Bedford County A Country Christmas 2019
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7. CRANBERRY BARBECUE MINI MEATBALLS 8. W INE CORK HOLIDAY WREATH-DIY 10. GIFT IDEAS FOR HIM 12. HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS & DIVERSIONS 15. GIFT IDEAS FOR HER 16. GIFTS FOR KIDS & TEENS 18. HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS LIGHTS PROJECT: LIGHTS & ORNAMENTS IN GLASS BOWL 19. STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING
20. A LIFETIME OF FRIENDSHIP BINDS THESE WOMEN TOGETHER 22. SHOPPING LIST
OMETOWN H CELEBRATIONS ACROSS THE NATION
ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA –This lovely town, known
CELEBRATIONS Across the Nation By Ann Jarema IF YOU LOVE TO TRAVEL AND LOOK FORWARD TO GETTING INTO THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT EVERY YEAR,WHY NOT COMBINE YOUR TWO PASSIONS? EVERY YEAR, SMALL TOWNS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES GET THEIR HOLIDAY ON WITH CELEBRATIONS THAT ARE SURE TO DELIGHT EVEN THE SCROOGES AMONG US. CHECK OUT THIS LIST FOR SOME OF OUR FAVORITE HOMETOWN CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS ACROSS THE NATION.
–If you loved the 2004 film "The Polar Express" or the book that inspired it by Chris Van Allsburg, then this town will make you want to shout “All aboard!” Durango provides you with your very own "Polar Express" experience complete with chefs, a hobo, the conductor, the Hero Boy, Billy, elves, and Santa himself. Enjoy hot chocolate while listening to the story on your way to North Pole. And look forward to a personal visit to your train car from Santa! 4
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA – While your
Christmas adventure may begin in Asheville, it certainly
to be the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European origin in our country, is hands down our favorite holiday celebration. National Geographic magazine even revered St. Augustine as one of the 10 best places in the world to see holiday lights, and with their Nights of Lights celebration, it is no wonder. This light tradition usually commences the Saturday before Thanksgiving and runs its course through late January.
won’t stop there. Several of the surrounding towns, all inspired by Norman Rockwell, get into the spirit too. Plan to stop through Forest City, Bryson City, Hendersonville, Dillsboro, Beech Mountain and Banner Elk, Sylva, Saluda,Waynesville, Rutherfordton, Brevard, Morganton, and the Biltmore Village to take in the numerous charming streets, light displays and holiday shopping.
BETHLEHEM, CONNECTICUT – This small town has a population of under 4,000, but celebrates Christmas in a big way! With craft sales, hayrides, Christmas train rides, pictures with Santa, and plenty of food, this town will keep you entertained for hours. And when done with all of those fun festive activities, you’ll find plenty of other ways to stay entertained with a trip to the local indoor flea market or vineyard. And of course, shopping at The Christmas Shop is a must.
s S a nta C lau a c h nds to e o p s e r y ll a u a ct , w it h t h e r e t t le y r e v and e w s p e c ia l h e lp o f a fe s r e lf v o lu nt ee
December 7th - December 20th Mon., Tues., Thurs. 11am-4pm Or By Appointment: (931) 580-7808
Come Vote for Your Favorite
2019 Dinner Theatre
“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” Directed by Keith Davis
SANTA CLAUS, INDIANA – This tiny
town proudly boasts a population of under 3,000 and each year, the town post office receives thousands of letters addressed to the city namesake. And what’s even more special? Santa Claus actually responds to each and every letter, with the help of a few special elf volunteers. Additionally, the town’s celebration spans three weeks and includes a Christmas parade, 5k, festival of lights and even chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
December 7th, 13th, 14th @ 6pm (Meal Included) December 15th @ 2pm (No Meal) Tickets available at: www.flyartscenter.com New Year’s Eve Dance Featuring Chase Clanton & Vintage Vibes December 31st @ 8pm to 12:30pm Party will include: Party Favors, Champagne Toast, Hors d’oeuvres • BYOB Cost: $25 per person Tickets available at: www.flyartscenter.com
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AUTO • HOME • BUSINESS LIFE • HEALTH • BONDS
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We wish you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! Thank you for your patronage! Kay & Jennifer
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Design Tra Pham
© 2019 Fox Print & Creative Publishing, LLC, New Orleans, LA All rights reserved Printed in the USA by Fox Print Services (igofox.com) The information contained in Hometown Moments and Memories is intended for educational purposes only. Jumpstart Publishing, LLC and publishers of Hometown Moments and Memories, do not endorse or promote any of the products or services described in the pages of Hometown Moments and Memories and the publishers do not verify the accuracy of any claims made in the editorial or advertisements contained in Hometown Moments and Memories. V5
Give the Gift of Adventure this Holiday Season! COMPLETE FLIGHT TRAINING
Gift Certificates Available
Flight Academy, LLC 2828 Highway 231 North, Shelbyville, Tennessee (615) 233-5301 • iflysyi.com Like us on Facebook
BARBECUE MINI MEATBALLS By Amanda Bochain INGREDIENTS
• 2 pounds lean ground beef • 1 cup panko bread crumbs • 2 tbsp soy sauce • 2 large eggs • ½ cup ketchup • 1 can cranberry sauce (16 ounces) • 1 cup fresh cranberries (optional) • 1 ½ cups barbecue sauce • ¼ cup brown sugar • 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice • ½ tsp salt • ¼ tsp pepper • ½ tsp dried parsley
Add the cranberry sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, cranberries (if using) and barbecue sauce to a slow cooker. Stir well. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix well, ensuring that everything is fully blended together. Roll the beef mixture into small, one inch meatballs. You can use a tablespoon to scoop the meat and then roll it into a ball so that all of
your meatballs are uniform in size. As you roll, place the meatballs directly into the slow cooker with the barbecue cranberry sauce. Once all the meatballs are rolled, cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours. Serve the meatballs directly out of the slow cooker or place on a plate with toothpicks for people to enjoy as a delicious holiday appetizer! Active Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 4 hours Yield: 8 Servings
Wine A Little CORK HOLIDAY WREATH DIY
By Ann Jarema
ith the holiday season just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how to adorn your home to help you celebrate. If you have used the same old decorations year after year, now is the time to make something new! And if you have enjoyed a bottle of wine over the past few months or years, you may have corks sitting around. Of course, if you don’t have any spare corks lying around, you can make a trip to your nearby restaurant and ask them if they can hold any corks for you over the coming weeks.You might even get lucky and they’ll have some sitting around for you. If this doesn’t work for you, most craft stores carry cork by the bag, which makes it easy to make a large project like this one. In just a few hours, you can have your very own wine cork wreath ready to hang over the mantle, on the front door or anywhere in your home. And not only do these wreaths look great on display, they make great gifts too. To get started, collect the following supplies and ensure they are within arm’s reach in your crafting corner. If you don’t have a favorite crafting place, you can easily set up shop in your kitchen, laundry room, garage or anywhere that provides you the space to work easily.
• 14" Styrofoam wreath • 20 mini glue sticks and a mini hot glue gun • 6 to 7 yards of ribbon (color of your choice–we suggest red) • 2 ft ribbon for bow (color of your choice – we suggest red) • X-ACTO knife or similar craft-type cutting device (a straight chef’s knife will also suffice) • 4 ft brown craft paper • 1 bottle tacky glue • 100 satin crafting pins (to adhere the thin ribbon for decoration) • 100-140 wine corks
DIRECTIONS: Cover your foam wreath with the craft paper using tacky glue.Think of this in the same way you wrap a wrist or ankle with an Ace bandage. Continue until the entire wreath is covered with craft paper. One layer of craft paper will suffice. Taking your X-ACTO knife, clip the ends of each cork at a small angle. Perfection isn’t necessary here. In fact, the variability will create some interesting dimension for your wreath. Note, if you are going for a red wreath or want to create a unique look, consider inconsistency on which end of the cork to snip.You may want to showcase the natural red from a red wine on some of the cork ends, and then have a more cork-look to the others. Laying your wrapped wreath flat on your work space, and using your hot glue, start gluing the corks around the middle of the spine of the wreath. (The glue goes on the angled portion of the cork). Keep adding rows until you have worked all the way around your wreath, in multiple rows. Add your embellishments and other desired decorations with the craft pins.Twisted bows or bursts of ribbon bundles coming from in between the corks create a lovely look and help to break up the monotony of the corks. Add your ribbon to the top or bottom front of the wreath (this is truly up to personal preference). Allow your wreath to dry overnight. Once dry, add a hook or an additional segment of looped ribbon to the top back of the wreath, to create ease in hanging.This is a personal preference as well, as some prefer to hang the wreath simply by the wreath itself, without using a hook.
Merry Christmas from
Hilltop Antiques Julie Beasley
Antique Furniture, Quilts, Decor, Primitives, Jewelry, Unique One Of A Kind Handmade Items.
12 Railroad Square E Bell Buckle TN 37020 firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Beasley (931) 607-3578
Southern Honey Chalk Finished Paint and
(931) 607-3578 Accessories, Fresh Homemade Bread, Farm Fresh Eggs As Available
10 Railroad Square E
Bell Buckle TN 37020
Locally Owned & Operated By W.G., Kenzie, Gage & Jep Miller Open 24/7 • Complimentary Cable T.V. & WI-FI • 24/7 Video Surveillance
517 North Main Street, Shelbyville
(Located across from the Post Office)
for GIFT IDEAS
C offee cl ub
Get your coffee lover a caffeine fix for the entire year. Check out your local coffee shops, stock up on bags of local coffee and give him a new blend every month.
HIM THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX WITH THESE FUN AND FUNCTIONAL GIFTS. NO MATTER HIS INTERESTS OR LIFESTYLE, THERE’S A SPECIAL GIFT OUT THERE JUST FOR HIM! By Emily Fox
Old -fas hio ne d sh av e kit The perfect gift for all bearded beaus: this old-fashioned kit will keep him looking sharp! As an added bonus, many of the blades in these kits are kinder to skin than disposable razors.
Vi ny l re cord bo oken ds These vinyl record bookends will lend a cool new look to his bookshelves.To make it even more special, hit up your local thrift store and make them yourself!
Rev up game night with this fun new word game! This twisting alphabet game will test his creativity and competitiveness...and it’s perfect for traveling.
Grilli ng ca mp ing ba sket
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t get ready for warmer weather. Grill-loving guys will flip over this basket that can pull double-duty on the grill and over a campfire.
SANITATION For the sake of our community and environment 210 Cedar King Road 931-684-5635
719 Madison Street
www.dominos.com Hours: Sun. thru Thurs. 10:00 A.M. - Midnight Fri. & Sat. 10:00 A.M. - 2:00 A.M.
Season’s Greetings from ®
755 Madison St., Shelbyville
Monday-Friday 7:30-4:00 www.moldersoutdoorpower.com ® email@example.com fax: 931.225.8518
Holiday Destinations & Diversions Dinner theater: “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” Dec. 6-7, 13-15, The Fly Arts Center (flyartscenter.tix.com) Dinner is served at 6 p.m. with curtain at 7 p.m. for Friday and Saturday performances. The Sunday, Dec. 15 matinee will be at 2 p.m. and will not include a meal. An adaptation of the classic holiday film as it might have been performed on the radio, with live sound effects and cast members playing multiple parts.
Ninth Annual Wine Walk 4-8 p.m. Dec. 13, on and near the public square, Shelbyville (931-684-3115) Participating merchants will offer tastings of products from area wineries. There is no charge for the wine tastings, but an engraved commemorative wine glass will be available for $10, with proceeds to benefit Shelbyville-Bedford County Public Library.
46th Annual Christmas Parade 4 p.m. Dec. 7 (931-307-5285) Presented by Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce and Shelbyville Jaycees. This year's theme is “A White Christmas.” The parade route begins at the intersection of Lane Parkway and Cannon Boulevard, proceeds south on Cannon to Holland Street, east on Holland to the public square, north on Main to Madison and then east on Madison to Celebration Drive (Handy Dandy Market). Bell Buckle Old Fashioned Christmas Dec. 7, 14 and 21, Bell Buckle (931-389-9663, bellbucklechamber.com) Sleigh rides with Santa, special refreshments at participating merchants, old fashioned lights and greenery will be featured each Saturday. On Dec. 7, there will be a free s’mores bar set up around a fire pit near Southern Charm. On Dec. 21, a free concert featuring country star Sylvia will be presented at the Bell Buckle Banquet Hall. There’s no admission charge, but toy and canned food donations are requested. A buffet meal will be available for purchase starting at 5:30 p.m.; the free concert starts at 7 p.m.
Fly-In Santa 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 14, Shelbyville Municipal Airport (931-684-1669) Santa will land at the airport at 11 a.m. Children young and young-atheart can have their picture taken in front of his plane while sitting on his knee telling him their Christmas wishes. Hot cocoa will be served. Other children’s activities will be available, and there’s no charge for admission or parking. Parents should bring a camera or smartphone
Wreaths Across America Noon Dec. 14, Willow Mount Cemetery, Hazel Cemetery, Rosebank Cemetery, Hollywood Cemetery, Wheel Cemetery, Pressgrove Cemetery (931-703-3755, wreathsacrossamerica.org) A remembrance of deceased veterans, followed by the placement of Christmas wreaths on veterans’ graves at several local cemeteries. To sponsor a wreath, go to www.wreathsacrossamerica.org, click on the words “Local fundraising group” and, where it asks for the group ID, enter TN0167P.
“A Ce Fifth An 2-5 p lebration nual .m. Chr Aren Dec. 14, C istmas” a alson ( 9 31-68 The in ic a live ndoor holiday 4-5915) a fe t iv s t ity sce ride, a ne, a ival include pe perfor tting zoo, ven indoor tra s choirs mances by ndor boo in and fre , other live e local churchths, e n Admis photos with tertainment , sion Sa canned is free, but nta Claus. toy and food d are req onations uested .
FROM OUR VAULT
TO YOUR HANDS
For this and other Case® knives, please visit:
Collectors General Store at THE FINDERY 25 Railroad Square, Bell Buckle, TN 37020 Phone: 931-813-3232
New Year’s Eve Dance 8 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31, The Fly Arts Center (flyartscenter.com for more information) Chase Clanton and Vintage Vibes will perform. CASE,
CASEXX, XX,TES TESTED XX, XX, and various other , , CASE marks used herein are registered trademarks of W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company.
Oil Changes starting at
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The New CoveNaNT ChrisTiaN BooksTore
Check everyone off of your Christmas list this year with our large Melissa & Doug toy section to our assortment of keepsake Hallmark ornaments!
800 N Main St. • Shelbyville • (931) 684-8878 Open Monday - Saturday • 8:30 am - 5:30 pm • shopnewcovenant.com
If you haven’t seen the videos blasting all over social media of these FabFitFun boxes, rest assured that she probably has.The FabFitFun box creates an element of surprise and each package (arrives quarterly) is full of skin care items and make-up samples (and not just a tiny sample… these samples are large enough to offer multiple uses), fitness accessories, jewelry and more.To order, visit www.fabfitfun.com If she likes technology or is always leaving on the lights (or pestering you for leaving on the lights), get her an Amazon Echo Dot. This device is great for responding to even the most complex questions, reporting on the weather, providing a quick update on current events, controlling the temperature on the thermostat and turning off the lights. (HINT: Have her ask her new Echo Dot, “Why are fire engines red?”)
By Ann Jarema
Does she love to cook but not have time to shop? Why not try a Hello Fresh Meal Kit? Hello Fresh is a low-risk order as no subscription is required. To order, visit www.hellofresh. com, and she will receive a one-time delivery of recipes, along with all of the necessary ingredients to create that night’s dinner masterpiece. If she likes to read, likes a great coffee table book and conversation piece, or is one heck of a lady, pick up a copy of Ann Shen’s book, “Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World (Women in History Book, Book of Women Who Changed the World).”This book covers amazing women throughout history, inclusive of pirates, scientists, activists, and more.
As long as you take some time to think about HER and HER interests, you’ll be sure to select a gift that will light up her face, and that will make her feel special . Happy shoppin g!
for GIFT IDEAS
HER Let’s face it, women can be hard to shop for. Whether buying for mom, a spouse or significant other, a daughter, a grandmother, or even an aunt, the entire act of purchasing a gift for a special woman in your life can be fraught with anxiety. And you might be scratching your head, or channeling Mel Gibson in his 2000 romance film, “What Women Want.” But, make it easy on yourself. Women want to know that you have taken the time to think about them… so if you are already trying to figure out what to do, you’ve already taken the first step, and she’ll be thankful knowing that you didn’t just run to the nearby convenience store, grabbing the first bottle perfume you found on the shelf. Here are some quick suggestions to help you make her gift special.
Does she have a great soaking tub and like to relax after a long day at work or a visit to the gym? The LifeAround2Angels Bath Bombs Gift Set is made in the USA, and is truly the bomb (times 12)! The bombs will create a delightful fizz in the tub, and will not leave a stain or ugly residue.
Buying for a child that is a bit more laid back that likes to hang out and read? This versatile Floor Pillow Fold Out Lounger retails for under $30 and is super soft and comfortable.
By Emily Fox
FOR KIDS & TEENS
It’s not easy to find the right gift for a young child or for a teenager. Any gift-giver fears giving the gift that the youngster will set aside after opening because it didn’t interest them, causing them to move on to the next package in the hope of finding something better. Or what about that teenager and the rolling of the eyes when they receive something “uncool” are behind the times? It’s no wonder that gift giving can cause stress and anxiety for any well-intentioned gift giver. So, this quick list is intended to take some of the pressure off.
Check out this Boogie Board 8.5-Inch LCD Writing Tablet. All kids inevitably want what mom and dad or big brother and sister have, and this unique take on the Etch a Sketch of yesteryear will be sure to delight any budding artist.
Perhaps one of the latest crazes of the year has been the Nintendo Switch.This item is easy to use and popular for kids of all ages, plus it is the gift that keeps on giving as you can gift new games for future gifting holidays.
If your gift recipient is more into science and could be the future Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, this Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit provides over 100 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) projects that are sure to delight (and educate) that budding entrepreneur.
With one of th e u ar e afor ementio ne d gifts , yo ient su re to de lig ht yo ur re cip ow nie an d yo u’l l ea rn so me br po ints in th e proc ess.
What about your child with tons of energy to burn and the need to get outside and ride? The EzyRoller Classic Ride On is great for children ages 4 to 14.This unique take on a sidewinder crossed with big wheel doesn’t use pedals, and instead uses a foot bar that leverages easy alternating leg movements to get you rolling.
During this Holiday Season, we wish you Health & Happiness from our family to yours! Thank you for your support!
813 Union Street Shelbyville, TN
KINCAID SERVICE CO.
Furniture • Bedding • Appliances • Electronics • Service “Thank you Bedford County for allowing us to serve you for over 80 years!” 400 Madison St. • Shelbyville, TN 37160 (931) 684-5662 STORE HOURS: MONDAY-SATURDAY 8:00 A.M.-5:30 P.M. visit our web site www.kincaidservice.com TM
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HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS LIGHTS PROJECT
LIGHTS & ORNAMENTS IN GLASS BOWL By Ann Jarema
CHRISTMAS SEASON TENDS TO BRING OUT THE BEST IN MOST OF US, AND IN MANY CASES, GETS US IN THE MOOD TO DECORATE AND CREATE NEW WAYS TO SHOWCASE THE BEAUTY OF THE SEASON. IF YOU WANT TO CREATE A GREAT COUNTERTOP OR MANTLE PIECE FOR THE HOLIDAYS, USING ITEMS YOU LIKELY HAVE READILY AVAILABLE AT HOME, LOOK NO FURTHER. THIS ELEGANT AND FUN CHRISTMAS LIGHT ORNAMENT BOWL IS EASY TO PUT TOGETHER, AND EVEN MORE FUN TO ARRANGE.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED: A string of Christmas lights (color of your choice). If you plan to put your project within the vicinity of an outlet and your cord will be discreet, electrical lights are just fine. But, if you will not be able to access an outlet or if you want to keep your cord more hidden, head to your local home improvement store to pick up a string or two of batteryoperated lights. A large glass bowl. Ornaments – those with shiny or reflective metallic surfaces are recommended. DO NOT use cloth or flammable ornaments for this project. Snow fluff (optional) Craft paper roll (optional)
NOW THAT YOU HAVE YOUR SUPPLIES READY TO GO,THE NEXT PART IS FUN AND EASY.
• Arrange your bowl at its intended destination. If you will be using snow fluff, you may wish to lay down a few sheets of crafting paper underneath. • Place one end of your Christmas lights at the bottom of the bowl (make sure that the plug or the battery mechanism are not placed in the bowl… keep that end out). • Start positioning your ornaments inside the bowl, one by one, making sure to adjust the Christmas light strand within the bowl (but not necessarily around each ornament
as the goal is to keep the cord from being visible). • Sprinkle snow fluff around the bowl and place a few ornaments haphazardly on the snow fluff, to create the look of a bowl spilling over. • Position the rest of your lights so that the cord comes out the back side, or wherever it will be least visible. • Test your lighting to ensure that your ornaments reflect when the lights are turned on. Reposition your ornaments if needed, to create the maximum effect.
Now , step ba ck and take a look at you r pro ject , and sm ile. Yo u did it!
STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING By Amanda Bochain
• 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream • ¾ cup butter • ½ cup corn syrup • 6 dates, pitted, chopped • 1 cup granulated white sugar • ¾ cup brown sugar • ¾ cup warm water • ¼ tsp baking soda • ¼ tsp salt • ¾ cup flour • 1 tsp baking powder • 1 large egg • 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Place ½ cup of the butter, corn syrup, white granulated sugar and 1 ¼ cup of the heavy whipping cream in a saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat. Cook for about 40 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce is golden brown. Remove from the heat and pour through a strainer to remove any pieces that formed during cooking. Set the sauce aside to cool. Active Time: 30 minutes Yield: 6 Servings
2. Add the dates and water to a separate small saucepan and cook over low heat, simmering for about 15 minutes. During this time, the dates will absorb most of the water. 3. Place the dates in a food processor along with any remaining liquid and blend until smooth. 4. Add the remaining ¼ cup butter and brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high speed until the butter is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times to ensure all the ingredients are well combined. 5. Add the egg, date puree and vanilla extract to the bowl and blend until incorporated. 6. Add the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix again until a smooth batter forms. 7. Grease 6 ramekins with butter or baking spray then scoop the batter into the ramekins. It is okay if the batter comes to the top of the cup! 8. Place the ramekins on a sheet tray and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Once
baked, remove from the oven and let cool slightly. 9. Use a small serrated knife to trim the top of each cake so that it is flat and level with the top of the ramekin. Unmold the cakes gently then slice each cake in half horizontally. 10. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the sticky toffee sauce into the bottom of each ramekin then place the bottom halves of the cakes back in the ramekin. Scoop another tablespoon of the sauce on top of each cake then place the top halves of the cakes back in the ramekins as well. Pour another tablespoon of sauce over the ramekins and then return the cakes to the oven for another 10 minutes. 11. Once the toffee sauce is bubbling, remove from the oven, cool for about 5 minutes and then unmold (use a knife to go around the edges of the ramekin if needed). Serve the toffee pudding with any remaining toffee sauce, whipped cream or ice cream. Enjoy!
A lifetime of friendship binds these women together
By DAWN HANKINS For most of the “Girls of 1973,” their friendship all started with a 'hello' in first grade at Community School. Their generation was the first to watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and to include the new Lite-Brites on their Christmas Wish lists. The “Girls of 1973” still hold tight to those shared memories 50 plus years later. The homes are still within close proximity to one another. The Girls of 1973, (and spouses where applicable) include: Dianne Adcock (Steve) Arnold, Kathy Ray Brandon, Shirley Jeffress (Dwight) Clanton, Rosemary Blanton (Tony) Crosslin, Gwyn Paschal (Randy) Davis, Melba Holton McGowan, Rita Locke (Jay) Milam and Rita Stacey (Wayne) Sanders. The tight-knit group of friends say they're not being snobbish by not adding others within their intimate friends' circle. They just believe it's too 20
late to bring newbies up to speed. “No one else would understand us . . . our jokes,” advised Shirley. After all, their life-long togetherness spans the Easy Bake Oven generation to date. Over the years, they've been in each others' weddings. The Girls of 1973 have encouraged one another while caring for aging and sick parents. Demonstrating their closeness, the women reveal how four of them married their high school sweethearts. Shirley and Gwyn were attendants in each's weddings. They tend to agree with author C.S. Lewis, who said, “friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.' ” Recently at Shirley's home, over holiday casseroles and Gwyn's famous homemade cupcakes, the women shared about their lifetime of palling around. Dianne, who was salutatorian of the girls' graduating class, said, “These girls are here for each other through thick and thin. We rejoice with each other when any of our families are having joyous events with our children or grandchildren and are there for backup in our sad times, like the loss of a family member.” Dianne's father died in 1973. She talked about how she needed “those girls” again in 2006, when her 27-year-old son was killed in an auto accident. “The girls were there for me both times and whenever I need to talk about either
of them . . . my precious memories of them. We all have families for support but having best friends is a different kind of love and bond.” While these ladies were in home economics in high school, Pink Floyd's music was on the top on the music charts. They can remember vividly when U.S. troops were withdrawn from Vietnam; Melba's older brother was killed there. The U.S. Supreme Court passed Roe vs. Wade the year they graduated. It was a precedent landmark ruling—one which is still hotly debated today, giving women the right to choose abortion without excessive government regulation. The Class of 1973 is part of the Baby Boom generation, but the Girls of 1973 just know their generation is one containing strong and intelligent women. Some of the friends went right into the workforce after graduation. Others sought higher education and technical school training. Melba worked 26 years for Calsonic Kansei North America (now Marelli). Gwyn ran her family's Halls Mill store and also worked for Calsonic. Rita M. — who grew up singing in church and also at her friends' weddings — retired as a medical clerk. Rosemary, the tall, athletic one, worked with a Murfreesboro education supply group. Shirley, a registered nurse, currently works once a week now in a local doctor's office. Kathy is also still locally employed.
Rita S. has retired as a master barber. Of course the women love that she chose this profession for obvious reasons. Many have also looked to Dianne, a 34-year veteran realtor, to assist with their home plans. Her friends say she “can flip a house in an ice storm.” The Girls of 1973 credit their parents for teaching them to save money, upholster furniture, ride horses, milk cows, garden, can foods, hunt, sew and cook pies. They laughed about their past shenanigans, which included a lot of slumber parties. Some were so close, they were known to get off the bus with another, that is, without their parents' permission. Fashioned in their flared jeans, they hung out at the former Chapel Hill Skating Rink. All now have children and
grandchildren of their own and Rosemary notes proudly she's a great-grandmother. They all recall experiencing the miracle of the surrogate birth of Gwyn's child. They note that their fun times went on hiatus when all their kiddos were young. “But we stayed in touch,” advises Shirley. “Our kids played together . . . also close.” Though they now communicate through cell phones, rather than rotary dialers, the long-time friends still relish oldfashioned face time. They surmised how everyone should have friends who say a whim, “get dressed, we're going on an adventure.” They enjoy the quiet life together, as they admit they “don't do swanky well.” They've been known during trips to Gatlinburg to look for
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bear. Yep. Though they are by today's standards officially senior citizens, they aren't fond of the term of endearment, “Golden Girls.” In fact, they believe their excursions actually make them feel 16 again. “Nurse Shirley added, “Then someone will say, 'I shouldn't have done that.' ” Of course, the friends have no idea who will outlive whom or what their futures hold. But each believe in their hearts that they will finish this life having had seven dear friends who always had their back. Gwyn seemed to seal that pact when she said, “There were times in my life that I couldn’t have done it without my friends. If I ever need them for anything, all I have to do is just ask and they will be there.”
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