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Harrison Daily Times

Thursday, November 7, 2013 www.harrisondaily.com

l HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE 7C

Tart up your Thanksgiving butternut

DWAIN LAIR/STAFF

GUYS ’N DOLLS Guys ’N Dolls has dressed generations of children from its familiar location in The Fashion Center Mall and is decorated for this weekend’s holiday open house.The store has the latest styles for girls from newborn through 16 and for young boys from newborn to 7X. Guys ’N Dolls is open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday.

(AP) — Much as I love butternut squash — and firmly believe it belongs on the Thanksgiving table — I’ve grown bored with the ways it typically shows up. Too often, the squash is cut into chunks, then either seasoned and roasted or steamed and mashed. And while both approaches can be delicious, they get tedious year after year. They also don’t do the squash justice. Face it, a bowl of mashed squash will always be a runner up to mashed potatoes. And of the many roasted dishes that land on the table, squash isn’t the one most people will reach for. So I decided to reinvent the Thanksgiving squash dish. I wanted something with a bit of backbone. Something that stood out and didn’t resemble every other — or any other — dish on the table. What I came up with is a simple, savory squash tart. Not only is it easy to make, it even can be prepared ahead of time (saving valuable oven space on the big day), then briefly reheated just before serving. SAVORY BUTTERNUT SQUASH TART Start to finish: 45 minutes (15 minutes active) Servings: 8 9-inch prepared (rolled) pie crust

1 3/4 pounds peeled and cubed (about 1/2-inch cubes) butternut squash 3 eggs 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper Heat the oven to 350ºF. Unroll the pie crust and set it over a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Gently press the crust into the pan and up the sides. Using your fingers, crimp and remove any excess dough. Refrigerate the crust. Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water, then fit it with a steamer basket. Set the squash in the steamer basket, then bring the water to a boil. Cover and steam the squash until very tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the squash to a blender or food processor. Process or blend until mostly smooth. Add the eggs, cheese, brown sugar, thyme, salt and pepper, then process again until very smooth. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and set it on a rimmed baking sheet. Carefully pour the squash mixture into the crust, then bake for 25 minutes, or until set at the center. Cool slightly before cutting into slices.

You’re Invited To Our

OPEN HOUSE! Friday, Nov. 8th ~ 10 am-6 pm Saturday, Nov. 9th ~ 10 am-6 pm Sunday, Nov. 10th ~ 1 pm-5 pm

DWAIN LAIR/STAFF

THOMPSON’S ACE HARDWARE Thompson’s Ace Hardware in the Northvale Shopping Center, on the southwest corner of the intersection of Highway 62-65 North and Rock Springs Road, stocks everything expected in a hardware store and lots more. The store is stocked with quality housewares and home decor, bird feeders and bird seed, and ammunition and firearms. The store is open 7:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.

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Turn to nature for seasonal decorations

Native gardening is on the upswing, and so are natural decorations. Everything from wreaths to garland, arrangements and swags can be made naturally. Using what we have growing outdoors, can be an alternative to the artificial. With a little judicious pruning, some wire, and a little experimentation, you can turn out beautiful decorations, with little expense.

EVERGREENS Evergreens come in an astonishing array of the color green. The best greenery available is pine and cedar, however many nurseries do sell spruce and fir, if you don’t have any available. You can also use holly, boxwood, nandina, aucuba and magnolia leaves. Remember, these cuttings will dry out quickly if they are not in water. For smaller arrangements for indoors, try to keep the ends in water and away from heat sources. Wreaths and garlands made from cut greenery will last much longer if they are kept cool, so use fresh ones outside as much as possible. Use fresh ones inside closer to the holiday, or bring

CLIPPINGS When taking clippings from existing plants, remember that these plants will be in your landscape, long after the holiday season has ended. Prune them with that in mind. Take clippings from all over the plant, not just in one area. The plant should have a natural look after the cuttings are removed.

WREATHS For wreaths, a simple coat hanger can be formed into the wreath shape, with branches wired onto it with some florists wire. Other options include grapevine wreaths, straw forms or styrofoam. All of these are available from craft stores. Then start attaching the greenery to your form. Herbs make a wonderful background for your wreath, and can dry naturally. Swags or garlands can be made by wiring the greenery together. Then decorate these wreaths and swags with an assortment of nuts, berries, or fresh fruit. Consider bittersweet, acorns, pine cones, rose hips, nandina or holly berries, apples or cranberries (which unfortunately we don’t grow in Arkansas). Seed pods of okra, sweet gums, golden rain trees, milkweeds and wisteria can be used naturally or spray painted silver or gold for added attraction. Sumac and magnolia cones give you bright colors, and dried hydrangeas can also work well.

The woodier seed pods can be dried first then sprayed with a clear shellac or fixative to keep their shape through the holidays. Even small bare branches or small clippings of evergreens can be spray painted gold or silver to add some festive color.

GARLANDS Holiday garlands have traditionally been made by stringing popcorn or cranberries. Another interesting garland can be made by stringing together bright red apples. The scent of apples is an added bonus. Use a heavy duty needle and fishing line to make it sturdy. Or string together dried flowers, such as red cockscomb, white strawflowers and money plant for a natural flower garland.

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greenery can be inserted firmly into the form. They can then be decorated with natural or traditional ornaments.

Storewide!

ORNAMENTS Besides these, consider making ornaments from nature. Painted gourds, okra pods, acorns and sweetgum balls all make wonderful ornaments which you can make as a family or give as gifts. There are also a myriad of things to make with dried materials.

Guys N Dolls The Fashion Center Harrison

384898

WHAT CAN BE MADE

them indoors for short periods of time.

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FRUITS & VEGETABLES Other fruits and vegetables can also make interesting decorations. Fresh fruits and vegetables from the grocery store such as lemons, limes, oranges and pineapples make interesting archway arrangements — reminiscent of Williamsburg. Or simply scatter fruit amidst greenery or wreaths to give texture and color to the arrangement. Dried red chili peppers can spice up any holiday decoration, with their texture and color.

FORMS Make forms from chicken wire either in topiary balls or Christmas trees. Stuff them with moss and add greenery to fill them in. Small clippings of

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Decorating for the holidays is a family tradition. There is something about this season that makes us pull out all the stops, and turn our homes into works of art. Why not take some of nature’s bounty and use it in your holiday decorations. You can find many creative uses for these natural materials.

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920 Hwy 62 & 65 N.

870-741-3670


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