss pasta, chicken, pesto, red peppers, tomatoes, oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley. Pamela LaRue Parker, Arab EC
Lasagna 1 ½ 1 2 2
pound ground chuck cup water cup chopped onion teaspoons vinegar teaspoons crushed oregano 9 cooked lasagna noodles
1 teaspoon minced garlic 8 ounces sour cream 2 cans tomato soup 12 ounces mozzarella cheese ½ teaspoon salt 12 ounces provolone cheese
In saucepan, brown ground chuck, onion, garlic and oregano. Add soup, water, salt and vinegar. Simmer 30 minutes stirring now and then. In 9x13-inch pan, arrange 3 alternate layers of meat sauce, noodles, sour cream and cheeses. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until top cheese is brown. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
Pasta and peas 4 tablespoons chopped green onions 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 can English peas, drained 1 cup water
Jamie Petterson, Tallapoosa River EC 3 tablespoons fresh sweet basil if available; If not, ½ teaspoon dried oregano salt to taste pepper to taste ½ pound ditalini pasta romano or parmesan cheese
Sauté green onions in olive oil until wilted. Add drained English peas, water, sweet basil, salt and pepper. Cook about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain off most of the water and add peas mixture to the pasta. Serve in a bowl and sprinkle Romano or Parmesan cheese on top. Serves 4 people. Sara Jean Brooklere, Baldwin EMC Alabama Living
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FEBRUARY 2014 33
34â€ƒ FEBRUARY 2014
FEBRUARY 2014 35
Our Sources Say
So, who sets national policy? Y ou have probably never heard of John Beale. I had not until last November. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) employed Beale from 1989 until his retirement in April 2013. For the majority of that period, he served as the OAR’s senior advisor and, at $206,000 annually, was the EPA’s highest-paid employee when he retired. He is credited with being a lead author of the reauthorization of the Clean Air Act in 1990. He led EPA delegations to climate change conferences in 2000 and 2001. He helped negotiate emission agreements with India and China. Current EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who was his immediate supervisor in her years over the OAR, cited Beale’s contributions in crafting EPA’s climate policy and leading international climate negotiations. In a memo to OAR staff on Dec. 3, 2010, McCarthy wrote, “I am pleased to let you know that John Beale will be resuming his role as the Immediate Office’s lead for all of OAR’s international work. Most of you know John well as he has been a very large presence in much of OAR’s work for over 20 years. In addition to lead roles in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, the early implementation of the Act, the development and negotiation of the National Low Emission Vehicle Program, and the 1997 [National Ambient Air Quality Standards] review, John served as OAR’s lead for international work from 1990 thru 2005. Beginning in 1999, John managed OAR’s work on climate change as well as all other international work.” McCarthy further stated, “I am very excited to finally get the opportunity to work closely with him. In addition to international work, John will continue to work on various special projects for me.” She ended the memo stating, “He is supposed to be sitting in [office] 5426B of Ariel Rios North, but good luck finding him. We are keeping him well hidden so he won’t get scooped away from OAR anytime soon.” Little did she know that Beale would stay hidden almost all of the next three years. In fact, he had been in hiding for almost two decades. In December 2013, Beale pled guilty to defrauding the U.S. government out of more than $900,000 and was sentenced to 32 months in federal prison. During his employment with the EPA, Beale convinced his superiors, including McCarthy, that he was also a CIA operative whose top-secret work required him to be out of the office much of the time, including one stretch that lasted 18 months. At times Beale claimed to be on missions in Pakistan, and at others he claimed to be needed at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Va.
Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative
36 FEBRUARY 2014
When he traveled, he traveled well. Over an eight-year period, Beale took 33 airplane trips at a cost of $266,190. He flew first class and stayed at high-end hotels more than 70 percent of the time, often charging more than twice the government-allowed per diem. One ticket to Europe was billed to the EPA for $14,000, when the cost of coach fare that EPA employees are allowed was just over $1,000. His expense vouchers were routinely approved by other EPA officials. He claimed to be a Vietnam veteran and to have contracted malaria that required him to have a reserved parking place at a cost of $8,000 over a three-year period. He never served in the military and never had malaria. He and his co-workers were treated to a lavish retirement dinner party on a Potomac River Yacht Cruise in 2011, even though Beale actually didn’t retire. He continued to draw his salary and substantial bonuses for an additional 19 months. Ironically, the retirement cruise ultimately brought Beale down. McCarthy, Beale’s direct superior, discovered he was still on the payroll months after she had attended his retirement cruise. Beale’s crimes have brought the attention they deserve. The Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee has investigated the matter. The EPA Inspector General has said it is actively looking into the EPA’s sloppy internal controls and managements processes. The EPA announced it has worked in coordination with the Inspector General’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office to investigate Beale’s crimes, and additional safeguards have been put in place to help protect against fraud and abuse related to employee time and attendance, employee travel and a tighter retention incentive process. At his sentencing hearing, Beale told Judge Huvelle he spent most of his time exercising and gardening at his home in northern Virginia and his Cape Cod summer home. He also said he used the time trying to fine tune the capitalist system to discourage companies from damaging the environment. And that alone is the most frightening part of the story – that a public official with self-admitted self-destructive and dysfunctional tendencies and with a need to participate in excessively reckless and risky behavior was motivated to manipulate those around him through the fabrication of grandiose narratives because of his insecurities was allowed by the EPA to set and negotiate carbon dioxide emissions and climate policy for our country. We should be much more disturbed by what Beale was doing at work than what he was doing when he was playing spy. Who and how national policy is established can be very disturbing. The Administration uses EPA authority to usurp congressional authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions and climate issues. The EPA relies on a crook, a liar, a thief and a criminal to balance the enormous amount of science on climate issues and establish national policies that could easily cost American citizens trillions of dollars. Maybe McCarthy will allow Beale to continue to call the scientific shots for EPA. He should have a lot of free time. Thank you for reading. I hope you have a good month. A www.alabamaliving.coop
FEBRUARY 2014 37
My favorite vintage photo
Submit Your Images! APRIL THEME:
SUBMIT PHOTOS THROUGH OUR WEBSITE: alabamaliving.coop/submit-photo/ OR SEND COLOR PHOTOS WITH A LARGE SELF-ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE TO:
Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL, 36124 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 www.alabamaliving.coop. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. DEADLINE FOR APRIL: Feb. 28
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1. “My dad, Hoyt Moody, and the members of the ‘The Lone Star Buckeroos’ from the 40’s, early 50’s. The band disbanded during World War II when all the members served in the military. They reunited after the war.” SUBMITTED BY Diane Harris, Crane Hill 2. “ L i l l i e E u l i n e Halbrooks-Lee, my grandmother, in 1924, the year before she married.” SUBMITTED BY Kelly McNutt, Hartselle
3. “Burlie and Della Brown with children Dollie and Clayton, taken around 1934. The couple farmed a spot of land in Beaverton, and today their children, grandchildren and even greatgrandchildren still live on that land.” SUBMITTED BY Angie Daw, Beaverton
Published on Feb 4, 2014