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Buckhead Reporter

‘Awesome place’

Word on the street Residents talk holiday shopping COMMENTARY 6

Catching up: BCN

Most Buckhead residents included COMMUNITY 19

DEC. 12 — DEC. 25, 2014 • VOL. 8 — NO. 25

Candles and carols


NPU votes against Fuqua’s proposal, but city committee approves it BY COLLIN KELLEY

A candle-lighting ceremony was part of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church’s Carols by Candlelight service on Dec. 7. Here, Sean Kelly and niece Kate Calhoun share the light of their two candles. The service also included lessons and sing-along caroling that highlight the Christmas season. See more photos on page 20.


A developer’s latest plan to build a grocery store on Lindbergh Drive is meeting neighborhood opposition, but has won approval from a City Council committee. Buckhead’s Neighborhood Planning Unit-B voted 17-to-8 on Dec. 2 to oppose a request by Fuqua Development to rezone 13 acres between Morosgo and Lindbergh drives for a mixed-use development. But on Dec. 9, the Atlanta City Council Community Development Committee voted to approve the plan. The request is expected to be considered by Atlanta City Council in January. Fuqua wants to build an 82,000-squarefoot Kroger supermarket in partnership with Greystar Development, which would build more than 190 apartments. Some of SEE NPU, PAGE 20

Proposed North Buckhead plan will be ready for city review soon BY JOE EARLE

Joey Wilkinson liked much of what he saw when the North Buckhead Civic Association’s consultants unveiled a draft of their proposed plans for his neighborhood’s future transportation, parks and land use. “There’re definitely some ideas I like,” Wilkinson said, holding a bicycle helmet beneath his arm as he looked over one of the easel-mounted maps shown to association members Dec. 4. “I think it’s ambitious.” Planners working with the neighborhood group are drafting a proposed community plan for the neighborhood to adopt and then present to city of Atlanta officials in January. City officials will then look over and solicit comment on the proposals, which are scheduled to go to Atlanta City Council for formal consideration next March, said Caleb Racicot, who works

with consultants TSW. The plan was developed through a series of public meetings and after discussions with neighborhood groups, planners said. “We have made our best effort to respond to the wide variety of opinions we have heard [about what should be included in the plan],” Racicot told about 40 residents who attended the final plan presentation at St. James United Methodist Church. The draft proposal called for adding sidewalks, bike lanes and new crosswalks to some streets; developing new trails in the area; encouraging a mix of types of development along Roswell Road; and maintaining the single-family character of the overall neighborhood. “I like the pedestrian-friendly improvements,” resident Ted SEE RESIDENTS, PAGE 4

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Peter Rogers reviews proposals for a new transportation plan for the North Buckhead neighborhood.

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A fire sent smoke shooting through the roof of the popular OK Cafe at offer circle be changed the Northside same way asDrive in anyon other template. Doub the cornerThe of West Pacesmay Ferry Road and Dec. 7. clicking on it, click "Apply" at the bottom and then click "OK" to close the in According to CBS 46, Reporter Newspapers’ broadcast partner, fire crews were dispatched to the restaurant around 8 a.m., when the To remove thebreakfast. address forThe in-studio use, just dragbegan the contact information box restaurant was serving fire apparently above the restaurant’s kitchen. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The blue line around the ad is the bleed line. The default bleed is set to .125" bleed, change or remove the bleed as follows:

PATH400 to open formally in January

1) Double click the red "Document Settings" link at the top of the page. The first segment of the new PATH400 is scheduled to officially open next month. Livable Buckhead, the Buckhead Community District 2) When the inspector box opensImprovement set the bleed and trim and to 0.the If PATH the ad has a d Foundation announced a ribbon cutting for the new path will be held on Jan. 9 at Atbleed box. lanta Tech Village, 3423 Piedmont Road. The first phase of the trail begins at Old Ivy Road and runs south along Ga. 400 to Lenox Road. 3) Click "Ok" and close the window.

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These ads areeconomy on an approval loop we can check layouts. Please allow 24 Expect strong inso2015, UGA expert and approval. Ads submitted on Friday will be proofed and returned by end o tells Buckhead Business Association

Expect a strong Georgia economy in 2015, according to the director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia. “The economy looks to be in very good shape,” Dr. Jeffrey BR I EF S Humphreys told members of the Buckhead Business Association on Dec. 4. Humphreys, who heads a UGA center that researches economic, demographic and social issues related to the state’s growth, said the state’s economy appears to have rebounded from the recent recession. “We’re going to have an above average year for the first time in a long time,” Humphreys said. “Perhaps the old normal is the new normal.” Humphreys predicted job growth of 2.3 percent in Georgia during 2015, compared to 2 percent this year, and projected the state’s unemployment rate to fall by a percentage point, to 6.9 percent from 7.9 percent. He also predicted faster salary growth in 2015.

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DEC. 12 – DEC. 25, 2014 | 3


Joey Wilkinson examines a proposed plan for the North Buckhead neighborhood during a community meeting at St. James United Methodist Church.


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Residents endorse, question proposed North Buckhead plan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Gaillard said. “I’ve got three grandchildren and we walk all over Buckhead.” Wilkinson endorsed the proposal to bring to Roswell Road differing types of development, such as a mix of Mark Wilhelmi housing and shops. “There’s a lot of stuff on Roswell Road that I think gets overlooked because people just zoom by,” he said. Marc Rioux, who lives near Roswell Road, agreed. And he said he’d like to see projects to improve transportation in the neighborhood. “We live in an upscale neighborhood with very poor roads,” Rioux said. Not everyone liked everything they saw

in the proposal. Mark Wilhelmi worried the planners were trying to preserve too much in some areas, in the face of development pressures. “I feel like we need to spread Buckhead out a little more,” he said. But Peter Rogers thought the plan didn’t go far enough. “I’d like to see more public transportation included – bus lanes on Piedmont Road and better bus service on Peachtree Road,” he said. “Buses will get you places much faster than taking your car. If you encourage people to get out of their cars, maybe you don’t need so many lanes.” “Still, I think it’s a good effort,” he said. “There’re a lot of good things here.” Resident Bob Young also seemed to approve of the proposals. “Most of the things in the plan I will never see,” Young said as he left the gathering. “But we’ve got to look beyond that and do the best we can for the folks who will still be here.”

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Margy Manchester Resident since November 2006

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Consultants working with the North Buckhead Civic Association are proposing new sidewalks, trails, bike paths and other changes in the area. For a larger version of this map, go to




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COMMENTARY Reporter Newspapers Our mission is to provide our readers with fresh and engaging information about life in their communities. Published by Springs Publishing LLC 6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Phone: 404-917-2200 • Fax: 404-917-2201 Brookhaven Reporter | Buckhead Reporter Dunwoody Reporter | Sandy Springs Reporter Atlanta INtown

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“Online, definitely. All online. We’ll be traveling and it’s much easier to order it all online and have it shipped to Minnesota and then wrap it. We’ll be doing more shopping, but just because the family’s grown. There are more cousins.”

Q: Are you doing more holiday shopping online than you did in years past? And do you plan to spend more, less or about the same for holiday gifts this year, as compared to last year? “All my shopping has been online. I’m spending more this year because I just graduated from school and have my first job and a little more to spend.”

“Yes, I’m definitely doing more shopping online. I avoid the stores as much as I can. I don’t like crowds. I don’t like parking problems. I don’t like to shop, period. I’m probably spending about the same this year as last year.”

Kaitlyn Mosher

Sue Haines

Susan Clark “Yes. [Why?] Time. It’s great. If I’m tired, I can sit on the couch and knock out three or four presents. This year, I can spend a little more.”

“Yes, my wife and I are doing more shopping online. The deals were better. I would say about 80 percent of it we did online. We spent less money this year.”

“Yes, it’s easier. [I’m planning on shopping] about the same. I kind of have a set amount we do each year.”

Laurisa Bridges

Rita O’Brien

Mike Pack

“No, I’m doing it in the stores. I love to browse and view all the holiday decorations while I make my gift selections. [We’ll spend] more money this year.”

“We’re doing half and half. We’re new to the area so we’re shopping online for out-of-town friends. We’re spending less. As our kids are getting older, their gifts are becoming more practical.”

“No. I don’t have a computer. We’re probably going to be doing less shopping. Our family has cut back by mutual agreement.”

A.W. Busby

Christina Bishop

Sherry Bagel “I don’t do a heck of a lot of shopping, but I do more online than in stores. I’ll do about the same [as in past years].”

“I’ve already done online shopping. Probably spending a little less this year.”

Marie Rashid

Bob Young

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DEC. 12 – DEC. 25, 2014 |



Christmas chore cheer

Park Springs Member Pat Thomas

It’s the middle of December, and The Question is on everyone’s lips: Are you done yet? As if Christmas is a chore. Are you done yet? How should a person respond to that? “Yes, I’m done! I’ve washed two loads of clothes, cleaned the bathroom, made dinner and besides all that, I’m done with Christmas!” Is that any way to treat the most wonderful time of the year? The thing is, the question is gender specific—it’s the question that we mothers are asking each other. When we’re chatting at the class party, when we pass each other in the aisles of Publix, sleepdeprived and overwhelmed, we give each other a knowing look and then ask…are you done, yet?

ment stores and bakerROBIN JEAN ies, haunting MARIE CONTE us with guilt if we don’t ROBIN’S NEST spread a little joy to everyone we know, in the form of a loaf of homemade banana bread. December has become the designated “show your appreciation month.” It’s also become national “bake your best cookie month,” “light up your yard month,” “spruce up your house month,” “send cards to your friends month” and “visit your relatives month.” It makes for a daunting list of tasks. But I decided that it was time to take the reindeer by the antlers and do something about it. It occurred to me that if I was going to take the chore out of Christmas, I needed to extend the deadline. I got permission for the extension from a song. You know it, too—it’s the annoyingly redundant “The Twelve Days of Christmas”— the one that starts with a partridge in a pear tree and ends up sounding like “One Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” They’re not singing about a race through the malls from Dec. 14 to Christmas Day. The Twelve Days of Christmas start with Christmas and keep on going past the New Year and clear into January. They’re bonus days. These are the actual days of the Christmas season, and so I use these days to give gifts to the SPECIAL neighbors and the mailStop with the chores and have a cup of coffee. man. I entertain after After all, we are the purveyors of Christmas Day, when the house is still Christmas Magic. decorated and the holiday food is halfThe veritable winter wonderland that price. I give the teachers a New Year’s springs up each December—of decogift. I figure that friends can get our rations, gifts, parties, treats and greetgreeting cards around the time that the ing cards—is the product of wild-eyed Wise Men made it to the manger. women running ragged. It’s as if we Why not? moms are all swabbies on the U.S.S. It’s not a perfect solution, but it does Make It Happen and Captain Christmas help. It allows me a grace period, if you is in charge, barking orders and sending will—time to take a breath, tone down us to the poop deck. the trappings and do a bit of spiritual Somewhere along the line, Christpreparation for this holy season. It’s not mas Cheer got replaced with Christonly a traditional thing to do, it’s a sane mas Chore, and that’s a rotten, Grinchly thing to do. thing. I looked for the root of the fa-laSo put down that mop, you scurvy la-frenzy, and I discovered that it really swabs, and take a load off. Stop with the isn’t growing in my home. Rather, it’s chore and have a cup of cheer. out there with all the dashing through And make mine a double. the malls and showing our love to all of our friends, relatives and service providRobin Conte is a writer and mother of ers. The Christmas spirit has become four who lives in Dunwoody. She can be a goblin that chases us around departcontacted at

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This home on Riverwood Drive, listed by real estate agent Angie Ponsell, shows an example of tasteful, minimal outside decorations.

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Interested in selling a home during holidays can also be a good time because the holidays, but not sure it can be done? it means their children will start a new Some local real estate agents say that if you school in January after winter break. “It have the time, go for it. can make for an easier transition,” she said. “There’s not that much new inventoPotential buyers looking around the ry coming in [at this time of year],” said holidays tend to be more serious, too, said Robin Blass, a real estate agent at ColdAngie Ponsell, a Keller Williams Sandy well Banker Dunwoody. Springs agent. “You’ll have “I encourage clients if more quality showings,” they can handle it during she said. the holidays with miniO’Neill added that the mal decorations, then go holidays can be advantaahead and do it. I just listgeous for buyers even if ed two houses this past the inventory is smaller beweekend, and have alcause they will likely have ready had multiple showmore downtime to search ings because of low invenfor a home. tory.” And then there’s the Stacy O’Neill, a real question of decorating. estate agent with Keller “I tell [clients] to not go Williams Sandy Springs, overboard,” Blass said. “If Robin Blass agrees. they want a Christmas tree “The holidays can be a or stockings, that’s fine. great time because the inventory shrinks,” But you don’t want buyers to get distractshe said. ed. You want them to see what all the floor Because of the holiday hustle and busplans have to offer.” tle – decorating, family visits, shopping O’Neill agrees. “You don’t want to and parties – the end of the year can seem bring out every decoration you have,” she to some to be a tough time to take a home said. “People expect to put their tree up, to market. Winter’s short and gray days but you may want to keep decoration colalso can make for a dreary setting because lections boxed.” homes can seem dark. Referring to a local home that has nuBut Blass said winter can also be posimerous inflatable decorations around tive for home sales. “When I show a house Christmastime, O’Neill added, “If that in the winter, I can at least let them know house were on the market, a buyer couldn’t that right now it’s the worst as far as pribegin to imagine that home with their bevacy is concerned. All of the greenery is longings. going to fill in and make it more private “On the flip side, a wreath on the front eventually,” she said. door and a mailbox decoration are fine,” Blass said that if folks are selling their O’Neill said. “You just wouldn’t want to home to relocate to another town, the be the house with a million lights.”


Local markets dominate top metro ZIPs for three-year average home prices ZIP CODE 30327 30306 30342 30305 30307 30319 30005 30338 30097 30068


$691,467 $459,331 $401,971 $382,318 $364,287 $356,302 $340,178 $334,763 $319,268 $313,067

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‘Awesome place’

Shepherd Center offers compassion, state-of-the-art rehabilitation BY COLLIN KELLEY Patients at Shepherd Center in Buckhead have survived life-changing incidents: car accidents, strokes, swimming mishaps, sports injuries, combat injuries or a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). The rehabilitation facility could easily be drab and full of despair, but instead it’s infused with an air of hominess, compassion and, most importantly, hope. Founded in 1975 by Harold and Alana Shepherd after their son, James, was injured in a surfing accident, Shepherd Center has grown into the largest spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation center in the world. It also leads in MS research, and the Shepherd Pain Institute provides care and management for those living with chronic pain. The nonprofit fundraising Shepherd Center Foundation is wrapping up a $20 million capital campaign for a new state-of-the-art MRI, pharmacy and laboratory for the facility, according to J. Tyler “Ty” Tippett, Senior Director for Planned Gifts. “We receive no government grants, so Shepherd Center relies on the generosity of the community,” Tippett said. Willie Myers has been on the receiv-

ing end of that generosity and the caring attitude that permeates Shepherd. Myers was a member of diplomatic security on assignment in Tel Aviv. On a day off, he went for a swim in the Mediterranean Sea and a wave threw him to the ocean floor. Myers was barely able to speak and had no movement about his waist. That was in September. Today, Myers has regained movement and his speech, and is progressing daily with his rehabilitation. He sums up his experience at Shepherd succinctly: “This is an awesome place.” Shepherd also supports family members of patients. The center has 84 apartments on its Peachtree Road campus that are offered to families to use free of charge for up to 30 days. Tippett said it allows loved ones to be fully immersed in the rehabilitation process. “Training of family is just as important as training the patients to adapt and reintegrate,” Tippett said. Along with physical rehabilitation— such as sessions in the gym and the large, heated indoor pool—Shepherd also teaches patients to become self-sufficient (including cooking and driving)


Left, John Bowders practices going over bumps in his wheelchair. At right, Terrill Estabrook is assisted by a Shepherd Center employee.

and to use technology. The facility’s tech department helps patients with limited mobility learn to use computers, tablets and cell phones, members of the Buckhead Business Association were told dur-

ing a tour of Shepherd’s facilities Dec. 3. In conjunction with Georgia Tech, Shepherd Center is developing new ways to communicate, including the “tongue drive,” a magnetic tongue stud that al-

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MAKING A DIFFERENCE lows those who have lost the use of their and post-traumatic stress disorder. arms and legs to have access to computWith patients coming from around ers or maneuver their wheelchairs. the state, the country and the world for For those who treatment at Shephave sustained injuherd, Tippett said the Do you know an organization or ries during the wars ongoing mission is to individual making a difference in Iraq and Afghanprovide care and atin our community? Email istan, the SHARE mosphere of Military Initiative at mism. Shepherd Center is a “When somecomprehensive rehaone says, ‘Shepherd bilitation program that focuses on asdoesn’t feel like a hospital,’ I know we’re sessment and treatment for servicemen making a difference,” Tippett said. and servicewomen who have sustained For more about Shepherd Center, mild to moderate traumatic brain injury visit

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SCOVIL Residents since 2005 Above, Exercise Specialist Kelly White addresses members of the Buckhead Business Association (BBA) during a tour Dec. 3.

Engineer • Global Executive Multi-lingual Translator Craftsman • Volunteer

Right, patient Willie Myers speaks with Senior Director of Planned Gifts Ty Tippett. Bottom left, one of Shepherd Center’s service animals rests in the gym. Bottom right, Sarah Lowe and other BBA members view the facility’s indoor pool.

Sailors • Occasional Birders Editor and Artistic Director of Resident Newsletter

The best part about our life here is

OUR WONDERFUL FRIENDS. The Scovils chose Canterbury for reasons you might expect – great location, maintenance-free living, intriguing things to do with time to actually do them, the promise of future health care. What they didn’t know then was how wide their already generous circle would grow to embrace wonderful new friends. Or, how much fun it would be to share experiences with people they enjoy.

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GRAND OPENING at the Prado Sandy Springs Open Christmas and New Years Day!

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Carol Sing

Nutrition & Wellness

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. – Spend your holiday with the

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 12:30-1:30 p.m. – Join Tiffany Barrett, oncology dietitian, from

Choral Guild of Atlanta! Their annual concert features guest conductor James Bohart, directing movements from the Mass in E-flat by American composer Amy Beach. Hear German chorales by Johann Sebastian Bach and carols called “The Many Moods of Christmas.” An audience carol sing also is scheduled. Tickets: $15; $12 seniors; $5 students. Northside Drive Baptist Church, in the Chapel, 3100 Northside Dr., Atlanta, 30305. To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit:

Candlelight Nights Thursday, Dec. 18, 6-10 p.m. – The At-

lanta History Center’s Candlelight Nights is back! Enjoy candlelit strolls through the woods and tour three historic homes decorated for the season. Experience holiday traditions of years past with interpreters and special activities, including carolers, cookie decorating, tree decorating and theater productions. Food for purchase; cash bar. Tickets: $10, members; $15, nonmembers; $8, children. Go to: for details and to buy tickets. 130 West Paces Ferry Rd., Atlanta, 30305. Call 404-814-4000 for further information.

Georgia Boy Choir Friday, Dec. 19, 7 p.m. –

Peachtree Road United Methodist Church hosts Christmas with The Georgia Boy Choir. Event features all five levels of boys, a full orchestra, and lots of audience participation, including the largest “Twelve Days of Christmas Sing-along.” Additional show on Saturday, Dec. 20, 7 p.m. Tickets: $12-$40. Call 404-402-4083 or visit: for details and tickets. 3180 Peachtree Rd., NW, Atlanta, 30305.

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DEC. 12 – DEC. 25, 2014 |


last-minute shoppers! Get to the Spruill Art Gallery. Find locally-crafted gifts and take 20% off your entire purchase during the last day of the Holiday Market. 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 30346. Call 770-394-4019 or visit: for details.

the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University, as she discusses “Nutrition for Wellness.” Free and open to the community. Pre-registration not required. Marcus Jewish Community Center Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody, 30338. Call 678-812-4000 or go to: for details.

Becoming Parents Saturday, Dec. 20, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. – This

class helps start you on your path for success in the most important job you will ever have. The one-time session focuses on you and your couple relationship, how to care for yourselves, relating to your baby and the many ways becoming parents affects your lives. $38. Reschedule if you have any flu-like symptoms. Northside Hospital Atlanta Interchange Building, Suite 400, Classroom 430B, 5780 Peachtree-Dunwoody Rd., NE, Atlanta, 30342. Questions? Go to: or call 404-845-5555.

Social Security Saturday, Dec. 20, 4-5 p.m. Baby Boomers – learn what you need to know

to maximize your retirement income. Seminar covers the basics of Social Security and reveals strategies for maximizing your benefits. Free and open to the public. For adult audiences. Registration required by calling 770-7997016 or emailing: Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs, 30328. Email: for further information.


Winter Harvest 5K Saturday, Dec. 20, 9-11 a.m. – The Charity Benevolent Fund hosts the Winter Harvest 5K/ Walk to provide new and gently used, clean coats for individuals in need. Registration, 8 a.m. $25, adults; $15, students ages 6-18; $30 for adults on race day. Keswick Park, 3496 Keswick Dr., Chamblee, 30341. Email: call 478-9864908 or visit: to register and with questions.


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Home cooking for the holidays Holidays are times when food turns personal. Many families have favorite dishes they cook up each year—special cookies or side dishes that define the holidays by tying us to our pasts, reminding us of our youths and linking us to family members who came before. Without them, the holidays just wouldn’t be the same. We asked some local cooks for their special holiday treats. Here are their recipes.

Lizette Leanza Our family’s holiday celebrations are deeply rooted in tradition. Every year we celebrate Noche Buena, or Spanish Christmas Eve, at my parents’ home in New Orleans with a traditional Cuban pork roast and an impressive four-course menu that has remained untouched by time since my grandmother was the hostess many years ago. It’s no secret that great food brings people together. On our holiday table where so many cultures converge, from my mother’s Spanish/Cuban traditions to my father’s Italian/Argentine roots, the spirit and magic of the holiday season come to life and everyone is welcome to join the festivities. I am proud of my multi-cultural heritage, and it warms my heart to know that my children are growing up surrounded by our unique family customs and traditions. During the holiday season, my girls aren’t dreaming of sugar plums but, instead, eagerly await a taste of Abuelita’s Flan. Flan is one of the most popular and classic desserts of Spain, and it’s found throughout most of Latin America. In its simplest form, flan is a creamy vanilla egg custard made with eggs, milk and sugar, baked in a water bath and served in a rich pool of sweet caramel sauce. Cream cheese is not traditionally used in flan, but it is my family’s “secret” for making the creamiest and richest flan that you will ever taste! For a step-by-step guide to making flan, visit Lizette Leanza of Brookhaven edits the One Crafty Kitchen blog.

Abuelita’s Spanish Flan Prep time: 20 minutes. Cook time: 60 minutes. Makes two 9-inch round custards. For the caramel sauce: 1-1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup water


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DEC. 12 – DEC. 25, 2014 | 11/24/14 11:01 AM

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For the egg custard: 8 ounces 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese, 12 ounces evaporated milk softened 2 cups whole milk Pinch sea salt 5 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla Whipped heavy cream for serving, op14 ounces sweetened condensed milk tional Preparation: 1. In a medium saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water over high heat and cook until a brown caramel forms, about 6 to 8 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, in a large blender or mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, salt, vanilla and milks until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat just until combined. 3. Coat two round pans with the hot caramel, moving it around to coat all the way up the sides. Be careful—the caramel is extremely hot! 4. Pour the custard filling into the pans. Place the custard-filled pans into a larger pan. 5. For the water bath, fill the larger pans with enough warm water to cover halfway up the sides of the smaller pans. (I will usually do this in the oven to avoid splashing water around while transferring the pans to the oven.) 6. Bake the custards in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for one hour or until set. If it looks like the top is browning too quickly, you can cover it with aluminum foil and continue baking. Let the flan cool. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. The flan will literally be swimming in caramel sauce. To serve, spoon some of the sauce over the flan slice and top with whipped cream, if desired.

Joseph Dabney Every Christmas back in the 1940’s, our family looked forward to my mother’s big, nutty “Japanese fruitcake” creation, a scene doubtless repeated in households across the South. The cake’s oriental name has been a mystery over the years, since the cake contains no Japanese ingredients. A precursor, “Japanese Cake,” appeared in the 1895 “Tested Recipe Cook Book” in Atlanta’s “Cotton States International Exposition,” something of a world’s

HOLIDAY FOOD fair for its time. Mama bolstered her masterpiece with nuts and raisins and topped it with shredded coconut. Some friends substitute milk for water. The filling should be made first, followed by the cake layers. Joseph Dabney of Brookhaven won the 1999 James Beard “Cookbook of the Year Award” for “Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread and Scuppernong Wine.”

Mother Dabney’s Japanese Fruitcake For filling: 2 cups sugar 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1-1/2 cups boiling water For 3 cake layers: 1 cup butter 2 cups sugar 3 cups all-purpose flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 1 cup milk 6 eggs

1 fresh coconut, finely grated 2 lemons, finely grated 2 oranges, finely grated

1 cup pecans 3 teaspoons cinnamon 1 box raisins 1 teaspoon cloves 1 teaspoon nutmeg

For the filling: In saucepan, combine sugar and flour. Mix thoroughly. Add boiling water, then add coconut, lemon and oranges. Cook mixture on low for about 20 minutes, stirring constantly. Cook until mixture reaches proper consistency, but not too runny. Set aside. For the cake batter: Heat oven to 325-350F. In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar in mixer until fluffy. Add flour, baking powder, milk and eggs (one at a time) and beat everything together. Next, add to batter pecans, cinnamon, raisins, cloves and nutmeg. Pour batter into cake pans and bake until golden brown on top. When baked, punch tiny holes in each layer. Final step: Place first layer (with holes in it) on cake plate. Pour filling on top. Do same for second and third layers, then pour filling over top, along with shredded coconut.

Donna Lorenz When my parents married, my mother couldn’t cook. Dad loved to tell a story from early in their marriage that involved dinner guests and stuffed peppers and ended with dinner in a restaurant. But Mom practiced and was good enough by her 50s that she was teaching cooking classes in her kitchen. Christmas cookies were a specialty. She would bake large quantities, in a dozen or more varieties, and give them to friends and neighbors. These very pretty shortbread cookies were a favorite with her family and everyone lucky enough to get one of her trays of cookies. My copy of the recipe has this note on it: Aristocrats (without which it isn’t Christmas.) Donna Lorenz of Buckhead bakes at home.

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Aristocrats 1-3/4 sticks butter (14 tablespoons) at room temperature 2/3 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate, finely chopped 1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped course or pearl sugar (sometimes sold as “parl socker”) In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar, add one egg and beat. Add flour and mix just until well combined. Divide the dough in half. Wrap one half in waxed paper and refrigerate it. Divide remaining dough in half again. Knead the chopped chocolate into one half and nuts into the other half. Roll each half into a 10-inch cylinder, wrap in waxed paper and chill. Remove the reserved, chilled dough from the refrigerator and roll into a 9 x 11 inch rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise, to make two 11 inch by 4-1/2 inch rectangles. In a small bowl, beat the other egg lightly and brush one half of rectangle with the beaten egg. Place the chilled chocolate dough cylinder along the long edge of the rectangle and roll the dough tightly around the cylinder, so that it’s totally encased. Smooth the seam and press the dough firmly around the cylinder. Trim the ends. Repeat with the walnut cylinder and the other half rectangle of dough. Brush each roll with egg and roll in course sugar crystals. Rewrap the cylinders and chill 4 hours or more. When ready to bake, heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove one chilled cylinder from refrigerator and slice it into 1/3 inch disks. Repeat with other cylinder. Bake about 10 minutes, until cookies just begin to brown around the edges. Remove to a rack to cool. Note: If course sugar crystals aren’t available, the cookies will be very good without them, just not as pretty. CONTINUED ON PAGE 15






6223 Roswell Rd. 404-255-2431 Mon-Fri 8:30-5:30, Sat 10-4 |

DEC. 12 – DEC. 25, 2014 | 15


Gabe Sterling

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While many focus on the main dish of holiday meals, my family has always had amazing side dishes. Over time, it has fallen to me to prepare the heartiest of these side dishes—the dressing, which always defines our Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. The tradition began with my grandmothers, on both sides of my family, and the torch eventually passed to me. The secret to this tasty, moist dressing? Bacon grease. Gabe Sterling is a member of Sandy Springs City Council.

Sage & Sausage Dressing Tools: 1 large cast iron skillet (I use a 12-3/4 inch); 1 large pot; 1 large bowl; 1 14 x 9 baking dish Ingredients: 2 rounds of cornbread 1 lb. sage sausage 1 red onion, diced 3 tablespoons dried sage 1 sweet onion, diced 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning 1 red bell pepper, diced 4 tablespoons salted butter 1 green bell pepper, diced 3 to 4 cups chicken stock (or broth) 4 stalks of celery, diced 1 tablespoon kosher salt 4 cloves of garlic, diced 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper 5 tablespoons of bacon grease (or butter…if you must) Cornbread: Mix cornbread mix/recipe of your choosing Preparation: Place 2 tablespoons of bacon grease (or butter) in cast iron skillet Put skillet in oven and heat to 450º. Once oven and skillet reach 450º, remove skillet and add cornbread mix. Replace in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and the edges are deep brown. Remove from oven and place on rack to allow steam to escape. Prepare two rounds. Dice all the vegetables, place in a bowl to the side. Place the sausage in a large pot and brown. Add 4 tablespoons of butter to the pot and melt. Add garlic and stir for 3 minutes. Add vegetables to pot, stir and start to sauté. Add 2 tablespoons of dry sage. Sauté the mixture until onions look translucent. Remove from heat. In the large mixing bowl, break up the 2 rounds of cornbread with your hands. Add the sautéed mixture to the cornbread. Mix with a spoon and/or hands. Begin adding chicken stock, 1 cup at a time. Add the remaining sage and poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Continue adding stock until the mixture in the bowl is firm but moist, to the point of nearly being wet. Preheat the oven to 350º. In the baking dish, use remaining bacon grease (or butter) to cover all the inner surfaces of the dish. If any of the grease (or butter) remains, just leave it in the bottom of the dish. Pour the cornbread mixture into the dish, evenly. Place dish in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes.

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DEC. 12 – DEC. 25, 2014 |

Amy and Beth Arogeti Sisters-in-law Beth and Amy Arogeti associate fried treats known as burmuelos with Hanukkah. “We never had them any other time,” Beth said. Now they share the honeydipped goodies with their families and at Congregation Or VeShalom’s Hanukkah Bazaar. “We remember our grandmothers making them and want to pass the recipe on,” Amy said. Beth and Amy Arogeti live in Sandy Springs.

Hanukkah Burmuelos (Fritters) 1 tsp. yeast 1 tsp. sugar pinch salt 2 c. warm water

3 c. plain White Lily flour 1 egg, beaten

Syrup: 1/2 c. honey 1/2 c. sugar 1/2 c. water

Soften yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Place dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add yeast mixture, egg and the rest of the warm water; mix well. Allow to rise in covered bowl in warm place for 2 hours. Fill a 2-quart pot with 3 inches of cooking oil. Allow to get very hot. Take a teaspoonful of soft dough and drop into hot oil. Remove with slotted spoon when golden brown. For syrup: mix all ingredients together in pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly sticky. Pour over Burmuelos while hot. From “The Sephardic Cooks Comé Con Gana,” compiled and published by Congregation Or VeShalom.


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DINING OUT: Sun In My Belly

I’m intrigued by restaurant names and what they say about a restaurant. Some are self-explanatory: The Atlanta Fish Market or Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q. Some are iconic, such as Bones or Bacchanalia. Some allude to history or literature, like Ink and Elm and King + Duke. Some are just whimsical, such as Sun In My Belly. Located in a former hardware store in Kirkwood, Sun In My Belly is a neighborhood café that serves brunch, lunch and dinner. If you ART HUCKABEE don’t live in the area, it’s a little hard Fried chicken, mac ‘n cheese and collards. to find the first time as there’s minimal signage. And, in typical Atlanta neighborhood fashion, there’s minimal The accompanying Parmesan mashed parking. potatoes affirmed my hunch, as they had The restaurant has a patio for warm the consistency of spackling compound. weather Sunday brunches, and just inThe Fez burger was undercooked. To side the door is a pastry/coffee counter if its credit, the kitchen re-fired a new one you just happen to want a quick bite. As rather than attempting to remedy the is the case with many old buildings that mistake in a microwave. The second itare converted into restaurants, the seating eration was properly and juicy is European banquet style with rows of on an onion Challah roll. It needed just a tables only separated by the slimmest of little more mint aioli to balance the lamb. margins that turn everyone into involunThere were lots of sweet offerings on tary eavesdroppers. The piercing “High the menu. The pumpkin crème brûlée C” screams of a nearby baby further rewas the perfect holiday sweet and the affirm that this isn’t necessarily your date s’mores parfait was a good riff on the tranight destination. ditional nighttime campfire treat. Sun In My Belly’s menu is extensive. As to the service, our experience (and From soups to salads, from “Lite Bites” that of many diners around us) suffered to “Big Bites,” and even a kids’ menu in from long pauses in between courses, the evening, there’s something for everymiscommunication between the kitchone. A four-course “Supper Club” menu en and the front of the house, and a genis available Thursday through Sunday for eral flurry of activity that came across as $35. There’s a decent wine selection and flailing. There’s a team effort at play here they offer craft beers. but the players don’t know their individAs an appetizer, we tried the fried ual roles. On a positive note, the hostess green tomatoes with pimento cheese. The did inquire about our experience at the unripe tomatoes were lightly battered and end of the meal and seemed genuinely infried to an al dente doneness with just the terested in our feedback. right dab of pimento cheese. We could Sun In My Belly may be a whimsical have eaten another serving.We sampled a name and some of the food is pretty sunvariety of salads. They were freshly assemny, but the service is mostly cloudy with bled with good ingredients. a chance of rain. For entrees, we ordered the fried Sun In My Belly is located at 2161 chicken, the meatloaf and the Fez burger. College Ave. NE, Atlanta, 30317. For The chicken was hot and crispy; the meat more information, call (404) 370-1088 moist and tender. The accompanying or visit mac ‘n cheese had a smoky Gouda taste and the mojo collard greens were spicy, Art Huckabee is one of Yelp’s Elite Rebut a bit too vinegary. The meatloaf with viewers, as well as a pilot, gourmet cook and tomato jam had good flavor but was dry, food lover. Send feedback to atlantafoodas if it had lingered under a heat lamp.

Quick Bites Buckhead Tavern is set to open in the Eclipse Buckhead Condominium development on Dec.18. Founded by the son of Johnny’s Hideaway owner Johnny Esposito, Jr., and restaurateur Ron Barber, the restaurant and sports lounge will offer tavern fare, cocktails, beer and wine and live entertainment Thursday through Sunday. Buckhead Tavern is located at 264 Pharr Road. Gourmet breakfast franchise Toast Café has announced it will open a restaurant in Sandy Springs in the new year, at a location to be announced. Also coming to Sandy Springs is Maya Steaks & Seafood, which is replacing the shuttered SeaBass Kitchen, by year’s end, at 6152 Roswell Road.  -Collin Kelley


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 Khorkie Tyus  Senior, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School Sometimes the best charities begin at home. When Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School senior Khorkie Tyus’ mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, Khorkie says she realized that the average chemotherapy patient needed more than just medicine and well wishes. She developed the idea to create “Warm Love” kits that contain a large variety of items to aid patients going through the chemotherapy process. After speaking to her mother’s oncologist, Khorkie decided what should be included in these kits. There are many different sections in every kit, she says. For example, there is the germ protection bag, which has items such as hand sanitizer and wipes; an entertainment bag, which has games such as Sudoku and a book; and a snack bag, which has food such as fruit snacks and bottled water. In addition, there is a blanket in every bag to keep the patients warm, as chemotherapy patients are more affected by the temperatures around them. In fact, this is the inspiration for the first part of the name “Warm Love.” Khorkie personally delivers her kits to the patients because she has noticed that many of them go to their chemotherapy appointments alone. This is where the “love” comes in: Khorkie says she visits the patients to offer comfort and to show that people care and are thinking about them. “Seeing the appreciation that patients have shown and how happy it makes them has meant a lot to me,” Khorkie said. “And it has made me really happy to know that I can affect someone’s life like this. I never expected it to get this big.” Warm Love has become so popular that it has led companies such as Aquaphor and Divinely Greek to donate their products for the kits. Khorkie’s leadership skills have impressed her teachers and mentors, like


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Keith White, who said, “She is the type of person who exemplifies the kind of leadership skills, dedication and aptitude needed to motivate other young people and lead a group of her peers to strive to create for the greater good of our community.” Khorkie, who has been a member of the Girl Scouts since she was five, has just received the Girl Scout Gold Award for her work with “Warm Love.” Khorkie is one of the 5 percent of Girl Scouts who receive the Gold Award annually. Khorkie also participates in Model UN and People’s Club, and is the current president of Disney Club. “Khorkie’s future is as bright as a harvest moon,” White added.

What’s Next: Khorkie plans on applying to Syracuse University, Hawaii Pacific University and Wooster College. She is working on making “Warm Love” into a nonprofit organization and says that she wants to continue her work with it throughout college. This article was written by Eliza Paprin, a student at Riverwood International Charter School.



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BCN members include most Buckhead residents When Tom Tidwell took over as the new chairman of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods CA TC H ING about a year ago, he said the organization needed UP to work on boosting its membership. Over the past year, the BCN did pick up sever- Revisiting a local news story from the recent past al new members, Tidwell said. But once in office, Tidwell realized the group didn’t really need to add a lot of new members, after all. The BCN, he said, covered the “overwhelming majority” of Buckhead’s homeowners as it is. “[Adding members] was my initial goal, but it was not a goal going forward,” he said. The BCN is an organization made up to represent other neighborhood groups. Its members are homeowners associations, not individual residents. There are about 40 neighborhoods in Buckhead, Tidwell said. The BCN includes 26 of them, secretary Gordon Certain said. Most of the groups that are not now members are small organizations, he said. “I believe 75 percent is still a good estimate of the [portion of Buckhead’s residents] living in BCN neighborhoods,” Certain said.


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DEC. 12 – DEC. 25, 2014 | 19


Songs of the season A joyful sing-a-long for all ages, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church’s Carols by Candlelight on Dec. 7 retold the Christmas Story through music and narration. The special service combined the English tradition of Lessons and Carols with the Australian tradition of Carols by Candlelight. PHIL MOSIER

NPU votes against Fuqua’s plans, but city committee approves it CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

those apartments would be for senior citizens. Fuqua had modified the site plan to include more green space, reduce surface parking, add more pedestrian connections and reorient the main entrance to line up with Lindbergh City Center’s Main Street across Piedmont Road. Residents of Cosmopolitan at Lindbergh, which is adjacent to the property, squared off with each other over the rezoning issue, with some wanting the Kroger and others vehemently opposed, especially because of traffic the

big box grocery store would attract. NPU-B board member Abbie Shepherd said she was voting against the rezoning because the development was “being sold as a neighborhood grocery store, when it’s obviously not.” NPU-B Chair Andrea Bennett said she was also against the rezoning because the plan for the property called for high density residential and not mixed-use. Fuqua has been trying to develop the site for more than three years. The original concept included a Walmart, which raised the hackles of nearby residents and was ultimately shot down by the city council.

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Fuqua Development attorney Steve Rothman talks to the board of NPU-B to make his case for a development on Lindbergh Drive that would include a grocery store and apartments. The NPU board split 17-8 in its vote against the proposed development. COLLIN KELLEY

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Buckhead Police Blotter From police reports dated Nov. 23 through Nov. 29. The following information was provided to the Buckhead Reporter by the Zone 2 precinct of the Atlanta Police Department from its records and is presumed to be accurate.


block of Moores Mill Road–On Nov. 24, a person was found lying on the side of the Maxi Emission Station with a gunshot wound. A witness told police that the shooter drove away in a green Silverado. The witness later refused to cooperate with police, telling the officer he “would tell him later.”

 1600

block of Northside Drive–On Nov. 26, a man got out of his car to smoke a cigarette when another man wearing a black hoodie walked up behind him and pointed a silver pistol, demanding that the man “lay down on the ground.” The victim got on the ground. The man with a gun said, “I’m going to shoot you,” but did not make demands for anything. A PT Cruiser pulled up next to the gunman, who got in, and the car then drove north on Northside Drive.

 200

block of Ardmor NW–On Nov. 27, a man awoke to being punched in the face by his boyfriend because the boyfriend thought the man was cheating on him. The punched man had injuries to

 900

East Paces Ferry Road–The residents returned home to find their items pushed into a pile in the middle of the room and the walls painted. A Nintendo PS4 and a Sony Vaio laptop were missing.

his face and hands and a broken tooth. The boyfriend was arrested.

R O BBERY  3300 block of Peachtree Road–On Nov.

28, a man with a silver handgun followed a woman as she opened the back office door at Old Navy. He said to an employee working on a computer in the office, “Don’t move. Give me all the money in the safe.” The employee placed money inside a tote bag, and the gunman ordered the employees to disable the fire alarm on the rear door and then lie down in the corridor. The man stole $10,000. 900 block of East Paces Ferry Road–On Nov. 24, two men pulled up in a silver fourdoor sedan and got out. One of the men put his hands over a pedestrian’s mouth and took her purse and a Target bag. She fought back by biting his hand and pushing his face. Both men ran back to their car with the woman’s purse and an orange Fanta soda. 


block of Hollywood Road–On Nov.24, a resident came home and found a man in the apartment. They struggled, but the burglar broke free and jumped a fence to get away. A screen had been removed and the bedroom window was open.

C O MME R C I A L B U R G L A RY  3500

 2500

block of Church Street–On Nov. 28, the front door of a residence was forced open and the alarm system was detached from the wall. A 50-inch Sony television in the box, a 50-inch Haier television, a MacBook Pro, PlayStation4, Xbox 360, 17-inch Ansus laptop and a Blu-Ray player were taken.

 2000

block of Main Street–On Nov. 27, a previously damaged and boarded door was pulled away from the frame. A broken screwdriver was found near a television mount. Three televisions, a Nintendo Wii, iPad2, money order, steak knives and three watches were taken.

 700

block of Huff Road–On Nov. 28, a hole was punched above the rear door deadbolt and a 55-inch television and a pair of Louis Vuitton shoes were taken. A second burglary took place in the same complex where a Sony LED flat-screen television, an iPad, two MacBook Pro laptops, a Dell computer, an iPod touch and some currency was taken.



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DEC. 12 – DEC. 25, 2014 |

 Auto

Theft (6 total)

 2900

block of Peachtree Road—On Nov. 25, a gray 2009 Acura RDX was reported stolen from the parking lot at Barnes and Noble.

 2000

block of Peachtree Road—On Nov. 23, a black 2000 Honda Accord was stolen from the parking lot at Sunoco when the driver left it running and entered the store.

 2300

block of Piedmont Road—An attempt to steal a white 2000 Ford Explorer from the parking lot at Pep Boys was reported. The window was busted and the dash radio was taken. The damaged steering column was found on the ground.

 1900

block of Piedmont Road—On Nov. 23, a white 2002 Chevy Impala was reported stolen.

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block of Northside Parkway– On Nov. 27, an interior office door was forced open and drawers were opened. The roof hatch was left unsecured and the alarm wires were damaged and removed. A safe used for money was pried from the floor and the manager estimates more than $8,000 was taken with the safe.

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DEC. 12 – DEC. 25, 2014 | 23



DEC. 12 – DEC. 25, 2014 |


12-12-2014 Buckhead Reporter  
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