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NOVEMBER 2014

Pioneer Electric

COOPERATIVE

www.pioneerelectric.com

Iron Chef Why your cast iron skillet

is your kitchen’s best friend

Helping heroes Volunteers help vets heal through hunting, fishing


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 ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL OFFICES:

340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 E-mail: advertising@areapower.com www.areapower.coop

VOL. 67 NO. 11 NOVEMBER 2014

LIVING

6 Successful Annual Meeting Find out updates about Pioneer’s Annual Member Meeting!

12 Cast iron cooking

Ask any Southern cook to name the go-to utensil in his or her kitchen, and chances are it will be made with cast iron. From cornbread to potatoes to apples, iron cookware just makes everything taste better.

Any good cook will tell you that cornbread was made to be baked in an iron skillet. PHOTO: Michael Cornelison

16 Veterans honored

Send the Alabamians tells the story of the 3,700 Alabamians in the 167th U.S. Infantry Regiment of the famed “Rainbow Division” of World War I, written by the son of a soldier who was there. When you see this symbol, it means there’s more content online at www.alabamaliving.coop! Videos, expanded stories and more!

NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE:

National Country Market 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181 www.nationalcountrymarket.com www.alabamaliving.coop

DEPARTMENTS

USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311

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9 34 36 41

Spotlight Worth the Drive Cook of the Month Outdoors Fish & Game Forecast

Printed in America from American materials

Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2014 3


Manager’s Comments

Contact Information: Business: 1-800-239-3092

Budget 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

Web site:

www.pioneerelectric.com

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 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 NOVEMBER 2014

Pioneer is in the middle of budget season. During this time, we look into both the past and the future to plan for the upcoming financial year. As with any industry, budgeting is a complex process. The reality of this process is that it’s our best predication or “guess-timate” based on history, known needs, our hope for little or no stormy weather and a few other factors. In following our mission, “To safely deliver reliable service, in a timely and courteous manner, at the lowest possible cost to our members,” Pioneer has been making conscious financial decisions to avert or delay future rate increases for our members. I have had a few members ask about the possibility of a rate decrease and unfortunately the only answer I have to offer is to use less energy. We, Pioneer’s Board and Staff, continuously look for cost cutting options to protect our members from possible rate increases. One cost cutting effort for 2014 was to refurbish two of our service buckets instead of buying new ones. We were able to refurbish both units for the cost of one new unit, which ultimately saved Pioneer and our members over $100,000. In any cooperative environment, there is typically much concern among memberowners regarding the financial impact on the budget due to employee salaries. Since becoming your general manager in 2012, I have kept a watchful eye on several key industry ratios - one in particular is the ratio of salaries per member. If Pioneer did away with all current personnel, the savings from having no salaries would be approximately $230 per year for each member. Averaged over a year’s time, this equates to about

$19 per month. You might say the value of keeping your lights on is worth about 6 gallons of gas per month to operate your automobile. The single largest concern from a budget stand point is the cost of purchased power. According to Pioneer’s June 30, 2014 Audit over half (50.91%) of the cooperative’s expenses come from the cost of power alone. The cost of power generation is an issue all of us as member’s can help control by getting involved with ACTION.COOP. The EPA has proposed sweeping environmental controls to limit the use of coal for power generation. This is very important to Pioneer and our members since our power supplier generates 45% of the power we use with coal fired plants. Some projections say that if the current proposed EPA rules are enforced in Alabama our cost of energy could rise by 20%. None of us want nor can we afford a 2.5 to 3 cents per kWh rate increase. Please go to www.ACTION.COOP and let your voice be heard. As announced at the Annual Member Meeting on October 11th, Pioneer Electric will add one line item to our 2015 budget as we start repayments of capital credits. In recent years, based on a contractual agreement, we have not been allowed to pay patronage capital until a defined level of equity was reached. During the past year, I am proud to say that Pioneer finally reached the appropriate level of equity to pay capital credits and we are excited to be putting these funds back in the hands of our members. To view our most recent and last year’s financial statements, please visit the newly updated website at www.pioneerelectric.com.

Energy Tip of the Month Add caulk or weather-stripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows!


Pioneer Electric Cooperative

Inside Pioneer: Member Rebate Programs PEC’s Water Heater Rebate Program and Heat Pump Rebate Program are simple programs designed to encourage wise energy use among members. New Water Heater Rebate New Construction: Pioneer Electric members who are building a new home are eligible for a REBATE to cover FULL Price of a (1) water heater purchased from the cooperative. Gas Replacement: Pioneer Electric members who replace an existing gas water heater are also eligible for a REBATE to cover FULL price of a (1) water heater purchased from the cooperative. Available Sizes: • 40 gallon (Height- 46 3/4”, Diameter 22 1/4”) • 50 gallon (Height- 57”, Diameter 22 1/4”) Member Cost & Rebate: $250 (wholesale price) credited to account. To obtain rebate, upon installation of water heater, member notifies PEC, who will inspect and verify installation. Member agrees that, at Pioneer’s option, a load control device may be placed on water heater for energy management purposes. *A member replacing an electric water heater can purchase a new water heater at wholesale price from PEC, however NO rebate will be issued.

Alabama Living

Heat Pump Rebate Pioneer Electric members who install a highefficiency heat pump, will receive a rebate based on the following criteria: Conventional Home:

Air Source Heat Pump $150 per ton for 15 SEER $200 per ton for 16 SEER Geothermal Heat Pump $600 per ton for 22 EER or greater Plus 30% tax credit through 2016

Manufactured Home:

Air Source Heat Pump $100 per ton for 13 SEER

For more questions or more information about member rebate programs, please call Pioneer Electric at 1-800-239-3092.

Linda Horn

VP Member Services

NOVEMBER 2014  5


Pioneer Update:

Successful Annual Meeting Pioneer’s Annual Member Meeting on October 11, 2014 attracted 200- plus Pioneer Electric Cooperative members and their families. Attendees were able to register for prize drawings, learn more about their cooperative, ride the Touchstone Energy hot air balloon and more. During the official business meeting election results were given by Woody Trimble of Jackson Thornton and the official cooperative update was given by Pioneer’s Executive Vice President and General Manager Terry Moseley. Election Results: • District 3 Glenn Branum • District 6 Melvin Dale • District 9 Melvia Carter Announcements: • After reaching the contractually required equity level during the past financial year, Pioneer Electric will begin paying out CAPITAL CREDITS in JANUARY 2015. PEC is pleased to put these funds back in the hands of members! • New Water Heater Rebate Program (more information can be found on page 5). • NO RATE INCREASE!

6  NOVEMBER 2014

www.alabamaliving.coop


Pioneer Electric Cooperative

Pictured Above: Grand Prize Winner, Mary Brown of Greenville with Terry Moseley, PEC Executive VP & GM

Pictured Above: Bill Credit Winners. Standing left to right: Robert Newton, Percy Thompson, Rebecca Duncan, Margaret Pierce and Mrs. Harry Pipkin. Seated left to right: Mary Brown (Grand Prize Winner), Catha Peterson, Georgia Brown, Joyce Till, Mrs. Willie Arnold. Not Pictured: Karrie Taylor.

Pioneer was delighted to have Chelsea Manness, Miss Rodeo Alabama, in attendance at this year’s Annual Member Meeting. Chelsea is the granddaughter of Pioneer members Virgie (Bee) and Bud Till and the daughter of Steve and Renee Maness of Wilcox County. As a senior at Troy University, Chelsea has been afforded the opportunity to live out her passion for rodeo by competing with Troy University’s rodeo team. She was crowned Miss Rodeo Alabama on June 26 in San Antonio, Texas and has since been traveling the state promoting the sport of rodeo and giving a personal testament to how it has positively impacted her life. This December, Chelsea will be traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada to compete for the title of Miss Rodeo America. For more information about Chelsea, a list of her upcoming appearances or information about helping with her cause please visit her Facebook page: Miss Rodeo Alabama 2014 or call 334-456-2389.

Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2014  7


Economic spotlight:

Wilcox Works! When the Golden Dragon copper plant was announced in Wilcox County, Alabama, it was the first major industry announcement in the county in over 40 years. In a county that is the home of the state’s highest unemployment rate, and is, by some measures, the poorest county in the nation, the creation of up to 500 jobs was big news. But, along with the great news of employment opportunities came the realization that many potential employees were not qualified for the jobs to come. First, many potential employees weren’t high school graduates, and that was a requirement for the copper plant. Other employees had no marketable skills to meet other basic requirements for the new jobs. “I’ve heard Governors talk for years about putting projects in the Black Belt and Wilcox County,” says Wilcox County IDA Director, George Alford. “Now that we finally have a project coming to our area, we want to make sure that Wilcox County citizens get some jobs out of it.” Almost immediately after the

announcement, Alabama Industrial Development and Training (AIDT), a division of the Department of Commerce, began offering their “Ready To Work” training, a computer based program that is a basic skills refresher course, focusing on academic, financial, application and resume writing, business etiquette and ethics and other soft skills. But more was needed. The local leaders knew that something more had to be done. “We needed some way to help the folks around here that wanted jobs get the jobs,” recounted John Clyde Riggs, executive director of the Alabama-Tombigbee Regional Commission (ATRC). “We knew it was going to take everybody coming together to make it happen. That’s how Wilcox Works got started.” The County Commission, ATRC, the IDA, the local Chamber of Commerce and others came together to form Wilcox Works!, an organization that is essentially a clearing house to help folks figure out what training they need, help the folks get that training, and then help

them get jobs. It’s been a slow go, but there have been some successes. Joy Norsworthy, a transplanted New Jersey activist has taken on the day-to-day operations of the fledgling organization. “It’s an overwhelming task,” according to Norsworthy. “The people in Wilcox County want jobs and we are helping them, slowly, but surely, get the training they need to go to work. We’re working with the folks on soft skills and enlisting help from the local Community Colleges to teach the hard skills that employers want.” Alford summed it up: “We’ve not had much to be excited about in Wilcox County in the last 40 or so years. Now, there is a sense of optimism in the air – and we’re going to make the best of it!”

Cleve Poole

VP Economic Development and Legal Affairs

Get Connected: Pioneer App & Upgraded Website! Stay up-to-date with PEC by visiting the newly upgraded website and by downloading the PEC Connect mobile app, which is available for both Apple and Android users. For more information about downloading visit the Pioneer Electric website!

App Features: Account Management Weather Conditions News Feed Outage Viewer Directly Report to PEC Upcoming Events Kids Corner Energy Tips Connections Card Contact or Locate PEC PEC Notifications

www.pioneerelectric.com 8  NOVEMBER 2014

www.alabamaliving.coop


Spot Light

In November NOV. 5-9

Take a trip back in time at Alabama Frontier Days Take a trip back to the Southern frontier and learn about life during the early years of European and American exploration and settlement in the 18th and 19th centuries at this annual event at Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson Park near Wetumpka. Living history specialists and craftsmen dress in period costume to demonstrate frontier trades and crafts. For more information, visit www.fttoulousejackson. org, or call 334-567-3002. NOV. 9

Veterans to be honored at Memorial Park service Honor the sacrifices of our nation’s war veterans at a special service at 1 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Alabama Veterans Memorial Park, just off Interstate 459 near Liberty Park in Birmingham. This event will feature a patriotic program, including a performance by the Birmingham Boys Choir. Learn more about the park, and how to purchase a commemorative StepStone, at www.alabamaveterans.org, or call 205-912-2019. OCT. 31-NOV. 9

National Peanut Festival celebrates harvest This ten-day autumn event, honoring peanut growers and celebrating the harvest season, draws more than 150,000 to Dothan each year. The family-friendly event features amusement rides, animal attractions, agricultural displays, livestock shows and a parade. This year’s concert acts include Christian pop artist Josh Wilson, rising country star Thomas Rhett and enAlabama Living

during pop and R&B stars The Pointer Sisters. The fun begins at the fairgrounds on U.S. 231 South with the ribbon cutting on Oct. 31 and the competitions and midway rides on Nov. 1. For more information, including specific event times and admission prices (which vary by day), call 334-793-3247, or visit www. nationalpeanutfestival.com

NOV. 15

Krispy Kreme Challenge Huntsville’s sixth annual Krispy Kreme Challenge to Benefit UCP (United Cerebral Palsy) is a fourmile run through downtown Huntsville. But instead of a finish line, runners are on the lookout for the famous Krispy Kreme flashing sign! Proceeds from registration fees directly help children and adults in north Alabama with cerebral palsy to receive support and services. For information, log on to www. ucphuntsville.org

NOVEMBER 2014 9


Power Pack

Being aware of fraud is key to avoiding it With all of the holiday shopping going on this time of year, both in stores and online, there is no better time to remind you to beware of fraud — you never know where it is lurking. When it comes to doing business with Social Security online, there is little to worry about — all of our online services are protected by strong Internet security protocols and you should have confidence that they are safe and secure. But, there are other ways identity thieves and criminals can obtain your personal information and cause you significant harm. Here are some tips to help keep that from happening. * If someone contacts you claiming to be from Social Security and asks for your Social Security number, date of birth, or other identifying information, beware. Don’t provide your personal information without first verifying that Social Security is really trying to contact you. It could be an identity thief snooping for your personal information (a disguise to acquire sensitive information, known as “phishing.”) Call Social Security’s toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). * If you receive a suspicious call, report it by going to http://oig.ssa.gov/report. Or call 1-800-269-0271 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT. You should provide as much of the following information as you know:

• The alleged suspect(s) and victim(s) names, address(es), phone number(s), date(s) of birth, and Social Security number(s); • Description of the fraud and the location where the fraud took place; • When and how the fraud was committed; • Why the person committed the fraud (if known); and • Who else has knowledge of the potential violation. Identity theft is one of the fastestgrowing crimes in America. If you or anyone you know has been the victim of an identity thief, contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.idtheft.gov, or 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY 1-866-653-4261. Another form of fraud that people fall victim to: businesses using misleading advertisements that make it look as though they are from Social Security. These businesses often offer Social Security services for a fee, even though the same services are available directly from Social Security free of charge. By law, such an advertisement must indicate that the company is not affiliated with Social Security. If you receive what you believe is misleading advertising for Social Security services, send the complete mailing, including

Alabama covered by ‘Yellow Dot’ Highway safety program now available in all 67 counties A free program that could save your life after a traffic crash is now available to residents in all 67 Alabama counties. The Alabama Yellow Dot program, begun in Etowah County in 2009, provides each participant with a Yellow Dot decal to place on the back window of his or her vehicle. In the event of a crash, the decal alerts first responders to a yellow information packet kept in the glove compartment that lists health conditions, medications, recent surgeries and emergency contacts, permitting more effective medical care at the scene. While the statewide rollout is now complete, many Alabamians have al10 NOVEMBER 2014

ready benefitted from Yellow Dot. Clanton resident Bethanie Chancellor learned about the value of Yellow Dot after a tragic car crash that took her husband’s life and left her unconscious. Chancellor explained that if she had participated in Yellow Dot, emergency responders would have had the family’s emergency contact information at the scene. Yellow Dot helped save Homewood resident Vivian Howard’s life in 2013. Howard, who is diabetic, began to

the envelope, to: Office of the Inspector General, Fraud Hotline, Social Security Administration, P.O. Box 17768, Baltimore, MD 21235. Also, advise your state’s attorney general or consumer affairs office and the Better Business Bureau. If you see or hear what you believe is misleading advertising related to Social Security, you can report it at the address above, by calling 1-800-269-0271 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT. Protect your investment in Social Security and do your part to report potential fraud. We rely on you to let us know when you suspect someone is committing fraud against Social Security. Reporting fraud is a smart thing to do — and the right thing to do. Visit Social Security’s Office of the Inspector General at http://oig.ssa.gov. Learn more about identity theft and misleading advertising by reading our publications on the subjects at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs. A

Kylle’ McKinney, Alabama Social Security Public Affairs Specialist, can be reached in Montgomery at 866-593-0914, ext. 26265, or at kylle. mckinney@ssa.gov.

lose consciousness while driving back to her home after attending a funeral. “When I opened my eyes, there were paramedics all around me,” she said. “I had been steadily bumping the curb as I drove and then eventually blacked out and crashed.” Because Howard had taken advantage of Yellow Dot, first responders had immediate access to her medical information, helping them quickly assess her condition and initiate proper procedures. For more information on the program or to find an enrollment station in your county, visit www.adeca. alabama.gov/yellowdot. www.alabamaliving.coop


Protect yourself and everyone else by getting a flu shot Influenza is a serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. The good news is that flu vaccines can protect against it, everyday precautions such as handwashing can prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illness, and antiviral drugs your doctor prescribes can make illnesses milder. In the nearly four decades I’ve worked in public health there have been some constants regarding influenza, but predicting how severe the next flu season will be is not one of them. While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season all vary from one year to another. That’s because flu viruses are constantly changing, so it’s not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year. Flu activity m o st c om m on ly peaks in January or February. However, seasonal flu activity can begin as early a s O c tob e r and continue to occur as late as May. Some constants are that public health recommends a yearly flu vaccine  to protect against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the top three or four flu viruses that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season. People should begin getting vaccinated soon after flu vaccine becomes available to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. Influenza can make anyone seriously ill; however, vaccination is especially important for  people at high risk for serious flu complications and their close contacts. During a regular flu season, about 90 percent of deaths occur in people 65 years and older. Other deaths often occur in young children and people with weakened immune systems. Children between 6 months and 8 years of age may need two doses of flu vaccine to be fully protected from flu. Your child’s health care provider can tell you whether two doses

Alabama Living

are recommended for your child. The two doses should be given at least four weeks apart. Children younger than 6 months are at higher risk of serious flu complications, but they are too young to get a flu vaccine. Because infants under 6 months cannot get a vaccine, safeguarding them from flu is especially important. If you live with or care for young infants, you should get a flu vaccine to help protect them from flu. Starting this flu season, the use of the nasal spray vaccine (LAIV) is now recommended in healthy children 2 to 8 years of age, when it is immediately available and if the child has no contraindications or precautions to that vaccine. Recent studies suggest that the nasal spray flu vaccine may work better than the flu shot in younger children. However, if the flu shot is available and the nasal spray vaccine is not, children age 2 to 8 years should get the flu shot. Don’t delay vaccination to find the nasal spray flu vaccine. Flu vaccines are of fered by many d o c t o r s’ o f f i c e s , clinics, health departments, pharmacies, urgent care centers, and college health centers, as well as by many employers, and even by some schools. Don’t believe persistent myths like getting a flu shot can give you the flu—it can’t. Injected flu vaccines only contain dead virus that cannot infect you. Nasal spray vaccine is specially engineered to remove the parts of the virus that make people sick. Most people are protected from flu two weeks after getting the vaccine. In addition to getting vaccinated, you should take everyday preventive steps  such as staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. Be considerate. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading influenza to others. A

Jim McVay, Dr.P.A., is director of the Bureau of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease of the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Alabama Living welcomes new employee

Allison Griffin has joined the staff of Alabama Living as managing editor. A native of Andalusia, she has nearly 20 years experience in writing, editing, layout and design, and news desk management at the Montgomery Advertiser. A n aw ard - w i n n i ng writer and editor, she completed a fellowship at the Regional Health Journalism Program conducted by the Association for Health Care Journalists, and worked as a loaner at USA Today. She is a graduate of AUM, where she was editor of the Aumnibus, the campus newspaper. “We are excited to have a person of Allison’s caliber join the staff of our statewide magazine,” said Lenore Vickrey, vice president of communications at the Alabama Rural Electric Association. “Her impressive writing and editing skills will help us continue to deliver the top quality magazine our 420,000-plus readers of Alabama Living have come to expect from their electric cooperatives.”

NOVEMBER 2014  11


Eddie Brandon’s favorite cookware is cast iron, and he’s got nearly 40 different pieces he’s collected. PHOTO BY STEPHEN SMITH

Cast iron cookware: the must-have tool for your Southern kitchen By Jennifer Kornegay

12 NOVEMBER 2014

Watch Eddie Brandon cook up a batch of cornbread in his kitchen at alabamaliving.coop

www.alabamaliving.coop


I

cook a lot, and a quick inventory of my kitchen equipment proves it. I’ve got expensive pots and pans, a fabulous immersion blender, several sizes of food processors, a fancy peppermill and more. But if a meteor struck my kitchen and destroyed it all, there’s only one thing I’d truly miss: my grandmother’s 10-inch cast iron skillet. I love the weight of it in my hand, and the memories it evokes each and every time I pull it from its resting place in a bottom cabinet. It’s a time machine that transports me back to my grandmother’s aproned side, helping her whip up whatever deliciousness she was making. But in truth, if a meteor did hit my home, that skillet is the one thing that would probably withstand the blast. Cast iron is almost indestructible, and that’s one reason cast-iron skillets are handed down through generations. The other reason? They are must-have tools for creating several staples of Southern cuisine.

Why cook with cast iron?

Your grandmother knew what she was doing. Cast iron is the original non-stick cookware, meaning you can use far less oil or fat when preCast iron comes in many different shapes, including this vintage corn stick pan. paring everything from chicken thighs to veggies in your skillet, but that’s only one of its health PHOTO BY MICHAEL CORNELISON benefits. The other two are the lack of chemicals often found in modern non-stick pans, and the fact that cast iron shapes. Other favorite dishes he makes in cast iron are fried catis just that: iron. Your skillet will leach a small amount of the fish (in a Dutch oven), creamed corn and fried potatoes (both in mineral into whatever you’re cooking, adding a little extra iron a skillet). “They all get a better flavor in cast iron,” he says. to your nutritional intake. The real reason to cook with cast iron is taste. Iron is an excel- How to care for cast iron It’s hard to argue with all the reasons to use cast iron, yet some lent conductor, and since it heats evenly and consistently, it’s far easier to get a good sear on meat and keep those flavorful juices people still shy away from it, probably due to concerns over its in. It’s also better at browning cornbread and crisping the crust care. But that’s a mistake. Once you know the basics, cast iron is as easy, if not easier, to clean and keep as any other tool in your on fried chicken. Eddie Brandon, a staking engineer for the North Alabama culinary arsenal. First, you can wash it, and yes, you can even use soap, alElectric Co-op in Stevenson, Ala., knows this well. An avid cook, he’s also cast-iron skillet collector. His cornbread has become though Eddie Brandon doesn’t recommend it. The best way to famous among his co-workers, a treat they beg him to bring to clean cast iron is to run hot water on it while it’s still warm (but the office over and over again. And he couldn’t do it without cool enough to handle) and wipe it out with a dry dishcloth. You can use a bit of mild dish soap, but you really don’t need cast iron. it. Most food bits should come off clean with the water, and if you “I started using cast iron because need to give them a little nudge, use a soft brush or make a paste my mom and grandmother did,” he with Kosher salt and give it a rub. says, “but I keep using it because for There are a few don’ts: Don’t soak or submerge your cast iron cornbread, there’s just no other pan or in water and don’t put it in the dishwasher. And a few do’s: Do skillet that will do it right.” He stresses that feel free to use metal utensils with your cast iron only cast iron can bake cornbread evenly, cookware (one more way it’s better than nonand only cast iron delivers that beloved stick pans), and do dry it completely tawny brown crust. “That’s the best before putting it away to stave off part,” he says. rust, and wipe a little more oil But he cooks far more than on the inside. cornbread in his many cast iron But your cast iron skillet containers. His collection has is already rusty you say? No grown to include close to 40 problem. You can revive it pieces of varying sizes and Alabama Living

The real reason to cook with cast iron is taste.

NOVEMBER 2014 13


quick with a bit of fine steel wool and another quick rinse. “But I’ve tried using my handed-down skillet, and things stick!” you insist. Again, no big deal. That means it’s time to re-season, which is simple. Give it a good rinse and dry it. Add some vegetable oil or shortening, spreading it around the inside with a paper towel, and bake upside down in a 350-degree oven for about an hour. Place a sheet pan with aluminum foil on the rack below your skillet to catch any drips, and let the skillet cool in the oven once the hour is up. “Well, I got a new cast-iron skillet, so how can I tell if it is seasoned already?” If it came from Lodge, the most popular and prolific maker of cast iron in the country, it has been seasoned. If not, follow the same steps for re-seasoning to get it ready for cooking.

What to cook in cast iron (other than corn bread)

Join Eddie and break out of your corn bread box. You can cook almost anything in cast iron: steak (the skillet stays screaming hot so it sears meat perfectly), grilled cheese sandwiches (thanks to even heating), the dishes Eddie is so fond of, and even desserts. Try this easy recipe that pairs butter with sugar and fall’s favorite fruit to create a topping for pound cake, ice cream, cardboard, whatever. A

Eddie’s Can’t Fail Corn Bread

Eddie Brandon stirs up a batch of fried potatoes in a deep-dish cast iron pan. PHOTOS BY STEPHEN SMITH

14  NOVEMBER 2014

Skillet Sugared Apples

1 cup Martha White Enriched Cornmeal (NOTE: Not cornmeal mix) 1 egg 1½ cups buttermilk

3-4 3 1/3 1 ½

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Put enough oil to cover the bottom of your skillet. Eddie recommends bacon grease. Put the skillet and fat in the oven and let it get hot. Mix the cornmeal, egg and buttermilk in a bowl. Pour the batter into the hot grease and place back in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the top is thoroughly browned.

Core the apples and slice them into thin wedges, approximately ¼ inch wide. Heat your cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Cook the apples in the melted butter for 6 to 7 minutes or until fork tender. Add the sugar and spices and stir. Cook for another 4 to 5 minutes or until the sugar creates a thick syrup. Remove from heat and let cool.

large apples, any variety tablespoons butter cup brown sugar tsp cinnamon tsp nutmeg

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Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2014  15


A sculpture by James Butler at the site of Croix Ridge Farm in the Marne Valley in France was given by Rod Frazer in honor of his father, who was wounded in the 1918 battle there.

Read an expanded version of this story at alabamaliving.coop

A

former soldier has told a story of war from experience - his father’s and his. The son, a decorated officer who once served in Korea,  pursued an education. His father, countryboy  poor,  had only the glory of being among the heroes of often-forgotten World War I. Almost a centur y later,  the younger soldier  set out  to make things right.

A soldier’s story

By John Brightman Brock

16 NOVEMBER 2014

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Nimrod “Rod” Thompson Frazer PHOTO BY BACHRACH

For more than seven years, Nimrod “Rod” Thompson Frazer, a retired investment banker f rom Mont gome r y, researched and documented his book, Send The  Alabamians, published earlier this year  by the University of Alabama Press. He tells the journey of his father, Will Frazer, and 3,700 other Alabamians in the  167th U.S. Infantry Regiment of the famed 42nd “Rainbow Division.” “Our scholars and educators have for the most part ignored a very important part of Alabama history that was written with the blood of mostly poor 3,720 small town and rural Alabamians. Real combat soldiers, they fought with distinction in France in 1918,” Frazer says. “The last serious book about the regiment was written in 1919.  I set out to make a fully authentic account of the combat of the 167th Infantry Regiment in World War I.” But for Frazer, this is not just a historical account. “Will was dead when I wrote the book,” Frazer says. “As a common soldier, he probably knew little of what was going on, only that he was in all the fighting.” A handsome man at 20, proud and tall, Will wrote a fine hand, but admitted to only seven grades of schooling.  He joined the Alabama National Guard at age 19, in 1916, and served on the Mexican border before going to France as a corporal and squad leader. Will Frazer was wounded early in the battle to take the Aisne-Marne, Croix Rouge Farm, a fight that raged from July 24-26, 1918; 162 Alabama soldiers were killed in just one four-hour period. During the attack, Will Frazer crawled into a shell hole after being hit twice in the upper part of his right leg. “Will was in the Distinguished Service Cross awarded posthumously to Pvt. John B.F. Walters, Company F, 167th Infantry Regiment. Walters was killed in action near Ancerviller, France, in May 1918. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY)

hole with a French soldier and a dead German,” Frazer wrote. “Eventually, the French soldier motioned for Will to stick his head up to see the Germans’ location. Will motioned back for the French soldier to do so. He complied and was killed by a single bullet to his head.” Will’s regiment, in the war’s only handto-hand  fighting,  halted the death toll that  had claimed millions of lives. In the climactic battle of Croix Rouge Farm in France, the regiment incurred the most Alabama losses since Gettysburg. Their division, so-named after Douglas MacArthur said  it stretched like a rain-

An Alabama homecoming for the 167th U.S. Infantry Regiment.

bow across the United States, was one of the first American divisions committed to full combat after President Woodrow Wilson broke off relations. The division, always led on point by the 167th, “the Alabam,” would turn the tide of victory.  After the armistice was  signed, newspapers called them “the Immortals” upon their return to Alabama in May 1919. Their fame, it was thought, would be timeless. The book’s title is from a remark attributed to Gen. Edward H. Plummer who commanded the young soldiers during the early days of their service. Plummer reportedly said, “In time of war, send me all the Alabamians you can get.”

The author, 84, saw significant combat in Korea, earning the Silver Star and Presidential Unit Citation for gallantry in action and service. The father of five, two of whom “wore the uniform,” later successfully transformed The Enstar Group, became successful in business real estate and was inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame in 2008. Memories of his dad, his  youth and a forgotten world war still linger with Frazer.  For a time, Frazer walked the battlefields of France. Not a historian, he admits that researching and writing the book was “the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” “My mother was something of a hero worshiper, which is probably why she married him,” Frazer says about his father.  “They lived in Greenville until she left him shortly before my seventh birthday, in 1936.  My early years were spent in the Montgomery household of my maternal grandfather for whom I was named.  He regularly sent me to visit my father but I never again lived in my father’s household.  Our common bond was interest in the military and the 167th Infantry. “Not talkative about anything, his only glory came from serving in (nearly) every battle of the 167th. Our most meaningful conversations came when I was on the way to Korea and when I returned home,” he says. “By then I was going to Columbia, then Harvard.  Will was ashamed of his poor education and told me he had regretted it every day for 50 years.”  Will had tried operating a storefront laundry and dry cleaning business, and eventually lost it.  Every day, he had battled alcoholism, and he died at age 77 in Greenville. “But this war ... gave these boys glory,”  Frazer  said of his dad’s regiment. “It was glory. For some of these boys, it was the only glory they had ever known.” A

Learn more from the author at Archives exhibit The Museum of Alabama’s new temporary World War I exhibit, “Alabamians and the Great War,” opens in the museum’s new Alabama Treasures gallery on Nov. 9 at the Alabama Department of Archives and History, 624 Washington Ave., Montgomery. Author Nimrod T. “Rod” Frazer will talk at 2 p.m. about his new book, Send the Alabamians. The new gallery is filled with actual relics from the war years of

1914-1918, and is highlighted by graphic panels depicting life on the front lines. “It was a war that affected everyone, whether you had a relative in the war or you didn’t,” Archives and History Director Steve Murray says. “We have terrific things - from uniforms to the flags of some of these units. These are beautiful banners, bright colors and in some way are special in conveying visually the process of Alabamians re-entering the

union. We are talking about a period that is barely 50 years removed from the end of the Civil War.” The exhibit is presented in honor of Frazer by his colleagues at Enstar USA, Inc. With so many contributions, “We have some artifacts that we don’t have room to display,” Murray says, so a rotation plan is being devised. For more information, visit www.archives.alabama.gov, or call 334-353-3312. NOVEMBER 2014 17


SHRINE GIVES VETERANS THE RESPECT AND HONOR THEY DESERVE By Miriam Davis

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t’s sacred ground,” says Melanie Poole, of the American Medal of Honor winners George Watson and Red Irwin. Village. She’s talking about the earth enshrined under the The heart of the shrine is the Registry of Honor. Veterans who bronze figure of Liberty in front of the National Veterans register (or are registered by their families) have a short movie Shrine and Registry of Honor, earth taken from battlefields around made of their service that can be viewed at one of the eight comthe globe where Americans served and some “gave the last full puter kiosks. The video contains pertinent information about the measure of devotion.” vet’s service -- branch, rank, campaigns, battles, years of service – Located at the American Village near Montevallo, the National as well as any pictures or information in the vet’s own words that Veterans Shrine was dedicated Feb. 17, 2014. It honors those of are submitted. The video also contains background information every generation who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for liberty. about the conflicts the vet served in, and a Google map shows The shrine emphasizes veterans as individuwhere the vet was born and where he or she als. Inside, a 16-minute video features veterans served. The end result is a personalized record or family remembers recounting the story of of a veteran’s service. Anyone can sit down and the vet’s service. John O’Mally describes his 21st search for a particular vet by name or homebirthday spent in a hollow log hiding from the town. North Vietnamese. Chris Fraser, whose mother Visitors leaving the shrine pass by a large vehemently opposed her enlisting, talks about screen showing a ticker-tape parade and unher service in the Persian Gulf War as a nurse. der an archway with the words, “Our Heroes,” Mary Nell Winslow remembers her 17-yearabove it. Photographs nearby show scenes of old son Ryan, killed by a roadside bomb three homecoming; in one a girl holds up a sign weeks after arriving in Iraq. “Vets are people,” that says “Thank you.” This is because, Poole National Veterans Shrine at the says Poole. “Each one is someone’s child. And American Village in Montevallo is explains, so many vets were not properly welit’s not just the men and women in the military patterned after Carpenter’s Hall in comed home and this way, “all vets get the Philadelphia. who serve, but their families too.” honor they deserve.” PHOTOS BY MARK STEPHENSON Hundreds of pictures line the walls of the exAnd that is the purpose of the National hibit showing individuals who served, often far from home and at Veterans Shrine and Registry of Honor – to give all veterans the great risk: women pilots in World War II, soldiers waving from a honor and gratitude they are due. A World War I troopship, a marine in his dress uniform. For more information, visit www.americanvillage.org. The Shrine One panel pictures Admiral Jeremiah Denton returning from is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. almost eight years as a POW in North Vietnam. The text recounts his determination to die rather than reveal anything of value to his Miriam Davis is a research associate in history at Delta State captors. Other panels picture other notable Alabamians, such as University.

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Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2014  19


Stars fell on Alabama, 60 years later By Emmett Burnett

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nn Hodges was only invaded her home, it napping in her livinvaded her life. ing room when the “You have to remember, meteorite hit. With an estithis was 1954,” Hall conmated speed exceeding 200 tinued. “There was no text mph, the grapefruit-sized messaging or internet. News intergalactic rock punctured was slow. Back then most her roof, bounced off a rapeople’s knowledge of outer dio console, and hit the Sylspace was from science ficacauga woman in the thigh tion movies. Add to that we and hand. She recovered were in the middle of the from the injury but never Cold War with Russia and overcame the visitor from UFO sightings.” People asouter space. sumed the worst, and so did Sixty years have passed the United States Air Force. since Sylacauga’s collision Hours after the meteorcourse. On Nov. 30, 1954, ite hit, a military helicoparound lunchtime, townster landed at a nearby high people heard a massive exschool campus. Officers deplosion. Many thought it manded Hodges surrender was a nearby factory. Some her piece of the rock. She believed it was the Rusdid. sians. No one expected an It was transported to incoming meteor, until they Ohio’s Wright-Patterson looked up. Air Force Base for analysis. Former Alabama Natural After careful study, miliHistory Museum Assistant tary scientists concluded Director (retired) Dr. John it was a meteorite. MeanC. Hall was the curator of while, Hodges and husband the rock. He has lectured Hewlett realized the potenfrequently about Sylacauga’s Randy McCready, Director of the Alabama Museum of Natural History, tial to make money from close encounter. their new found fame. The Tuscaloosa, holds “The Hodges Meteorite.” He is standing by the radio “People actually wit- console the meteorite hit before striking Ann Hodges on Nov. 30, 1954. meteorite could be worth a nessed the space phenom- INSET: Newspaper clippings detailing the meteorite story. fortune. Hodges’ landlady, PHOTO BY EMMETT BURNETT enon in the middle of day, Birdie Guy, agreed, but felt broad daylight,” he recalled. “It was visible in Tuscaloosa, well the stone belonged to her. Everyone hired lawyers. over 100 miles away.” Guy claimed that since the object crashed through her properThe Birmingham News reported a heavenly fireball almost in ty she was the rightful owner. After many expensive legal battles, unison with the explosion, witnessed in three states. Scientists the court agreed. theorized it was a sonic boom created by a meteorite’s traveling But by then, interest waned and both parties had strained savfaster than the speed of sound: destination, Sylacauga. ings for legal fees. The landlady sold the meteorite back to Hodges Thirty-one-year-old Ann Hodges had a different perspective. in 1955 for $500. Sylacauga’s extraterrestrial, which one year ear“I thought my time had come,” she told the media. In a way, she lier caused a local panic, was seized by the military and received was right. worldwide press coverage, was now the Hodges’ home doorstop. An Indiana attorney representing Washington D.C.’s Smithso“Mrs. Hodges was a small town, country girl,” says Hall. “There was no one more unqualified to handle the media onslaught than nian Institution visited. He unsuccessfully attempted to negotishe was.” Life Magazine featured her as did National Geographic. ate a selling price for the meteorite with Hewlett Hodges. “But She was flown to New York City to appear on the nationally tele- Hewlett felt the Yankee attorney was trying to take advantage of vised game show, I’ve Got a Secret. The Hodges meteorite not him with a low price offer,” says Hall. “The two had words and 20 NOVEMBER 2014

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Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2014  21


the attorney left.” But not quite. The 7 by 5-inch oblong Julius K. McKinney, an other-worldly rock has an alAfrican-American sharecropmost eerie presence, resting by per, lived nearby. Shortly after the Hodges radio with its 1954 the Hodges meteorite crashed, damage marks clearly visible. McKinney was driving his mule “Ann thought it was cursed,” wagon down a dirt road when says McCready. Maybe it was. suddenly the animals stopped. In 1967 Ann and Hewlett Shaken, jittery, and nervous, Hodges divorced, due in part the mules refused to pass a to stress caused by the incismall black stone in the road. dent, publicity and litigation. Sculpted by Don Lawler, the “Falling Star” monument, standing in McKinney took the myste- front of the Sylacauga Municipal Complex, is the only known statue Both agreed they wished the rious rock to the only federal dedicated to a meteorite striking a human. rendezvous with space never employee he trusted, his mailPHOTO BY EMMETT BURNETT happened. She died in 1972 at man. The two concluded the age 49. Hewlett Hodges died acquisition must be related to the Hodges meteorite and might in 2011. be worth a lot of money. McKinney lawyered up. Ann Hodges is the only authenticated person ever struck by a After the rock was authenticated, he sold it for an undisclosed meteorite. Her Decatur physician, Dr. Moody Jacobs, is the only sum but enough to buy a new house, new car, and property. known medical responder to treat a meteorite injury. “McKinney was the only one to ever profit from the meteorite,” The Hodges home, featured in press coverage around the Hall says. And the McKinney meteorite remains in the Smithso- world because of something outside the world, has long been nian Institution to this day. demolished. Ironically, the home stood near the Comet Drive-In Estimated to be as old as recorded time, the Hodges meteorite Movie Theater. is still displayed at the Alabama Museum of Natural History in But a statue, ‘Falling Star,’ stands on the grounds of the SylTuscaloosa. “It is our wow factor,” said the museum’s director, acauga Municipal Complex. Sculpted from the area’s fine marble Randy McCready, about the mysterious black object that traveled by artist Don Lawler, it is the only known monument in the millions of miles before stopping in Alabama. “Even six decades world dedicated to a meteorite strike, the day stars fell on Alalater we receive inquiries from around the world.” bama. A Actual size, at 7 by 5 inches and weighing 7.5 pounds, the Hodges meteorite is estimated to be billions of years old. It once traveled faster than the speed of light. PHOTO BY EMMETT BURNETT

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Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2014  23


Old Barn restaurant has a new barnkeeper By Ben Norman

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The former barn is a popular eatery that draws customers to Goshen from all over the Southeast.

t was Amy Chandler’s idea to turn the old barn on her fam- worked many long days and gradually the old hay and mule barn ily’s farm into a famous eatery, and now she’s the new owner. evolved into a rustic restaurant, with their agricultural antique When Amy Chandler was a 10-year-old girl playing in collection adorning the walls of the dining area. the loft of the large barn on her parent’s farm, the furthest thing While the Old Barn’s rustic appearance, decorated walls and from her mind was operating a famous eatery out of the same the large front porch attract customers, it is the food that is the barn. Back then, she was much more interested in watching the real drawing point. “We have people from all over the Southeast nest where a mother owl hatched a trio of baby owls, or playing come and eat with us,” she says. “I think it was our diversified with a new litter of kittens the barn cat was raising. cooking abilities that led to our success. Daddy’s specialty is bar“That mother owl would let me get up close enough to peek becue and camp stew, Scottie’s is cooking meat loaf, chicken, into the nest, but if I got too close she would hiss and spread bread pudding and preparing a real country lunch for Sunday. her wings to warn me that was close enough,” Amy remembers. I get a lot of compliments on my Conecuh River Mudcake, ice “Later on, I read how ferocious a nestcream and peach cobbler. Our cook is ing owl can be, but somehow she just one of the very best at grilling steaks knew I meant her babies no harm.” and preparing seafood. We have also The idea of opening a restaurant cross-trained by learning how to make developed because of Amy and huseach other’s specialty.” band Scottie’s desire to get back home Her parents decided in November to Goshen, Ala. “We were working in 2013 that they wanted more free time south Alabama and wanted to get back to travel and turned the Old Barn over home. I approached my father and to Scottie and Amy. Amy says she loves mother, Johnny and Beverly Taylor, the business and their customers have about converting the farm barn into become their friends. Eating Sunday a restaurant,” she says. “Daddy was lunch at the Old Barn is about as close somewhat receptive but mom was a as one can get to eating at grandmama’s bit apprehensive. But after considerable house. The Chandlers are now growing thought and planning, we decided to most of the vegetables served at the Old do it. I had worked my way through Barn in their large garden. The days college as a waitress and had a good they are not open Amy spends most of understanding of what it would take to her time cultivating, picking vegetables run a restaurant. My dad and husband and hand shelling peas and butterbeans. were already accomplished cooks, and The Old Barn specializes in qualI had a knack for preparing desserts. ity steaks and succulent seafood from Mom was good at bookkeeping and Thursday through Saturday night, with administrative matters. It wasn’t long a country lunch served on Sunday. before we were nailing and sawing and Beverly and Johnny Taylor hand over the keys to After enjoying a meal, many customThe Old Barn Restaurant was begin- the Old Barn to their daughter, Amy Chandler. ers like to move to the spacious front PHOTOS BY BEN NORMAN porch, sit in the rocking chairs and enning to take shape. “We wanted a comfortable place for our customers but we joy a cup of homemade ice cream or a cup of coffee and chat also wanted to retain as much of the original décor of the barn with old friends and meet new ones. as possible. The supporting posts of the Old Barn show scars The Old Barn hours are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through of where mules chewed them in the early 1900s to obtain salt. Saturday. They are open for Sunday lunch at 11 a.m. The ChanDaddy likes to remind customers in one section that ‘you are dlers also book parties and do catering. The Old Barn is located sitting right where the sow, Big Mama, had their pigs.’ He also at 2146 Pike County Road 2243, Goshen, Ala., 36035. If you need liked to tell someone coming out of the bathroom you ‘just used help with directions, call 334-484-3200 or email oldbarnrestauwhat used to be the corn crib,’” laughs Amy. rant@gmail.com. A South Alabama Electric in Troy helped in the initial planning and made recommendations for their electrical needs. The family Ben Norman is a writer from Highland Home, Ala. 24 NOVEMBER 2014

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Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2014  25


Alabama Gardens

In right spot, kiwi and satsumas can work in your garden

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inter may be nearing, but that doesn’t mean you have to do without fresh in-season produce. After all, we have a great supply of Alabama-grown pecans, chestnuts, pumpkins, winter squash, apples and pears — enough to fill a cornucopia to its brim. And that’s not even counting the more exotic fruits of fall and winter such as Asian persimmons, loquats, kumquats, pomegranates, a variety of citrus fruits and kiwifruit. Some of these crops, such as pomegranates, may not be mainstays of the winter menu but have been grown in Alabama yards for generations. Others have a long history of production in parts of the state, such as the Gulf Coast region’s satsuma mandarin orange industry, but until recently were not grown widely. Still others are relatively new crops for the state but are becoming more and more popular for both home and commercial production. One thing all these crops have in common is that they have benefited from research conducted through the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, the agricultural research arm of our state land-grant universities. That research has helped find better ways to produce these and many other crops across the state. For example, AAES has demonstrated that both kiwifruit and satsumas do exceptionally well in central Alabama and even farther north in the state and are not just limited to southern parts of Alabama. The key to making this plethora of possibilities work in your garden is to choose varieties and cultivars that are adapted to your area, plant them in the most ideal spot in your yard for their specific needs,

Katie Jackson is a freelance writer and editor based in Opelika, Alabama. Contact her at katielamarjackson@ gmail.com.

26 NOVEMBER 2014

then give them all the attention they need. Some will need more attention than others, by the way, so make sure you’re up for the task before you invest in any new plant. Late fall and on through the winter is considered prime planting season for many fruit and ornamental trees, shrubs and vines in Alabama—a great way to work off some of those holiday calories. And now is a good time to do a little research of your own by exploring the dif-

ferent options you might want to plant for yourself. Check with your county Alabama Cooperative Extension System office, area plant nurseries or fellow local gardeners to see what they suggest.

Winter’s coming, time for mulching

Now is also the time for another big garden chore—mulching. Mulching provides lots of benefits yearround, such as controlling soil erosion, suppressing weeds and conserving water. But as an email from Gloria and Wayne Littles of Conecuh County reminded me, it is especially important in protecting tender plants in the winter. They were concerned about protecting their strawberries over the winter, which may be especially important this year: In case you haven’t heard, a harsh winter is predicted. While not all plants need to be mulched for the winter, an application of organic mulch in the fall can be useful for many fruiting and ornamental plants, especially new plantings that have not had time to put down a deep root system. Ap-

plying a mulch for the winter provides a blanket for the plants’ root systems, helping insulate soil from temperature fluctuations and can also prevent cold damage to above-ground plant parts. When it comes to other plants, the amount or type of mulch needed may vary, but typically an application of 2 to 5 inches of straw, pine needles, hay, compost, leaves, bark chips or other organic matter should be mulched evenly over or around the plants. Do keep the mulch material a couple of inches away from the trunks of trees and shrubs, though, so it doesn’t promote rot or allow small rodents that may seek cover in the mulch to gnaw on the trunk. Of course there is so much more to learn about mulching, planting and generally scheming for next year’s garden. But at least we have all winter to tuck in with our catalogues and garden books and maybe a bowl full of satsumas by the fire. And if you have questions, send them on. If I don’t know the answer I’ll sure try to find out! A

November Gardening Tips d Store unused pesticides in sealed d

d d d d d d d d

containers and place them in freezeprotected locations for the winter. Clean and flush gasoline out of lawn mowers and other garden equipment before storing them for the winter. Test your soil and begin adding needed amendments once the results are in. Turn the compost pile. Bring potted plants into the house or place in protected area before the first hard freeze. Plant leafy greens such as lettuce, arugula and spinach, as well as garlic and shallots. Plant spring-blooming bulbs. Plant beets, carrots, radishes and asparagus. Plant annual flowers such as sweet peas, poppies, snapdragons, larkspurs and delphiniums. Keep bird feeders cleaned and filled.

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Worth the Drive

Hidden restaurant unlike any in Alabama By Jennifer Kornegay

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’d wager that more than half of my Worth the Drive articles the name of your destination across its top. As soon as you pass in the last few years have profiled eateries that are true hole- under it, the path angles down sharply, and the truck descends a in-the-wall joints. But this time, I’m encouraging you to visit steep hill, heading down into thick trees. The road winds deeper a place that’s a true hole-in-the-rock. and deeper into the woods until it bottoms out in a flat. And And not just encouraging you to go, imploring you. The Rat- then you see it, a geological gem. Up on your right is a massive tlesnake Saloon in Tuscumbia is unlike any other restaurant in rock ledge jutting out of the hillside. Layers of stone eons old are the state, and its hidden location amid some of North Alabama’s exposed, and tangled vines slip over the edge and hang down most stunning scenery is a sight you must see. Opened in 2009, to form a green, growing curtain. If there’s been a recent rain, this one-of-a-kind spot draws folks by the thousands from all a waterfall ranging from thundering sheets to tinkling trickles over the globe. Once you’re there, it won’t be hard to figure out flows over the ledge as well. why. Oh, and you can rustle up some good grub there, too. It may take a minute for your eyes to adjust to the dim light Rattlesnake Saloon is a part of the Seven Springs Lodge on in the forest shade, but you’ll soon make out chairs and tables the outskirts of the set into the cavern city. The lodge is set that the overhang on 200,000 acres at creates. To one side, the bottom of the a small building is Appalachian Footset halfway into the hills and welcomes cave, complete with guests looking for swing doors and a place to kick off big hitching posts their boots and recarved into coiled lax, as well as those rattlesnake shapes. who are after some You’ve arrived at the outdoor adventure. Rattlesnake Saloon, Trails for horseback a Western-style riding, mountain watering hole and biking and hiking a restaurant that cut through the takes full advantage property and lead of Mother Nature’s to several historical raw beauty and inmarkers designat- The Rattlesnake Saloon in Tuscumbia invites you to dine in the side of a mountain. vites you to do the PHOTOS BY JENNIFER KORNEGAY ing ancient Native same. American sites. Accommodations at the lodge include cabins and No matter the weather outside, the air is always cool and calm rooms built into two concrete grain silos in addition to hookups under the sprawling stone ceiling. There are tables inside the for campers and RVs. There are also covered stalls to shelter building and on an adjacent deck, but unless it’s too crowded, visiting horses. you’ll want to grab a seat in the cave. A friendly waitress will Your journey to Rattlesnake Saloon begins in the lodge’s dirt bring you a menu featuring classic American bar food with parking lot. Once you hop out of your car, hail the always-near catchy saloon-themed names. Choose from Skunk Rings (onion Rattlesnake Taxi, an old pickup truck with wooden benches built rings), Snake Eyes and Tails (fried jalapenos and green beans) into its bed. A kindly gentleman will help you up to your seat in and Cowboy Buttons (fried mushrooms) to start. But don’t fill the back and instruct you to hold on. Do as you are told. up on these tasty vittles, or you’ll be unable to truly appreciate The taxi drives along a dirt road toward a metal arch with The Duke, an enormous and delicious half-pound burger topped with bacon, Snake Eyes and onion on a Tuscumbia Saddle Up soft Kaiser roll. Finish The Rattlesnake Saloon Jennifer Kornegay travels to an out-of-the way with some Apple FritOpen February through restaurant destination in Alabama every month. November, Thursday – Saturday, ters, and then just sit She may be reached for comment at j_kornegay@ from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. charter.net. Check out more of Jennifer’s food a spell and take in the www.rattlesnakesaloon.net writing, recipes and recommendations on her blog, 1292 Mt Mills Rd., Tuscumbia, AL view. A Chew on This at www.jenniferkornegay.com. 256.370.7220

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Around Alabama “Fruitcakes” play is nutty fun Red Bay • November 13-16 Mix together a bath of fruitcakes, three dozen Christmas trees, 10,000 outdoor Christmas lights, a chicken pox epidemic, two Southern spinsters, an estranged old man, a lost cat named Tutti Frutti and a Christmas hog named Buster and you’ve got the recipe for a fun-filled and touching evening of holiday cheer. Into this world comes Jamie, a kid who has run away from home and come as far as his money will take him. At first he thinks this town’s inhabitants are “nuttier than fruitcakes,” but soon he comes to admire, appreciate and adore this nutty little town. A moving story of alienation, understanding and reconciliation, “Fruitcakes” provides audiences with a heaping helping of holiday warmth and Christmas cheer. Performances of “Fruitcakes” by Julian Wiles will be held at Community Spirit Bank’s Weatherford Centre. Tickets are $8 each and will be available for purchase one week prior to production. For information visit Bay Tree Council’s Facebook page. NOVEMBER 1 • Talladega, Indoor Yard Sale.

Meadowlake Farm, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. A variety of items will be for sale, including books, adult and children’s clothing, Christmas decorations, kitchenwares, tools, pet items and more. All proceeds benefit the Animal Shelter of Pell City. Information: www.aspci.org. 1 • Stockton, 2nd Annual Sawmill Days at Bicentennial Park, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Draft animals pulling logs, professional lumberjacks and living history demonstrations, juried folk art, live music, buck dancing contest and plenty of food. $10 per person early bird, $15 at the gate. $5 children ages 6-12 and free under 6 years old. Proceeds benefit Stockton Heritage Museum. www.stocktonsawmilldays.org. 1 & 2 • Dauphin Island, Seafood, Science & Celebrity 2014: Sustaining Heritage Gala and Sunday Supper. The Gala will be held at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Estuarium, 4-8 p.m., on Saturday. The inaugural Sunday Supper Gulf Coast will take place inside Historic Fort Gaines’ open-air kitchen with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from 12-2 p.m., and a seated dinner from 2-4 p.m. Information: www. seafoodsciencecelebrity.com.

6-8 • Beatrice, Pioneer Days Cane Syrup Making at Rikard’s Mill Historical Park. Open for student groups Thursday and Friday; open to the general public on Saturday, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. each day. Students have hands-on learning with clothes washing, yarn making, cornmeal and sugar grinding for the cane syrup making process. Admission: $5 students (teachers/chaperones free Thursday and Friday only). 7 & 8 • Andalusia, Visions of Thread and Fabric Quilt Show. Hosted by Covington County Quilters’ Guild at Kiwanis Building, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $5. Contact Paulette at 334-222-3373 or email ccquiltguild@gmail.com. 7-9 • Gulf Shores, 7th Annual Oyster Cook-Off at The Hangout. Festivities begin Friday at 6 p.m. with the debut of the Craft Beer Kickoff Party, followed by the cook-off on Saturday and closing out with Sunday Brunch and Bloody Marys. For more information please visit www.HangoutCookoff.com. 8 • Collinsville, 102nd Annual Turkey Trot Festival. Downtown Collinsville, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Arts and craft vendors, food, live bands, kidfriendly petting zoo and the turkey toss. Rubber turkeys with tickets attached are tossed from the town library; tickets can then be exchanged for a frozen turkey at the local Piggly Wiggly. Contact Jane Simpson, 256-996-8807 or visit the Collinsville

Historical Associations Facebook page for additional information. 8 • Orrville, West Dallas Antique Tractor, Car, Gas Engine & Craft Show. Sponsored by Orrville VFD. Arts, crafts, food, music, cake walk, bake sale and more. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Car show registration closes at 10 a.m. Information: Karen Grimes, 334-9968970 or email orrvillefire@yahoo.com. 13 • Enterprise, Jay and The Americans. Enterprise High School Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Hit songs include “Tonight,” “She Cried,” “Only in America” and “This Magic Moment.” For information, call 334-406-2787 or visit www. CoffeeCountyArtsAlliance.com. 18 • Troy, Harlem String Quartet to perform at the Claudia Crosby Theatre. The Grammy-winning quartet is currently the resident ensemble in the New England Conservatory of Music’s Professional String Quartet Program. Its mission is to advance diversity in classical music by highlighting works of minority composers. Ticket: $20 general admission, $5 for students (online or at the door). Call 334-4843542 or visit www.troyartscouncil.com. 21 & 22 • Cullman, Vinemont Band Booster Craft Show at McGukin Civic Center. This annual event has many unique craft items from over 40 vendors. Friday hours are 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free and concessions are available. 21-23 • Mobile, 2014 Port City Craftsmen Show. Abba Shrine Temple,

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

9 a.m.-5 p.m. Celebrating 43 years of the finest arts and crafts with 100 local and regional artists and crafters. The perfect kickoff to holiday shopping. Email: portcitycraftsmen@ yahoo.com for more information. 23 • Valley, Smithsonian Institute Museum on Main Street: The Way We Work. H. Grady Bradshaw Library. Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.- 7 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Closed on Sunday. Off I-85 on exit 79. Free admission. 28 • Arab, Santa in the Park at Arab Historic Village in Arab City Park. Santa will be at the Village four consecutive weekends on Friday and Saturday evenings from 6-9 p.m. along with trees, lights, music, food and crafts. $5 per person over 2 years of age, but no more than $20 per immediate family. Call 256-586-6397, 256-550-0290 or email topofthehill@ otelco.net for information.

Jay and the Americans will perform at Enterprise High School Nov. 13.

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NOVEMBER 2014 29


Pages from the past

Down memory lane with

How many of you remember what you read in Alabama Living 40 years ago? What about 30, 20, or even just 10 years ago? Here’s a look back at what we were featuring on the covers this month, back in the day.

November 1974 War machines now help save lives

November 1994 Harvest ‘94

November 1984

November 2004 Ivan the Terrible

Gov. George Wallace has lent his support to the Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic Program (MAST) after he received immediate medical attention from them in the moments following a recent attempt on his life in Maryland. The MAST program uses military helicopters and paramedical personnel to help to meet civilians’ needs during medical emergencies. The program is based out of Fort Rucker and Fort Benning, Ga., and serves 32 counties.

Learn how to use your new microwave oven The Pike County Extension Service is offering a new microwave oven home study course in November for consumers who feel the microwave oven is “a whole new experience until certain techniques are mastered.” The course is designed to teach new microwave oven owners about the benefits of owning a microwave, and how to successfully prepare a variety of meals. This six-lesson course allows participants to work on the lessons in the convenience of their own homes.

30 NOVEMBER 2014

Despite devastating flooding in the Wiregrass, only 7,000 acres of peanuts were lost and the rest of the 230,000-acre crop should show fair to good yields, experts say. Other major row crops -- cotton, corn and soybeans -- will fare better this year than they did last, despite the flood damage inflicted by Tropical Storm Alberto, according to Tim Placke, deputy state statistician with the Alabama Agricultural Statistics Service.

Sept. 16, 2004 was a trying day for most Alabamians as Hurricane Ivan wreaked havoc in the state. The eye of the hurricane first landed in Gulf Shores around 1:45 a.m., bringing ashore a storm compared to the size of Texas with wind speeds of 130 mph. By the end of the day, around 320,000 Alabama co-op members were out of power. Thousands of poles and hundreds of miles of power lines lay in ruins. Thankfully, the next morning brought workers from sister co-ops from 14 different states to help restore power, and power had been completely restored within two weeks.

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Alabama Living Alabama Living

Alabama Living NOVEMBER 2014 31


Send your questions to: James Dulley

Alabama Living 6906 Royalgreen Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45244

Consumer Wise

You can also reach Dulley online at: www.dulley.com

Using fireplaces efficiently

Q: A:

We like to use our brick open wood-burning fireplace, but it makes the rest of the house cold. Our heating bills are high enough, so what simple things can we do to make the fireplace more efficient?

During the winter, a warm fire can be quite comfortable. Radiant heat from the flames and coals keeps you warm when you are sitting directly in front of an open fireplace. But unfortunately, most fireplaces lose more heat than they produce. That warm, relaxing open fire is actually costing you a lot of money – in several ways. First, for some, firewood must be purchased, which is not cheap. Second, the radiant heat feels nice in front of the fire, but already-heated air is being sucked up the chimney from the rest of your house. This makes your heat pump or furnace run longer. Third, if there is no damper on the fireplace or the fireplace is not fitted with its own outdoor air source, indoor air is escaping up the chimney when the fireplace is not in use. The best tip is to avoid using the fireplace in extremely cold weather. All of the indoor air lost up the chimney is being drawn outdoors through leaks in the house exterior. During milder weather, the air leaking indoors is not as cold so less energy is needed to warm up this cold air. It also helps to crack open a window at little in the room by the fireplace and close doors leading to the room. Much of the excess air being drawn up the chimney will be cold outdoor air from the open window. When sitting right in front of the hot fire, you probably will not notice the chilly breeze. Do not place wood into the fire several hours before bedtime so the fire is totally out by the time you go to sleep. It is not safe to leave a smoldering fire. Also, if the fire is completely out, you can close the chimney damper to block room air loss without filling the room with smoke.

High-quality doors are worth the expense

If you make just one investment to improve the efficiency of your fireplace, it should be to install high-quality glass doors.

James Dulley

is a nationally syndicated engineering consultant based in Cincinnati.

32 NOVEMBER 2014

These doors control the amount of indoor air that escapes up the chimney when a fire is burning and also when one is not. High-quality fireplace doors are not cheap, but they are worth the expense. The best doors are relatively airtight when closed. By adjusting combustion air vents in the bottom of the glass door frame, you can still have a raging fire without major indoor air loss. Keep in mind, the fire does need an adequate supply of combustion air for an efficient, clean burn. If the air flow is reduced too much, creosote buildup occurs, leaving the potential for a chimney fire. I recommend having the chimney inspected and regularly using several squirts of a creosote control spray during each fire. Burn only well-seasoned wood or no more than one unseasoned log to three seasoned ones. If you try to burn more unseasoned wood, it requires more combustion air to keep it burning well, which draws even more air out of your home. There are several designs of heatcirculating grates that increase the heat output from a fireplace. Many efficient grates are designed to fit snugly under the bottom edge of the fireplace doors and contain an electric blower that circulates indoor air through the grate, keeping the air warm. Stoll Fireplaces makes a unique heat exchanger, which mounts at the top of the fireplace opening, creating a tremendous amount of heat output. These models work with gas or wood-burning fireplaces. A circulating heat exchanger with built-in glass doors is also available for a more airtight combination. Also, an optional upper oven section is available for cooking and baking, which can help reduce energy use. When your fireplace is not in use, insert an inflatable chimney pillow or balloon in the fireplace flue. This seals much better than the chimney damper. Once the pillow is inflated, it should stay in place. Some models include a pole to keep it steady. Chimney top dampers, which operate from indoors with a chain, also help reduce air leakage and keep critters and debris out of the chimney. It’s a good idea to hang a sign or ribbon in the fireplace to indicate that the damper is shut or a pillow is installed. This will hopefully stop someone from building a fire when the chimney is closed. For additional tips and information about fireplace efficiency, check out TogetherWeSave.com’s Home Efficiency Analysis Tool (http://homeefficiency.togetherwesave.com). The following companies offer fireplace efficiency products: Battic Door, 508-320-9082, www.batticdoor.com; Diamond W Products, 248-652-8833, www.diamond-w.com; Northline Express, 866-667-8454, www.northlineexpress.com; SaverSystems, 800-860-6327, www.homesafetyproducts.biz; and Stoll Fireplace Inc., 800-421-0771, www.stollfireplaceinc.com. A www.alabamaliving.coop


Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2014  33


Alabama Recipes

Thanksgiving

Cook of the month: Maureen Nichols, Clarke-Washington EMC Butternut Squash Pie To cook fresh squash, slice the butternut squash into halves and remove seeds and strings. Place cut-side down on an oil-sprayed baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees until flesh is tender and can be scooped out (about an hour).  Scrape the pulp from the shell and mash it.

1½ cups cooked butternut squash ½ cup light brown sugar ½ cup white sugar or can use Splenda ¾ teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon nutmeg or allspice

¼ 1 2 ½ 1

Dash of ground ginger teaspoon salt tablespoon flour eggs, beaten cup milk teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a medium large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and mix well.  Pour into a prepared 9-inch piecrust.  Bake for 15 minutes

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Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: January February March

Soups November 15 Homemade bread December 15 Peanut butter January 15

Submit

online at alabamaliving.coop email to recipes@alabamaliving.coop mail to: Recipes, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124

Thanksgiving is a day for families to get together, talk about food, memories, argue about what REALLY happened at the family reunion last year, watch football, laugh and make room for more memories. When thinking about your menu for the big day, think about foods your family loves to eat during the year. I know some folks who Mary Tyler Spivey is a graduate of just don’t love to have turkey, Huntingdon College so they grill steaks. Just rewhere she studied history and French but member if a dish doesn’t turn she also has a passion out the way you hoped, it’s for great food. not really about the food; it’s Contact her about the time we spend with at recipes@ one another. alabamaliving.coop.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes 2½ pounds potatoes (peeled and boiled) 8 ounces cream cheese (softened) 8 ounces sour cream ½-1 stick butter (melted)

at 425 degrees, then lower the temperature to 350 and continue baking (about 45 minutes) until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Shield the crust perimeter with foil, if necessary, during the last 30 minutes, to prevent over-browning. 

1/3-½ cup milk 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (grated) Pam non-stick cooking spray

Apricot Salad 6 2/3 2/3 1

ounces of apricot Jell-O cup water cup sugar 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 small jars of apricot baby food 1 can of condensed milk, chilled 1½ cups pecans chopped

Boil potatoes until well done. Place in bowl and begin mixing potatoes with mixer. Add cream cheese and blend well. Then add sour cream, amount of butter to your taste (at least ½ stick), and milk. Mix well. Place mixture in casserole dish that has been lightly sprayed with Pam and add grated cheese on top. Bake for approximately 15 – 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Bring Jell-O, water and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and add cream cheese, baby food and pineapple. You will have to smash the cream cheese with a spoon until it is blended. Set aside to cool. Add condensed milk by folding into the mixture. Pour into a large casserole dish. Sprinkle pecans on top. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Mildred Nordman, North Alabama EC

Faye Stone, Baldwin EMC

34 NOVEMBER 2014

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Pecan Pie 1 1 1/3 1/3

Cranberry Salad

cup white corn syrup cup light brown sugar teaspoon salt cup melted butter or margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla 3 eggs, slightly beaten 1 cup heaping chopped pecans 2 deep dish pie shells

Combine syrup, sugar, salt, butter or margarine, vanilla and mix well. Add eggs. Pour into pie shells. Sprinkle chopped pecans over all. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. This is a family recipe that has been passed down for over 20 years. It is a family favorite and always requested at the annual family Thanksgiving get-together. Memory Bush, South Alabama Electric Cooperative

Rainbow Jell-O® Salad 1 package (3 ounces) each of orange, lime and lemon Jell-O® 1 envelope plain gelatin 8 ounces cream cheese ½ cup mayonnaise

1 can (15.2 ounces) crushed pineapple in its own juice 2 cans (15 ounces) apricot halves

Moisten finger with oil and barely grease loaf pan (or 9.5 cup size rectangular plastic container). Add ½ envelope of plain gelatin to orange Jell-O. Prepare according to package directions using only 1 and ½ cups boiling water instead of 2 cups total. Drain apricots, mash with a fork, stir into orange Jell-O, pour into loaf pan or plastic container and chill until firm. Prepare lemon Jell-O according to package directions using only 1 and ½ cups boiling water. Stir mayonnaise into softened cream cheese then add Jell-O to mixture. Pour this over firm layer of orange salad and chill until firm. Add remaining ½ envelope of plain gelatin to lime Jell-O. Prepare according to package directions using 1 and ½ cups boiling water. Add crushed pineapple, pour over lemon layer and chill until firm. To serve, use a knife to go around sides of loaf pan, unmold onto serving platter. Garnish if desired. If serving from plastic, simply cut Jell-O into blocks. Orange layer up is pretty for Thanksgiving. Consider color of layer as you prepare. Today’s loaf pans hold less which may require filling no more than 1/3 with each layer. Dip a few spoonsful into small plastic container. (Free sample for the cook.) Rena Henderson, Tallapoosa River Electric Cooperative Alabama Living

2 3-ounce packages raspberry Jell-O® 2 cups boiling water Topping: 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 1 cup sour cream

1 16-ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple ½ cup sugar ½ cup chopped pecans 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Empty contents of Jell-O packets in to a large mixing bowl; add boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add cranberry sauce and continue stirring until sauce is no longer jelled.  Add crushed pineapple along with its juice.  In a clear cutglass bowl place half of the cranberry mixture.  Be careful not to get the mixture up the sides of the bowl. (I take a cup and dip it into the bowl to keep the sides clean.)  Refrigerate until cranberry mixture is firm. Topping: Beat ingredients together until smooth.  Keep at room temperature, so it will spread easily. When first layer of cranberry mixture is jelled, spread half of topping mixture over it. Carefully pour in the remaining cranberry mixture and refrigerate until firm.  Then spread on remaining topping mixture.  Sprinkle on a few more chopped nuts as a garnish. Note:  This is such a festive dish with the deep red and white layers showing through the sides of a clear glass bowl.  It is a tradition for our family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.   Martha Joy Troyer, Southern Pine EC

Mother’s Dressing 4 cups of crumbled day old cornbread 2 cups dry breadcrumbs 3½ cups chicken broth 3 eggs 1 cup milk

2 ½ 1 ¾

teaspoons salt teaspoon pepper cup chopped celery cups chopped onion Pinch of sage – no more than a pinch

Mix cornbread with breadcrumbs. Add chicken broth. Beat eggs lightly in bowl then beat into milk. Add milk, salt, pepper to cornbread mixture. Add sage, celery and onion. Mix and pour into well-greased pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Frances D. Borders, Tallapoosa River EC

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.


Alabama Outdoors

Helping veterans heal through hunting, fishing By John N. Felsher

C

apt. Lee Stuckey, a decorated combat Marine from Shorter, Ala., started America’s Heroes Enjoying Recreation Outdoors, or A HERO, to connect veterans with patriotic members of local communities who help organize hunting, fishing or other activities. The supporters do this as a reward for the courageous service demonstrated by these warriors and to allow them to heal from the emotional wounds of combat. “The primary purpose of these activities is to boost the morale, encourage constructive communication and engagement and develop an informal support network of war veterans across the country in an effort to heal the physical and psychological wounds of war,” explains Stuckey, who earned a Purple Heart for combat wounds he suffered in Iraq in 2007. “A HERO was organized and is operated by Iraq and Afghanistan Marine Corps and Army veterans who understand the challenges war veterans face today in re-engaging the civilian world.” Stuckey survived three combat deployments. During one of them, an improvised explosive device destroyed his vehicle, severely injuring him. Dealing with the emotional trauma as well as his physical injuries, Stuckey put a gun to his head after returning home. With Lee’s finger already starting to squeeze the trigger, his mother called his cell phone. As the phone rang, the captain dropped the pistol and realized he needed help fast. If he, a tough Marine officer who led warriors in combat, needed help, thousands of others probably suffered the same stress and needed help as well. Stuckey visited several military hospitals to talk to fellow vets and asked them how he could help them overcome their physical and emotional injuries. One Marine who lost both legs and all of his fingers, except his trigger finger, said he would love to go deer hunting again. Another vet confined to a wheelchair said he wanted to go fishing. The proverbial light bulb ignited inside Stuckey’s head and he founded A HERO to find people who could take vets hunting

Continued on Page 40 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

36 NOVEMBER 2014

Cpl. Justin Masellas, USMC, shows a big catch he made on a fishing expedition with A HERO friends. www.alabamaliving.coop


CALL FOR ENTRIES

8

Alabama Rural Electric Association’s

th

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.)

Alabama Living

Mail to: AREA 340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, AL 36117 or Phone: 334-215-2732 Fax: 334-215-2733 E-mail: lpartin@areapower.com NOVEMBER 2014 37


How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace

Market Place

Closing Deadlines (in our office:

January 2015 – November 25 February 2015 – December 25 March 2015 – January 25

Ads are $1.75 per word with a 10 word minimum and are on a prepaid basis; Telephone numbers, email addresses and websites are considered 1 word each. Ads will not be taken over the phone. You may email your ad to hdutton@areapower.com; or call (800)410-2737 ask for Heather for pricing.; We accept checks, money orders and all major credit cards. Mail ad submission along with a check or money order made payable to ALABAMA LIVING, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124 – Attn: Classifieds.

Miscellaneous METAL ROOFING $1.79/LINFT – FACTORY DIRECT! 1ST QUALITY, 40yr Warranty, Energy Star rated. (price subject to change) - (706) 226-2739 WALL BEDS OF ALABAMA / SOLID WOOD & LOG FURNITURE / HANDCRAFTED AMISH CASKETS $1,599 / ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct (256)490-4025, www.andyswallbeds. com, www.alabamamattressoutlet. com AERMOTOR WATER PUMPING WINDMILLS – windmill parts – decorative windmills – custom built windmill towers - call Windpower (256)638-4399 or (256)638-2352 KEEP POND WATER CLEAN AND FISH HEALTHY with our aeration systems and pond supplies. Windmill Electric and Fountain Aerators. Windpower (256)638-4399, (256)899-3850 FIND OUT HOW TO SAVE 20% ON GIFT BASKETS, Flowers, Cookies Bouquets and More EVERYDAY! Text or Phone (251)454-5519 or Email  gratfish@gulftel.com FREE BOOKS / DVDS – SOON government will enforce the “Mark” of the beast as church and state unite! Let Bible reveal. The Bible Says, POB 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771 – thebiblesaystruth@yahoo.com, (888)211-1715 USED PORTABLE SAWMILLS – BUY / Sell. Call Sawmill Exchange (800)4592148 or 713-sawmill. USA & Canada – www.sawmillexchange.com FINANCIAL HELP LINES FOR AL FAMILIES BANKRUPTCY ADVICE FOR FREE (877)933-1139 MORTGAGE RELIEF HELP LINE (888) 216-4173 STUDENT LOAN RELIEF LINE (888)694-8235 DEBT RELIEF NON-PROFIT LINE (888) 779-4272 Numbers provided by www.careconnectusa.org A Public Benefit Organization LUMBER FOR SALE: CIRCULAR SAW Red & White Oak, Hickory, Ash - $1.20 BFT; Heart Pine - $5.00 BFT – 5” Treated Round: One Side Flat Fence Post 8 FT Long $9.50 each - Loring White (334)782-3636 (Tallapoosa) DIVORCE MADE EASY – UNCONTESTED, LOST, IN PRISON OR Aliens. $149.95 - 26 years experience – (417)443-6511

38  NOVEMBER 2014

18X21 CARPORT $695 INSTALLED – OTHER SIZES AVAILABLE - (706) 226-2739

Business Opportunities PIANO TUNING PAYS – LEARN WITH American Tuning School home-study course – (800)497-9793

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HELEN GA CABIN FOR RENT – SLEEPS 2-6, 2.5 BATHS, FIREPLACE, Jacuzzi, washer/dryer – (251)9482918, www.homeaway.com/101769, email jmccracken@gulftel.com GULF SHORES GULF FRONT - 1 BR 1 BA, hall bunks, king bed. Fall rate $804.25/week. vrbo listing #435534. amariewisener@gmail.com, (256) 352-5721 CABIN IN MENTONE – 2/2, BROW view, hottub – For rent $100 / Night or Sale $199,000 – (706)767-0177 GULF SHORES PLANTATION CONDOS – Beachview sleeps 6, Beachfront sleeps 4 – (251)223-9248 BEAUTIFUL PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – Sleeps 6 comfortably, many amenities onsite – Joy (256)878-0211 PIGEON FORGE 4 BEDROOM HOUSE – VRBO RENTAL 556992 – (256)7178694, (256)717-9112

GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – aubie12@centurytel. net, (256)599-5552

FT. WALTON BEACH HOUSE – 3BR / 2BA – Best buy at the Beach – (205)566-0892, mailady96@yahoo. com

PIGEON FORGE, TN: 2BR/2BA, HOT tub, air hockey, fireplace, swimming pool, creek – (251)363-1973, www. mylittlebitofheaven.com

GULF SHORES CONDO – 2BR / 1.5BA, sleeps 6, pool / beach access – (334)790-9545

GATLINBURG TOWNHOUSE ON BASKINS CREEK! GREAT RATES! 4BR/3BA, short walk downtown attractions! (205)333-9585, hhideaway401@aol.com PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – OWNER RENTAL – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)790-0000, jamesrny0703@comcast.net, www. theroneycondo.com GATLINBURG, TN – FOND MEMORIES start here in our chalet – Great vacation area for all seasons – Two queen beds, full kitchen, 1 bath, Jacuzzi, deck with grill – 3 Night Special - Call (866)316-3255, Look for us on FACEBOOK / billshideaway GULF SHORES, WEST BEACH CONDO – 2BR, King Beds, 1.5BA, sleeps 6 – Weekends, Weekly, Winter Monthly Rental Rate Available – Call (225)9255529, (225)405-5473

MENTONE, AL – LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN – billiard table, Jacuzzi, spacious home, sleeps 14 – www. duskdowningheights.com, (850)7665042, (850)661-0678.   GULF SHORES RENTAL– GREAT Rates! (256)490-4025, (256)523-5154 or www.gulfshoresrentals.us TOURIST CABINS FOR RENT BY OWNER - (865) 712-7633. Year Round Specials

Camping / Hunting / Fishing ANDALUSIA AREA RV CAMPGROUND FOR HUNTERS / FISHERMAN, on Point ‘A’ Lake Nightly, weekly & monthly rates Reservations (334)388-0342, www. shacrvpark.com

Real Estate Sales

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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

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Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2014  39


Continued from Page 36 and fishing as a healing remedy. “These trips are not focused on the hunting as much as on creating a network of like-minded individuals who are dealing with similar issues,” Stuckey advised. “A HERO gives the vets the ability to meet new people that they can call on when they are dealing with stress. They know the phone will be answered and someone will be there to listen and never judge.” Many veterans arrive at A HERO events still healing from their physical wounds after recently returning from overseas. Some sit in wheelchairs or walk on new prosthetic devices they just began to learn how to use. All carry physiological wounds. Some once proud, confident and strong young men arrive depressed and withdrawn, wondering what will become of them. After talking with their fellow veterans, they learn to smile and laugh again.

Band of Brothers

On a recent outing, one small band of brothers, all Purple Heart veterans of the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan or both, came to a quiet 1,500-acre tract of private forest east of Montgomery to hunt and to heal. They enjoyed the quiet fellowship of telling stories and jokes around a blazing campfire with the only people who truly understand what they experienced – other veterans. “Just being here with other vets and helping each other out is very enjoyable,” remarked Daniel Meisenholder, an Army National Guard sergeant from Hamilton, Miss., who suffered injuries in 2012 when an Afghan child set off an improvised explosive device under his vehicle two months before his tour ended. “It’s a lot easier talking to someone who was deployed and who shared the same experiences than someone who has no idea what we’re talking about.” Some of the men stayed up all night around the fire, not wanting to miss a minute of the fellowship. Others stayed awake as long as possible talking with their friends rather than risk returning to some hellish moment in their lives that still haunts their dreams. In the morning, most scattered throughout the surrounding fields, pine forests and hardwood bottoms to hunt deer. Others preferred to relax peacefully around the cabin on a cold, rainy dawn. What they did didn’t matter. Safe, well fed and surrounded by people who care, they could 40  NOVEMBER 2014

do whatever they wanted and take time to heal in their own ways. “We’ve been working with Lee for about five years,” said Thomas Crews of Montgomery, who hosted the group of vets on his family’s property and allowed them to stay in his hunting camp. “We’ve hosted several hunts and a couple fishing trips for the A HERO program. We just appreciate

A HERO takes a deer.

what these veterans do for us. I get out of it just as much as they do. It’s really rewarding to spend the weekend with these guys. If they want to go hunting, that’s fine. If they just want to watch movies in the camp, that’s fine too. We just want them to have a good time after what they went through. They’ve earned it.” A few older vets from previous wars also arrived to help the healing process. They all swapped stories of their experiences from their times in uniform, whether weeks or decades ago. Most told funny stories about people they remembered or the idiotic and illogical things all of those who served must do on occasion as ordered by Uncle Sam. “I was in the original invasion of Iraq in 2003 as we advanced up the Tigress River,” recalled Ty Banks of Macon, Miss., who fought with a Marine Corps reserve unit from Montgomery. “Lee invited me to help with the first hunt and I saw how it helped the guys and how much they enjoyed it. Ever since then, I try to help in any way I can.” Most didn’t really talk about combat. They didn’t need to. Those who endured it and survived already knew. Those who never experienced combat could not possibly understand anyway. Whether serving in a steaming Vietnam jungle, a frozen valley in Korea, a waterless Iraqi desert or atop a remote Afghan mountain, the scenery changes and the technology changes, but the experience remains the same. “I have thoroughly enjoyed this,”

Meisenholder said. “I’ve been an outdoorsman all my life. I love hunting and fishing. I really appreciate the opportunity that I’ve had to hunt here. At home, I still can’t hunt. This helps a lot with the healing process. I’m also helping a Marine friend who went into Iraq with some of the first units. He’s my best friend. We grew up together. It’s all about being there with each other and helping each other out. The best thing I take out of this experience is knowing that people care and are willing to help us out.” After fighting and almost dying in the Korean War during the early 1950s, Purple Heart recipient Howard William Osterkamp once said, “All gave some. Some gave all.” Decades later, that succinct and poignant statement still sums up the experiences of veterans from all wars. On this Veterans Day and throughout the year, remember and honor those who gave so much so the rest of us can enjoy our freedom. For more information or to help with America’s Heroes Enjoying Recreation Outdoors, call 850-449-4023 or see A HEROusa.com, or visit the group on Facebook at A Hero. A

Mobile AeroFest to support AHERO Foundation AeroFest 2015, set for March 2021, 2015, will celebrate our nation’s heroes in a festival of music, art, food, and athletic events at the Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile. Sponsored by the Mobile Airport Authority and Titan FC, professional athletes will work alongside wounded veterans in efforts to reduce bullying in local schools throughout Mobile County and bring awareness and financial support to the AHERO Foundation. The event will be featured on the CBS Sports Network during the Titan FC Mixed Martial Arts Championship Title Fight during the festival. For information, visit www.ForAllTheRightReasons.com or contact Dave Glassman at dave@ digipromedia.com.

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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

NOV. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 DEC. 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

02:31 07:46 03:31 08:31 09:16 04:16 10:01 05:01 10:4605;31 11:16 06:16 -06:46 07:31 12:16 08:16 01:01 09:16 01:31 10:01 02:16 11:01 03:16 -04:16 -05:31 01:16 06:46 08:01 03:01 09:16 04:01 10:01 05:01 10:46 05:46 11:31 06:16 -07:01 07:31 12:16 08:16 12:46 08:46 01:31 09:16 02:01 10:01 02:31 10:46 03:16 11:16 03:46 -04:46 01:46 06:01 07:31 03:16 08:31 04:16 09:31 05:01 10:16 05:31 11:01 06:16 11:46 06:46 07:31 12:16 08:01 12:46 08:46 01:31 09:31 02:16 10:16 03:01 10:46 03:46 04:31 11:46 01:31 05:46 07:31 03:31 09:01 04:31

Alabama Living

02:16 02:46 03:01 03:31 04:01 04:31 12:01 12:31 01:16 02:16 03:16 04:46 06:31 07:46 01:31 02:16 02:46 03:31 04:01 04:31 12:01 12:31 01:16 02:01 02:46 03:46 09:01 11:16 07:46 12:46 01:31 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

09:16 09:46 10:01 10:31 11:01 11:46 05:01 05:46 06:16 07:01 07:46 09:01 12:01 12:46 08:31 09:16 10:01 10:31 11:16 11:46 05:01 05:31 06:16 06:46 07:16 08:01 05:16 06:46 12:01 08:31 09:01 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

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Alabama Living

PIONEER

NOVEMBER 2014  43


Our Sources Say

What if you threw a party?

T

here is a saying, “What if you threw a party and nobody came?” I’m not sure how long it has been around, and I don’t know where it originated. I heard it years ago, but it took me a while to understand what it means. Others are starting to understand it now, too. The United Nations threw a party last month in New York City, and plenty of environmental activists attended and protested in the streets, demanding more efforts to reduce carbon emissions. However, the important people – those you think would have been at the party – didn’t come. China’s President Xi Jinping didn’t show. He was busy monitoring the student uprisings in Hong Kong. India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi, was in New York but skipped the U.N.’s party to attend an event in Central Park focusing on global poverty. Russian President Vladimir Putin didn’t attend. He was probably busy plotting to acquire more Eastern European territory. Japan was not interested with its transition from nuclear electric generation to fossil generation. Australia, with its economy still recovering from a failed carbon tax, didn’t make it, either. With all the publicity surrounding the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas rule and the predicted impending disasters associated with climate change, you would expect world leaders to follow our lead in addressing global carbon emissions. However, despite U.S. reductions, global carbon dioxide emissions increased to 35.1 billion tons in 2013 – a new record. China emitted 358 million tons more carbon in 2013 than 2012 – more than the increase of the rest of the world combined. China is responsible for 25 percent of total worldwide carbon dioxide emissions over the previous five years, and emerging nations contribute another 58 percent. China and India are unlikely to burden their electrification efforts with costly carbon emission limits when significant portions of their populations still lack basic electric service. Poorer emerging countries also lacking basic electric service will be reluctant to reduce carbon emission levels at a cost to their developing economies. It falls then to the U.S. and Western Europe to make a differ-

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.

44 NOVEMBER 2014

ence in the remaining 17 percent of carbon emissions. China, India and the developing nations will cheer us on as long as they don’t have to follow us in reducing their emissions. After all, less for us means more for them – carbon emissions and economic growth. Reductions in carbon emissions will be more expensive no matter what is said. Replacing low-cost energy sources such as coal and natural gas with higher cost and less reliable renewable energy resources cannot and will not be cheaper. If they were, we would be using them now. China, India and emerging countries know that and will not follow us at higher costs to their economies. We should also be reminded that almost a third of U.S. households qualify for low income energy subsidies, and we plan to add the higher costs of a low carbon future to those households. What will we do for our lower income families? What do we get for our efforts and the damage to our economy? The EPA estimates its proposed rules to curb carbon dioxide emissions from electric generation will address a total of 0.18 percent of global carbon emissions. White House Budget Director Shaun Donovan says, “…climate denial will cost us billions of dollars as a hotter planet reduces GDP and drives up deficits while natural disasters like coastal superstorms impose relief costs on society.” Will less than a 1 percent reduction in the world’s carbon emissions really make a difference if natural disasters and superstorms are caused by a warming planet? Before putting our economy at risk, shouldn’t there be an explanation of why global temperatures have not increased in the past 16 to 26 years (depending upon which temperature data set you use), despite a 25 percent increase in global carbon emissions? Those that ask for an explanation are accused of being climate deniers and against progress. We threw a party. There was plenty of publicity and protestors jamming New York streets. We have offered costly EPA regulation to reduce U.S. carbon emissions. We have offered to follow Germany into a less prosperous future with renewable energy. We have offered urgency, drama and hype. President Obama started the party by declaring, “For all the immediate challenges that we gather to address this week – terrorism, instability, inequality, disease – there’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.” Yet no one that matters came to our party. Maybe they have higher priorities like poverty, starvation, Ebola epidemics, terrorism and economic recovery. So should we. I hope you have a good month. A www.alabamaliving.coop


Market Place

Alabama Living

NOVEMBER 2014  45


Alabama Snapshots

I’m thankful for... 1

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Submit Your Images! JANUARY THEME: “My Snowman” SUBMIT PHOTOS THROUGH OUR WEBSITE: alabamaliving.coop/submit-photo/ OR SEND COLOR PHOTOS WITH A LARGE SELF-

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ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE TO:

Photos, Alabama Living Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL, 36124 RULES: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be published on our website at www. alabamaliving.coop. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. DEADLINE FOR DECEMBER: November 30

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4

5

6 1. God blessing me with a home and family. SUBMITTED BY Anto’nia Tolbert (8 years old), Selma. 2. A Christian family with more than 50 years combined military service. SUBMITTED BY Leslie Hartley, New Brockton. 3. My four active, sweet and lovable boys. SUBMITTED BY Amber Dube, Cullman. 46 NOVEMBER 2014

4. My mobility and independence. SUBMITTED BY Edna Watts, Arley. 5. Our beautiful son, Kyle. SUBMITTED BY PJ and Jamie Alexander (online submission) 6. Our grandchildren. SUBMITTED BY Jimmy and Bertie Smith, Andalusia. 7. A day at the beach with my girls. SUBMITTED BY Heather Bryant, Baileyton. www.alabamaliving.coop


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