DECEMBER 2014 â€˘ POWERING YOUR COMMUNITY
Homemade for the holidays Seasonal confections bring back sweet memories
Bowl games Alabama is home to three post-season bowl contests
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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 Allison Griffin CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mark Stephenson ART DIRECTOR Michael Cornelison ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Jacob Johnson ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Brooke Davis RECIPE EDITOR Mary Tyler Spivey
VOL. 67 NO. 12 DECEMBER 2014
6 Be one of a few!
Apply today for Alabama Youth Tour 2015 and the 2015 Pioneer Electric Scholarship.
14 Bowling in Bama Yes, there are bowl games beyond the Iron Bowl in Alabama, and they kick off this month. In fact, they have a 75-year history in the state, beginning in 1939.
Fudge, divinity, chocolate-covered cherries... they all look tempting to Winston Henninger, who, like most of us, looks forward to the holidays when homemade treats abound. PHOTO: Michael Cornelison
34 Another slice, please After you’ve eaten that last bite of turkey and dressing, top it off with a slice of yummy Christmas cake. We think our Alabama Living cooks make the best!
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9 30 31 34
Spotlight Worth the Drive Outdoors Fish & Game Forecast Cook of the Month
Printed in America from American materials
DECEMBER 2014 3
Contact Information: Business: 1-800-239-3092
Tis The Season Terry Moseley
Executive Vice President and General Manager
(Monday-Friday 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
Toll Free Outage “Hotline” 1-800-533-0323 (24 hours a day)
Board of Trustees Tommy Thompson • President John Henry • Vice President Melvia Carter • Secretary Carey Thompson • Glenn Branum Tom Duncan • Dave Lyon Melvin Dale • Linda Arnold
Payment Options: By Mail: Pioneer Electric Cooperative P.O. Box 370 Greenville, AL 36037 Bank Draft: Contact a customer service representative for details Credit Card: By phone or in person Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express Night Depository: Available at each oﬃce location
With Christmas right around the corner and the holidays in full swing, I know it’s easy to get caught in the hustle and bustle of getting from one place to another and the many obligations this season brings. However, one thing that I have always really enjoyed about this time of year is being able to visit with friends and family. In my opinion, the holidays present some of the best occasions to reunite with loved ones and to catch up with old friends- it’s a time of great collaboration and fellowship. Likewise, one of the seven cooperative principles that Pioneer Electric Cooperative was founded upon over 75 years ago is cooperation among cooperatives. This principle states that cooperatives should serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, regional, national and international structures. Essentially, what this principle means and challenges Pioneer to do, as your cooperative, is to work well and collaborate with other cooperatives in the state and across the country. This is something that Pioneer places emphasis on year round—not just during the holiday season, as many individuals typically do these days. By fostering strong relationships with other co-ops, both locally
and beyond, Pioneer continuously garners new opportunities to add to your membership experience. Two specific examples of Pioneer collaborating with other cooperatives that benefits our youth can be seen through our annual scholarship program and by our upcoming participation in Youth Tour. Our annual scholarship is awarded as part of the Electric Cooperative Foundation, Inc., which was created by the electric cooperatives in Alabama in 1997 to provide scholarships for qualifying high school seniors. Likewise, Alabama Youth Tour and Washington Youth Tour are both the result of collaboration among state and national cooperatives to provide a well rounded, enriching experience for our future leaders. We are excited to once again be involved in this program along side our fellow co-ops. Deadlines for both of these programs will be announced as we enter the New Year, so please encourage participation and involvement. For more information on both the 2015 Pioneer Electric Scholarship and Youth Tour, please read more information on page 6. We wish you and your family a joyous holiday season and a wonderful New Year!
Online: www.pioneerelectric.com In Person: 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Greenville: 300 Herbert Street Selma: 4075 Ala. Highway 41 Authorized Payment Center: First Citizens Bank 40 Lafayette St. Hayneville
4 DECEMBER 2014
Pioneer Electric Cooperative’s offices will be closed for the Christmas holiday on Tuesday, December 23 at 10:30 a.m. and will remain closed until Monday, December 29. We will also be closed on Thursday, January 1 in observance of the New Year. Our regular office hours are Monday- Friday 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. Members can check their accounts and pay their bills 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by using our online services at www.pioneerelectric.com or by using our automated system at 800-239-3092.
Pioneer Electric Cooperative
Inside Pioneer: Lucky PEC Member Pioneer Electric Cooperative recently joined 20 other electric cooperatives in participating in a residential energy usage study conducted by our wholesale power supplier, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative. PEC members were selected at random to participate in the survey and results were gathered to gain a better understanding of household energy-use characteristics. PowerSouth Energy Cooperative serves the wholesale energy needs of 16 electric cooperatives and four municipal electric systems in Alabama and northwest Florida. Of the 20 PowerSouth member systems participating and a total of 7,800 survey respondents, 10 respondents were randomly selected to receive iPads from the wholesale cooperative. PEC member, Linda Golson, was selected as a respondent and was recently presented with an iPad by PEC communications specialist Casey Rogers on behalf of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative as part of the energy usage survey prize drawing. PEC is thrilled that one of our very own members, Mrs. Golson, was selected and we are proud to be affiliated with PowerSouth Energy Cooperative. This survey is just one of the many steps that PEC and PowerSouth have taken in planning for the future electricity needs of our members. Like PEC, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative is owned and operated by those it serves and is dedicated to providing reliable and economical energy to meet the needs of consumers.
Capital Credits Will I get a capital credit check? If you were a member in 1983, you will receive a capital credit check. How much will my check be? If you were a 1983 member, in January you will receive a capital credit check for your accrued allocation dollars for 1983. When can I expect future repayments? Payments are done using a First In First Out method, so the next repayment will be for the year 1984 and it will be awarded in January 2016, provided co-op financial needs are met. *More information will be posted in the January 2014 magazine.
Shop Locally This Season!
Use the Pioneer Connections Card to save on your Christmas shopping this year!
Featured locations: The Mustard Seed Gift Boutique 20% off one regular priced item (334) 224-1068 2385 West State Highway 106, Georgiana Priester’s Pecans 20% off one regular priced item (866) 477-4736 208 Old Fort Road East, Fort Deposit Nancy’s Heirloom Shoppe 20% off one regular priced item (334) 371-1776 124 West Commerce Street, Greenville The Pineapple 20% off one regular priced item (334) 382-7240 132 West Commerce Street, Greenville DECEMBER 2014 5
Be One of the Few... Apply for the 2015 Youth Tour Today! If you are a high school junior looking for a fun opportunity to gain great leadership experience, look no further! Apply today for the 2015 Montgomery Youth Tour! Every year, co-ops across the state select high school juniors from their service territories to go to Montgomery for 3 days to learn about leadership, government and electric cooperatives. This year, Pioneer Electric Cooperative will be sponsoring the attendance of four students. Of these four students, two
students will be selected to represent Pioneer further by attending the Washington, D.C. Youth Tour in the summer. It’s a great time to meet other students from all over the state of Alabama, learn about co-ops and have a blast! Applications are now available at all schools in the guidance counselor’s office, online at www.pioneerelectric.com and at both Pioneer offices. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call PEC Youth Tour Coordinator Casey Rogers at 334-382-4904.
Deadline is January 9, 2015
Apply for the 2015 Pioneer Scholarship! Applications for Pioneer Electric’s 2015 Scholarship Program will be available starting December 1st. The annual scholarship program is designed to encourage and recognize the achievements of a student living on Pioneer Electric’s lines. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded as part of the Electric Cooperative Foundation, Inc., which was created by the cooperatives of Alabama in 1997 to provide scholarships for qualifying high school seniors. The scholarships are for study at post-secondary or vocational and
technical institutions. To qualify, the senior must reside in a residence served by Pioneer Electric. The recipient is selected by an independent panel of judges. Applications will be available at both Pioneer Electric offices in Greenville and Selma, from area high school guidance counselors or online at our website. If you have any questions regarding our scholarship program, contact Casey Rogers at 334-382-4904.
Deadline is February 27, 2015 6 DECEMBER 2014
Pioneer Electric Cooperative
Holiday Electrical Safety Few traditions can compare to decorating our homes and yards with twinkling lights and festive decorations. While these displays add to the magic of the season, they also increase our risks for holiday fires and injuries. When it is time to deck the halls, take the following precautions to heart to ensure the safety of you, your family and your holiday guests. The Electrical Safety Foundation International recommends never connecting more than three strands of incandescent lights together. Do not pinch cords in windows or doors, or under heavy furniture. When decorating outside, make sure outdoor outlets are equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Check that all items and extension cords are marked for outdoor use. Exercise extreme caution when decorating near overhead power lines. Use a wooden or fiberglass ladder instead of metal. Keep yourself and all of your equipment at least 10 feet from power lines.
LIGHTS Festive lights give homes a magical glow both inside and out. When decorating this season, these simple safety tips can keep your spirits bright: • Do not overload electrical outlets. Inspect the wires periodically to make sure they are intact and not warm to the touch. • Never leave lights on overnight or when no one is home. • Only use lights that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory. • Replace any strands that show signs of damage, such as bare or frayed wires, broken bulbs or loose connections. Faulty lights can send an electrical charge through a tree and electrocute anyone who comes in contact with a branch.
TREES Real or artificial, short or tall, Christmas trees are often the culprit for danger. Incorporate these safety guidelines in your decorating routine: • Make sure an artificial tree is labeled “fire resistant.” Be aware that “fire resistant” does not mean “fire proof.” Exercise caution when it comes to your tree. • Make sure a live tree is fresh and green. Dry, brittle limbs and shedding needles are a breeding ground for sparks. Water a live tree regularly to prevent it from drying out. • Place any type of tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces, vents and radiators.
Built in Butler County This year marked the second annual Built in Butler County (BIBC) event in Greenville, and it was bigger and better than last year’s inaugural event. BIBC, sponsored jointly by the Butler County Commission for Economic Development (BCCED) and the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce, gives local high school students, as well as interested citizens a chance to look inside of local industries. The sponsors realized that many students and local citizens were unaware of what is being built in Butler County and what jobs are available locally. When driving by a local industry’s plant site, often times, the names don’t give away what products are being produced inside. By bringing the students together with local industries, they are given the opportunity to learn about potential employment after school. Likewise, the event creates the perfect environment for industries to market their available careers to potential employees. Tenth graders from all of the county schools, Greenville High School, Georgiana High School, McKenzie High School and Fort Dale Academy, spent time learning about the exhibitors prior to the event and then were able to talk with representatives from the sixteen local participating industries about their products, processes and potential jobs. “In order to continue to make Butler County attractive to new and existing or expanding industries, we have to have an available workforce,” said BCCED executive director David Hutchison. “This event presents options to the students and plants the seed in the minds of our young people that there are good jobs available right here, with many of them not requiring a college degree.” The event has expanded greatly since its start. “Last year, we only had four local industries participate,” said Francine Wasden, Executive Director of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce. “We knew we had to expand it to make it more meaningful to the students as well as the local industries.” Another positive result of the event comes from getting the industries together with each other and creating an environment for them to collaborate. Several local industries didn’t know that they could get particular work done locally. Chris Turner from Bluegrass Bit said, “We talked with two or three other local industries that may do work for us now, or us for them, rather than having it done out of town or even out of state. It was great to find out that we can save some money and do business locally.” A bigger and better event is planned for next year. “We will try to get more industries to participate, perhaps other large employers, as well,” said Hutchison. “It’s all part of our overall economic development program – getting and keeping jobs here for local workers.”
Vice President Economic Development & Legal Affairs
8 DECEMBER 2014
Pictured: Steve Pollack from the AIDT Robotics Center informing students about how machines work.
Pictured: Corey Causey and Evelyn Causey of Camellia Communications explaining fiber optics to some inquisitive students.
Pictured: Students gathered to hear Al Brannon of Terrell Enterprises discussing their new shutter business. www.alabamaliving.coop
In December DEC. 20
Honoring a storytelling legend
DEC. 1, 8 and 15
Bentleys open their home for the holidays Alabama’s 1907 Governor’s Mansion will be decorated and filled with the spirit of the season in December, when Gov. Robert Bentley and first lady Dianne Bentley open the home to tours from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The grand mansion has been home to Alabama’s governors since its purchase in 1950; it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Pick up tickets at the gift shop across the street from the mansion, 1142 S. Perry St. Call 334-8343022.
The legacy of Alabama’s own Kathryn Tucker Windham lives on at the Christmas Parade and Community Day in Lower Peach Tree. A keynote speaker and storytelling highlight this day, along with prizes. It’s one of several Kathryn Tucker Windham Museum Storytelling Club-sponsored events held throughout southwest Alabama. The community day will take place at the Volunteer Fire Department, 5701 County Road 49 in Lower Peach Tree, in Wilcox County. (The museum is located on the campus of Alabama Southern Community College’s Thomasville campus.) For more information, search “Kathryn Tucker Windham Museum” on Facebook.
‘Snow’ in south Alabama? Andalusia will hold its “Christmas in Candyland” event each weekend in December on the Court Square. The city Christmas parade kicks off the activities on Dec. 4. Eight snow machines will pump out a “snow show” for about 30 minutes at 6 p.m. Fridays, noon Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays in December. Local businesses are also sponsoring (and building) Candyland Cottages – 10 playhouses built just for kids – that will be on display and open for playtime from 5-7 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday every weekend during the month. (Covington Electric Co-op’s entry is “The Gingerbread House.”) For more information, log on to www.christmasincandyland. com, or call 334-222-2030.
PHOTO BY NICK NORGAARD
Opelika’s front porches come to life Homes along historic North Eighth and Ninth streets in Opelika will be decorated with life-size Santas, angels, toys, carousel horses and Christmas-themed figures for the annual Victorian Front Porch Christmas Tour. The lighted driving tour will be from 5-10 p.m., Dec. 10-14, but a special walking tour, from 6-9 p.m., Dec. 13, will give an up-close look at these beautiful homes. This event has been featured in regional and national magazines. Call 334-749-4375.
Want to see more events or submit your own? Alabama Living
Visit www.alabamaliving.coop to submit an event and view our calendar or email an event to email@example.com.
DECEMBER 2014 9
Social Security: Your questions answered This month I wanted to share with you some of the many questions Social Security receives from the general public and my answers. Question: I haven’t received my Social Security Statement in the mail the last few years. Will I ever get one again? Answer: In September 2014, Social Security resumed mailing Social Security Statements to workers ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 who aren’t receiving Social Security benefits, and who don’t have a my Social Security account. Rather than once every five years, those older than age 60 will receive a Statement every year. Instead of waiting to receive a mailed Statement once every five years, we encourage people to open a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount so they can access their Statement online, anytime. Question: I am about to retire, but I still have a young child in my care. Will I receive additional benefits for the child I care for?
Letters to the editor Faster than the speed of…what? We received several calls and letters from readers about a photo caption in the November story, “Stars Fell on Alabama, 60 Years Later.” The article recounted the story of the meteorite that crashed into the Sylacauga home of Ann Hodges on Nov. 30, 1954. The caption referred to Einstein’s theory of relativity. Thanks to all of our sharp readers out there who keep us on our toes!
Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our website, alabamaliving.coop, or on our Facebook page. 10 DECEMBER 2014
Answer: When you qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, your children may also qualify to receive benefits. Your eligible child can be your biological child, an adopted child, or a stepchild. In limited circumstances, you may also get benefits for a dependent grandchild. To receive benefits, your child must be: unmarried; under the age of 18; between 18 and 19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12); or 18 or older and disabled from a condition that started before age 22. You can read more about planning for a disabled child’s care here: www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/yourchildren.htm.
cause they are married. When both spouses meet all other eligibility requirements to receive Social Security retirement benefits, each spouse receives a monthly benefit amount based on his or her own earnings. If one member of the couple earned low wages or failed to earn enough Social Security credits to be insured for retirement benefits, he or she may be eligible to receive benefits as a spouse. Learn more about earning Social Security credits by reading our publication, “How You Earn Credits,” available at www.socialsecurity. gov/pubs. A
Question: My spouse and I have been married for more than 30 years and we are about to retire. Will there be any reduction in benefits because we are married? Answer: None at all. We calculate lifetime earnings independently to determine each spouse’s Social Security benefit amount, and couples aren’t penalized be-
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.
I enjoy reading your magazine each month, however (November’s issue) had an error. On page 22, the photo caption on the Hodges’ meteorite reads: “... it once traveled faster than the speed of light.” This is very incorrect, as nothing travels faster than light according to our physics today.
I call attention to an error on page 22, ending the article on the Hodges meteorite. The caption states falsely that the stone “traveled faster than the speed of light”—which is impossible, as shown by Einstein in his special theory on relativity and conﬁrmed by Minkowski, who further developed four-dimensional nonEuclidean geometry.
Most people will not notice. But I thought that even if that was the case, those that do use your magazine to learn would learn the wrong thing. So I wanted to be sure I sent you correct information. Actually things like this fly through space at around 14 kilometers/second, and others orbit the Earth at around 7-14 kilometers/second. So something entering the atmosphere would slow from this speed due to the friction of the atmosphere itself. The speed of light is 299,792.458 kilometers/second. Kind regards, Mary Hovater, NASA
Ever since these discoveries in science and logic, we know that c is the maximum speed at which all matter and energy in the universe (now combined into the term “mass-energy”) can travel. This includes radiation such as light as well as gravitational waves. It is universally accepted as 299,792,458 meters/second (186,000 miles per second) as described in the theory of general relativity and the theory of electromagnetism. Fred Lanting, Union Grove
Lard: It’s in again Cold weather. Hog-killing time. I’ve got great news for you. Lard is in again. Yessir. According to a “meta-analysis” published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, there was “just no evidence to support the notion that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease.” Not only that, there is some evidence to indicate that too little saturated fat might hurt you. And as you know, one of the best sources of saturated fat is lard. I grew up with lard. My grandmother bought it in buckets and fried everything fryable in it – from chicken to peach pies. When we cleaned out her kitchen after she died, the wall behind her stove was so caked with splattered lard that we had to scrape it off with a spatula. Her daughter, my mother, followed in her footsteps, and during my childhood, lard was a staple in our house. Then it disappeared, replaced by vegetable shortening, which was supposed to be healthier – less saturated fat or something like that. I am not sure how much attention Mama paid to the health claims. Because of the prevalence of pork in her cooking and her habit of saving the drippings for future flavoring, our family continued to
get our fair share of pig fat. And chicken fat and beef fat, and so on and so on. My father’s argument in favor of animal fat was simple and difficult to refute: “It tastes good.” Now without getting into all the scientific debate over the relative benefits and dangers of polyunsaturated fats, mono-unsaturated fats, trans fats and such, let me simply say that this report makes a good case for the way Grandma, Mama, and most of the cooks of their generation fed their men. The articles also confirm the old adage that “fat is flavor,” while giving us reason to ignore the advice of health food fanatics who tell us “if it tastes good, spit it out.” Before you get all excited and rush out to eat something you have been denying yourself, a word of caution. Beware of “fake foods” – hyperprocessed junk full of all sorts of chemicals. And watch out for foods that the food industry advertises as low-fat or fat-free. In their quest to create a product that can fool you into believing it is what it ain’t, companies include ingredients that read like a chemist’s shopping list. So how about a new adage – “if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.” Now, I am not on the side of those who advocate avoiding any food that didn’t exist 100 years ago. However, just for the
fun of it, take a look in your fridge and pantry and count the things that your Mamaw would have had in hers. Short list, I bet. But I digress. My point is not what you shouldn’t eat, but what you can – and in some cases should. You can, and in some cases should, eat lard. Grandma lived into her 90s. Daddy made it to 93. Mama hung up her apron at 98. Heart disease took my grandfather away when he was barely 60. Did the grease get him? Maybe, but it also helped him enjoy the time he had here. There is that. A
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. He can be reached at hjackson@ cableone.net.
Down memory lane with Pages from the past In the December 1994 Alabama Living, we wrote about a family farm in Talladega County where smoked turkeys and hams were the specialty at this time of year. Selwood Farm, and its owners Dell and Carolyn Hill, were featured, along with photographs of some of their turkeys and other gift items. We did a little checking, and 20 years later, we were glad to learn that Selwood Farm is not only still alive and well but flourishing as a popular shooting clays and hunting preserve in Alpine. It Alabama Living
boasts an 800-acre plantation of natural habitat for licensed hunting with a facility for conferences, a pro shop stocked with all kinds of hunting gear and accessories, and even a Selwood cookbook, Beyond Selwood’s Door, edited by Carolyn Hill. When we visited their website, selwoodfarm.com, we learned that Selwood, which means “the king’s hunting forest,” was a district winner for the Alabama Farm of Distinction 2006, and was named 2012 Small Business of the Year by National Federation of Independent Businesses. While the Hills stopped selling tur-
keys a few years ago, thousands of people come through Selwood Farm each year to quail hunt or for clay shooting or a corporate event in the Country House. Dell and Carolyn’s favorite guests are t heir chi ldren Alan and Mary Lyn Jenkins and their spouses and their children. A DECEMBER 2014 11
for the holidays By Allison Griffin
Cordial cherry. PHOTOS BY MICHAEL CORNELISON
any of our most treasured holiday traditions involve the kitchen. Memories continue to be made around the table; the warmth of the stove and the smells of freshcooked foods lure friends and family eager to get the first taste of homemade delicacies, many of which are only made at Christmastime. I have fond memories of my grandmother in her bright yellow kitchen, making batches of Christmas candy for guests and to give as gifts. These were true treasures – divinity and chocolate and peanut butter fudge, richer and more flavorful than any store-bought sweets. Once the Christmas gifts and decorations were put away and the last crumb of candy was gone, we knew it would be the last of it until the next year. I watched her, with her candy thermometer and steely patience, making sure each batch was perfectly created, cooled and cut. She’d explain her cooking process, which I now know was the key: A hand-written recipe can’t adequately capture a seasoned cook’s special touch. Such a memory is familiar to Ellen Gregg, a member of the Tombigbee Electric Cooperative whose father, H.T. “Bud” Gregg, was on the Tombigbee board for many years. Her mother, Alice, was famous for her Christmastime peanut brittle, though the recipe was the same one printed on the Karo corn syrup bottle. “Like a lot of old recipes, it is not enough to just know the recipe. You have to watch how they made the recipe,” Gregg says. Gregg recalls that the reason everyone loved her mother’s brittle was because she put in more peanuts than the recipe called for. She would butter her old-fashioned porcelain-top kitchen table and pour her brittle batter onto it, using two spatulas or wooden spoons to pull it out as much as she could before it cooled and hardened, which made it thin and lacy.
Another key that Gregg remembers: Putting in the peanuts early enough in the process so they would cook slightly, but not burn. “People would tell Mother that they tried to follow the recipe, but theirs did not turn out like hers.” Karo syrup is at the heart of another favorite candy (especially in the South) that dates back at least a century. Who can resist the sweet little meringue confections known as divinity? Divinity, like other candies made from a sugar syrup base, requires precision. A long-held rule of thumb is to make such candies on a day when the humidity is less than 60 percent, because high humidity can affect the texture of soft caramels and hard candy.
Tips to remember when making candy at home:
• Let candy set up completely before wrapping or storing it. Use wax paper to wrap the candy, or to separate layers in gift boxes.
• If you’re using a thermometer you’re unfamiliar with, place it in a saucepan of boiling water; it should read 212 degrees Fahrenheit. If it doesn’t, adjust the recipe temperature based on the results of the test. The thermometer helps gauge the consistency of the sugar syrup.
12 DECEMBER 2014
• If your recipe calls for nuts, try roasting the nuts first before adding chocolate or other ingredients; that may enhance the flavor. • Keep moisture away from melted chocolate. Even a small drop can make the chocolate “seize,” or clump and harden.
Timing and temperature key to perfect divinity
But Sharon Green, owner with her husband Dennis of Nuts to Go in Dothan and a member of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative, says she can churn out a perfect batch of divinity, regardless of the weather. The key, she said, is patience, timing and temperature. Green recalls watching her mother make delicious divinity and the old-fashioned fudge made with Hershey’s cocoa that was dropped by the spoon, not cut in a pan into squares. But when Green started making divinity herself as an adult, she couldn’t turn out a batch nearly as good. After innumerable practice batches (including a few that a family member referred to as “divinity soup”), she finally hit on a can’t-miss process. “It’s actually to do with the timing has to be perfect, and the temperatures have to be perfect. I use timers, and I use the same thermometer,” Green says. But there’s no substitute for experience. “There’s a look, and a timing, and a temperature. If you alter in one, you can lose the whole batch,” Green says. A
• Use the best ingredients. Don’t skimp, especially on chocolate. • Store hard and soft candies in separate airtight containers to avoid changes in texture.
• When giving candy as a gift, try a few special presentation touches. Use miniature boxes, woven baskets or decorative jars; decorate the packages with handmade nametags, raffia bows or miniature ornaments. SOURCES: TASTE OF HOME WEB SITE; ELLEN BURKETT, CAROLYN ADAMS AND SANDRA LEWIS OF PRIESTER’S PECANS IN FORT DEPOSIT
HOLIDAY CANDY RECIPES The first two recipes were made by Alabama Living managing editor Allison Griffin’s grandmother, Inez Moye Wilder, at holiday time:
Ellen Gregg’s mother, Alice Hardwick Gregg, used this classic recipe and tweaked it to make it her own: Peanut Brittle
Chocolate Fudge 3 cups sugar 1 envelope unflavored gelatin 1 cup milk ½ cup light corn syrup 3 squares unsweetened chocolate 1¼ cups butter 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup nuts Butter an 8-by-8-by-2-inch pan. In a 3 ½ quart saucepan, mix sugar with dry gelatin. Add milk, corn syrup, chocolate and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to 238 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer, or until the mixture forms a soft ball when dropped in a little cold water and flattens when removed from water. Remove from heat; pour into a large mixing bowl. Stir in vanilla. Cool for 25 minutes. Beat with a wooden spoon until candy thickens; spread into the pan. Let cool about 30 minutes, then cut into squares. Makes about 2 ½ pounds.
Peanut butter fudge.
Peanut Butter Fudge Mix three cups brown sugar and 1 cup sweet milk thoroughly. Boil until the syrup forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water. Remove from heat and add ¾ cup peanut butter. Beat until thick; pour into a buttered pan and cut into squares when completely cooled.
1 cup light or dark corn syrup 1 cup sugar ¼ water 2 tablespoons butter or margarine (she preferred butter) 2-3 cups roasted, lightly salted peanuts 1 teaspoon baking soda Combine syrup, sugar, water and butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. (The heavier, the better!) Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Cook without stirring until temperature reaches 280 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer or small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into threads which are hard but not brittle. Gradually stir in peanuts; continue cooking, stirring frequently, until temperature reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit or small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into threads which are hard and brittle. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda. Mixture will foam and become lighter in color. Immediately pour mixture onto prepared metal, enamel, or porcelain table. (If you don’t have one of these, well bless your heart, just do the best you can!) With metal spatula (or any instrument handy, as it will burn and stick to your skin!), frantically spread mixture out as far as you can get it, before it cools. Then hide some for yourself, or you might not get any! - Ellen Gregg, Tombigbee EC
This is a classic recipe for divinity from the Karo corn syrup company, with a couple of notes from baker and Nuts to Go shop owner Sharon Green of Dothan:
The following two recipes are from Alabama Living’s “Southern Occasions” cookbook, which features recipes submitted by cooperative members: Crock Pot Candy
Divinity 2 ½ ½ ½ ¼ 2
cups sugar cup Karo light corn syrup cup water teaspoon of salt egg whites, room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup chopped nuts (optional) In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, water and salt. Stirring constantly, bring to boil over medium heat. Without stirring, cook over low heat (small to medium bubbles breaking across the surface of the liquid) until the temperature reaches 260 degrees Fahrenheit, or the hard ball stage. In a large stand mixer, beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Beating at high speed, very slowly add hot syrup in a thin, steady stream (this can take several minutes.) Don’t scrape the side of the saucepan. Continue beating at high speed until mixture begins to lose its gloss, about three minutes. Reduce speed to low. Beat in vanilla. Continue beating at low speed until mixture holds a peak and doesn’t spread when dropped from a spoon, about eight minutes. (If mixture becomes too stiff for mixer, beat with a wooden spoon.) Immediately stir in nuts with a spoon. Working quickly, drop by teaspoons (one to dip into batter, the other to roll it into a ball) onto waxed paper. Garnish with walnut pieces, a pecan half or candied cherries, if desired. Let stand until set. - Sharon Green, Wiregrass EC
16 ounces peanuts, dry roasted and salted 16 ounces peanuts, dry roasted and unsalted 1 bar German sweet chocolate 12 ounces milk chocolate chips 1½ bars white almond bark In a large crockpot, layer the ingredients in the order listed. Do not mix or stir. Heat on low for two hours. Do not lift lid. After two hours, stir well and drop by teaspoonful onto wax paper. Let cool. - Shari Taylor, Central Alabama EC Strawberry Divinity 3 cups sugar 1 small package strawberry Jell-O ¾ cup light corn syrup ¾ cup water 2 stiffly beaten egg whites 1 cup chopped pecans (optional) ½ cup coconut (optional) In large saucepan bring sugar, corn syrup and water to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and cook to hard ball stage. Combine egg whites with Jell-O until mixed. Pour syrup in a thin thread over egg whites and Jell-O mixture. With mixer on high, beat until all syrup is used, continuing to beat until the candy is cool and has a smooth look. Using two teaspoons, drop onto wax paper. If candy is too hot to drop, cool only a few seconds, or beat with a spoon a few seconds. Continue to drop onto wax paper. This candy sets up rather fast and makes about 50 pieces. (If coconut is used, I usually omit pecans.) - Shirley Masters, Wiregrass EC
DECEMBER 2014 13
Bowling IN ALABAMA Post-season bowl games have a 75-year history in our state
By Emmett Burnett
Cramton Bowl is home to the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl.
labama loves college football. Motorists driving to Tuscaloosa on Iron Bowl day realize it immediately -- with traffic snarled in three zip codes; where the only guaranteed parking is for the Goodyear Blimp; when for four hours, 103,000 fans make Bryant-Denny Stadium the state’s fifth largest city -- this is a football state. But “War Eagle” and “Roll Tide” are just the beginning. Are you ready for some football? There are bowls beyond the Iron one. So let’s kick off. Our bowl games have a 75-year history, with one of the first being the 1939 Montgomery startup, the Blue-Gray Football Classic. The Blue-Gray is no longer with us, but the Capital City has a new game in town.
14 DECEMBER 2014
R M B
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
‘Twas four days before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring – because they were watching nationally televised football from Montgomery. OK, maybe not everybody. But the country’s college football fans will be glued to the Camellia Bowl on Dec. 20, live from Montgomery. And oh, what a night. “Think about it,” says Johnny Williams, the Camellia’s executive director. “At 8:15 p.m. Dec. 20, we will be the only ESPN college game playing in the country. Every sports bar from Seattle to Miami will have us on their screens.” “There is tons of excitement supporting it,” Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says of the Camellia’s premier. “Excitement is not just from corporate sponsors but from our city. Montgomery rallied to bring the game here,” he says. The city’s massive downtown revitalization included major upgrades to Cramton Bowl. The 25,000-seat stadium underwent a $30 million renovation project, which included new turf, concession stands, and a 90,000-square-foot Multiplex. Montgomery kept pace with infrastructure upgrades, hotels, restaurants and a convention center, all designed to draw people downtown. “We will use this TV venue to show Montgomery,” Strange says. “This is a new Montgomery. We are proud of it and want others to know about and experience it.”
The only way Birmingham could be more entwined with football is if the Vulcan Statue wore a helmet. For Alabama’s largest metropolis, football is beyond a game; it is the Magic City’s history and passion. The namesake bowl game’s motto says it all: “Southern hospitality, serious football.” Now in its ninth year, Legion Field’s Birmingham Bowl attendance is unique, organizers say. The predicted attendance is 45,000-55,000; half of them have no allegiance to either team. “That’s Birmingham,” says Mark Meadows, executive director of the Birmingham Bowl. “These people, local and state, love football, not just a specific contest but the game of football. They come here for the love of the sport and to enjoy it as a community.” They also welcome visitors who are here to win. “We want all guests to enjoy Birmingham while they are here,” Meadows says. “I hear guests’ comments every game, ‘Wow, this
Legion Field,Living site of the Alabama Birmingham Bowl.
Montgomery also wants the experience of ka-ching, the kind cash registers make. Organizers admit that since this is the game’s first year, economic impact data are not available. But a similar event, the GoDaddy Bowl, brings in about $15-$20 million to host city Mobile. Ka-ching! The Camellia Bowl plans to fill the stadium with 25,000 fans, about 75 ESPN production personnel, 200-400 band members per school and 150-170 football players and personnel. The game features a team from the Sun Belt Conference against one from the Mid-American Conference. Both teams will be announced a few weeks leading up to the game. Football fever is already in progress. Serious dialogue to bring the game to Montgomery started in May 2013. “ESPN picked us because of our strong football history with the BlueGray,” Williams says. The network was looking for a city that would be supportive, and Montgomery won over five other contenders. “What state is more supportive of football than Alabama?” Williams says. Johnny Williams, executive director And Montgomery is its of the Camellia Bowl. capital.
is a lot more than we expected,’ or ‘I had no idea Birmingham had this,’ ” referencing restaurants, nightlife, and activities. The wow factor kicks off in town before it does on field. “Prior to the game, we have a street party,” Meadows says. “It’s very popular and includes food, drink, bands and cheerleaders. Head coaches of both teams conduct pep rallies.” Unlike winter’s frozen tundra up north, game-day Birmingham can see pretty decent weather -- or you can freeze your Vulcan off. “But overall, January is a good time of year to host a bowl game,” Meadows says. “Holidays are over and restaurants and hotels are not as busy, a perfect time to bring in folks from out of state. We have had great success with that” -- as in $97 million added to the local economy. Set for Jan. 3, the Birmingham Bowl is the only bowl in America aligned with both the Southeastern Conference and the American Athletic Conference. Participating teams should be announced around Dec. 7.
DECEMBER 2014 15
Arkansas State celebrates a 23-20 win over Ball State in the 2014 GoDaddy Bowl.
Mobile is the only bile Alabama Bowl) began in 1999. The Senior Bowl had been Alabama city that hosts a city fixture since 1951. Could Mobile support another major two nationally televised bowl games in sports event? Yes. GoDaddy’s economic impact is about $20 milthe same month: The GoDaddy (Jan. 4) and Senior lion a game. About 36,000 attended last year’s game, including Bowl (Jan. 24). But they’re 25,000 from out of town. not at all alike. But much of the fun is on “They are entirely differthe streets. ent venues,” said GoDaddy Mobile founded Mardi Bowl president Jerry SilGras, but one of the biggest verstein. The Senior Bowl parades isn’t during Carnifeatures players from many val; it rolls during GoDadteams joining as one for dy Week. “It’s a big night,” the first time to play an Silverstein says. “Several opposing team formed the mystic societies participate.” same way. It is an exhibiThe parade can see 70,000tion game for fans and pro 100,000 people along the scouts. “GoDaddy is two route. Add fireworks, pep college teams, vying for a rallies and street parties to championship. For many of the Sunbelt Conference and these teams and fans, with Mid-American Conference’s the parades, pageantry, and battle in Ladd-Peebles StaRoberson of Homewood won a $5,000 scholarship in 2014 through the the game itself, GoDaddy is Tre dium, and football rocks the Hoar Program Management/GoDaddy Bowl Reading & Writing Program. their Rose Bowl,” Silverstein City by the Bay. says. From Birmingham to Mobile and all parts in between and Questions surfaced when GoDaddy (originally called the Mo- beyond, let the games begin, one first down at a time. A
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Editor’s note: Travel writer Marilyn Jones visited coastal Alabama last December and found several events visitors can enjoy during the holiday season.
ur first stop is Fort Gaines and what is billed as “Christmas Through the Ages.” Located on Dauphin Island, a barrier island at the mouth of Mobile Bay, there is little protection from the wind whipping in off the Gulf of Mexico. It’s unseasonably cold for this part of Alabama, but the chill in the air lends itself to the holiday festivities in full swing as we enter the historic fort. Costumed interpreters are outfitted in Confederate uniforms and civilian dress of the mid1800s. My friend Enola and I walk along the perimeter of the fort where docents go about their chores making bread, creating decorative items in the blacksmith shop and cooking over an open fire. Soldiers protect the fort, and while we watch, fire a cannon at an enemy from the long ago past. To add to the enjoyment of the day, Christmas festivities include lively music, ornamentmaking for children, a craft sale and, of course, Santa Claus. Next we head for Bellingrath Gardens and Home in nearby Theodore. The sprawling estate began as a fishing lodge and grew to its current status when Walter Bellingrath’s wife Bessie began “making improvements.” The gardens first opened to the public in 1932 when a national garden club meeting was taking place in Mobile. Mr. Bellingrath placed an ad in the newspaper announcing that anyone who would like to see the spring garden was welcome to. The response was so overwhelming the couple decided to keep the gardens open yearround, beginning in 1934. This time of year the 65-acre estate celebrates the holidays with “Magic Christmas in Lights.” More than three million lights on more than 1,000 displays are scattered throughout the gardens. Arriving before dark, we have a bite to eat at The Magnolia Café and then spend a long while in the expansive gift shop before we head for the house. On a guided tour, we are ushered from room to room — each seemingly more beautiful than the last. Christmas trees are in nearly every room, garland is draped over fireplaces and other festive accents punctuate the already grand home. We are told the furnishings, including Mrs. Bellingrath’s extensive collection of decora-
Christmas on the Gulf By Marilyn Jones
Bellingrath House is filled with beautiful Christmas decorations. PHOTOS BY MARILYN JONES
18 DECEMBER 2014
DECEMBER 2014 19
Poinsettias and festive garland decorate the dining area at Bellingrath House.
tive art, all belonged to the Bellingraths. After the tour, we walk through the gardens, past light displays befitting their location and the season. The intimacy of walking past the displays, being able to really take in their beauty against the night sky, makes this a very memorable holiday attraction. It’s a glorious sight and one that will put anyone in a holly jolly frame of mind. We spend the next day shopping. From Tanger Outlet Center, Pier 1, Old Time Pottery and other national chains to locally owned gift shops at The Wharf in Orange Beach, we have a lot to choose from. The Wharf also offers other activities for its shoppers. There’s the signature ferris wheel, ice skating and a visit with Santa Claus. December’s calendar has a host of other events to choose from on the coast, including music, parades and arts and crafts. The Coastal Alabama Business Chamber presents “Christmas with Aaron Neville” Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m. at the Orange Beach Event Center at the Wharf. The 5th Annual City of Gulf Shores Christmas Parade will be Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m., starting at Club House Drive on Highway 59 and ending at the Gulf Shores Public Beach. The 3rd Annual 20 DECEMBER 2014
Merry Market, a gifts and arts and crafts expo, will be Dec. 12 and 13 at the Orange Beach Events Center, and the next day a Lighted Boat Parade will start at 5:30 p.m. from Lulu’s and finish at Zeke’s Marina. Alabama’s Gulf Coast region offers a great getaway any time of year, but during the holiday season hotel prices are reduced, restaurants aren’t as busy, you can still walk along the beach and the shopping opportunities are nearly limitless. No matter where you roam this holiday season, be safe, have fun and remember the reason for the season. A If you go: Bellingrath Gardens and Home, 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road, Theodore; www.bellingrath.org; (800) 2478420. “Christmas in Lights” is Nov. 28 – Jan. 3 (closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1). www. bellingrath.org/mcil.html 30th Annual “Christmas through the Ages,” Dec. 6, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Fort Gaines, 51 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island; dauphinislandtourism.com; (251) 861-6992. For a complete listing, times and locations of other events, visit alabamacoastalchristmas.com; (251) 968-6091.
A costumed docent warms herself by the fire at Fort Gaines.
DECEMBER 2014 21
A Procrastinator’s [ pro . cras . ti . nate ] - to put off until another day or time; to postpone; delay action When it comes to Christmas shopping, you’re either a prepper or a delayer. You’re either one of those people who stand in long lines on Thanksgiving to be first to score that perfect gift at a huge
discount, or you’re that guy at the mall on Christmas Eve trying to find anything (and I mean ANYTHING) that they won’t hate when they unwrap your obviously rushed and unskilled wrapping effort. Well, no worries, my friend. From one procrastinator to another - Alabama Living has you covered.
The Churches of Alabama This 160-page hardcover coffee table book is a limited commemorative volume featuring small rural churches to urban cathedrals. This beautiful pictorial history has hundreds of photographs and informative historical notes about churches across the state. $32.50 (includes shipping) While supplies last. Call to order 1-800-410-2737.
We’ve been standing in line since last Christmas to be able to bring you a holiday gift guide that even the most experienced last-minute shoppers can appreciate. Even better, most of them are Alabamabased businesses, so you can be sure to let everyone know you support our state’s economy. So let’s go shopping!
Southern Occasions Cookbook Do you know someone who’s been clipping those recipes out of Alabama Living month after month? Our Southern Occasions cookbook contains the recipes from Alabama Living 2004 - 2008. $19.95 [See ad on page 25] Call to order 1-800-410-2737.
Alabama Living Magazine A gift subscription to Alabama’s largest consumer publication is only $6 and is the perfect gift for your out-of-town relatives and friends who want to keep up with the people, places and events that make Alabama special. Call 1-800-410-2737 or visit alabamaliving. coop/subscribe.
22 DECEMBER 2014
guide to gift giving ChordBuddy
(Dothan) As featured on the hit ABC show, “Shark Tank,” ChordBuddy’s patented learning system attaches to the neck of any guitar and allows potential musicians to play their favorite songs instantly by pushing a button. As they progress, the plastic tabs can be removed like training wheels on a bike, and the students are able to play real guitar chords. ChordBuddy comes with a lesson guide, DVD and book with more than 100 songs for less than $50 (49.95) making it a must-have this Christmas. Guitar combo-packs are available for adults and children. The new ChordBuddy Jr. “Duck Comander” edition is a half-sized guitar for the 4-8 age group printed with a cartoon graphic featuring the Robertson family from A&E’s hit reality show “Duck Dynasty.” ChordBuddy’s entire line of music learning products are available online at www.chordbuddy.com or in retail locations across the country. [See ad on inside front cover]
(Birmingham) Made of surgical grade steel cable, industrial strength rubber and other quality components, Cablz are designed to handle hard work and active lifestyles. Whether you are fishing, biking, hiking, kayaking, hunting or just enjoyng the great outdoors, Cablz are the ideal eyewear rentention system that will keep your eyewear secure and stylish. Available in various styles, colors and materials including paracord and non-conductive monofilament for the utility and fishing industries. The new adjustable Cablz Zips are snag proof when zipped. Perfect under helmets and great for running and other active sports. You can see all of the many styles of Cablz at www.cablz.com and in retail locations across the country. Cablz are less than $20 (11.99 - 15.99) and make great stocking stuffers. [See ad on inside back cover]
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery) Tickets to the inau-
gural Camellia Bowl, set for Dec. 20 at Cramton Bowl, are a perfect gift for the college football fan. The Sun Belt Conference and Mid-American Conference matchup will be televised live on ESPN, with kickoff at 8:15 p.m. Historic Cramton Bowl, formerly the home to the Blue-Gray Football Classic, has undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation and boasts a capacity of 25,000. Ticket prices start at $20 for general admission, but group rates and tailgate packages, which feature tent, tables, chairs, tickets and more, are available. Log on to espnevents.com/camellia-bowl/ or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Sketches of a small town beautifully captures the remarkable people, places and events that characterized a unique lifestyle in a bygone era in Greenville, Alabama.
Didn’t get in this year’s Gift Guide? It’s never too early to make preparations for next year. Advertise your product or service in Alabama Living and be seen by more than a million readers!
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DECEMBER 2014 23
Worth the Drive
Gaines Ridge: Cooking for guests like they were family By Jennifer Kornegay
n the outskirts of Camden, Ala., Gaines Ridge sits at you’d expect; the latter are rounds of potato crispy as a chip on the end of a long gravel drive, its unadorned columns the outside yet tender on the inside. Bite-sized hot-from-thegleaming white through the shade of tall trees. Built in oven rolls in a basket round out every meal. 1827, for decades it was a private residence, but today, it houses The restaurant also caters almost every event in Wilcox Counthe Gaines Ridge Dinner Club, a restaurant offering old-fash- ty, including baby showers, weddings, business meetings, birthioned, no-frills fine dining (no odd ingredients or overly fussy day parties and funerals. As snappy server Deborah Dailey says, foods here) in a historic setting. “We birth you, and we bury you.” The house has plenty of tales to tell, but the Dinner Club story Kennedy is particularly proud of the steaks, which she cuts started with a love of food and feeding others and Betty Gaines and marinates to order. And it’s not a case of the cook being Kennedy’s desire to preserve her home place. Kennedy grew overly fond of her own creations. Several folks at the table next to up in Gaines Ridge, then known as the me ordered ribeyes, and when Deborah Hearn Place after the house’s original asked if they wanted steak sauce, one owner, Reverend Ebenezer Hearn. man quips, “I hope we don’t need it!” Kennedy’s family bought the house When their dinners arrived, it was clear and surrounding property in 1898, and they didn’t. generations of the Gaineses lived there I opted for something I’ve not had until shortly after World War II. “We in years: hamburger steak smothered still owned it then, but we rented it out in sautéed onions. Gaines Ridge takes for years,” Kennedy says. Then, after the this humble dish to new heights, and house was vacant for a while, it fell into even though I didn’t need it either, I disrepair. “My sister and I wanted to do was feeling nostalgic and so added a something with it, to make it a welcom- Hamburger steak and dinner fries. bit of Heinz 57 to every bite. PHOTOS BY JENNIFER KORNEGAY ing place again,” Kennedy says. But Gaines Ridge saves its best for So, in 1985, despite zero restaurant experience or training, the last. Its scratch-made desserts have scores of loyal fans, and the two decided to open a restaurant. Black Bottom Pie, a treat Kennedy’s mother used to make, earned “Folks thought we were crazy to open the place,” Kennedy a spot on the Alabama Tourism Department’s 100 Alabama says. “Most gave us about six months. But here were are, almost Dishes to Eat Before You Die list. My wedge of rum-infused 30 years later.” custard resting on a layer of dark chocolate and a ginger-snap Kennedy has a kitchen staff, but you can often find her in crust disappeared so quickly, I swear some unseen someone was there too, usually working the grill. “We do everything in-house,” stealing bites. Maybe it was Gaines Ridge’s resident ghost. she says. “I cook for all my guests like I would cook for my own “Things do disappear around here. Anything odd that hapfamily.” pens, we blame on the ghost,” Kennedy says. Her first encounter Though it’s definitely out of most people’s way, Gaines Ridge with the otherworldly presence was truly frightening, but now, draws crowds every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night with she’s come to accept the spirit as part of the old house’s charm. dishes like crab cakes, seafood casserole, steaks and chargrilled As interesting as a historic haunting is (it’s made the restaurant kabobs. Classic salads come served with a trio of homemade a popular stop on the Alabama Ghost Trail), according to Kendressings, letting diners drown the iceberg lettuce, thick-cut to- nedy, it’s not what makes Gaines Ridge special. “I think our food matoes and hard-boiled eggs if they choose. The choices for sides is second to none, and just this place, my people, the antiques, include American fries and dinner fries. The former are what the atmosphere. That’s why people come,” she says. A
Jennifer Kornegay travels to an out-of-the way restaurant destination in Alabama every month. She may be reached for comment at j_kornegay@ charter.net. Check out more of Jennifer’s food writing, recipes and recommendations on her blog, Chew on This at www.jenniferkornegay.com.
24 DECEMBER 2014
Gaines Ridge Dinner Club 933 Alabama 10, Camden, AL 334-682-9707 Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 5:30pm – 9pm If you’re planning a trip to Gaines Ridge, try to make it there this month. While it’s lovely year round, it’s particularly pretty during the holidays. “We take three days to decorate the entire house, and there’s a Christmas tree in every room,” Kennedy says.
Southern Occasions CO O K B O O K
Great for the holidays !
CO O K B O O K
DECEMBER 2014 25
Think lawn and garden for gift ideas
have a son-in-law who is a closet Clark “Sparky” Griswold — you know, Chevy Chase’s character in the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” — who gets a little carried away with his holiday decorations. Though my son-in-law (perhaps due to my daughter’s intervention) has kept his inner “Sparky” in check and never landscaped their yard with giant inflatables and incessant flashing Christmas lights, my husband and I have long been tempted to Griswold him for Christmas: Don’t you know he’d love to come home one evening to a yard filled with Santas, snowmen, reindeer, elves and other festive (some may say tacky) holiday decorations? Realizing that such a gift may have repercussions (we want my daughter to continue speaking to us, after a l l ) , we
instead have given him things for the lawn and garden, from grills to landscape plants. There are also plenty of indoor plants available this time of year that can be given as gifts or used to decorate for the holidays. Topping the best-seller list of potted holiday plants is the poinsettia, cultivars of which now come in a wide range of colors and sizes. Festive Christmas cactuses are also extremely popular, and both of these holiday favorites, with proper care, can be carried over from year to year and can even be coaxed into re-blooming just in time for the holidays. In fact, tucking them away in a dark place and ignoring them from October till early December is pretty much all it takes to bring them back into bloom for the holidays. But don’t stop with these more traditional holiday plants. Tap into the abundance of potted azaleas, hydrangeas, hollies, rosemary topiaries, Lenten or Christmas roses, Norfolk Island pines, orchids, amaryllis, paper whites and other container plants that are wonderful for the holiday season, but can also be kept as container plants or planted in the landscape for year-round enjoyment. And if the urge to go “Sparky” is just too strong to resist, I say let your “Sparky” shine. Even my daughter admits that some of our fondest holiday memories involve driving around neighborhoods to see who has the showiest, if not gaudiest, Griswoldian display. A
Instead of landscaping your yard like the Griswold home, try decorating with traditional holiday plants such as poinsettias or topiaries.
December Gardening Tips Transplant trees and shrubs and
plant roses, spring-flowering bulbs and hardy annual plant seed. Protect tender flowering shrubs from freezing weather by covering them with a sheet or blanket. Uncover them when temperatures begin to rise. Keep houseplants healthy by wiping dust from their foliage and keeping them in more humid areas of the house, such as the kitchen or bathrooms. Spot-treat weeds in the lawn. If you’ve not already done it, apply winter-protective mulch to garden beds and around newly planted trees and shrubs. Prune hardy deciduous and evergreen trees and summerblooming shrubs. Sow seeds for winter or cool-season vegetables. Plant cool-season annuals such as pansies, ornamental cabbages and kales and snapdragons. Water lawns, shrubs and small trees if the weather is dry. Keep bird feeders and birdbaths clean and full. Begin planning your 2015 garden.
Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@ gmail.com.
26 DECEMBER 2014
CALL FOR ENTRIES
Alabama Rural Electric Associationâ€™s
Quilt Competition Our theme is: What put us on the map? Design your quilt square around the idea of what your local co-op area is known for. We need all co-ops represented!
Mail, E-mail or Fax form below for your entry package. Deadline to submit quilt square is December 31, 2014 Name: ________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________ City, State Zip: __________________________________________ E-mail: ________________________________________________ Phone: ________________________________________________ Cooperative: ___________________________________________ (The electric cooperative name on front of this Alabama Living.)
Mail to: AREA 340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 or Phone: 334-215-2732 Fax: 334-215-2733 E-mail: email@example.com
Celebrate the holidays efficiently By Katie Kothman-Haby, CCC
Simply planning ahead can cut cooking times and energy use in half. Place any frozen dishes in the refrigerator the night before so they are ready to go in the oven the next morning.
Around the house
Turn down your thermostat a few degrees. Extra people bustling around the home and the oven warming food will heat up your home a few extra degrees. Take advantage and adjust your thermostat accordingly. You will save some money on your bill, and your guests will still be comfortable. A
o matter what or how you celebrate, energy use tends to increase over the holiday season. With more guests in your home and activities taking place, your electric meter spins a little faster than usual, costing you more money. Start the New Year off right. Celebrate the holidays efficiently so you don’t have to worry about a high electric bill.
If you choose to decorate with strings of lights, consider LED (light emitting diode) options. They use over 80 percent less energy than traditional strings of lights and have a longer life. Make sure to purchase high quality strings from reputable sources. Safety and the lifetime can be compromised in less expensive LED strands. Solar powered lighting options are also worth considering for decorations. Instead of having a plug handy, make sure you have a proper location for the solar panel that powers them. Place strands of electric lights on timers so they automatically turn on in the evening after the sun sets, and turn them off around bed time. You won’t have to spend time thinking about plugging and unplugging them, and you won’t have to spend money powering them when unnecessary. Decorate with less lighting. Consider a 28 DECEMBER 2014
natural, vintage feel for your decorations. Use items like pinecones, greenery, candy canes, popcorn strings and gingerbread. The whole family can get involved with decorating the home with these safe and festive items.
Katie Kothmann Haby writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.
Cook with your microwave, toaster oven or slow cooker whenever possible. Small appliances cook quickly and more efficiently than your oven. When you do use the oven, cook more than one item at a time. Have a ham, sweet potato casserole and rolls that all need to cook in the oven? Make some adjustments to cooking temperatures and times, and put all your dishes in at once to take full advantage of the heat that’s being produced. Don’t peek! It’s tempting to open the oven door to check on holiday treats. Use the oven light instead, and keep the door closed. This will keep the heat where it belongs – inside the oven. Glass and ceramic dishes allow you to cook food at a lower temperature than metal baking dishes. If the recipe calls for a metal baking pan and you substitute glass or ceramic cookware, reduce the temperature by about 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Have food defrosted before you cook. www.alabamaliving.coop
Around Alabama DECEMBER
3-7 Montgomery, 9th Annual Interfaith Christmas Nativity Exhibit “Remembering Christ at Christ-
mas.” Hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, and open daily from 1-8 p.m. The exhibit features hundreds of nativities from multiple countries around the world. This year’s event will close at 7 p.m. with a Christmas broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Information: www.montgomerynativity.com.
4-13 Union Springs, “Always...Patsy Cline” at the Red Door Theatre. The musical play and tribute to
the legendary country singer is based on a true story about Patsy’s friendship and 2-year correspondence with a fan from Texas. Complete with country humor and 27 of Patsy’s unforgettable hits. For show times and tickets, call 334-738-8687, email conecuhpeople@ knology.net or visit www.reddoortheatre.org.
5-6 Boaz, 2nd Annual “Old Fashion Christmas Festival” held in downtown Boaz from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
each day. The Christmas Parade will be held in conjunction with the Festival on Dec. 5. Call the Boaz Area Chamber of Commerce for information, 256-593-8154, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
5-6 Cullman, Christmas Arts & Crafts at the Cullman Civic Center. Friday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Satur-
day 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Lunch will be available. For information, call 256-734-9157.
5-7 Huntsville, Christmas Craft Show to be held at the Von Braun Civic Center, south hall. Approximately 250 craftsmen and vendors will be selling pottery, special ornaments, wooden toys, hand crochet items, and more. Open Friday and Saturday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Contact: Annie Hannah, 256-880-7967; Shirley Petitti, 256-883-2199 or Elizabeth Crum, 256-423-4312.
6 Hanceville, 23rd Annual Cullman County Christmas Parade hosted by Hanceville Civitan. Parade
begins at 2 p.m. and admission is free. To participate in the parade contact Joann Walls, 256-352-9799 or email email@example.com.
6-20 Arab, Santa in the Park at Arab Historic Village. Santa will be at the Village three consecutive weekends on Friday and Saturday evenings from 6-9 p.m. $5 per person over 2 years of age, but no more than $20 per immediate family. Call 256-586-6397 or 256-550-0290 for information.
7 Centre, Holiday Tour of Homes sponsored by the Weiss Lake Women’s Club will be from 1-4 p.m. Tickets are $5 and will include a map as well as the addresses of homes on the tour. For information, or to purchase tickets, call the Chamber of Commerce at 256-9278455 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
7 Tuscumbia, Plantation Christmas at Belle Mont Mansion. A Christmas party, complete with ballroom
dancers, traditional greenery, and refreshments. Admission is charged. For information, call 256-381-5052.
12 Troy, Shelia Jackson and Company Holiday Concert at the Claudia Crosby Theatre. The Troy Arts
Council is pleased to present the vocal stylings of its own Shelia Jackson and her talented friends from throughout the Wiregrass. Performance will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 general admission, $5 for students and may be purchased online or at the door. For information, call 334-484-3542 or visit www.troyartscouncil.com.
12-13 Frisco City, 5th Annual Live Nativity Drive Thru “Christmas Comes Alive in Frisco City”. Open daily, 6-8 p.m. The 10-station drive-thru is sponsored by Frisco City Revive, Inc., the local ﬁre department, the Town of Frisco City and surrounding local churches.
14 Greensboro, Porches and Parlors Tour of Homes and Mistletoe Market. The Mistletoe Market
will take place at the Greensboro Elementary Gym and Tour of Homes will feature two local museum homes and four historic private homes. A $20 ticket for the market includes a ticket for the tour. Market hours are noon-5 p.m. and tour hours are 1-4 p.m. For information, contact Stephen Barnette at 334-624-6878.
To place an event, e-mail email@example.com. 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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DECEMBER 2014 29
Wheeling to a healing in an Alabama forest By John N. Felsher
old, drizzling rain splattered against the vehicle roof, making conditions miserable for anyone caught in the storm. Warm and dry inside the vehicle, the disabled veteran watched a flock of wild turkeys feed in a clearing 35 yards away completely unaware of his presence. After suffering an accident while hunting from a tree stand, Mark Pool figured out a better way for mobility-impaired people to hunt. The retired Houston County engineer draped a golf cart in camouflaged netting. With a quiet, eco-friendly electric golf cart, a hunter can drive to a favorite spot and wait for game without exiting the vehicle. A sportsman can even hunt multiple locations in a morning simply by driving to another spot and parking. Although not an all-terrain vehicle, the cart can maneuver over some surprisingly rough ground. “After the accident, I started working on a golf cart and put some camouflage on it,” Pool recalled. “After I got it all set up, I started hunting in it. I’ve killed gobblers and big deer out of it. The cart worked so great that I decided to give carts away to disabled veterans.” Thousands of veterans returned from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan missing limbs or unable to walk. To help these vets return to their sporting passions and a normal life, Pool founded the Whitetail Warrior Project, Inc, a non-profit organization based in Ashford, Ala. With the money he raises, Pool buys and modifies golf carts. He gives them to veterans who earned Purple Heart medals for combat wounds. He’ll John N. Felsher is a freelance writer and photographer who now lives in Semmes, Ala. He co-hosts a weekly outdoors show that is syndicated to stations in Alabama. For more on the show, log on to www.gdomag.com. Contact him through his website at www. JohnNFelsher.com
30 DECEMBER 2014
also give some carts to other organizations that help vets. Specially configured golf carts grant these veterans some mobility that they previously took for granted as young fit warriors. With this added mobility, the vets can again enjoy a day afield. Sportsmen can load the cart with an ice chest full of snacks and refreshments, protective clothing and other gear. They can also carry harvested game back to camp more easily. “We camouflage the carts so they look like large bushes,” Pool advised. “Animals don’t link danger to the sight of a bush and pay no attention to it. We can park the cart on the edge of a field and deer just ignore
Specially camouflaged golf carts provide hunting mobility for disabled vets.
it. Then, we can drive to the other end of the field if we wish. Disabled vets can hunt right out of them.” Besides giving away hunting carts, Pool’s organization tries to match up veterans who would like to hunt with Alabama landowners who will allow them on their property. Veterans can contact Pool expressing a desire to hunt in Alabama. He’ll try to find landowners with access to property close to where those veterans live and arrange for them to contact each other.
Matching vets with hunting areas nearby
“We are trying to help disabled combat veterans find places to hunt deer close to home,” Pool explained. “We’re trying to locate all the disabled combat veterans in Alabama so we can figure out where to
obtain access to some land. We also have opportunities for fishing and turkey hunting. We’re working on other options. We’re going to try to make some of our lands accessible to golf carts. Sometimes, the vets need someone to hunt with them.” Pool already developed a list of landowners willing to allow veterans to hunt on their properties. However, he can always use more help from people with access to hunting lands or the means to provide veterans safe, enjoyable outdoors excursions. Landowners can contact Pool and describe what they can offer, the kinds of animals found there and other services they can provide to the vets. Some landowners even allow veterans to stay at hunting cabins on their properties and feed them for a few days. All of these programs cost money. Each golf cart alone costs about $4,000. To raise money for the carts and other programs to help disabled veterans, Pool worked with the state to obtain funding through the sale of special automobile license plates. When people buy a special Whitetail Warrior Project license plate from the state, Pool’s charity receives a portion of the fees. “We want to provide disabled and wounded American veterans the opportunity to enjoy the thrill of the whitetail deer hunting and other kinds of hunting,” Pool stated. “To do all of this, we need help from a lot of people, but there are a lot of good people out there who can help us help the veterans.” To buy an Alabama Whitetail Warrior Project license plate, contact the local county revenue office as if buying a plate for any vehicle registered in Alabama, but request to purchase the special plate. For more information on the Whitetail Warrior Project license plates, call the Alabama Department of Revenue at 334-242-1170 or see revenue.alabama.gov/motorvehicle/ whitetail.cfm. A For more information or to help with the Whitetail Warrior Project, call 256-5421621 or see whitetailwarriorproject.com. www.alabamaliving.coop
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
DEC. 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 JAN. 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
08:31 09:31 10:16 11:01 11:46 07:31 08:01 08:46 09:31 10:16 10:46 04:31 01:31 07:31 09:01 09:46 10:31 11:16 11:46 07:16 07:46 08:16 08:46 09:01 09:31 10:01 03:46 12:46 06:16 08:01 09:16 10:16 11:01 11:31 07:01 07:31 08:16 08:46 09:31 03:16 04:01 01:31 06:46 08:46 10:01 10:31
04:16 05:01 05:31 06:16 06:46 12:16 12:46 01:31 02:16 03:01 03:46 11:46 05:46 03:31 04:31 05:16 05:46 06:16 06:46 12:01 12:31 01:01 01:31 02:01 02:31 03:01 10:46 11:31 03:01 04:01 04:46 05:16 05:46 06:31 12:01 12:46 01:16 02:01 02:31 10:01 10:46 11:31 04:01 04:46 05:16 05:46
02:16 02:46 03:31 04:16 -12:31 01:16 02:16 03:01 09:16 11:01 -12:31 01:16 02:16 03:01 03:46 04:16 -12:31 01:01 01:31 02:16 03:01 08:46 10:16 --12:16 01:16 02:16 03:16 04:01 -12:16 01:01 01:46 02:46 09:16 10:46 --12:31 01:46 02:46 03:31
09:46 10:16 10:46 11:31 04:46 05:31 06:16 07:01 08:01 04:16 05:46 07:01 08:01 09:01 09:46 10:31 11:01 11:31 04:46 05:31 06:01 06:31 07:16 08:01 03:46 05:01 06:16 07:31 08:16 09:16 10:01 10:31 11:16 04:46 05:31 06:31 07:16 08:16 03:46 04:46 06:16 07:31 08:46 09:31 10:16 10:46
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DECEMBER 2014 31
ALABAMA BOOKSHELF In this new feature, we offer a summary of recent books about Alabama, people with Alabama ties, and/or written by Alabama authors. Let us know about any books you’ve read recently that meet those criteria by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Better Than Them: The Unmaking of an Alabama Racist, by S. McEachin Otts; NewSouth Books, Fall 2014; 176 pages, $23.95 In 1965, S.M. “Mac” Otts’ grandmother gave him an admonition that he would never forget. Those words – “You are better than them. Don’t forget it” – shaped the life of the 18-year-old Otts. In this memoir, he reflects on how he outgrew his racist upbringing, and how returning to his Black Belt hometown helped him understand a racially divided world. The book is a statement about how life is lived, celebrated and understood. Alabama Scoundrels: Outlaws, Pirates, Bandits and Bushwhackers, by Kelly Kazek and Wil Elrick; The History Press, June 2014; 128 pages; $19.99 This book brings to life more than two dozen of the most infamous lawbreakers to set foot on Alabama soil. Most of the characters date to the 19th century, when Alabama was still a young, sparse state and chasing criminals could be a treacherous affair. Some of the outlaws managed to elude justice, forever disappearing into history, but others faced violent ends, often at the end of a noose or a gun barrel. F. Scott Fitzgerald at Work: The Making of The Great Gatsby, by Horst H. Kruse; University of Alabama Press, Fall 2014; 168 pages, $39.95 The Great Gatsby, a tale of America during the Jazz Age, is one of America’s best-known works and has been studied in great detail, but scholars and readers have continued to speculate about Fitzgerald’s sources of inspiration. The essays in this new work examine fresh facts that illuminate the experiences and source materials upon which Fitzgerald, who lived briefly in Montgomery with his wife, Montgomery native Zelda Sayre, based his masterpiece. Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story, by Rick Bragg; HarperCollins, October 2014, 512 pages, $27.99 Noted Southern storyteller (and Alabama native) Bragg tracks down “the Killer,” who galvanized the world with hit records like “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Great Balls of Fire.” The book, based on Bragg’s interviews with Lewis over a two-year period, recounts Lewis’ modest upbringing, the wild nights on the road and the redemption of his sunset years. The book is filled with Lewis’ own words and framed by Bragg’s rich narrative. 32 DECEMBER 2014
DECEMBER 2014 33
Cakes Alabama Recipes
Cook of the month: Peggy Key, North Alabama EC Hummingbird Cake 2 1 1 1 1 1
cups plain flour teaspoon salt teaspoon baking soda teaspoon cinnamon cup chopped nuts teaspoon butter flavoring
3 2 1 1
eggs cups sugar cup oil 8-ounce can crushed pineapple with juice 2 medium bananas, chopped
Mix above ingredients by hand. Bake in a 9x13-inch pan at 350 degrees until done, about 60 minutes or until golden brown.
Icing 3 ounces cream cheese, softened ½ stick butter, softened
2 cups confectioner’s sugar ½ cup chopped nuts
Mix cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl; add confectioner’s sugar and blend till smooth. Add chopped nuts and stir. Pour over warm cake when it comes out of oven, or cool cake completely and put on cake. It seems there is always a story behind every cake. Well, at least for the ones I make. I consider myself a better baker than cook, but sometimes I’m faced with density problems, bubbles, peaks, or sunken middles. I’m still trying to forget the times I’ve forgotten to grease the pan and dealing with cake crumbling while trying to remove it from the pan. However, I’ve had a few successes. One of them was the cake I made for my daughter’s first birthday. We had a simple party with homemade decorations and toddler-friendly food. I spent most of the time making her rainbow cake. It’s basically just a white cake with cream cheese icing. I used different food colorings for each layer and baked them separately. Once cooled, I trimmed the peaks so the layers would lie flat, then I Mary Tyler Spivey stacked, frosted and is a graduate of Huntingdon College stacked again. It was where she studied really simple, but it history and French but she also has a passion just took a bit longer for great food. to prepare. There wasn’t a slice left! Contact her at recipes@ Merry Christmas and alabamaliving.coop. Happy New Year!
Popcorn Cake 1 16-ounce package regular marshmallows ½ stick butter or margarine ¼ cup vegetable oil 16 cups popped buttered popcorn
1 can (12 oz.) salted peanuts ½ cup candy mini chocolate chips Optional but good: Teddy Grahams, M&Ms
In large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallows, butter and oil; stir constantly until marshmallows are melted. Place popcorn, candies and peanuts in large bowl; stir in marshmallow mixture. Press popcorn mixture into a greased 10-inch tube/bundt pan, pack ﬁrmly. Let set for 30 minutes. Memory Bush, South Alabama EC
You could win $50!
Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: February March April
Homemade bread December 15 Peanut butter January 15 Cookies February 15
online at alabamaliving.coop email to email@example.com mail to: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124
34 DECEMBER 2014
PHOTO BY MICHAEL CORNELISON
Want to see recipes, feature stories, and other Alabama happenings during www.alabamaliving.coop the month? LIke Alabama Living on facebook and don’t miss anything!
DECEMBER 2014 35
Chocolate Fruitcake 1 cup butter 6 1 oz semisweet chocolate squares 1¼ cups sugar 3 large eggs 1 cup all-purpose flour ¼ teaspoon salt 1 cup red candied cherries (cut in half )
1 cup either green or red candied pineapple cut in ½ inch wedges ¾ cup English walnut halves ¾ cup pecan halves Red candied cherries for garnish
Melt butter and chocolate in heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring often. Remove from heat and cool 15 minutes. Stir in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each egg. Add flour and salt, stirring until blended. Stir in cherries, pineapple and nuts. Spoon mixture into greased and floured 5¾ x 3¼ x 2-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool on wire racks. Seal cakes in plastic wrap; refrigerate 8 hours before cutting. Yield: 4 (12-ounce) loaves. Note: Easier to slice if stored in refrigerator, but freezes well. Jane A. Smith, Joe Wheeler EMC
Layered Peppermint Cheesecake Cheesecake layers 3 8-ounce packages of softened cream cheese ½ cup sugar 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 3 large eggs Sour cream layers 1 18.25-ounce package white cake mix 2 large eggs Frosting 1 cup white chocolate morsels ⁄ cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1½ cups sour cream 2 teaspoons peppermint extract ⁄ cup crushed hard peppermint candies 1 8-ounce container sour cream ⁄ cup vegetable oil ½ cup water 2 cups whipping cream 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
First step to prepare this recipe is to use directions to prepare cake mix. Pour half the batter in a 13x9-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a double boiler, add caramels, milk and butter, stirring constantly until melted. Pour melted caramel over cooling cake. Sprinkle pecans and chocolate chips on the top. Pour remaining batter on top, then bake about 20 minutes or until set. Turtle cake can be made as a sheet cake or a layer cake as shown in photo.
Prepare cheesecake layers: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line bottom and sides of two (8-inch) round cake pans with aluminum foil allowing 2-3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil. Beat cream cheese, sugar and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer for 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy and smooth. Add three eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add flour and next three ingredients, beating until blended and folding in candies. Pour batter into pans. Place cake pans in a large pan, add water to pan depth of one inch. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes or until set. Remove from oven to wire racks. Cool completely in pans (about one hour). Cover cheesecakes and freeze four to six hours or until frozen solid. Lift from pans using foil as handles. Return to freezer until ready to assemble. Sour cream layers: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cake mix and next four ingredients at low speed for 30 seconds or until just moistened; beat at medium speed two minutes. Spoon batter into three greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until a pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack. Frosting: Cook ⁄ cup sugar and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Add morsels; cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cool about 30 minutes, whisking occasionally. Beat whipping cream and vanilla at high speed 1 to 2 minutes or until soft peaks form. Gradually fold white chocolate mixture into whipped cream mixture, until mixture reaches spreading consistency. Assemble layers and frost.
Katherine Authement, Baldwin EMC
Tamara Gourley, Cullman
Turtle Cake 1 2 ¾ ½ 1 1⁄
cup chocolate chips cups pecans cup melted butter cup evaporated milk 14-ounce bag caramels cups water (or as called for by your cake mix)
36 DECEMBER 2014
⁄ cup oil (or as called for by your cake mix) 3 eggs (or as called for by your cake mix) 1 18-ounce box German chocolate cake mix
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.
Red Velvet Cake 1 1 1 1 3
Pistachio Holiday Cake
box butter cake mix teaspoon cocoa cup buttermilk stick margarine eggs
1 1 1 1
teaspoon vanilla bottle red food coloring teaspoon baking soda tablespoon vinegar
1 box powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup chopped pecans
1 stick margarine, softened at room temperature 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
Mix cake mix and cocoa. Add buttermilk, melted margarine, eggs, vanilla and food coloring. Mix together until blended well. Add baking soda and vinegar. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes. Bake at 325 degrees until done. Frosting: Mix margarine and cream cheese until blended well. Pour in powdered sugar and vanilla and mix well. Add pecans. Faye Marion, Arab EC
¾ cup shelled unsalted pistachios 1 cup all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon cardamom ¼ teaspoon salt
Frosting: ¾ cup heavy cream ½ cup mascarpone cheese 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ cup whole milk ½ teaspoon vanilla 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened 1 cup sugar 3 large eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 13-by 9-inch cake pan, knocking out excess flour. Pulse pistachios in a food processor until ﬁnely ground. Add baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Pulse to combine. Combine milk and vanilla in a measuring cup. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pistachio, flour and milk in batches and mix at low speed until combined. Spread batter evenly in cake pan and bake until tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes. For the frosting: Whisk all ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cake slices before serving. Robin O’Sullivan, Wiregrass EC
Maw’s Christmas Cake 1 box white cake mix 1½ cup broken walnuts 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate morsels 1 bag coconut 1-2 peppermint sticks
3 1½ ⁄ ¼
egg whites cups of sugar cup cold water teaspoon cream of tartar
Prepare cake mix as directed. Add 1 cup walnuts and 1 cup chocolate morsels. Bake as directed. 7 Minute Icing In double boiler, mix egg whites, sugar, cold water and cream of tartar. Bring to a boil; use mixer and mix until fluffy and forms peak. Spread 7 minute icing onto cooled cake. Put coconut on top of icing. Crush the peppermint sticks until mostly a powder. Sprinkle the peppermint powder over the cake. Drop or place walnut pieces and chocolate morsels on top of cake, as desired. Janie Wade, Marshall DeKalb EC Alabama Living
DECEMBER 2014 37
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February 2015 – December 25 March 2015 – January 25 January 2015 – November 25
Real Estate Sales NICE 3 BR, 2 BATH FISHING, HUNTING & RETIREMENT HOME on river in Dallas Co. - Recently remodeled with hard wood floors & ceramic tile, metal roof and new A/C unit, large high lot - E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, Cell (850)582-7633 Home (850)939-2054 SECTION, AL – BEAUTIFUL PROPERTY WITH BLUFF VIEW – Great hunting location. Up to 190 acres, sold in tracts or as a whole - $2,100 per acre. Call Greg Henderson (256)302-1192 at Main Street Realty Plus (256)400-1335 WATERFRONT RESTAURANT FOR LEASE ON WEISS LAKE – Full view and docks, large covered deck, deep water and boat launch, partially equipped – Needs TLC – Only $850 / month – Call Nina at (423)903-2258 FRONTAGE ROAD FOR SALE, HWY 72 EAST, READY TO GO – 432 feet, 2.2 acres, 8 miles from Huntsville, working well, 2 buildings with connecting porches, 35x100 greenhouse – Suitable for any venture – email@example.com, (256)426-0028 GANTT LAKE – FRONT, 2 BED, 1 BATH, LARGE Den, Pier, extra buildings – more – New Price (334)669-1934
Travel CARIBBEAN CRUISES AT THE LOWEST PRICE – (256)974-0500 OR (800)726-0954
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
Education 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 FREE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE – WRITE to P.O. Box 52, Trinity, AL, 35673 WWW.2HOMESCHOOL.ORG – OPEN YEAR Round K-12 enrollment. Contact Dr. Cerny (256)653-2593
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Fruits / Nuts / Berries GROW MUSCADINES AND BLACKBERRIES , HALF dollar size – We offer over 200 varieties of Fruit and Nut Trees plus Vines and Berry Plants . Free color catalog. 1-800-733-0324. Ison’s Nursery, P.O. Box 190, Brooks, GA 30205 Since 1934 www.isons.com
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CECIL PIGG STEEL TRUSS, INC. P.O. BOX 389, ADDISON, AL 35540 cecilpiggsteeltrussal.com
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24285 State Hwy 59, Robertsdale, AL 36567 Contact Danny Dyer or Philip Mitchell @ 251-947-1944 www.aﬀordabletruck.com • aﬀordable@gulftel.com
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Send your questions to: James Dulley
Alabama Living 6906 Royalgreen Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45244
You can also reach Dulley online at: www.dulley.com
In-floor electric heating options
I often feel chilly in my home, especially during the winter months. I know electric resistance heating can be expensive to use, but I really like the idea of infloor heating. Does it only work with tile flooring, or can it be used under carpet? What types are available?
In a concrete slab or under a tile floor, electric heating cable is usually laid in a serpentine pattern. In one design by Nuheat, long cable guides are nailed along the outer edges of the floor. Selecting how many slots to skip between cables determines the total cable length and heat output. It also simplifies even spacing. Once the cable is in place, it is covered with concrete or thinset for tiles. You’re absolutely right. Electric resistance systems are For use with carpeting, thin mats or sheets with electric cable expensive to use for heating the home. This is why embedded in them are placed on the floor before the carpeting is most homes with all-electric heating use heat pumps, laid. The manufacturer can calculate the amount your rooms need, which are more energy efficient. Geothermal heat pumps can be and the cable is available in 120 or 240 voltages. Some of the sysseveral times more efficient than resistance heating and provide tems for smaller areas are designed for do-it-yourself installation. WarmlyYours has a unique design with thin electric heating inexpensive central air-conditioning. Electric in-floor heating, which can be used under tile, car- cables embedded in a strong fiberglass mesh. This is particularly peting and hardwood, is technically no more efficient than an effective for use under hardwood flooring and laminate. If you’re electric resistance furnace. However, it thinking about this option, first check can be less expensive to operate because with the hardwood-flooring manufacturer about the maximum allowable temit pinpoints and improves comfort. And perature to avoid excessive drying of the besides, what’s better than stepping wood. Consider installing a special proonto a heated-tile bathroom floor in the grammable thermostat with a laminate morning? and engineered wood setting to protect A home loses less heat through the the materials. walls, ceiling and windows when the indoor temperature is lower. The amount Another design by Heatizon uses a of electricity used is typically several perlow-voltage heating mesh. This mesh is centage points less for each degree the only about one-eighth inch thick and is thermostat is set lower. With improved stapled directly to the subflooring. Being comfort from in-floor heating, you a safe low-voltage, installation is relatively easy. WarmlyYours also offers a wafershould be able to lower the thermostat thin heating kit that is placed between setting considerably and not feel chilly. the pad and the carpet. Another energy saving advantage With in-floor heating, you do not of in-floor heating is the fact that each Electric radiant heating cable/mesh is placed on room can have a separate thermostat, al- a kitchen floor before the ceramic tile is installed. have to cover your entire house (or even lowing you to set different temperatures The manufacturer can advise about how much to an entire room), so you can add to the use. PHOTO BY HEATIZON in various rooms and heat as needed. system as your budget allows. People Instead of heating the room air, a sometimes add small custom mats or warm floor radiates heat upward to your body. When one’s feet sheets in front of a mirror in a dressing area or workspace to are warm, your entire body feels warm. In-floor heating reduces pinpoint heating needs. At a home center store, a 10-foot by 30the extent of heat stratification where the hot air from a forced-air inch heating mat costs about $200, and a matching programmable furnace naturally collects upward, near the ceiling. thermostat is about $140. In-floor heating is most commonly used in a concrete or tile Also, if you’re away from home for extended periods of time floor with high thermal mass, but some types are specifically de- during winter and set your thermostats low to save energy, there’s signed to be used under carpeting, hardwood or laminate flooring. a chance a pipe may freeze during a severe cold snap. Self-regIt can actually provide better comfort under carpet and hardwood ulating electric heating cables, which attach along water pipes, because their low thermal mass allows the system to respond faster are available from the in-floor heating cable manufacturers. They automatically self-adjust the heat output depending upon the temto thermostat changes. perature of the pipe. The following companies offer electric in-floor heating systems: Calorique, 800- 922-9276, www.calorique.com; Emerson, 800621-1506, www.emersonindustrial.com; Heatizon, 888-239-1232, www.heatizon.com; Nuheat, 800-778-0276, www.nuheat.com; Orbit Radiant Heating, 888-895-0958, www.orbitrdiantheating.com; James Dulley is a nationally syndicated engineering consultant Suntouch, 888-432-8932, www.suntouch.net; and WarmlyYours, based in Cincinnati. 800-875-5285, www.warmlyyours.com. A
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Our Sources Say
What are they saying?
few months ago, my article included quotes from a Minority Report of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. This month I thought quotes from the leaders of the Global Warming and Climate movement would be interesting. There are many others on the Internet; I just picked out a few. “The truth is rarely simple and never pure.” – Oscar Wilde, author. “You wouldn’t bet your paycheck on next week’s weather forecast, but the government would bet billions of dollars on global warming models.” – Thomas Sowell, columnist. “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy…one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.” – Ottmar Edenhoffer, United Nations (U.N.) – Intergovernmental Policy on Climate Change official. “No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits…climate change provides the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality to the world.” – Christine Stewart, former Canadian Environmental Minister. “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, billionaire and U.N. official. “I think if we don’t overthrow capitalism, we don’t have a chance of saving the world ecologically.” – Judi Bari, environmentalist and organizer of Earth First. “The goal now is a socialist, redistributionist society, which is nature’s proper steward and society’s only hope.” – David Brower, Sierra Club founder. “Nations are, in effect, ceding portions of their sovereignty to the international community and beginning to create a new system of international environmental governance.” – Lester Brown, Worldwatch founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute. “A massive campaign must be launched to restore a highquality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States…de-development means bringing our economic
Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.
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system, especially consumption patterns, into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation…redistribution of wealth borne within and among nations is absolutely essential if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.” – John Holdren, President Obama’s science czar. “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.” – Paul Erlich, Professor, Stanford University. “Coal makes us sick. Oil makes us sick. It’s global warming. It’s ruining our country. It’s ruining our world.” – Harry Reid, U.S. Senate Majority Leader. “Obama is already setting a new historic course by reorienting the economy from private consumption to public investments… free-markets pundits bemoan the evident intention of Obama and team to ‘tell us what kind of car to drive.’ Yet that is exactly what they intend to do...and rightly so. Free-market ideology is an anachronism in the era of climate change.” – Jeffery Sachs, Professor, Columbia University. “The answer to global warming is in the abolition of private property and production for human need. A socialist world would place an enormous priority on alternative energy sources. This is what ecologically minded socialists have been exploring for quite some time now.” – Louis Proyect, Professor, Columbia University. “Entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000 [no typo]. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of eco-refugees, threatening political chaos.” – Noel Brown, U.N. Official. “Global sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of morality control.” – Maurice King, U.K. professor and founder of the U.N. Environmental Programme. “Professors Paul Erlich, Louis Proyect, Jeffery Sachs and Maurice King – no wonder our schools are screwed up.” – Me “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed – and hence clamorous to be led to safety – by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary…the urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it.” – H.L. Mencken, columnist. “Don’t pay any attention to the little man behind the curtain.” – The Wizard of Oz. Only the EPA is still maintaining that global warming is still about the environment. I hope you have a good month. A
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1. Ila Kate Buttram SUBMITTED BY Tammy Jenkins, Danville. 2. Santa and me. SUBMITTED BY Jennifer Newby, Hoover. 3. 1962 Loveman’s Department Store. SUBMITTED BY Louise DeVaughan, Elba. 4. Lillie, Charlie and Cole. SUBMITTED BY Anna Newsom, Hartselle. 5. Robbie Johnson with Santa. SUBMITTED BY Beth Meeks, Opp. 46 DECEMBER 2014
Photos with Santa 6. Dacey and Santa. SUBMITTED BY Cynthia Turner, Valley Head. 7. Jessica Gober SUBMITTED BY Todd Smith, Albertville. 8. Twins Cade and Rece Rooker. SUBMITTED BY Larry and Linda Dozier, Cullman. 9. Having fun with Santa. SUBMITTED BY Yuvonne Scott, Loxley.
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