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Cobb Life

December 2013  Volume 10, Issue 1 EXECUTIVE PUBLISHER

Otis Brumby III GENERAL MANAGER

Lee B. Garrett V.P. ADVERTISING Wade Stephens ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

Jay Whorton E D I T O R I A L S TA F F DIRECTOR OF MAGAZINES

Mark Wallace Maguire LAYOUT AND DESIGN

Stacey L. Evans, Mark Wallace Maguire CONTRIBUTORS

Allen Bell, Jennifer Carter, Joan Durbin, Stacey L. Evans, Lindsay Field, Kevin Hazzard, Michael Pallerino, Meredith Pruden, Michael Venezia PHOTOGRAPHER

Sam Bennett PHOTOGRAPHY

Joshua Campbell, Jennifer Carter, Jeff Stanton, PHOTO ASSISTANT

Marti Sacks

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS Acworth Guns Advantage Dental Anytime Fitness Aqua Guard Basements Atlanta Communities Atlanta Dance Atlanta Fine Homes - Jim Glover Atlanta Kubota Atlanta Lyric Theatre Bernard's Bakery Blackwell's Jewelers Bow Wags Brumby Chair City of Smyrna - Facilities Cobb Hardware Compassionate Care Ministries Cumberland Diamond Exchange Cumberland Insurance Debbie Redford - All Around Atlanta Realty Dermatology Consultants Diamonds R Forever Emory Adventist Fleming Carpet Front Porch Southern Dining Gaines Park Senior Living Georgia Elite Realtors Georgia Memorial Park Georgiana's Skin Care Golden Rugs Gone with the Wind Museum Harry Norman Realtors Harry Norman Realtors - Carol Ann King Harry Norman Realtors - Johnny Walker Henry's Louisiana Grill Heritage of Sandy Plains Hodge - Army Navy J. Christopher's Johnson Ferry Baptist Julep's Home Décor Keller Williams Realty - Jill Harris Kennestone Dental Design KSU Continuing Education Life Grocery Life University - Lights of Life Magnolia Room

66 60 53 71 54 49 52 43 64 32 13 49 28 52 70 64 55 48 72 48 20 59 14 33 26 63 54 49 41 67 21 29 29 33 12 22 49 23 41 29 15 53 6 45 32

Manders Dental 22 Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery 37 Marietta Hearing 4 Marietta Podiatry 72 Marietta Power 62 Marietta Spy Shop 63 Marietta Wine Market 49 Marlowe's Tavern 35 75 Mayes Ward - Dobbins Funeral Home Miracle Method 15 North Cobb Spine & Nerve 11 Northside Hospital 3 Northside Sleep Center 68 Okinawa 34 Outrageous Interiors 9 Parc @ Piedmont 10 Pearl's Spa 21 Pinnacle Orthopaedics 5 Plastic Surgery Center of the South 16 Presbyterian Village 73 ReMax Around Atlanta - Arlene McCoy & Julie Fogard 29 ReMax Around Atlanta - David Hylton 29 ReMax Around Atlanta - Gail Holman 29 ReMax Around Atlanta - Gay Locke & Jennifer Prange 29 ReMax Around Atlanta - Helen Durrence 29 ReMax Around Atlanta - Shelia Marshall 29 Rita Ellens 49 Robins Realty 66 Roswell Street Baptist 58 Shen Yun 58 Skin Cancer Specialists 65 Sterling Senior Living 69 Sue Hilton 26 Superior Plumbing 2 The Bottoms Group 7 The Framery 16 Three - 13 Salon 44 & 49 Vespucci’s 34 Wellstar 76 West Cobb Funeral Home 27 White Rabbit 28 Winnwood Retirement 17

PROOFREADER

Whitney Betts A D V E R T I S I N G S TA F F COBB ADVERTISING MANAGER

Becky Opitz ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES

Stephanie deJarnette, Dawne Edge, Paula Milton, Candace Hallford, Tara Guest, Charlene Kay, Katelyn Ledford, Audra Pagano, Liz Ridley DIGITAL ADVERTISING DIRECTOR

Allison Bentley GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

Beth Poirier, Jennifer Hall PRODUCTION CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Leigh Hall CIRCULATION DIRECTOR

Matt Heck I N F O R M AT I O N

Cobb Life magazine is published nine times a year by the Marietta Daily Journal and distributed to more than 33,500 homes and businesses. SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES

To subscribe, visit our website at www.cobblifemagazine.com ADVERTISING

To advertise, contact Wade Stephens at 770.795.4001 SUBMISSIONS

Please send all editorial correspondence to mmaguire@cobblifemagazine.com


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W H AT ’ S I N S I D E

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features 18 TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS Activities for the holiday season 24 REVITALIZE How to relax and stay in the holiday spirit 38 HOME Before and After decoration ideas to spark your creativity

departments

54 TECH TIPS Apple and Amazon battle for your dollar

30 SPICE Meet the Cobb men in Les Marmitons

56 MORE THAN FOOD Inside a Vinings restaurant where Christmas is a community affair

36 STYLE PJs are always the perfect gift

61 HOORAY FOR HOME The home office enters a new era

46 YOUR LIST? We ask Cobb residents what they want for Christmas 50 WINE Our wine writer reels off some of his faves for the year

38

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in every issue FROM THE DIRECTOR

08

CONTRIBUTORS

10

TALK OF THE TOWN

12

NEWS & NOTEWORTHY 14 HIGHLIGHTS

64

SCENE

67

J’EAT YET?

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FROM THE DIRECTOR

Count your blessings, big and small rom suit-clad business moguls to elementary school children, everyone turns their attention to common themes this time of year: Counting our blessings, telling those close to us that we love them and devoting time to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday season. Though Thanksgiving generally takes the center stage for the ‘What are you thankful for?’ question, I also think about the question every Christmas. It provides me with an opportunity to reflect on the last year, remind myself of my blessings and, in general, re-adjust my perspective on life. Some folks have grand items they are thankful for such as stock prices in their portfolio rising, a new luxury car or retirement on the horizon. Others of us drag out the tired, yet true phrases like family and health. And then there are those we know who have truly experienced something miraculous and are thankful for things like the unforeseen healing from disease, a new job or a prayer being answered. These are all well, well-intentioned and good. But this year, I am scaling back in my focus. I am taking my eyes off the big picture and looking at the smaller things. Here are ten things I am thankful for:

F

1. Coffee: This beautiful black elixir does not only make me a better person on a daily basis, but has also given me the power, strength and alertness to keep fulltime employment. 2. Air-conditioning: It may have damaged the front porch culture of America, but in July after cutting the grass, there are few luxuries in life as much appreciated. 3. Ice: As in ice cubes for cold drinks on hot days. Enjoyed with air-conditioning. 4. Fingers, hands, arms, knees and toes: I am the prince of broken bones, having suffered over a dozen. The last time I broke my arm in 2011, I truly realized how much I not only relied on it, but loved it and needed it. It allows me to type, to do my job, to play guitar and to toss the ball with my sons. Thank you God for healing me. 5. A patio: Five years later and I still miss the back porch of

our old home. But I am grateful for a patio. A place to sit and repose and relax on the weekends, watching the cobalt blue edge into blackness until the stars make their entrance. There are few things as simple and sublime. 6. Homegrown vegetables: I have a special place in my heart, or rather palate, for fresh vegetables pulled from a local garden. This year reassured my love as the damp summer destroyed all of my tomatoes, cucumbers and peas. I really only had two good tomatoes all summer, brought to me from my friend Adam in Nashville. I praised him ceaselessly for it. I love a good vegetable from the rich Southern soil. 7. A car: I did not get my first car until I was 21. It is a long story, but it did make me appreciate the automobile that much more. I love riding my bike, but having the luxury of independent travel on four wheels is indeed a blessing. 8. Shoes: In poetry and romance movies, there is nothing as refreshing and wonderful as walking barefoot. And though the soles of one’s feet may feel enchanted in a cool patch of zoysia, the grass also hides other things, namely rocks, sticks, thorns and more rocks. 9. A backyard: Many folks are not afforded this luxury. But the simple existence of a yard filled with birds and surrounded by a thicket of trees provides me with a sanctuary and a place for my boys to raise all types of Cain with pure abandonment. 10. Clean, running water: Think this is too easy of a choice? Okay, just read up on how our species kept clean and healthy for our first thousand years on the planet. Then, do a little research into how many countries still lack this taken-forgranted resource. I encourage you to count your blessings one by one this season. Happy Holidays, Mark Wallace Maguire


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meet some of our contributors Kevin Hazzard, a former daily reporter, spent nearly ten years as a paramedic for Grady EMS. He's a freelance journalist, occasional novelist and itinerant screenwriter, who lives in constant fear of bad drivers. He will eat anything you put in front of him.

Michael A. Venezia is the Corporate Director of Education for United Distributors Inc. He is also Adjunct Professor of Hospitality Administration at Georgia State University. He lives in East Cobb with his wife Patti, who recently retired as an ESL teacher at Wheeler High School. His hobbies include collecting wine corks which currently number more than 5,000, and traveling to food and wine destinations in search of those “ gastronomic marriages made in heaven.“

Atlanta native and long-time contributor Meredith Pruden is a ravenous technophile, social media fanatic, word nerd, finicky foodie, landlocked surfer and scuba diver, and an avid traveler raising a cheeky, soccer playing teenage son. When she's not busy acquiescing to her wanderlust, chauffeuring her son to games or appeasing her gluttonous appetite (for food and for life), Meredith enjoys getting paid for being herself—a rebel raconteur. She has been an integral member of the editorial launch teams for several magazine startups and has been published hundreds of times as a feature journalist with specific expertise in lifestyle and popular culture. Her styling and writing work has appeared in “Cover Magazine,” “Rolling Stone” and on “Sweetjack.com,” among others. She has been a part of numerous award-winning publishing and marketing teams and, in 2011, was named one of “Atlanta's Top Creatives” by “CommonCreativ Magazine.”

Lindsay Field, who moved to Cobb from Southwest Georgia a little over three years ago, has more than 10 years of experience in writing for both newspapers and magazines. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the Marietta Daily Journal and its special editions, as well as other local magazines featuring the lovely men, women and organizations that make Cobb such a wonderful community to live in. In her free time, she enjoys sewing, navigating her way around a tiny kitchen, and finding creative ways to keep a 3-year-old little boy entertained, without breaking the bank. Born and raised in Atlanta, Sam Bennett started photography in high school and continued at the University of South Carolina where he majored in Visual Communications. His work has previously appeared in several publications including the Marietta Daily Journal, Dawg Post, Score Atlanta and Johns Creek Herald. He also owns Cutting Edge Images that specializes in youth and high school sports photography. Sam has a passion for sports. He has served as a coach and umpire, acquired a black belt in Taekwondo and possesses a deep passion when rooting on his USC Gamecocks.

Michael J. Pallerino is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a number of local and national publications. Over the past 25 years, he has won numerous awards, including the Jesse H. Neal Editorial Achievement Award, recognized as the Pulitzer Prize for business-tobusiness magazines. While in the sports product industry, his monthly columns generated national attention from “USA Today,” “The Wall Street Journal,” “ESPN Magazine,” “Sports Business Journal” and “BusinessWeek,” among others. Food has been on Joan Durbin’s mind for as long as she can remember. In high school, faced with taking either French or Spanish for a language credit, she opted for French because she thought it would come in handy later for reading menus. Growing up in a Midwestern family in which garlic, herbs and spices other than salt, pepper and the occasional onion rarely made an appearance in the womenfolk’s cooking, Joan was flabbergasted and delighted to discover a whole spectrum of new flavors once she went away to college. She more than made up for lost time by embracing exotic ingredients and foodstuffs that gave her grandmother and mother the vapors. In her 20s, Joan adopted the kitchen as her favorite room in the house and spent ensuing decades attempting and often succeeding in creating edible meals. In the early years, she was the only one of her friends who preferred to throw a dinner party than a kegger. Moving from Ohio to South Florida to metro Atlanta, and traveling up and down the East Coast, Joan has picked up a passing familiarity with a wide variety of cuisines, regional specialties and cooking procedures.


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Attention Sciatica and Low Back Pain Sufferers... Could One Hour With Our Doctors Give You The Answer To Your Disc Pain? Now, in Acworth, GA, Dr. Erin Arnold, D.C. & Dr. Amy Valente, D.C. have what may be the most important breakthrough in non-surgical back pain treatment. Before and after MRI studies have shown disc bulges shrink in size - even with the most painful cases of L4-L5 & L5-S1 herniations. If you've had disc problems for years, recently injured your back,or you're suffering with sciatica,you must hear about these new studies.Scientific studies tell us that spinal discs are responsible for most of the aches and pains people suffer from. Discs act like a cushion between our backbones and allow for a space at each level so the nerves can exit the spinal column. When these discs get injured or wear out from bad posture, they begin to degenerate and cause pain. Bulging and herniations begin to form, pressing on the nerve roots. If the herniations occur at L4-L5,they can severely compromise the large sciatic nerve, causing muscle weakness, tingling, and severe pain. The most common invasive treatment for disc herniations is surgery. This costs quite a bit of money. Even with health insurance the patient is left with their own portion of the bill, in excess of $10,000-$15,000, and sometimes more. The recovery time and missed work can be anywhere from 3 to 6 months, not to mention the obvious severe risks associated with all surgery. But here's the biggest problem… there is a high failure rate of back surgery. One medical study found that on average, 53% of L5-S1 back surgeries fail to produce relief of symptoms (International Orthop 1987.) Before You Go Under The Knife And Opt For Spinal Surgery… You should seriously consider a less invasive approach called spinal decompression. Non-surgical spinal decompression is a new technology that has been proven to reverse disc herniations. It creates a vacuum effect on the disc, which pulls the disc back into its normal position and brings in a fresh blood supply to promote healing. Do You Have A Disc Problem? If you experience any of the following in your back or neck, chances are your pain is due to a disc bulge, herniation or degeneration: • A vice-like squeezing feeling in your back • Sitting causes back or leg pain • Stabbing pain at the belt line or in your neck • Can't turn over in bed without hurting • Numbness in your toes or fingers • Fire down your legs • Searing pain radiates into your arm • Prickling in your leg or toes Finally, Some Good News…… If you've been suffering with back pain or arm/leg pain caused by a disc bulge, disc herniation or squashed or compressed discs. Until recently, the only advice for many of you suffering in pain was to try what you've been told: • Try exercising • Try physical therapy • Try pain medications • Try muscle relaxers • Try pain shots • Try dangerous back surgery • Just live with it If you're like most, none of these have worked for you or you are afraid of what could happen if you do try some of these. Exercising makes you hurt more, pain medications and muscle relaxers cover up the problem and give you side effects. Pain shots can cause more pain, don't work or don't last very long or FIX the problem, back surgery didn't work, or made you worse. Or maybe you were one of the lucky ones that back surgery actually helped, but now the problem is back with a vengeance. Whatever your situation, you owe it to yourself to check into a Breakthrough Computerized Non-Surgical Treatment for back pain and sciatic or leg pain caused by a bulging, herniated or squashed disc or discs. It has helped hundreds of people who

were suffering just like you.This new treatment machine we are calling "the squashed disc machine." How "Good" Discs become "Bad" Discs Over time the discs in your back tend to get squashed or compressed,especially if you've played certain sports when younger or have a job that requires lots of sitting or standing in one place for long periods of time. Car accidents, lifting things, very physical jobs just to name a few. It's kind of like a cookie with cream filling, and the cream filling will start to ooze out from between the sides of the cookie if pressure is applied on top of the cookie (like gravity on our spines). Eventually this happens to a lot of us. Statistics show over 80% of Americans will suffer with back pain some time in their life. Spinal decompression treatments are very gentle. In fact, every once in a while I even catch a patient sleeping during treatment! How Does This Machine Work? Haven't you ever had the thought…"Gosh, if somebody could just pull me apart…I would feel a whole lot better." Yeah, we know you have. And it kind of makes a bit of sense. Well someone else, actually a medical manufacturer, back pain specialists, neurosurgeons and engineers have come up with just that. A machine that gently pulls you apart, stretches the disc to a certain point that causes a drop in pressure inside the disc (like a little vacuum in the middle of the cream filling) causing the cream filling to suck back in! You'll simply lie on your stomach or back, whichever is comfortable, and then a specialized belt is gently put around your waist. We'll set the machine to focus on your problem area - then the advanced decompression computer system will do the rest. Most patients feel better with just a few treatments, and best of all there will be no dangerous drugs, no invasive procedures, and no painful exercises. Does Decompression really work? Absolutely! When you come in we will provide you with studies that show why decompression is a preferred method of treatment. But what provides the best "proof" on how well decompression works is what patients say about it: Just Listen to What Our Patients Had to Say: I started at North Cobb Spine & Nerve Institute for pain in my low back that traveled down my right leg. The pain felt like a burning sensation down my leg and numbness into my toes. I was unable to walk my normal 5 miles. Since starting the spinal decompression therapy I am now able to walk again without any pain. The pain and numbness down my right leg is completely alleviated. I was surprised to find that I am even sleeping better at night and that the tension in my upper back has also been relieved. The staff here has treated my great and is very caring! Thanks - Bill Norman Before I started getting spinal decompression therapy I was having severe pain in my low back and numbness down my leg constantly. I had been suffering with this for 3 years. I had two nerve abrasions, multiple steroid shots in my back, pain killers, PT and water therapy and nothing worked. After the first spinal decompression treatment I could stand up straight with very little pain. I can now sleep through the night and exercise again. I am 90-100% better and I am so thankful I found this office. Thanks, John Ratledge As you can see, spinal decompression has a high success rate with helping disc herniations, sciatica, and back pain. In just a matter of weeks you could be playing golf, enjoying your love life, or traveling again. Feel the Improvement - and Say "Yes" to Life Again With my "Decompression Evaluation" we'll be able to find the problem and then get to work on it.Think of how you'll feel in PA I D A DV E RT I S I N G

Dr. Erin Arnold just a few short weeks. See and feel your life change for the better. Start your body on the way to pain-free, normal living, feel tight joints rest, relax, free up, muscles tied in knots will become more supple and strength in your muscles may increase. You're able to live life like a normal person again, without back pain - able to play with your kids, enjoy time with friends, and finally get a good night's rest. The Single Most Important Solution To Your Sciatica and Back Pain It's time for you to find out if spinal decompression will be your sciatic and back pain solution. For 15 days only, we're running a very special offer where you can find out if you are a candidate for spinal decompression. What Does This Offer Include? Everything we normally do in our new patient evaluation. Just call before Jan. 2nd, and here's what you'll get… • An in-depth consultation about your health and well-being where the doctor will listen…really listen…to the details of your case. • A complete neuromuscular examination. • A full set of specialized x-rays to determine if a spinal problem is contributing to your pain or symptoms. • A thorough analysis of your exam and x-ray findings so we can start mapping out your plan to being pain free. • An extensive review of your MRI. • You'll get to see everything first hand and find out if this amazing treatment will be your pain solution, like is has been for so many other patients. Until Jan. 2nd, you can get everything listed here for $20. The normal price for this type of evaluation including x-rays is $250, so you're saving a considerable amount by taking us up on this offer. Here's What To Do Now: Due to the expected demand for this treatment, we suggest calling our office at once at 678-574-5678.

CALL TODAY!

678-574-5678 North Cobb Spine & Nerve Institute 3451 Cobb Pkwy Ste. 4 Acworth, GA 30101


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TA L K O F T H E TO W N

parties Witches, ghosts and vampires made merry in Marietta on Halloween! A young 91-year-old Mable Johnson, donned “the hostess with the mostess” by her friends, gathered friends and neighbors at her Marietta condominium complex for a Halloween party. Costumes were required, and the “mostly” compiled by senior citiSally Litchfield zens from The Circle of and staff Wisdom came through with quite a variety. The Circle of Wisdom meets in a shady place near their parking area on pretty days around 5 p.m. They set up a table for snacks and chairs in a circle

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for socializing. Someone called it “God’s Waiting Room” but since no one was quite ready to be called up, they renamed it “The Circle of Wisdom.” Attendees supplied refreshments ranging from shrimp, wings, orange eyeballs (cantaloupe balls with cloves) and even spiders. Diana Caldwell, Anne and Bill Cox, Barbara Walker-Fox, Charlotte and Gene Irvine, Jane and Skip Turner, and Jane Wansky were among the crew.

celebrations The Maple Avenue Halloween Parade, hosted by Marietta residents Sarah and John Bullington, drew almost 500 people this year. After starting four years ago with 60 in attendance, the event has grown so popular that the starting point was moved from the small triangular park near Maple and Holland Streets (off Kennesaw Avenue near the Marietta Square) to the Marietta Middle School

gym parking lot. Grand prize costume winners from last year Lisa Novak and John Pierson and their daughters, Elizabeth, Olivia and Caroline, led the parade this year dressed as ancient Egypt with Novak entertaining everyone as the sphinx. Kids and adults alike were decked out in their finest holiday garb for the neighborhood event. Erika Graus was costumed as The Strand Theatre. Her husband dressed as Mayor Thunder Tumlin, her daughter, Ashton, dressed as Scarlett from the Gone with the Wind and daughter Avery dressed as the Big Chicken. The family won the First United Methodist Church of Marietta Trunk or Treat costume contest as well as the Maple Avenue contest. Mayor Tumlin, Jennifer Brett, Theresa Jenkins and Andy Morris judged the latter contest. Parading among the crowd was Amanda and Ben Persons and family dressed as Willy Wonka, Kathy and Scott Patterson festooned as cats,


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Tracy and Scott Kinney and daughters Lily and Madeline dressed as characters from Peter Pan, Stephanie Swanson’s new little baby, Annie, as a Cabbage Patch doll, Melissa and Blake Surber as Lisa Marie and Elvis, and Nancy Steele was so scary as a witch she could have stolen a part in “The Wizard of Oz.”

sweater challenge Amy Barnes, Sarah Bullington, Meredith Dixon, Erika Graus, Danielle Musolf and Amanda Persons all participated in the Marietta Loud Halloween Sweater Challenge created on Facebook by Lindsey O’Shields. Challengers wore a holiday-themed sweater in public and had a photo taken and posted to the Facebook group.

parties In late October at the sixth annual Cobb Arts Ball — themed Old Hollywood Glamour — patrons donned black tie, long gowns, kid gloves and glittering jewels like seasoned Hollywood icons. The Big Chicken Chorus set the festive mood as guests arrived in the lobby

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of the Renaissance Waverly Hotel Galleria welcoming them with song. Champagne and cocktails were served during the reception where bids were placed on silent auction items. Dinner followed with a live auction, casino games and entertainment by Brookwood Split. Deb and Jim Budzinksi chaired the evening along with the Brumby family, who served as honorary chairs. Maryclaire and Rob Andres, Carolyn and Doug Chaffins, Liz Cole, Marcelle and Bill David, Mary Margaret and Clem Doyle, Linda Flournoy, Claire and Ron Francis, Melissa and Parker Gilbert, Julianne and Byron Long, Julianne and Boozer McClure, Dawn McEachern, Earl Reece, Ami and Wade Stephens, Jean Alice and Mayor Thunder Tumlin, and Kelley and Randy Weiner were among the shining stars that evening.

parties The Junior League of Cobb-Marietta recently hosted a fall dinner for sustaining Members of the League. Seventy ladies were treated to a beautiful evening

in the gardens at the Kennesaw home of sustainer Melissa Worley. President Renae Meyer, Sustainer Director Beth Johnston, and Sustainer Liaison Lisa Werginz welcomed them as the sun began to set. Attendees included Jeri Barr, Cathy Brooks, Cheryl Carpenter, Kathy Collar, Barbara Dawson, Judy DuPre, Martha Farrar, Ann Fowler, Rosemary Knox, Beth Johnston, Mary Anne Lanier, Beverly McCollum, Ginny Northcutt, Leigh Ann Rapp, Diane Vaughan, Pam Webb, Carol Worley, Jane Worley and Melissa Worley. The Sustainer Advisory Board and Pam Webb planned the event. It is definitely a small world. After a recent Strand Theatre Board of Director’s meeting, Liz Cole was pleasantly surprised to learn that fellow board member, Cobb Commissioner, and Delta pilot Bob Ott would be flying the plane for her upcoming trip to Italy. Liz and several friends, including fellow Mariettan Janie Maddox, enjoyed excellent service by Pilot Ott, and Liz even got to sit in the official pilot’s seat prior to departure.

December 2013 Cobb Life

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news & noteworthy [food and dining] Golden Biscuits Southern Cooking opens Owned by three Army veterans, Golden Biscuits Southern Cooking is earning its stars serving up traditional Southern fare. “Our food has that added flavor that you wouldn’t get anywhere but in the South,” said Trisha Hernandez, who owns the restaurant with her brother, Julian Graham, and husband, Avi, an audio visual technician for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Avi served 10 years in the Army and as a U.S. government contractor for two years in Iraq. “Our specialty items are biscuits. In the morning we do buttermilk, and in the afternoon when we move into lunch we do garlic biscuits,” said Hernandez, who is a project manager for a software company. She served four years in the U.S. Army,

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five years in Kosovo/Bosnia and as a U.S. government contractor for six years in Iraq. Open for breakfast and lunch, she recommends either the sausage biscuit or any of the three-meat burritos for breakfast. The lunch menu features traditional Southern favorites like fried chicken, fried catfish, fried pork chops, greens, mashed potatoes, corn, dirty rice and mac-ncheese. Platters at Golden Biscuits are less than $6 and include meat, two side items and biscuit. Golden Biscuits Southern Cooking is at 4148 Marietta St., Suite 200, in Powder Springs. The restaurant is open weekdays except Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Information: 404.382.9032

Tommy’s Sandwich Shop re-opening as The Local

Ralph Stowell with Wilson Construction applies mortar to a brick, which will go on the wall of a new downtown eatery, The Local, which will offer breakfast and lunch at the corner of Roswell and Atlanta streets. After sitting vacant for six months, a corner sandwich shop on the Square is being renovated so a daytime eatery can fill the space. White signs with red lettering have appeared in the windows of 148 Roswell St. advertising the new restaurant “The Local” for “Breakfast and Lunch.” “Everybody has been coming by and looking in the windows wondering what is going on,” said Elizabeth Manning, a property manager at Manning Properties, which owns the building. Manning said the operators of The Local are waiting to release more information about the restaurant in a large marketing campaign, but she did confirm “they are local Marietta folks.” The operators of The Local, who recently applied for a business license, will be long-term tenants with a 20year lease. Manning said this proves their desire to be on the Square. The space was previously home to Tommy’s Sandwich Shop, which opened in 1977 and closed in March, when former restaurateur Tommy Smith said he could not survive a jump in the monthly rent charged by Manning Properties. Before it became a restaurant in 1977, the building was home to Groover’s Hardware, which later became Cobb Hardware and moved off the Square.


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Maguire releases CD based on Lewis book Cobb Life Director Mark Wallace Maguire recently released an album, “In green seas, under copper skies: Music inspired by C.S. Lewis’ ‘Perelandra.’” The project was written, performed and produced by Maguire. It is an instrumental album and stretches across genres, including rock, ambient music, soundtrack and space rock. Maguire admits the album is aimed at a niche audience, but also emphasized that one does not have to have read the book to enjoy the music. “‘Perelandra’” — as with most of the Space Trilogy that Lewis wrote, including ‘Out of the Silent Planet’ and ‘That Hideous Strength’ — is arguably the most overlooked and under-read books of Lewis’s esteemed canon,” he said. “I found that even the most ardent Lewis fans had not heard of the book. I suppose the idea of composing music based on it sounds strange, but an idea was

born and I followed it.” Though the CD is heavy on guitar, it also features bass, drums and piano. Maguire credits artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Gustav Holst, U2 and Brian Eno as influences. This is not Maguire’s first foray into music. Maguire performed semi-professionally as a guitarist and bassist in the ‘90s with bands garnering radio airplay, touring and performing throughout the Southeast and Midwest. He temporally retired from the music industry in 1999 to focus on a career in journalism, but began playing again in his spare time a few years ago focusing on studio work and performing occasionally in church. Last year, his music was featured on the independent film circuit at festivals in New York City and Atlanta. “In green seas, under copper skies” features eight pieces based on eight scenes within the book. The

[arts and culture]

music is available at www.markwallace maguire.bandcamp.com. His music is also available on numerous other platforms, including Soundcloud, Grooveshark and can be followed on Facebook.

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[food and dining] Holiday trick to mashed potatoes

One of the most stressful parts of hosting a large dinner party is figuring out how to time everything so all the food arrives at the table piping hot and at its prime. Traditional mashed potatoes pose a special problem. You can try making them ahead of time, then reheating them at the last minute, but then they tend to taste stale. Here's my solution — cook and mash the potatoes without any seasonings or dairy the day before, then pop them in the refrigerator. When you're ready to serve them, nuke them and add the dairy at the last minute. Whether you use fancy gadgets or a fork, this recipe will work. But whatever you do, do not put the hot, cooked potatoes in a food processor, blender or mixer. You will end up with wallpaper paste. MAKE-AHEAD LIGHT MASHED POTATOES Start to finish: 1 day plus 1 hour and 20 minutes (20 minutes active) Servings: 10 10 small to medium russet potatoes (about 5 pounds) 1 to 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 chunks Salt and ground black pepper, to taste Heat the oven to 400° F Use a paring knife to prick the potatoes in several places. Place the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake on the oven's middle shelf until a knife goes through with no resistance, about 45 to 50 minutes. After they are baked, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Use a spoon to scoop out the pulp from each potato half and transfer it, in batches, to a ricer or a food mill fitted with the finest blade. Force the potatoes through the ricer or mill into a microwave-safe bowl. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, microwave the potatoes, covered loosely with plastic wrap, for 2 minutes. Stir and heat for another minute. Repeat the procedure until the potatoes are hot. Stir in 1 cup of the milk, the sour cream, the butter, and salt and pepper to taste, then heat for another minute, or until hot. Thin with additional milk if you prefer a lighter, softer texture. Serve immediately.

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An alternative to the traditional bulb Beautiful and sturdy with a flair for the dramatic, alliums are a graceful way to add color and architectural dimension to your garden. With large globes of tiny white, purple, yellow or blue flowers that rise from bulbs on slender green stems as high as 4 feet tall, they look like giant, fluffy lollipops — something Willy Wonka would have planted in the Chocolate Factory garden. Most bloom in late spring or early summer, so they fill the gap between spring bulbs and summer perennials. They're also easy to grow, and resistant to deer and many other pests. "For people who are considering planting them, my advice is, don't think twice. Do it," says Michaela Lica Butler, a 38-year-old mother and gardener in Schweich, Germany, who has planted the giant, purple Globemaster allium for years. Alliums grow best in full sun, though some do well in part-sun or shade, and they prefer well-drained soil. Plant them in the fall as you would any other spring-blooming bulb. Wait until the weather cools to allow them several weeks to develop a root system before the ground freezes, Langeveld says.

[gardening]

[arts and culture] Marietta native earns praise for poetry Hats off to Marietta native R. Flowers Rivera. Rivera, an author and poet, is in the midst of a literary tour touting her book of poetry, “Troubling Accents.� The collection has earned praise from critics and fans alike. Rivera spent November at a number of events in the metro area giving readings and lectures, including Georgia Perimeter College, Clark University and University of West Georgia. The book is published by Xavier Press and is already in its second printing. It is available at local bookstores and on amazon.com Her parents Ann and Herman Rivera still make Cobb County home.

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2 1 s a m t s i r Ch f o s y da

I t ’s t h e m o s t wo n d e r f u l t i m e o f t h e ye a r, a n d C o b b re s i d e n t s h a ve a n a b u n d a n c e o f eve n t s and activities to celebrate t he season. Here’s 12 wa ys to help get you in a festive mood.

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c h o o s e yo u r t re e

There’s nothing like the excitement of finding the perfect Christmas tree to begin the season. Cobb residents have several tree farms to choose from, including Old Mountain Christmas Trees at Mud Creek Ranch in Marietta, where you take a hayride to scout out the trees, and then roast marshmallows around a bonfire to celebrate after cutting it down yourself.

Here are a few locals. Call to check hours and types of trees available. Old Mountain Christmas Trees in Marietta. 678-401-8391. http://oldmountain christmastrees.net. Coker Tree Farm in Marietta.770-424-8047. http://cokertreefarm.com. Sleepy Hollow Christmas Tree Farm in Powder Springs. 770-942-6770. www.sleepyhollowtrees.com.

vo lu nteer

Tis the season of giving, and there is no better way to give than of yourself. In addition to whatever monetary contributions you make this season, take a little time out to do hands-on volunteering as well. There are tons of ways to give back to your community, uplift others, or help those in need. Volunteering at local shelters, nursing homes, hospitals, Keep Cobb Beautiful, your local library, mentoring children — the list goes on. One organization to check out: Family Promise of Cobb County provides 24-hour shelter, meals, transportation and supportive services for families in need for up to 90 days. The program is a partnership with faith communities throughout Cobb County; however, religious values are not required or imposed on our guests. For more information, visit http://familypromisecobbcounty.org For KSU students (or an easy way to see some opportunities in the area) visit the website www.kennesaw.edu/stu_dev/vksu/cobb.html. Also, www.handsonatlanta.org lists volunteer opportunities by zip code.


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s e e t he lig ht s

Driving through neighborhoods to see Christmas lights and décor is a tradition enjoyed by many families. In addition, Life University puts on a spectacular display at their Marietta campus. The display features millions of lights and includes a 65-foot Santa and sleigh, which is the tallest in the Southeast. Lights of Life also has children’s activities available for a fee. Information: Every night until Dec. 31 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. $5/car weekdays; $10/car Friday to Sunday and Dec. 20 to 25; $10/passenger van; $20/bus. Life University Treehouse, 1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta. 678-331-4334.

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dickens of a christmas y ’all

Take a stroll back in time through the streets of Acworth’s historic downtown with this unique event. Costumed characters from A Christmas Carol will be at various posts, musicians will perform at the depot, strolling carolers will spread cheer, horse and carriage rides will be available, as will photos with Father Christmas. At the event you can also take a caroling stroll with the Ghost of Christmas Present, and visit a living nativity at Acworth Presbyterian Church. Information: Dec. 14. www.acworthdickensofachristmasyall.com

If you are up for traveling a bit, “North Georgia’s Santa Claus” in neighboring Canton hosts a phenomenal display every year. Santa’s home is decked out with tons of lights and holiday scenes and most evenings Santa takes a seat on his red velvet chair to visit with kids. Information: Located at 6951 Vaughn Road, Canton, Georgia, 30188. Call Santa’s helpers, Ronnie and Betty Page at 770.345.6314.

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5

movie night

What better way to get in the spirit of the season that cozying up with your family or close friends with a holiday-themed movie night? You can prepare refreshments beforehand like gingerbread cookies, hot cocoa and eggnog, and place comfy blankets on the couch to snuggle up in. Some of our holiday favorites include It’s a Wonderful Life, Love Actually, Scrooged, Elf and A Christmas Carol. If you prefer to see a classic on the big screen, the Earl Smith Strand Theatre will be showing It’s a Wonderful Life on December 23. Information: www.earlsmithstrand.org.

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sounds of the season

From carols to classics to cantatas to Charlie Brown tributes, Cobb has it all. Here are a few standouts: Marietta’s Big Chicken Chorus annual Christmas show will feature the quartet Lunch Break. The show is sure to be packed with laughs. Information: Dec. 14, performances are 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Jennie T. Anderson Theater at the Cobb Civic Center. Tickets are $20. www.bigchickenchorus.org. Jeffrey Bützer and T.T. Mahony will present a jazzy musical tribute to Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre. The show will feature the whimsical Christmas songs that Charlie Brown and the gang have made favorites for the holiday season. Opening the show will be Bützer and the Bicycle Eaters, followed by Chad Shivers and the Silent Knights and their Beach Boys Christmas Tribute. Information: Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 the day of show. www.earlsmithstrand.org. Spread the cheer yourself One surefire way to get in the spirit of the season is to gather a group of friends and go caroling. This is becoming a rare tradition, so it will be a true delight for your neighbors.

visit a live n ativ it y

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Taking a moment to remember the reason for the season will invigorate the spirit with good will. One unique version of a live nativity is Life Church Smyrna Assembly of God’s Drive-Thru Nativity, in which vehicles ride through the scenes depicting the day of Jesus’ birth. Free hot chocolate and candy canes will be offered. Information: Dec. 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. at 4100 King Springs Road in Smyrna. (770) 435-5478 or www.MyLifeChurchSmyrna.com


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ce le b rate w it h yo u r co mmu nit y

Christmas at Piedmont Church in Marietta is a festive celebration with snow tubing, marshmallow and smores roasting, unique arts and crafts exhibitors, food, local entertainment, children’s activities, a petting zoo and more. Rides on the 50-foot Snow Tube ride are free and take place on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. The petting zoo will be open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Santa will also be on hand to hear children’s Christmas wishes and guests will receive a free photo Friday evening and Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. Information: Dec. 13 from 5 to 9 p.m. and Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Located at 570 Piedmont Road, Marietta. Free admission. 770-423-1330.

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creative christmas

Get creative in holiday decorating or do-it-yourself gifts. Painting ornaments is a great way to spend time with family, and you’ll have keepsakes to remember the day. Make your own holiday decor at Just Fired, 4290 Bells Ferry Road, Kennesaw; 770-516-3777; http://just-firedpottery.com or Just Kiln’ Time, 27 Atlanta Street, Marietta. 770-428-9699; www.justkilntimeshop.com.



ar t s & craf t s

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Aren’t so crafty yourself but love handmade gifts? Mable House Barnes Arts Center’s Christmas House Arts and Crafts Show will have hundreds of unique handmade items displayed in a beautiful holiday setting. Information: Now until Dec. 15 at 5239 Floyd Road in Mableton. 770-819-3285; www.mablehouse.org.

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enjoy t he magic o n stage

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Courtesy Vinings Jubilee

sleigh ride

Whether planning a romantic date night or bringing some magic to your shopping experience, these complimentary horse-drawn Victorian sleigh rides through Vinings Jubilee will surely put you in a festive mood. Information: Dec. 13 and 20 from 5 to 8 p.m. www.viningsjubilee.com.

Live performances bring the magic of Christmas to life like nothing else. Some may make you laugh, some may make you cry, but they will all infuse you with the holiday spirit. Here are a few: Center Stage North’s Christmas at Sweet Apple is a heartfelt collection of stories adapted from writings by acclaimed Georgia writer Celestine Sibley. Tales of Jingles the dancing cow; Miz Tippens, the “hero” of Snout Island, and other colorful characters are told to the accompaniment of traditional and original holiday music in this family favorite. Information: December 13 to 21. 770-331-0079; www.centerstagenorth.org. Powder Springs Café Noel, a Christmas Variety Show is hosted by Powder Springs First United Methodist Church in conjunction with the city of Powder Springs along with several local businesses. The evening will include local entertainment and desserts with performances. All proceeds from the event

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benefit Christian Aid Mission Partnership, a local nonprofit agency serving the Cobb/Douglas community. Information: Dec. 14 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Patricia C. Vaughn Cultural Arts Center. Tickets are $15. Reservations are recommended. Remaining tickets will be sold at the door for $20. 770-9435130; www.powderspringsfumc.org. The Georgia Ballet’s production of the timeless classic, The Nutcracker, features dancing snowflakes, giant toy soldiers, a growing Christmas tree, and a delectable land of sweets. The historic production, now more than 40 years old, features new choreography for this season and contains even more surprises for audiences. Information: Dec. 8 at the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre at the Cobb County Civic Center in Marietta. 770-528-0881; www.georgiaballet.org

For more Christmas theatre and events, see Highlights, page 64.


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BY STACEY L. EVANS, JENNIFER CARTER AND MARK WALLACE MAGUIRE PHOTOGRAPHY BY SAM BENNETT

b r e a t h e Let’s face it. We love the holidays, but they can be hectic. Sometimes you just need to take a break, rejuvenate, revitalize and relax. We provide you with a few ways to get back on track in mind, body and spirit this month.


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Forget the coffee, grab a smoothie instead! In the annual rush to take care of everyone on your holiday list, it’s unfortunately all too easy to neglect taking care of yourself. Whether settling for an unhealthy fast food drive-thru for a quick bite, not getting enough rest, or stressing about the prospect of household company, this time of year takes a serious toll on your well-being. And if you’re suffering from a little too much eggnog or just mall-shopping malaise, that’s where the folks at Up Dog Smoothies and Juices can come in to give you the boost you need to make it through. Located on Church Street on the Marietta Square, this café adjacent to Be Yoga has been serving up healthy organic smoothies and juices since their opening in June of 2012. Made from whole fruits and vegetables rather than mystery mixes, the smoothies are packed with nutrition from powerhouse foods such as kale, wheatgrass, ginger

and blueberries. Owner Craig Quinlan is really proud to use ingredients that contain no GMOs, no herbicides, and no pesticides. “We are here to provide the community with something worthwhile,” said Quinlan about his products. “Something to make people feel good in body, mind and mouth.”

Up Dog Smoothies and Juices 770-235-7080 107 Church Street Marietta, Georgia 30060 http://www.updogfresh.com/ Craig Quinlan, owner Prices: $6.00-$8.00 (Add-ins such as protein boosters and wheatgrass shots are extra.)


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The Brisk Walk Doctors have been touting exercise for years as a way to boost energy and release tension and we wholeheartedly agree. And don’t even start with the time excuse. For a quick boost, you don’t need to plan an hour-long workout. Just keep a pair of sneakers in the car and pop out when you get a minute and walk anywhere – one of Cobb’s parks, the mall, your neighborhood. Even just ten minutes will make a difference you will feel (plus you can justify that cookie later).

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Hire some elves to work magic in your home Planning a party, having guests visit or just need a hand in managing the day to day chores with such a busy holiday schedule? This time of year is draining enough, without considering the extra housework involved, or long, hectic days that leave you exhausted by the time you get home. No need to fret, you can hire a cleaning service to help you pre-party, post-party or anytime you need an extra hand. “There is so much pressure on us these days with work commitments, extra-curricular activities for the kids, parties that you have been invited to, decorations to put up, menus to plan, etc. We don't have time to clean the house as well. But a clean house is important to your peace of mind in whatever ‘off’ time you can manage. And especially important when you have guests coming,” said Marietta resident Lesley Thurmond, who owns House Elves Cleaning Services with her husband Len. “Thoroughly cleaning a house is a hard and time-consuming job—one that most of us don't have time to do properly, and one that is therefore best left to professionals you can trust to do it for you, and do it the way you want it to be done.” Another great cleaning service is Merry Maids that has two locations in Cobb. They offer prime services that run the gamut. Cleaning service providers are also extra busy this time of year as well, so scheduling as far in advance as possible is recommended. House Elves Cleaning Services LLC www.houseelves.net 770-298-1136 Merry Maids www.merrymaidsmarietta.com 770-272-9570

At West Cobb Funeral Home, we have been committed to serving the families of our community for the past 18 years. Recently, we have renovated and added a tranquil pavilion which adjoins our spacious family reception room. See why more families are choosing our home, our services and our facilities.


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Massage away your stress If you’re the type to get a regular massage, or someone who knows to at least pencil in one for the holiday season, kudos to you. Massages do so much for your overall wellbeing, both physically and mentally. “Massage helps release overused areas that result from holding postures too long or any daily physical habits, like sitting at a desk, exercising, sports, etc.,” said Danielle Hildebrand, owner of Pearl’s Spa and Boutique in Acworth. “Massage also helps jump start your immune system to help heal almost every disease or condition.” For many, holidays tend to wreak even more havoc on our bodies, internally and externally. The stress can weaken your immune system, said Hildebrand. That leads to colds and more exhaustion. “Massage can help reverse the physical exertion from shopping, traveling, gift wrapping, or decorating,” said Hildebrand. For a full pampering session, pair the massage with a body wrap. “The heat as well as the quiet, peaceful atmosphere mingling with the decadent scents and textures of the array of aromatherapy, masques, and lotions will melt the holiday stress away,” said Hildebrand. But if you can’t find a few hours in your schedule, aren’t comfortable with full body massages or just need a quick fix, consider a foot massage. There are numerous studies and texts devoted to reflexology for good reason. “Every nerve track ends in the hands and feet. The nerve pathway runs through all of the organs and tissues of the body. Reflexology has the added bonus of relaxation and stimulates the entire pathway from the bottom up,” said Hildebrand. Pearl’s Spa and Boutique 4827 S. Main St. Acworth 30101 770-966-9099 www.pearlsspaandboutique.com


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KC Roberts of Marietta.

Brian Goldstein of Powder Springs.

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Dominic Telaro, head of the chapter.

Power Springs resident and Sixes Tavern Chef Marc Gogolin with Les Marmitons member Larry Lodisio.


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Forget burgers and baked beans. The members of this gourmet cooking club whip up culinary delights worthy of top restaurants. And they have fun at it too. A look inside our

Festive feast with

LES MARMITONS S By Joan Durbin + Photography by Jennifer Carter

ome of the men in the crisp white jackets and jaunty chef’s caps were intently studying a sheet of instructions. Others were cracking jokes as they worked, mixing carefully measured ingredients or jockeying for use of a burner to get a sauce underway. A tall young man, clearly the executive chef, was gliding from work stations to the stove, stopping to answer questions, give advice or toss off a compliment. Though it may sound like a typical night in a restaurant kitchen, this evening’s culinary script was being played out by 28 members of Les Marmitons Atlanta, a men’s gourmet cooking club that regularly prepares top-notch dinners under guidance from a professional chef. Tonight they were cooking a holiday menu designed by Chef Michael Gogolin, who was on hand to oversee the proceedings. “The first 20 minutes were chaos,” said chapter president Dominick Telaro, “but after that everything fell into place.” Gogolin agreed. “It’s going well. They listen and want to know things. They are doing better than some guys I pay $15 an hour to,” he said as he stood at one

end of the kitchen surveying the various work stations. “But I do have to keep an eye on the line cooks here,” he added jokingly, “because in my restaurants the cooks don’t have glasses of wine in their hands.” Partaking of the grape while busying themselves with their culinary tasks appears to be a time-honored tradition for this group. Members value the conviviality and camaraderie as much as they enjoy the cooking aspect of the Les Marmitons events. “I think of Les Marmitons as a friendship club with a cooking problem, and I think that is what attracted me and has held me since then,” said a smiling Ron Seiberling, who lives in Woodstock’s Towne Lake. The members divide up into teams and team captains, each with a specific course to prepare for all of the men to enjoy. After each course is served, it is discussed by the diners and the guest chef.


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Mushroom canapés were a hit.

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Gogolin’s holiday menu began with butternut squash soup. Rather than boiling the squash, it is halved, brushed with melted butter and roasted at 400 degrees for an hour. The sweet, delicate flavor of the squash is intensified by roasting. When it comes out of the oven, golden brown and caramelized, sautéed apples, onions, chicken broth and sage and an immersion blender turn it into a thick soup, to be thinned with a little cream. What elevated this lovely soup to new heights was a dollop of plain yogurt – Greek works best – and a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds. The ingenious soup team went the recipe one better by toasting and adding the seeds removed from the squash, a move Gogolin applauded. Mushroom canapés, comprised of crimini and button ‘shrooms, butter, red wine and puff pastry, was next. The tasty little bites were made even more savory with piped-on herbed goat cheese. With Craisins, pecans, applewood smoked bacon, gorgonzola and cranberries, the salad course had sweet and salty elements that nicely set off the slight bitterness of the mixed greens. The unusual vinaigrette of maple syrup and sherry vinegar was truly an inspired choice. Gogolin designated rack of lamb as the entrée because it evoked wonderful memories. “It was part of one of the best Christmas dinners I ever had,” he reminisced. The medium rare meat was napped with raspberry preserves in a veal demi glace, the only ingredient provided by the chef, since making demi glace is a long, drawn out project. Under the lamb was a bed of superlative risotto, made with both red and white wines, Arborio rice, shallots, mushrooms and stock. It was easily among the best of its kind I have ever tasted – unctuous and creamy, yet retaining enough


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texture for a pleasant chew. Accompanying the lamb was fresh asparagus, simply seasoned and grilled on the kitchen’s flat top with a seemingly expert hand, as the stalks had both snap and tenderness. To cap this delicious and well executed holiday meal, Gogolin devised a fresh pear crumble, similar to apple crisp, but drizzled with unexpected flavors of pomegranate, orange, cinnamon and honey in syrupy reduction. Paired with each of the courses was an excellent wine that enhanced the finished dish. The chef, who presides over the kitchen at Sixes Tavern in Canton, was impressed at the quality of the dishes brought by members of each team to dining tables decked out for the holidays. He awarded most of the courses a 9 out of 10 rating, but pronounced the entrée a solid 10, adding he’d have no hesitation serving it at his restaurant. The members, too, pronounced the evening’s menu a winner and agreed their experiences with all of the dishes, both familiar and unfamiliar, were very positive. “We like to do stuff we haven’t done before. We like learning new things,” concluded Telaro.

The chef for the night was Powder Springs resident Michael Gogolin, who presides over the kitchen at Sixes Tavern in Canton. Above left, the dessert was fresh pear crumble.

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A closer look A love of cooking knows no gender restraints. The traditional belief that only women belong in the kitchen is fast becoming hopelessly outdated. Not only are more men learning to whip up meringues or wield sauté pan with consummate flair, they are actually enjoying it. Al Churella and Les Marmitons were probably destined for each other. Churella, a history professor at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, can’t recollect a time when he didn’t have a passion for food and cooking. “I have been cooking for at least 30 years, so I do not even remember the first thing that I cooked for myself. I do remember that when I was attending college, and living in a dorm, the food was pretty good, but monotonous. There were several times when I organized a dinner party with some of the other students, as a break from the routine of cafeteria food.” Churella didn’t have a car in college, so for one of his dorm parties he hiked from Haverford, Pennsylvania to Ardmore, the next suburb to the east, to buy fresh pasta at a farmers' market. “It was quite a bit of effort, but the lasagna that I made from the fresh pasta was delicious,” he said. As a child in Columbus, Ohio, Churella’s mother was a biochemist and his father stayed at home to take care of the children. “I learned that gender roles were malleable, and that both men and women could enjoy spending time in the kitchen.” At home now in Acworth, he does all the cooking for him and his wife, Marianne.


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He has been a Marmiton since 2008. One of the best elements of membership, Churella said, is “the opportunity to cook with and develop friendships with people from all over Cobb and Cherokee counties, and from many different walks of life.” Holidays in the Churella household can mean anything from the basic turkey and trimmings to an ambitious dish such as beef Wellington. Northern New Jersey transplant Tony Colasurdo also loves to cook. “As part of an Italian family, cooking and gathering around food was part of life,” he said. “I learned by watching my mom, who was a great cook. For most of what she prepared there were no recipes, and if she found a recipe it was only used as a starting point.” An East Cobb resident for the past 20 years, Colasurdo is the business manager for strategic accounts at AzkoNobel. Cooking after work is a release from the day’s stress, he said. “I really enjoy trying to duplicate a high end restaurant meal, and that is what really sealed the deal for me to join the Marmitons.” He’s been a club member for two years. In addition to cooking with his Marmitons colleagues, Colasurdo also puts his talent to work at Transfiguration Catholic Church in East Cobb. “I am a member of the Knights of Columbus and lead fish fry events during Lent. I’ve helped with spaghetti dinners and prepared breakfast events as well as others.” Holiday cooking is one of his specialties. He and his wife Betsy have three offspring: Kristin and Michelle, who teach in Cobb, and son A.J., a landscape architect. “We usually plan a menu and work as a family to execute the meal. All of my children also like to cook. It is great to see them prepare the Italian meals that have survived now to a fourth generation.” Like many of his Marmitons friends, Dave Radick also picked up some cooking skills at an early age. “My mother and grandmother were excellent cooks. When my mother returned back to the workforce after my brother and I were able to fend for ourselves, she instituted a rule whereby each of us had to cook one night a week. While my dad and brother more often than not repeated meals, or included packaged food, I tried different recipes out of cookbooks or recipes clipped from magazines.” While in college and dating, he would

boast that he could cook more than frying a hamburger or baking from a box cake. After marrying he continued his cooking adventures. “I can remember when my Laina, my wife, was working evening shifts, our daughter Keli would serve as the guinea pig,” he recalled. “Lucky for us, the pizza joint was around the corner when a cooking experiment didn't go as planned.” Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Radick has lived in Marietta for 20

years and is an account manager for Support Services of America. “I've been involved with the Marmitons since 2009. I find it enjoyable to learn new cooking techniques and explore different types of cooking and cultures,” he said. “I cook often at home, often by myself so my wife can relax or as a team with her.” The Les Marmitons Atlanta chapter accepts members from Cherokee, Cobb and north Fulton counties. For more information, go to www. lesmarmitonsatlanta.org.

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pajamas

always a perfect present Cynthia Greenwood's three girls always get new sleepwear at Christmas, the only gift they are allowed to open on Christmas Eve. The sisters waste no time getting comfy before the family sits down to a holiday dinner and relaxes by the fire. "They come right in from church, they look under the tree and there's the box of PJs, and they run back to their room and put them on and we start the festivities," said Greenwood, of Arlington Heights, Ill. "It's just a really nice night. It's special." The tradition has been going strong for about two and a half decades in the Greenwood home: The sisters, now 31, 28 and 23, have seen their gifts evolve from onepiece footed numbers to matching ruffled nightgowns to two-piece pajama sets. New pajamas are a holiday custom in many families and a perennially popular gift, whether it's Mom and Dad outfitting the kids in coordinating PJs for keepsake photos, a husband or wife tired of seeing their spouse in the same old ratty nightwear, or a treat for a special friend. "Getting sleepwear is very nostalgic," said Jennifer Wilson, associate corporate merchant for L.L. Bean. "You're giving the gift of warmth and comfort. It's cozy but it's practical at the same time." People spend a lot of time in their PJs, often changing into them right after work, snuggling up on the couch to watch a football game or even wearing them out of the house, notes Stacey Buonanno, director of product development for online retailer PajamaGram. "People are trying really hard to carve out family time together and relaxation time, whether it's playing a game together or watching a movie. A lot of that time happens in your PJs or sweats," said Buonanno. Pajamas also make a great gift because many people neglect to buy them for themselves, she added. PHOTO AND ARTICLE COURTESY OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


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And sleepwear is easier to buy for someone else than a sweater or pair of jeans because you don't need to worry about the perfect fit. "With PJs, just go up a size if you're not sure and say you wanted them to be comfortable," Buonanno said. There are a lot of choices when shopping for jammies. Does your guy like a classic button-front or pullover style? Do the kids need fleece or cotton? Does the lady in your life prefer a gown (short or long? sexy or demure?) or a two-piece set? Will your recipients appreciate the whimsy of a reindeer eating a candy cane or do they expect a traditional tartan?

pockets. "Men love to buy them for their wives and girlfriends," Buonanno said. "It keeps her warm from head to toe, plus she looks really cute in it." MEN The classic button-front and the pullover style are equally popular at PajamaGram. At L.L. Bean, Wilson likes the fleece sleep bottoms, the monochromatic waffle-knit PJs and the scotch plaid flannel PJs, which come in several color combinations. Look for one-piece footed PJs from online retailer Jumpin Jammerz, which offers prints showing "Star Wars," Kiss and the Hulk. While winter-themed and red and green sleepwear is never in short supply, nightwear celebrating Hanukkah and Kwanzaa for adults can be found online at CafePress, and PajamaGram has a Hanukkah design as well.

A look at some options: KIDS For parents, there may be nothing cuter (or more relief-inducing) after a long day of holiday celebrations than seeing the kids all washed up for bed and in new PJs. Matching family sets — the same print for men, women, children and pets — are a hit at PajamaGram, with orders quadrupling over the last few years, Buonanno said. The company's most popular family looks are a red Stewart plaid and the holiday stripe: red, green and white striped pants with coordinating red and green tops. If matchy-matchy isn't your thing, there are countless choices for kids to show off their individuality. At Kohl's, look for sleepwear featuring a favorite team, a beloved cartoon character or a cool design, like camouflage. Old Navy offers a festive Santa suit PJ set for babies and toddlers, superhero PJs for boys and Hello Kitty sets for girls. WOMEN PJs are more popular than nightgowns, retailers say, but there are many holiday options in both styles. At L.L. Bean, the ankle-length tartan flannel nightgown and pajama come in a traditional red royal Stewart and in colors new this year: a light blue and a blackwatch plaid that includes a shot of bright pink. "The gowns would be great for your grandmother and the flannel PJs might be perfect for your sister," Wilson said. For a less "high holiday" look, or if you are not sure what a woman likes, Wilson suggests Bean's pima cotton flannel PJs in a cornflower blue with white dots. "It's got a pretty universal appeal," she said. PajamaGram offers everything from button-up PJs to satin ones to pretty gowns, but a best-seller is the Hoodie-Footie, a grownup version of the infant sleeper. The onepiece fleece has a hood, zip-off feet and December 2013 Cobb Life

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BY MEREDITH PRUDEN PHOTOGRAPHY BY SAM BENNETT AND JENNIFER CARTER

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If you’ve been hoping to give your loved ones a holiday to remember but don’t know where to begin, why not trim the tree, hang the lights and set the mood? Once you’re surrounded by your favorite holiday décor, the rest of the festivities will fall into place much more easily. Take some tips for quick and easy decorating from these three renowned interior design firms, and your space will be ready for visitors faster than you can say, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer.”

A HOL I DAY

to remember


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Joann Kandrac and Kelly Kole

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the home of Rebecca and William Phalen in East Cobb, Joann Kandrac and Kelly Kole of the Kandrac Kole team chose the living room built-in bookcases to display a holiday-inspired vignette in blue, silver and white. This minimalist winter décor includes an array of the homeowners’ own items, greenery from the yard and new holiday finds that match the coastal style space. “People don’t want to completely empty everything, so this is a good way to incorporate what you already have,” Kandrac said. “Plus, you don’t necessarily think of gray when you think of Christmas, but it’s a great backdrop for all colors,” Kole added.


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K

Kennesaw-based interior designers Joann Kandrac a n d K e l l y K o l e , of the nationally recognized firm Kandrac Kole Interior De-

signs, believe in having fun and laughing often while fostering lifelong relationships with their clients. It is that philosophy, combined with their innate knack for imaging and creating distinctive spaces, that has endeared them to a loyal client base and landed them in The New York Times, House Beautiful and on HGTV.com, among others. They’ve even shot two pilots for possible programming on HGTV. But, even with all the accolades, these ladies still focus solely on the way someone feels when they’re living in a space. For these living room built-in bookcases, Kandrac and Kole used the family’s love of coastal inspired style to put a new spin on traditional holiday décor. | 770.514.9699

DIY TIPS  Add an air of whimsy with your very own DIY holiday centerpiece. Find a vintage frame from an antique store, and add an oversized ribbon and an array of fun ornaments using tinselstyle twine.  Fill those glass jars and vases under your kitchen sink with sparkly beaded chains, ornaments and spray painted mini pinecones.

 Collect old hardcover books from second hand stores and either spray paint or wrap in white to create eyecatching holiday displays.  Add greenery cut fresh from your yard to breathe life into purchased holiday décor. Pine, holly, magnolia and succulents all look great!

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Robin La Monte This transitional East Cobb home epitomizes the happy medium you can find between traditional architecture and contemporary décor. La Monte chose to add some festive sparkle to this dining room in a muted palette with corals, pinks and coppers that match the existing color of the room. “The colors of the room dictate the colors you choose for decorating,” she said. “But, even in a room with muted hues, you can add little elements in red if you choose, like the candle sticks and Santa ornaments here.” This kind of universal design can be moved around the home each year and never looks the same.

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R

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ecent transplant Robin La Monte of Rooms Revamped settled in East Cobb from New Jersey less

than one year ago and already has secured a spot designing the Music Room for the prestigious Christmas at Callanwalde Designer Showhouse 2013. Known for her thoughtful and sensible approach to creating interiors for better living, she has been featured on Good Morning America, HGTV.com and recently was named Best of Houzz 2013. Whether working in residential or commercial, one room or a whole estate, La Monte is widely acclaimed for her keen eye for color, willingness to explore her client’s goals, and ability to add client-appropriate character to any space. In addition to these sought after traits, La Monte added some of her trademark crafty flair to this transitional dining room space. |866.579.2092

DIY TIPS  Break out the hot glue gun and get crafty by decoupaging a box with antique cards, holiday-inspired tassels and glittery fake flowers to make a table centerpiece your guests will wish was their gift.

 Buy two standard swags from any hobby store and then get creative by building volume with hundreds (or thousands in this case) of individual floral and decorative picks. You can add more every year and change it up

for a new look.  Dressing your table with the China and crystal you got as wedding presents really packs a holiday punch. Just be sure to dust once a week!

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Michael Peters and Jason Dunn

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Michael Peters and Jason Dunn of 2 Gays & a Design have been partners in life and in business for 10 years, melding their unique, individual styles together to create functional, timeless, transitional and elegant looks that work for anyone. Once featured on HGTV’s Design Wars, the pair is as much known for their fun down-to-earth personalities as they are for listening to their clients to help them realize the full potential of their homes. “We take great pride in our work,” Dunn said. “We spend our clients’ money as if it was our own, remembering their home is a part of their family.” For Peters and Dunn, interior design is about making memories, pushing boundaries and building relationships with their clients, and that philosophy really comes through in the following dining room décor.

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DIY TIPS  There’s no need to purchase a complete set of matching tableware for only one night. Instead, use what you already have to mix utensils, plates, bowls and glasses that complement each other and lend a festive surprise to the space.  For an evening holiday event, lighting is key. Add plenty of vo-

tives and candles while keeping the chandelier dim to enjoy the feeling of bringing the outdoors in as the flickering lights reflect off wine glasses and silver decorations.  Take your table from Thanksgiving through to New Year’s by simply removing the holiday tree ornaments and leaving the rest.

The inspiration for this Smyrna tablescape arose from designers Peters and Dunn wanting to do something out of the box while still functional and realistic. “Our design style has traditionally been rustic-elegance,” Dunn said. “We love mixing styles, textures and elements to form a freshly infused look.” The duo chose a semi traditional holiday centerpiece that doesn’t obstruct guests’ sight lines but added rustic elements of twigs, sprigs and dried florals with a variety of holiday ornaments in a jewel-toned and winter cool color palette to match the dining room table, which is made from rustic reclaimed wood and nails with a modern iron base.

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We ask Cobb residents the age-old question

hat do you

want

for Christmas? Adam Hill, principal, Timber Ridge Elementary School The return of family dinners and board games – a time for families without cell phones, screens, or any other technology…a time to slow down, listen to each other, and have a daily opportunity to share goals and successes. As well, a wonderful Christmas gift would be a resurgence of positivity, optimism, and trust within ourselves and with each other. Oh, one more thing, could gas prices go back down to 89¢ ?


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The Holle family Marietta Brittain, son: wants an accordion. Libby, daughter: wants a bunny. Emily, mom: I want a time machine, one that freezes time so I can be in multiple places as once. Brian, father: I want a helicopter for his commute to work, Auburn BCS Bowl tickets, offensive line for the Falcons and Just for Men for his gray hairs.


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Zach Seabaugh, 15, son of Devan and Beth Seabaugh of Marietta. Frequent performer at Earl Smith Strand Theatre I really don't want anything material. I just want a great and safe Christmas holiday for my family and friends.

Nick Chompoonich, owner, Fuji Hana Thai Peppers, Kennesaw Being in the restaurant business, my Christmas wishes are always two-fold. Working so many hours at the restaurant, I always wish for more time to spend with my son and wife and the entire family, especially during the holidays. When I went to culinary school I realized that I had a huge passion for creating pastries and desserts, so we just launched a late night weekend artisan dessert and cocktail menu at Fuji Hana Thai Peppers that I am so excited about. People don’t ordinarily think of Thai restaurants as having desserts like Coconut Cream Cake and creamy New York Style Cheesecake. A great present for Christmas would be for customers to enjoy my desserts and the cordials we have paired with them ‌ as much joy as I had creating them!


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Gift Certificates available for Christmas!

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Visit us online: www.mariettawinemarket.com for more Upcoming Tastings & Events

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Order your holiday & corporate gift baskets now!

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$15 OFF $10 OFF

Any Boarding Stay (3 night minimum)

Any Full Service Groom

Expires 1-31-14

Expires 1-31-14


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onitnhee w road

BY MICHAEL VENEZIA PHOTOGRAPHY BY SAM BENNETT AND COURTESY OF STAG’S LEAP AND STONESTREET

HARVEST 2013 Memorable Wines from Napa and Sonoma

A good wine tastes like a grape, a great wine tastes like a place. The soul of the wine is linked to the vineyard and micro-climate effecting the life of the vine. The wine maker then simply should let the grape express its nature without much interference. As we approach the end of the calendar year, I wish to share with you two unforgettable winery visits during the almost perfect 2013 harvest in Napa and Sonoma. It will be remembered for its leisurely and tranquil evolution and long ripening season. Referred to as “hangtime” the grapes matured in a fashion allowing the fruit to mature slowly while developing proper sugar and acid balance. Perfectly ripe fruit can be transformed into very fine wine. By the time you are reading this copy, the juice will have been fermented and its evolution to wine will be well on its way. If a wine lover is on your holiday shopping list you can be certain that a product from one of these estates will be appreciated and enjoyed. Please be aware that these wines are produced in limited quantities. You should consult a fine wine shop for product procurement.


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The gorgeous vines and land around Stags’ Leap Winery Estate. Left, the old family house has been refurbished and now has a stately presence on the estate.


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Jim Glover Group, Inc. would like to wish everyone a

If you are selling your home, I am dedicated to using every possible marketing tool needed to get your home sold. My goal is to provide my clients with a superior level of service and resources to make informed decisions with your real estate purchases. As a Cobb native, my network and knowledge of the metro Atlanta area proves beneficial in purchase and sales transactions. As a member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, I am constantly networking with area agents and affiliates. • Fifteen Years Experience • Coauthor, Marietta 1833-2000 • Sixth-generation Mariettan • Cofounder, Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas Home Tour

Office: 404.974.4420 | www.atlantafinehomes.com 3290 Northside Parkway NW | Suite 200 | 404.835.9600 © MMX Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Street in Saintes-Maries, Van Gogh, used with permission. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated.

NAPA VALLEY The road leading to the 240 acre Stags’ Leap Winery Estate is just off the famed Silverado Trail on the east side of the Napa Valley just below the jagged cliffs of the Vaca Mountain Range. Without a GPS, the turn into the private drive can easily be missed. This place of extreme natural beauty is a valley surrounded by the hillsides covered with vines and the rugged craggy façade of the famed Stags’ Leap Palisade. It is stunning in its geological stature and has quite an imposing environmental personality. First established in 1893 by Horace Chase, of the famed banking fortune, the property was carved from the Napa wilderness as a country retreat for the Chase family. The 20th century with all its challenges forced many changes for the Chase family, but the ranch endured. Today, the estate’s 90 acres are planted to cabernet sauvignon and merlot Napa Valley’s signature grapes. However the fame of the estate is anchored on a unique heritage parcel named Ne Cede Malis, the Chase Family motto “Never Give Into Misfortune”. The composition of the block contains 18 different varieties with a dominate presence of Petite Sirah along with classic Rhone varietals such as Syrah, Mouvedre and Viogner contribute to this 19th century old world style field blend. Ne Cede Malis distinction is derived from harvesting and fermenting all the varietals together at the same time. It is aged for 14 months in American Oak Barrels for a unique red wine blend. What is also of particular interest is that much of the original plant material is still bearing fruit and represents vines which are more than 80 years old. This wine is the sum of all the complex environment affecting the fruit grown in this vineyard.


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ALEXANDER VALLEY As the four wheel drive ascended to the summit of the Alexander Mountain Estate, it was extraordinary to see the 6500 acres spreading out below in an endless wave of vines. While soaring with hawks and eagles from our 1900 foot vantage point we can see to the west the Pacific Ocean almost 30 miles away. Below the patch work quilt of vineyards neatly tucked into the rolling hills, sloping toward the sun and embracing the warm sunshine high above the fog line. The warm days and cool nights on the parcel known as Monument Ridge create a dreamlike environment for cabernet sauvignon. The Stonestreet Winery produces mountain grown cabernet sauvignon from extremely low yielding vines whose small berries and thick skins produce wines of great depth, and intense aromatics and great concentration. Offering beautiful varietal perfume with dark ruby color and fresh black currant fruit flavors. The wine is well bred and exceptional. I am leaving a bottle of each of these for Santa Claus to take back to the North Pole so he and Mrs. Claus can enjoy them when he returns home from his annual visit to Candy Lane. Seasons Greetings to all and to all a great wine!

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On the heels of Apple's new, lighter iPad, Amazon has come out with a full-size tablet that weighs even less yet sports a sharper display and a lower price tag.

Some critics say the new Amazon Kindle Fire, pictured opposite page, is going to give the new iPad Air, above, a run for its money.

Although Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 hasn't received as much attention as the iPad Air, it is emerging as the strongest challenger yet to Apple's device. The new Kindle shares many of the features found in a smaller version that came in October. A row of tabs at the top of the screen gives you quick access to Amazon services such as e-books, music, video and shopping. Recently used apps and content appear in the middle so you can return to them quickly. The bottom row has icons for frequently used apps such as email and the camera. Need help? Just hit the "Mayday" button. You'll be connected within seconds to a live customer-service representative, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You see the representatives in a video box, but they

Georgia Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery, serving the metro area for over fifty years, is devoted to delivering the highest level of service and satisfaction possible to families.

Georgia Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery 2000 Cobb Pkwy SE • Marietta, GA 30060 770.432.0771 • 770.952.4478 www.georgiamemorialpark.com Greg Free - General Manager

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can only hear you and see what's on your screen. They can also help guide you by placing orange markers on your screen or taking control of your device completely. I found all the reps to be patient as they walked me through attempts to locate a missing book, play a podcast and download items from the Dropbox storage service. In one case, the representative called my cellphone as promised an hour later to follow up. We never found a solution on Dropbox, though — but more on that later. The best part of the new Kindle is its price. Amazon.com Inc.lists them at $379. That's cheaper than the new $399 iPad Mini, which has a display that measures 7.9 inches diagonally. The full-size Kindle Fire HDX has an 8.9-inch screen, just short of the iPad Air's 9.7 inches. Even cheaper is the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX, which costs $229. If you can afford a $499 tablet and aren't a heavy user of Amazon services, you might still consider the iPad Air. Yes, the Kindle is lighter, at about 0.83 pound, or 17 percent less than the Air. But I couldn't really tell the difference holding the two side by side. And yes, the Kindle has a sharper screen, with a resolution of 339 pixels per inch compared with the iPad's 264 pixels per inch. But I couldn't really tell the difference watching the Pixar cartoon "Monsters University" side by side. Where the Air shines is in the build. I find the Air more pleasant to hold because of its curved edges. The Kindle has a soft, rubber-like back, but it doesn't make up for the boxy edges. The Kindle promises more battery life — at 12 hours, compared with 10 hours for the Air. But I found the two devices drained battery at roughly the same rate when watching Hulu streaming video. In addition, the Air has access to a wide variety of apps available through Apple's app store. The Kindle uses a modified version of Android and can run a variety of Android apps — but not all of them. In fact, the new Kindle doesn't run all the Android apps that are supposed to work with Kindles, including the app for Dropbox. Many of these apps need to be updated every time a new Kindle device comes out, whereas they simply work when new Android devices are out, just as iPad apps work on new iPads. If you are drawn by the Kindle's price and don't mind the limited selection, though, the Kindle is a wonderful option. That's especially so if you're a frequent Amazon customer. The Kindle is tied to your Amazon account, making it easy to buy everything from audiobooks to vacuum cleaners with a click or two. You also get Amazon's recommendations for more things to buy, based on physical and digital purchases you've made on Amazon in the past.


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By Kevin Hazzard Photography by Sam Bennett

In from the cold, together around tables, food and drink and fellowship meet

and new traditions are born

on Christmas Day

inside the Orient Express


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Owner Tina Lau of Vinings inside the gorgeous interior of the Orient Express.


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A

train rumbles along, its lights flickering yellow on steel tracks laid so long ago no one remembers. Clicketyclack. Clickety-clack. Inside a man hurries through the car. All around him people eat and drink and offer toasts. But he hurries on. Alone. His world a train, his track an endless loop—food in, empty plates out, genuine apologies for the wait. We’re short staffed. Thanks for coming, thanks for understanding. Merry Christmas. Somewhere else, not on this train, not on any train, his own family gathers without him. He is alone in the crowd but still he hurries. Clickety-clack. Clickety-clack. Roger Chang has been the manager of The Orient Express in Vinings since 2000. Though the relentless waves of urban sprawl are slowly eroding Vinings’ subtle features, the area remains, at its heart, a neighborhood tucked into a city.

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The Tangerine Chicken Dish, left, is one of the restaurant’s specialities.

So, to Chang, the people who walk through the door to eat sushi or Chinese or to be dazzled by the chaotic and fiery art of hibachi, are not mere customers. They’re neighbors. A few are like family. The staff, too. Around five in the afternoon they trickle in. Chang nods to each and ticks off their years of service. Ten years, twelve years. They nod, smile, then disappear. “These people have history with us,” he says. “Tradition. We’re like a family.” The restaurant has history, too, at once uniquely American and distinctly Asian. In the 1950s a train flipped off its track in rural Georgia and left behind a smoking accordion of destroyed rail cars. One, miraculously, remained unharmed. It was towed to Vinings and permanently decommissioned on a tiny stretch of track near the West Paces rail crossing. Today that car is the eccentric centerpiece of The Orient Express, its dim lighting a moody, almost mercurial counterpoint to the modern sushi bar on its flank. The owners, the Lu family, have been cooking for generations. They’re Chinese by way of South Korea, having fled their home during Mao Zedong’s disastrous Cultural Revolution. Successive generations continued west, settling first in San Francisco, then Decatur and, finally, Vinings. Originally, the restaurant did what most families do on Christmas—turn inward, gather, celebrate. Chang says the owners would invite the entire staff, cook a meal, enjoy an evening together.

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Sushi Chef Harry Tin of North Gwinnett and Sunny Xudaya of Marietta.

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Then came a knock. People passing by— out for a walk, out for a drive—saw the cars, the lights and assumed they were open. Chang invited them in. These weren’t customers, after all, they were family. What else could he do? Since that first accidental holiday dinner, the restaurant has remained opened every Christmas, each year busier than the last. They operate at half-staff, the owner bussing tables, Chang hustling, the bartender doling out heavy holiday pours. “People remember that scene in A Christmas Story,” says co-owner Angela Lu. “They expect us to be open.” The scene Lu refers to is the one where the titular family—their traditional dinner ruined by neighborhood dogs—ends up at a local Chinese restaurant. What rescues their night from monumental disaster and delivers it into the realm of classic family memory, is the staff’s earnest, if awkward, rendition of Deck the Halls. Dinner with strangers, sushi on Christmas—it is the American experience as delivered by a changing America. Sometimes, like a train turned restaurant, seemingly incongruous pieces simply fit together because they’re so different. And so, this Christmas, like every other, The Orient Express will rumble on. Dinner will be served. Chang will hustle through the crowd. Alone but in good company. Clickety-clack, clickety-clack.


PHOTO AND ARTICLE COURTESY OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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The home office, it seems, is going the way of the fax machine. Interior designers say families are finding more inventive uses for their homes' extra little rooms — optimistically called "bonus rooms" by real estate agents. With the spread of wireless Internet and portable devices such as tablets, it's common now to send spreadsheets and emails from any room in the house, not to mention the nearest coffee shop. In fact, among major home-renovation projects, home-of-

fice improvements provide the puniest return on the investment when a home is resold, according to Remodeling magazine's 2013 "cost vs. value" report. So instead of that dust-collecting desk, many families are seeking creative ways to customize these alcoves as game rooms, dressing rooms, small theaters and more. "I get this question a lot," says Elizabeth Cb Marsh, an associate


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interior designer at Jenkins Baer Associates in Baltimore. "Especially in large, new-construction homes, there are these bonus rooms that are just there." When her clients make over a pre-existing office, she usually recommends trying to preserve any built-in features, such as shelving or cabinetry. If the space is large enough, she says, one option is to create a billiards room. Find a small (7-foot) pool table to place in the center of the room. If there's a wood counter, retrofit the top with a waterproof material such as stone for an elegant wet bar, and if you have the budget, install plumbing for a small sink. Add barstools, a high-top cocktail table and a pendant lamp over the pool table. A smaller office can have a second life as a luxe dressing room, according to Marsh. Whether you draw inspiration from "Downton Abbey" or certain Beverly Hills housewives, the first step is to install a wall of shelving for shoes and clothes. Keep the decor minimalist, she advises, with a neutral paint color, a pair of sconces, and a tufted ottoman in the center of the room. Add a floor mirror and a vanity, and accessorize with vintage hatboxes, a dress form or an antique trunk. If the room has windows, be sure to hang light-filtering curtains to protect your clothing. Families with children have even more options for converting an office space. These days, it is common to transform a dull study into a kids' homework hub, says Pam Ginocchio, cofounder of the children's design blog Project Nursery. To begin, she recommends giving each kid a workspace: a small metal desk in a fun color with a clip-on lamp and a comfy swivel chair. Create a comfortable reading nook on the floor

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with beanbags. Then mount floating shelves from floor to ceiling and display books with the covers facing out to entice young readers. Appoint one wall as a place for scribbling ideas or displaying schoolwork by applying a layer of magnet paint and then chalkboard paint from floor to ceiling. Consider allowing a computer for older kids' homework, but try to banish video games and other distractions, says Project Nursery co-founder Melissa Fluhr, who stresses the value of a quiet, contemplative space. If contemplative is not your family's speed, Fluhr suggests using the bonus room as an off-off-off-Broadway theater. For a kid who likes to perform skits, play songs and choreograph dances, build a basic plywood stage in the corner of the room. Above that riser, hang a rounded shower-curtain rod and a pair of dark, tab-top curtains. Hang costumes and dress-up clothes in a cubby, and store puppets, musical instruments and other props in a toy chest. Finish by hanging a mirror at tyke height so children can watch themselves rehearse, and don't forget to add a few comfy chairs for the audience. If your child has another obsession, turn an undersized room into her special hangout. For example, if she is into outer space, turn it into a mini planetarium with a dark-painted ceiling and a night-sky projector. Just be prepared to update the theme in a year or two when your child's interests inevitably leap to something else. "Having this little bonus room almost gives you the excuse to go wild," Ginocchio says. "You don't have to spend a ton of money or think, what's going to be my return on investment? It's a chance to have fun."


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editorial calendar

2014 is almost upon us and we have a bevy of great stories in store for our next year. Keep your eye out for more health and fitness articles, home stories and dynamic features. Also, as part of our tenth year of publication, we’ll be running a series of ‘Where are they now?’ features catching up with old friends. If you have any articles ideas or suggestions, please email us at cobblifemagazine@cobblifemagazine. com

JANUARY Our Best Of issue MARCH Six over 60 APRIL Home and Garden


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A closer look at events and activities throughout Cobb County this season A CHRISTMAS TRADITION>> It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre. “A Christmas Tradition” on the Marietta Square will be the winter wonderland spectacular of a lifetime. Grab the family and sit back for a song and dance holiday revue showcasing ninety minutes of traditional and contemporary holiday favorites. “A Christmas Tradition” promises to be an unforgettable Christmas-time memory for families to enjoy for years to come. “A Christmas Tradition” performances are through Dec. 22 at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre on the Marietta Square. Performance times are 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Ticket prices are $25 for adults, $10 for children, and $20 for groups of 10 or more. Information: 770.293.0080 or www.earlsmithstrand.org DISNEY JUNIOR LIVE ON TOUR: PIRATE & PRINCESS ADVENTURE>>Grab your tiaras and doubloons and enjoy “Disney Junior Live on Tour: Pirate & Princess Adventure.” Mickey and Minnie are taking their seats, too, at this never-before-seen live show featuring everyone’s favorite characters from Disney Junior's hit series, “Sofia the First” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates.” Get swept up in the excitement as Sofia and her family prepare for a royal celebration that helps everyone learn the true meaning of being a princess, with a special appearance from Cinderella. Then it's off to Neverland where Jake and his swashbuckling friends, Izzy and Cubby, with a little help from Peter Pan, battle Captain Hook to unlock treasure hidden inside a mysterious volcano. It is danger and dueling on the high seas as Jake discovers what it takes to be a true hero. Filled with new music, amazing effects, thrilling action and endless surprises, the whole family will sing, shout, and soar into the action when “Disney Junior Live on Tour: Pirate & Princess Adventure” sails into town. Performances are Dec. 14 at 7 p.m., and Dec. 15 at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m., at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Ticket prices range from $20 to $80. Information: 770.916.2808 or www.cobbenergycentre.com ATLANTA BALLET’S NUTCRACKER>>The magical annual tradition continues with the return of “Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker.” This family favorite brings the holiday season to life for area families with exquisite dancing, fanciful characters, and a thrilling trip into the Sugar Candy Kingdom. Perfect for all ages, “Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker” delights and sparks the imagination of the child within us all. Enjoy an extra touch of magic when Drew Thomas, professional illusionist and finalist on “America’s Got Talent” takes on the role of the mysterious Drosselmeyer during the first two weeks of the show. Thrilling surprises await audiences, so get tickets now. “Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker” appears through Dec. 29 at the Fox Theatre. Performance times vary. Ticket prices start at $20. Information: 404.873.5811 or www.atlantaballet.com


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MARIETTA/COBB MUSEUM OF ART>>The Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art presents two major exhibitions this season – “Shadow Circus” and “Portrait Society of Atlanta,” through Dec. 15. “Shadow Circus,” featuring the art of Kirsten Stingle and Lorraine Glessner, brings to light the inner stories and dialogues everyone has within themselves. Stingle combines distinctive porcelain figures with discarded relics to create a narrative that engages the viewer. Glessner's encaustic paintings are richly layered, requiring the viewer to go deep within to understand what the shadow side is trying to tell us. The Portrait Society of Atlanta presents an exhibition juried by Jamie Lee McMahan with featured works by various members of the Atlanta Portrait Society. The Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art is located in downtown Marietta at 30 Atlanta Street. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, free for children younger than six years, and free for members. Information: 770.528.1444 or www.mariettacobbartmuseum.org

McNalley, direction by Rob Roy Hardie, and music directed by Annie Cook. Call for performance times and ticket prices. Information: 678.744.6398 or www.nextstagetheatrecompany.com SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM>>This highly-acclaimed musical revue is a celebration of America's greatest living composer. “Side By Side by Sondheim” is a dazzling collection of songs by Broadway’s musical master, Stephen Sondheim. . Out of Box Theatre Company presents “Side by Side by Sondheim” through Dec. 23, on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m., in their new home at the Artisan Resource Center at 585 Cobb Parkway South, Suite C-1, in Marietta. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and students, and $22 for groups of 10 or more. Information: 678.653.4605 or www.outofboxtheatre.com

SANDERS FAMILY CHRISTMAS>>The Sanctified Sanders Family Singers return to downtown Marietta to celebrate the holidays with faith, family, and old-fashioned fun. “Sanders Family Christmas” stars the beloved original Theatre in the Square cast. World War II provides the dramatic underpinning to the story of a family living in the rural town of Mount Pleasant, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. They are about to say a bittersweet goodbye to their only son, who is shipping out with the Marine Corps. But before he goes, the Sanders Family Singers are heading up the annual Christmas celebration at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. Rev. Mervin Oglethorpe and the Sanders family attempt to raise the spirits of their faithful flock in a rousing and energetic Christmas gospel sing-along of cherished holiday hymns and carols. Atlanta Lyric Theatre presents “Sanders Family Christmas” at First United Methodist Church of Marietta’s Family Life Hall at 56 Whitlock Avenue in Marietta. Performances are Dec. 13 through 22, at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $33 for adults, $28 for seniors and students. Information: 404.377.9948 or www.atlantalyrictheatre.com THE FULL MONTY>>Next Stage Theatre Company presents “The Full Monty” through Dec. 21, at the Alley Stage, 11 Anderson Street in Marietta. The show features music and lyrics by David Yazbek, book by Terrence

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SHEN YUN – ANCIENT CULTURE REBORN>>Every legend has its history. Every story has its truths. And the best are rarely forgotten. For the past 5,000 years, China amassed a diverse legacy of heroes, myths, and values that still resonate in the present. Today, Shen Yun Performing Arts is reviving the essence of traditional Chinese culture in full color on stages around the world. In December, the company will be back at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre for the eighth time in seven years. Gorgeous backdrops extend the stage, transporting the audience to distant lands and eras. An orchestra that combines Western and Chinese instruments like no other accompanies the dancers with stirring scores. Ride with Mongolians across endless steppes. Recall the grandeur of an ancient Tang Dynasty palace. Down in the valley, ladies dance in rainbow skirts by the river. Resounding drums awaken the dusty plateaus of the Middle Kingdom. Shen Yun bridges past and present in an uplifting, inspiring, and indelible performance. Join Shen Yun on Dec. 27 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 28 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 29 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $55 to $205. Information: 770.916.2808 or www.cobbenergycentre.com

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AN ACOUSTIC EVENING WITH TRAVIS TRITT>>Experience a special evening with the CMA and Grammy award-winning country artist during this intimate performance with Travis Tritt, his powerful voice, and his guitar. Hear Tritt’s number one songs such as "T-R-O-U-B-L-E," "It's a Great Day to be Alive," and "Best of Intentions." This up close and personal event with the Grand Ole Opry member will bring his award winning songs to life and leave the audience with a truly memorable evening. Travis Tritt performs January 10 at 8 p.m. in the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Ticket prices range from $32 to $52. Information: 770.916.2808 or www.cobbenergycentre.com BILLY GARDELL>>Billy Gardell stars as Officer Mike Biggs in the hit television series, “Mike and Molly,” which garners approximately 13 million viewers every week. Before “Mike and Molly,” Gardell co-starred in the critically acclaimed television series "Lucky." Gardell made his major motion picture debut alongside Anthony Quinn and Sylvester Stallone in "Avenging Angelo," and had a memorable scene with Billy Bob Thornton in the Cohen Brothers’ film "Bad Santa." Gardell took the long

road to Hollywood, stopping at every small town lounge, military base, and comedy club along the way. His comedy act took him to Los Angeles where his dedication to acting, along with touring as a stand-up comedian, allowed him to grow consistently in both arenas. His grounded, downto-earth point of view strikes a strong chord with American audiences. Stories about his rough childhood, wild adolescence, and new family life are executed with the skill of a master craftsman. Billy Gardell performs January 18 at 8 p.m. at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Ticket prices range from $35 to $50. Information: 770.916.2808 or www.cobbenergycentre.com STEEL MAGNOLIAS>>There are few plays that truly capture the heart and soul of southern living, and it’s hard to imagine one better than “Steel Magnolias.” Named for characters who embody the strength of steel and the delicacy of flowers, “Steel Magnolias” is a funny and at times heartbreaking look inside the lives of six southern women. The Earl Smith Strand Theatre presents “Steel Magnolias” on January 17 to 19 at 8 p.m. in the historic theatre on the Marietta Square. Tickets are $25. Information: 770.293.0080


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Cobb Arts Ball

SCENE

1 The annual Cobb Arts Ball is one of Cobb's favorite black-tie traditions. The event took place in late October at the Cobb Galleria. Funds from the event, which had a classic Hollywood theme, go to support the arts in Cobb. 1. From left, Pam Hubby of Atlanta, Jim Rhoden of Marietta and Jill and Bruce Huggins of Marietta. 2. Charlie and Marsha Crowder of Marietta. 3. Shelley Laband of Smyrna and Tristan Morrison of Marietta. 4. Audrey Grizzle of Atlanta, Sig Tumlin of Marietta with Ty and Ashley Tumlin of Marietta.

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5. Amy Coggins of Atlanta and Erin McGee of Kennesaw. 6. Allyson and Joe Shelley of Marietta. 7. Ryan and Jamie Patrick and Jean Alice Tumlin, all of Marietta.

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Cobb Arts Ball

SCENE

8. From left, Johnny Sinclair, Donna Krueger, and Alice Summerour, all of Marietta. 9. Karyn Ballard and Rebecca Bujko of Marietta. 10. Melissa Gilbert, Linda Flournoy and Parker Gilbert, all of Marietta. 11. Tracie Norman and Dawn Hull, both of Marietta.

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Cobb October Haunt

October Haunt After Hours took place at Six Flags in late October. The event, sponsored by 14 business assocations, provided local business owners a chance to network. 1. From left, Don Barbour of Dallas, Lisa Cupid of Austell, Devan Seabaugh of Marietta with Dale Kaetzel and Karen Robinson both of Dallas. 2. Deb Torell of Acworth and Elizabeth Bookout of Powder Springs. 3. Dave and Donalee Olsen of Kennessaw. 4. From left, Judy Skeel of Marietta, John Loud of Kennesaw and David Hankerson of Kennesaw.

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Cobb October Haunt

SCENE

5. From left, Susan and Mike Karsch with Jack Gatewood, all of Acworth. 6. Vaughn Williams of Acworth and George Olney of Woodstock. 7. Shannon Moore of Douglasville and Judith Ann of Powder Springs.

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SCENE

Art in the Park

Celebrating Art in the Park took place at the Atlanta Country Club in November. 1. From left, Becka Cowen, Angela Kang and Courtney Denis. 2. From left, Maureen Engle, Tonya Crowe and Nancy Bartmess. 3. From left, Victoria Sweeton, Cassie Medlock, Christina Cooper and Maureen McRorie. PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFF STANTON

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4. From left, Jan Welborn, Heather Rees, Lynn Thompson, Donna Brown, Julie Lischer and Jane Kissling. 5. From left, Libby Nabors, Brittany Thompson, Judi West and Bobette Martin. 6. From left, Margot Townsend, Ed Cahill and Clarice Dowdle.


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YET?

Stepping up to the plate or many of us a step stool in the kitchen meant that as children we were welcome to help our mothers, grandmothers or aunts prepare a meal. My grandmother, who we affectionately called Nonnie, and great-grandmother, Grannie, both practiced this. In fact, when Grannie passed away in 2007 the only piece of furniture I called dibs on was the step stool in her kitchen and it’s been with me ever since. My 3-year-old son even gets to try it out from time to time when he helps his mama stir the spaghetti noodles, crack eggs or decorate cookies. I can’t help but smile when remembering all the times Grannie would drag it up next to the stove in her small Sparta, Ga., kitchen and let me help out. Nonnie didn’t have a step stool — at least none that I can recall — but she did have a certain chair at the breakfast table that I remember dragging up beside her at the kitchen counter when I was little. Cooking — and teaching children how to cook was Nonnie and Grannie’s way of expressing how much they each loved their families. A full belly makes for a happy heart and the Field bellies were ALWAYS over capacity, especially at Nonnie’s Lindsay Field during the holiday season. For as far back as family members can recall, Nonnie and my grandfather, Pops, hosted Christmas Eve dinners at their house in Albany, Ga. And this wasn’t just any dinner, but an eyes-pop-out-of-your-head spread of appetizers, casseroles, main dishes and desserts. You name it, she made it and nine times out of 10, it was from scratch. Nonnie would begin preparing for the big night, which usually included about 40-plus family members and close friends, weeks in advance and on Christmas Eve her kitchen cabinets were lined with lists of when to put dishes in the oven, pull things out of the freezer or warm sides in the microwave. It was a well-oiled machine and with only ONE stove. She absolutely loved cooking for others and practiced this delicious Christmas Eve tradition for upwards of nearly 60 years.

F

Nonnie passed away in 2007 but our family still spends every Christmas Eve together and enjoys an amazing spread, although that little piece of Nonnie is missed. Her sweet soul can’t help but be on all of our minds during this special time of year, so please make sure you share a hug with or say a prayer for the person who let you slide the step stool or chair up next to them when you were a child so that you too could be a big help in the kitchen. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ya’ll!

Nonnie’s Mashed Potatoes Ingredients One 5-pound bag of Yukon Gold Potatoes 8 ounces cream cheese 8 ounces sour cream ¼ tsp salt and pepper One stick unsalted butter Cut potatoes in fourths, leaving the skins on and boil until soft enough to easily poke with a fork. Drain water and mash potatoes in the pot. Add all but the butter to the potatoes and use a mixer to whip the mixture. Pour mixture into a 9X13-inch casserole dish, cut slices of butter and scatter on top of potatoes and bake in a 375-degree oven for 15-20 minutes.


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Cobb Life Dec. 2013  

Cobb Life Dec. 2013