The Alamance News Moments & Memories 2020

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Santa’s Helpers in Graham, NC

Tue 11-6 • Wed 11-6 • Fri 11-6 • Sat 11-4 We serve cakes by the slice and cupcakes everyday we are open, with some surprise pastry appearances. We partner our traditional southern flavors with modern design techniques to create desserts that taste as good as they look. @mainstreetcake 1345 S Church St. - Burlington • 336.261.8725 •


w w w. H o m e - To w n e . c o m

Contents 2020

Prettiest Poinsettias Around

5. A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS 6. COUNTRY TABLE CENTERPIECE ON A BUDGET 7. HOLIDAY SNOW GLOBE: A PROJECT FOR KIDS 8. NATURE TRAIL CHRISTMAS WREATH 10. CHRISTMAS PRESENT SOUP 11. GIFTS FOR PEOPLE WHO MAKE OUR LIVES A LITTLE EASIER 12. CHRISTMAS MORNING APPLE CINNABUNS 13. SALAD, ANYONE? 14. THE MAIN EVENT: BRAISED BRISKET WITH CRANBERRIES 15. DON’T DISCOUNT THE SIDEKICKS! 16. CHRISTMAS CALENDAR This is a special publication of The Alamance News, in conjunction with Fox Print Services. For future advertising opportunities, contact The Alamance News at (336) 228-7851, Published at Graham, North Carolina 27253. © 2020 Jumpstart Publishing, LLC, New Orleans, LA, All rights reserved Printed in the USA by Fox Print Services (

336.350.7825 New & Used Books, Gifts, Cards and Coffee! 15 SE Courthouse Square • Graham

336.229.2295 131 W Elm St, Graham, NC 27253

A Country



he celebration of Christmas seems to get more frenetic every year and start earlier as well.Yuletide decor jostles for space with Halloween pumpkins and Thanksgiving cornucopia placemats, with turkey day celebrations grievously shortened by shoppers gulping down their dinner and dashing out the door to Black Friday sales that now start on Thursday evening. It's time to take back the holidays. It's time for a country Christmas. There are no specific rules for a relaxed holiday celebration in the country. Just an expectation of joy, love, sharing, and fun. Decorations can be store bought or homemade, as long as they are stress-free.Wreaths made from tree branches, bright berries found in bordering woods, even flowers growing in the yard if you live in an unusually warm climate. If you enjoy knitting, homemade stockings, personalized for family and

guests, look lovely adorning the walls. Artwork by the resident children celebrating the season adds a whimsical touch. Holiday cards on the fireplace mantle may not be original but always add cheer. And, of course, a tree -- a green one.Whether it is real or artificial, it should look like a tree and not some strange blue-and-white, gold or pink mutation. The tree will be a focal point, so make decorations personal and meaningful.The best ornaments for a country Christmas tree are those that are sentimental, symbolic or edible. Ornaments that were made by or received from loved ones, which reflect the interests or talents of family members or that can be carefully removed and enjoyed as a snack. Add some lights and colored bulbs for brightness, and you've got an excellent tree for gathering around on Christmas morning and gazing contentedly at all season. Christmas cooking does not have to be a non-stop marathon of trendy dishes

The be st orna me nts for a co untr y Ch ristm as tr ee ar e th os e th at ar e se nt imen ta l, sy mb oli c or ed ib le. composed of obscure, expensive ingredients. The best meals are those made with love in a serene environment. Serve a special dinner, one you are comfortable making so that when you sit down with your guests, you can relax and enjoy their company. Good country main dish choices are glazed ham, beef tenderloin or a roast goose. Favorite sides are mashed potatoes, salads, roasted vegetables and any homemade rolls and desserts. A few different kinds of pie are always appreciated. Ultimately, a country Christmas is about family, friends, and love.



An easy rustic centerpiece project that starts at the dollar store.You should be able to make it for under $10.00. All of the items were purchased at the dollar store except the wood slab and the paint, which can be obtained from a craft or home store. When you are shopping for the items, keep in mind that you can change anything with a like-item to customize it to fit your taste. For example, you may not find the floral picks of cranberries, but you may find a garland with cranberries and pinecones.You can substitute this item easily. There are also different kinds of moss, so don’t stress, just use the one that works best for you. SUPPLIES  F our small clay pots  W hite, brown, silver, gold and paint  S ponge  F our candles from the dollar store  O ne bag of pebbles from the dollar store  O ne bag of moss from the dollar store  F our ornaments - you can either make these or buy them at the dollar store.  A slab of decorative wood from a craft or hobby store - or a one by six from your local home store.


 O ne sprig of small pinecones from the floral section at the dollar store.  One sprig of cranberries from the floral section of the dollar store. THE PROJECT IS EASY TO ASSEMBLE.  F irst, paint the clay pots. Sponge on the white. Follow with small specks of brown, silver and gold, and wipe with clean sponge until you get the desired antique, weathered look.  P lace pebbles in the bottom of the pot.  P lace the candle on top and stuff the moss around the candle.  P ut a dab of hot glue on the sprigs of cranberries and pinecones and poke them down into the moss.  H ang an ornament from each from one of the cranberry or pinecone sprigs and secure with hot glue.  T he ribbon around the candles is an optional add-on and allows you to expand your creativity.  P lace the finished candle pots on your wood base.

Holiday Snow Globe

A Project for Kids By Suzanne Fox This is a fun project to make with kids while everyone is gathering for Christmas. Save money on gifts and have them swap snow globes for presents. An oldfashioned keepsake they will remember every year.


 1 small jar with lid  1 small holiday figurine to fit in jar  Glitter  Water  Glycerine (a few drops) DIRECTIONS

 Glue the figurine inside the lid of the jar. Use a permanent glue for this, not something that is water soluble.  Fill the jar with 3/4 cup of water. Next place glitter and a few drops of glycerine into your jar.Too much glitter or glycerine will stick to the bottom of the jar.  Place a ring of permanent glue around the top rim of the jar. Screw lid on tightly.

112 N. Main Stret Graham, NC 27253 PH: 336.438.1222 Locally owned and operated shop providing apparel, screen printing, embroidery and custom designs!

Nature Trail

Christmas Wreath



pending time with your children during the holidays can leave a lasting loving memory. Every year a new craft is created for our household. This craft involves an outdoor activity and a cider drinking night in front of the fire. Nothing is more Christmas than having an evergreen wreath hanging from your front door. This wreath is inspired by long family nature walks where


the kids can gather the decorations. Kids find the craziest things while outside! Let their imaginations go wild and have them gather all sorts of different textures and woodsy items for the wreath. Encourage them to use imagination beyond the pine cone, like branches that are full and green along with tree bark, moss, sticks and dried flowers. You can also collect thin twigs that can be shaped

without snapping and thin tree bark that can be cut into shapes like reindeer. Use the twigs to make antlers on your tree-bark reindeer! Materials you may need to buy are glue sticks, glue gun, a wreath form and any additional small ornaments you may want to use. You can also use ribbon to create bows to add additional character to the wreath.


• All of your nature items • Green floral wire • Potpourri • Twine • Hot glue sticks


• Shape twigs into a wreath shape and wrap with twine. We chose a Styrofoam ring for our project and wrapped it in burlap, then cotton batting. Get Creative with your nature wreath! • Before gluing, lay out your items. Start with the greenery or bottom layer of twigs. Glue in to place. • Next, add your tree-bark reindeer. • Top it off with the potpourri by gluing dried flowers and dried fruit as decoration. • Attach twine to the top of the wreath for hanging.

Wishing You and Your Family a

Healthy & Happy Holiday Season! PRIMARY CARE

Family Medicine | Internal Medicine | Pediatrics | Walk-in Clinic


Cardiology | Endocrinology | Gastroenterology Internal Medicine | Metabolic & Weight Loss Surgery Neurology | Neurosurgery | Obstetrics & Gynecology Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine | Physiatry | Physical Therapy Podiatry | Pulmonology | Rheumatology | Surgery

Burlington | Mebane | Elon

CHRISTMAS PRESENT SOUP INGREDIENTS: • 60 pint jars • 10 lbs. dried Great Northern beans • 2 - 1 oz. jars parsley • 10 lbs. dried split peas • 2 - 1 oz. jars minced onions • 10 lbs. dried red kidney beans

• 2 - 1/4 oz. jars dried celery • 2 - 1/4 oz. jars garlic powder • 10 lbs. dried yellow split peas • 2 - 1 oz. jars dried bellpepper • 10 lbs. dried black beans • 60 bay leaves

DIRECTIONS 1. Evenly distribute ingredients in jars in the order listed. 2. To make fewer jars - 6 jars = one bag of each bean variety and 1/6 of the seasonings. 3. Top with fabric and twine or avoid the craft store and get jumbo muffin cup liners at the grocery. 4. Print labels or cards with cooking instructions below: Soak bean mixture in 2 quarts of water for 2 hours. Bring to a slow boil, adding more water if needed. Simmer for 1 hour. Add turkey carcass, ham bone or 2 inch cube of salt pork. Simmer 1 hour longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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A Little Easier By Michele Robert Poche

Tis the season to be jolly, right? So why not spread a little Christmas cheer and show your gratitude to the all-too-often unsung heroes this holiday season? Financial gifts. Sometimes tipping really is the best way to say thank you, especially with helpers like postal workers, garbage collectors, doormen, landscapers, housekeepers, dog walkers and babysitters. As a general rule, $20 should be the minimum gift presented to an individual. If you’re presenting to a group, make sure no one receives less than $10$15 each. Small gifts. For those we interact with more personally, a small token of appreciation such as a picture frame, a gift certificate or other

special memento should be extended from you or your family. Teachers, tutors, lesson givers, coaches, cafeteria workers and crossing guards all fall under this category. The gift value can vary but should fall somewhere between $10 to $25 each. Home-cooked meals. Have a special group of fire fighters in your area? Recruit a few neighborhood families to prepare a full meal for the station. Assign each family a different small course (appetizers, salad, drinks, side, dessert) with two or more families handling the entrée. Coordinate

the delivery with the house captain and be sure to include a little note from everyone. Christmas cards. When making out your holiday card list, don’t forget to include your pediatrician/doctor, your dentist and even

your veterinarian (with a picture of your pet enclosed if he’s not in the family photo). Many offices like to display all of their holiday greetings throughout their halls and doorways for all visitors to enjoy.

“When I was a boy a nd I would see sca ry things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. Y ou will always find people who a re helping.’” Fred Rogers Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood

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Christmas Morning

Apple Cinnabuns

For a more festive look, add holiday sprinkles or holiday sugar on top.


 Take 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup cinnamon, mix in a mason jar and use a lid with holes in it By Suzanne Fox for easy sprinkling.  On a parchment INGREDIENTS  1 can crescent roll dough lined sheet pan, roll out crescent roll  1 can apple pie filling dough. Spread a  Cinnamon sugar thin layer of apple  1 cup powdered sugar pie filling to cover  2 tablespoons melted entire sheet of butter

dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Starting with short end, roll dough while sprinkling cinnamon sugar on bottom of dough as you roll.  Once the dough is completely rolled, slice one-inch-thick rolls. Lay flat at least two inches apart.  Bake 15 to 18

minutes or until golden.  While cooling, mix powdered sugar and melted butter in a bowl. Mix until creamy.  If it is too thick, add water one teaspoon at a time. Spread or drizzle icing onto rolls depending on how thick your icing is.

Salad, Anyone?

A holiday-colored offering sure to impress at every occasion

Roasted Beets INGREDIENTS:

• 10 fresh beets, greens trimmed • ½ c. + 2 Tbsp. water

Red & Green Salad INGREDIENTS:

(8 servings)

• 2 large heads of leaf lettuce (Bibb, Boston, etc.) • 10 Roasted Beets (recipe at right) • Blue cheese crumbles (12 oz.) • Spiced Pecans (recipe at right) • Apple Cider vinaigrette (recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 400°. 2. Wash beets and wrap individually with one tablespoon water each in aluminum foil. 3. Place on cookie sheet or shallow baking dish. 4. Roast for 50 minutes and check moisture level. If done, remove from oven. If drying out, add another Tbsp. of water to each and roast an additional 10 minutes. 5. Remove from oven and let cool in foil packets for 10 minutes. 6. Remove from foil and rub off skin with paper towel. Skin should be easy to remove. 7. Slice or cube.

1. Arrange lettuce on each plate. 2. Top with beets, cheese and pecans. 3. Drizzle with dressing.

Spiced Pecans INGREDIENTS:

Apple Cider Vinaigrette INGREDIENTS:

• 1½ c. olive oil • 6 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar • ½ c. water • ½ c. honey • ¼ c. Dijon mustard • salt and pepper to taste

1. Pour oil, vinegar, water, honey, mustard, salt and pepper into bowl. 2. Whisk until fully blended.

• ½ c. sugar • 2 Tbsp. water • 1 tsp. cayenne (red) pepper • 3 c. pecan halves • sea salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350°. 2. In small saucepan, mix sugar, water and pepper and heat to boil. 3. Boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. 4. Remove from heat. 5. Add nuts to pan, stirring constantly, to coat evenly before glaze sets. 6. Transfer nuts to cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and sprinkle with sea salt. 7. Bake for 15 minutes, cool and store in airtight container.

NOTE: For faster par ty assembly, beets, nuts and dressing can be prepared days in advance.

The Main Event

An entrée that’s sure to please your revelers

Braised Brisket with Cranberries (8 servings)


• 3 lbs. beef brisket, fat trimmed to a ¼ layer • coarse salt and ground pepper • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour • 1 can (14½ oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth • 1 c. dry red wine • 1 bay leaf • 2 tbsp. unsulfured molasses • 1 bag (12 oz.) cranberries • 2 cups water • 1 bag (1 lb.) frozen pearl onions

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Make sure oven rack is in lowest position. 2. Season brisket with salt and pepper. 3. Place brisket, fat side down, in 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot and cook on mediumhigh 8-10 minutes, turning once, until browned on both sides. 4. Remove brisket from pot and set aside. 5. Add flour to pot and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. 6. Add broth, wine, bay leaf, molasses, half the cranberries and water to the pot and bring to a boil. 7. Return brisket to pot, cover and bake in oven for 3 hours. 8. Stir in onions, cover and return pot to oven. Cook 30 more minutes. 9. Stir in remaining cranberries, return pot to oven and cook uncovered until brisket is fork tender, approximately 30 minutes. 10. Discard bay leaf before serving. Cranberry Fun Fact: Americans consume some 400 million pounds of cranberries each year. About 80 million pounds--or 20 percent--are gobbled up during Thanksgiving week.

Don’t Discount the Sidekicks! Recipes for some great sides in your holiday meals

Robin, Chewbacca, Patrick Star, Barney Rubble, Ed Norton,Tonto, Dr.Watson, Igor…the list goes on and on. Sidekicks have been around for a long time. Whether it be superheroes, cartoon characters or a great meal, sidekicks complete the equation by filling in the gaps and bringing out the best in the main character…or, well, main dish.

Tasso Mashed Potatoes INGREDIENTS:

(6 servings)

• 2 lbs. white potatoes • 1 white onion • 4 oz.Tasso pork (or other smoked pork) • 10 tbsp. butter • salt and pepper

1. Boil, cool and peel potatoes. Then cut into chunks and pour into large bowl. 2. Sauté finely chopped onion and tasso in 2 Tbsp. butter until lightly browned. 3. Add onions and tasso to chopped potatoes. 4. Salt and pepper to taste. 5. Mash with electric blender or fork until desired consistency is reached. 6. Add 8 Tbsp. (one stick) butter and blend thoroughly. 7. Heat in microwave on low setting until desired serving temperature is reached.

Honey Glazed Carrots (8 servings) INGREDIENTS:

• 3 cans sliced carrots • salt and pepper to taste • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon • 1 c. honey • 2 Tbsp. butter

1. Open can and drain carrots. 2. Put carrots in large, shallow pan. 3. Add salt, pepper, cinnamon, honey and butter to pan. 4. Mix well so carrots are coated with all ingredients. 5. Heat on low for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until bubbling.

Countdown to








Shop local for unique gifts

Put up Christmas tree

Make your nature wreath

Hang wreath on front door






Volunteer to ring the Salvation Army Christmas bell

Bake Christmas cookies

Watch favorite Christmas movie

Mail Christmas cards

Visit a live nativity



Buy Advent Calendar







Attend a Christmas concert

Have cookies delivered to a nursing home

Donate goods to your local food pantry

Call someone who lost a loved one

Make a gingerbread house








Pay for a stranger’s coffee at coffee shop

Go to a holiday tea

Go Christmas caroling on Zoom

Drive to look at Christmas lights

Make Hot Apple Pepper Jam




Make DIY Christmas stockings with friends

Visit a holiday art market

Skype with out of town family



Pray for loved ones to be blessed in the new year