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Monda Darnell's

Monda Darnell www.showmerealestatepb.com

573-429-6261 573-857-2245


Dear Friends,

Trees put on their Autumn best with vibrant displays of reds, golds and oranges. The succulent smells of roasting turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie fill the crisp air. Football insanity seizes most members of the male species and some of the female as well. Oh glorious November! The time of family and insanity! This month in Welcome Home magazine you will find answers for your most common Thanksgiving dilemmas! Want that perfectly roasted Turkey on the table like grandma used to have? Chewing your nails to the quick worrying about snagging that perfect deal on Black Friday? Terrified of making a mistake in front of the in-laws? Now there is no need to get all stressed out! So take a load off and enjoy having all the answers at the click of your mouse! Please enjoy this issue of the magazine! Have a tasty November, and as always, Welcome Home! If you have comments or suggestions please email us at welcomehome@activeezine.com , we love to hear from you! Also if there is a subject that you would like to see covered, let us know! We look forward to hearing from you!

Monda Darnell www.showmerealestatepb.com

573-429-6261 573-857-2245


Welcome Home! Double Cranberry-Apple Sauce

Welcome Home is for entertainment purposes only. This magazine is not intended to solicit other brokersʼ listings. If you are currently working with another broker, please disregard this information. All pictures courtesy of sxc.hu unless otherwise noted.

Editor in Chief - Phly Jambor

Yield: Makes about 5 cups

Ingredients • • • • • •

6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced 1  (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries 1  small lemon, sliced and seeded 1  cup  granulated sugar 1/2  cup  water 3/4  cup  sweetened dried cranberries

Preparation Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring often, 15 minutes or until cranberries pop and mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat, and stir in sweetened dried cranberries. Cool. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Note: Mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2003

The information provided in this publication of Welcome Home or on any website maintained by U.S. Cybertek, INC. or any of its subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, agents, representatives, licensors, licensees or employees (collectively Publisher) is intended as a general guide illustrating common methods of common practices, and the publisher makes no warranty or guarantee whatsoever of the safety, effectiveness, or other characteristic of any methods or products described herein. Neither does the Publisher assume any liability for information published in any website or other publication to which reference may be made herein. Readers are cautioned to review and comply with all written instructions, safety bulletins, and other materials provided in connection with any of the products mentioned herein and all products used in connection with any of the methods described. Neither Published nor any of its subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, agents, representatives, licensors, licensees or employees shall in any case be liable to you or anyone else for any loss or injury or any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special punitive or similar damages arising out of your use of or failure to use any of the methods and/ or products described in this publication or any other publication or websites to which reference may be made herein. Publisher disclaims all warranties, and any warranty or guarantee of safety, merchantability, or fitness for any particular purpose lies solely with the manufacture(s) of any product described or recommended or used used in connection with any methods described or recommended.


Thanksgiving

Understanding The Holiday

Thanksgiving to most folks means family and friends and Turkey, or maybe beer and football. Many do not know or even care about the significance of the Holiday. Way back in the 1600's a group of people who were members of the English Separatist Church (Puritan's) in England fled their homeland to escape religious persecution. They boarded a ship and sailed to Holland in the Netherlands. In Holland the people enjoyed a brief time free from the religious persecution they faced back in England, but they soon became frustrated with the Dutch peoples bad morals and what they considered sinful lifestyles. Seeking yet a better way of life, the Separatists made a deal with a stock company in London to finance a trip to America on a ship named the Mayflower. There were others from England that were not separatists, in fact the majority that made the trip on the Mayflower were not. The group arrived in America on Dec 11, 1620 and they set ground at Plymouth, Massachusetts. The first winter season the pilgrims encountered in America was horrible. With extreme cold and blizzard conditions, they lost 46 of the original 102 who came over on the Mayflower.


But the spring and summer of the next year was wonderful with most of the days pleasant and nice and most of the pilgrims staying healthy. The local indians showed them where and how to hunt and trap for the available game, and shared their secrets on growing and storing of the native crops. The harvest of 1621 was very bountiful and the pilgrims along with the local indians who had helped them survive their first year, decided to have a huge feast to celebrate and give thanks. The feast or as it's commonly called 'The First Thanksgiving' was probably held outside on handmade tables and benches, most of the people sat on blankets on the ground while eating, because records show that the colonists didn't have a building large enough to accommodate all the people.

From an original letter of a member of the colony, Edward Winslow, here is the actual account of the First Thanksgiving celebration: "Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, Many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

From the hand written letter we can see that 1 Indian Chief or King and 90 others (91 total indians) that were invited as guests attended the event along with the pilgrims, and that the feast or celebration lasted 3 days. The celebration or feast was not repeated again until the year 1623, when during a severe drought the pilgrims all gathered and prayed for rain. The next day, a long steady rain occurred, and Governor Bradford proclaimed another day of Thanksgiving, and again the pilgrims or 'colonists' invited their indian friends to celebrate. The next Thanksgiving celebration did not occur until the year 1676, when the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held a meeting on the best way to celebrate and give thanks for the good fortune their community had experienced. By voting, they instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29th as a day of Thanksgiving. The next Thanksgiving celebration did not occur until the year 1676, when the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held a meeting on the best way to celebrate and give thanks for the good fortune their community had experienced. By voting, they instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29th as a day of Thanksgiving. Other dates that were important to the Thanksgiving Holiday were October of the year 1777, when there was a Thanksgiving holiday that was celebrated by all 13 colonies that had been established. In 1789 George Washington proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving, and after a campaign of letter writing to presidents and governors, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving. The date was altered a couple more times, but finally in 1941 it was sanctioned by Congress as a legal holiday, on the fourth Thursday in November, where it remains yet today. Written by Robert W. Benjamin . Article courtesy of Isnare.com.


Turkey: The Old-Fashioned Way

There are many delicious ways to prepare and serve turkey. It might be deep-fried, brined, poached, grilled...to mention just a few methods of preparation. This article, however, will focus strictly on tips and techniques for preparing perfect turkey the old-fashioned way – oven roasted. Basic Technique for Roasting a Turkey... 1. The safest method for thawing a frozen turkey is by allowing the turkey to thaw in the refrigerator. Be certain to plan ahead...it will take approximately 3 days for a 20 pound turkey to defrost.

8. Set the roasting pan on the lowest rack of the oven to keep the turkey away from the top, which is the hottest part of the oven. 9. Once the turkey is cooking in the oven, resist the temptation to 'peek' inside by opening the oven door. Opening and closing the oven door will cause the temperature to fluctuate, which will only increase the likelihood of a dry turkey. Avoid opening the oven door until approximately 45 minutes before the turkey expected to be done.

2. Everyone wants to prepare enough turkey for the number of guests they serve, and generally desire to have some turkey left over. To determine the correct turkey size that will be needed, see the section below entitled ‘How Much Turkey is Enough?’

10. After checking for doneness (see ‘When is the Turkey Done?’ guidelines below), remove roasting pan from the oven, tent the turkey with foil and let it ‘rest’ for approximately 15 minutes before carving (see tips on ‘How to Carve a Turkey’ below). If additional time is needed to prepare gravy, heat up side dishes, etc., the turkey may be allowed to sit at room temperature (covered) for up to an hour without losing too much heat.

3. Cooking time will differ depending on whether the turkey was purchased fresh or frozen. Calculate approximate cooking time in a 350F (175C) oven based on the following: 20 minutes per pound for a defrosted turkey, and 10 to 15 minutes per pound for fresh.

11. Refrigerate any leftover turkey within 2 to 3 hours of preparation. Store in airtight, shallow containers to allow adequate circulation of cool air; date and label the containers. Turkey may be safely stored refrigerated for approximately 5 days and frozen for up to 4 months.

4. A turkey will cook more evenly if it is not densely stuffed. As an alternative, flavor may be added by loosely filling the cavity with aromatic vegetables and/or fruit -- carrots, celery, onions, apples, oranges, kumquats or garlic. Carefully tucking fresh herbs underneath the breast skin will also add flavor.

How Much Turkey is Enough?

5. Before roasting, coat the outside of the turkey with vegetable or olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 6. For even roasting, it is best to truss the turkey, and especially so if roasting stuffed poultry. (See ‘How to Truss a Turkey’ below.) 7. Set the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan to promote maximum air and heat circulation and to ensure that it cooks evenly. To yield moister, juicier white meat, place the turkey ‘breast-down’ on the rack. This technique will prevent the turkey breast from overcooking and becoming dry.

On average, to provide 2 servings of turkey for each guest (and allowing for leftovers), the suggested weights are as follows: 10 pound turkey for 6 people 12 pound turkey for 8 people 15 pound turkey for 10 people 18 pound turkey for 12 people 21 pound turkey for 14 people 24 pound turkey for 16 people - If you will be serving more than 16 guests (a recommended turkey size of more than 24 pounds), buy two turkeys that equal the total suggested weights. - If the recommended turkey size is less than 12 pounds, you may wish to buy a turkey breast to roast.


How to Truss a Turkey... To ‘truss’ means to secure poultry or meat into a compact shape. Trussing will ensure even roasting. The following technique is recommended when roasting poultry, especially a stuffed turkey. 1. To truss with string, take a piece of butcher's string about three times the length of the turkey. Place the turkey on its back, tail end nearest to you. Slide the string underneath so that it is cradling the turkey in the center of its back.

roasting; if they are clear, the turkey is probably done. (Try to insert the thermometer as infrequently as possible, to prevent the juices from escaping.) Another way of checking for doneness is to move the leg up and down. The looser it becomes, the closer it is to being done. How to Carve a Turkey...

2. Gently pull the string up the sides...then around the wings. Pull the strings toward you, close to the breast, so that the wings are held against the body. 3. Cross the strings at the base of the breast, then wrap each string around the end of a drumstick. 4. Tie the ends of the string together, cinching it tightly so that the legs cross. 5. Finally, lift the turkey so that the tail end is up and wrap the string around the tail. Tie the string, pulling tightly so that the cavity is covered by the tail.

To carve a turkey, it is essential that you use a sharp carving knife and a good, heavy-weight fork. The following instructions will make carving a turkey almost effortless. 1. Begin by cutting through the skin where the leg meets the breast. Pull the leg away from the body with the fork and continue to cut down, close to the body, to find the joint where the thigh meets the body. Pull the leg out further and slice right through the joint to remove the leg and thigh. 2. Place the leg skin-side down and locate the line at the joint where the thigh and the drumstick meet. Holding your knife along this line of the thigh, you can slice easily through the joint. If you hit resistance, adjust your angle and try again. Cut down through the line and separate the thigh from the drumstick. Repeat this process with the other leg.

When is the Turkey Done? You will want to test your instant-read or traditional meat thermometer a few days before preparing the turkey to ensure it is properly calibrated. Place the thermometer in a pot of boiling water. It should register 212F (100C) -- water's boiling point at sea level. If the reading does not reach the desired temperature, you will want to buy a new thermometer. Keep a careful eye on the thermometer during the last half hour of cooking since the internal temperature may rise rapidly toward the end. Using a meat thermometer, test for doneness in the thickest, meatiest parts of the turkey: Test the widest section of the breast near the wing joint; the temperature should be 165F (73C). Test the legs at the top of the thigh, near the hip joint; the temperature should be 180 (82C). If cooking a stuffed turkey, determine the internal temperature of the stuffing as well; it should be at least 165F (73C). If using an instant-read thermometer, insert it deep enough to reach the heat sensor (the indentation about two-inches from the tip). Also examine the juices and oils at the bottom of the pan that are released during cooking. If they have a pinkish tinge, continue

3. Remove the wishbone (actually the collarbone) from the turkey. Removing the bone will prevent it from splintering when you carve the breast meat. 4. Next, run your knife through the skin along one side of the breastbone. Then cut down along the ribs, pulling the meat gently away from the bones in one large piece, leaving behind as little meat as possible. 5. When you reach the wing joint, cut through it and continue to remove the breast from the body. Repeat with the other side. 6. Finally, remove the wings and slice the breast meat before serving. (For even, attractive slices, cut the meat against the grain.) So, there you have it...everything you need to know about successfully roasting a turkey. As you can see, preparing a turkey by adhering to the techniques above is not at all difficult. The small amount of effort you invest will be well rewarded when the final product reaches the serving table and your guests rave about how absolutely marvelous it is. Just remember one thing – serving a juicy, flavorful roasted turkey does not have to be reserved solely for the holiday season – it’s wonderful anytime of the year. Written by Janice Faulk Duplantis. Courtesy of Isnare.com


Avoiding Novemberitis

. . . Going insane? It's just November. November Madness or 'Novemberitis' is the unofficial name psychologists gave a condition they commonly come across as each year speeds to a close. People feel pressured to finish whatever they're doing before the December holidays. With the end of the year in sight, they have a multitude of tasks and projects they want to finalize. On top of that, we seem to have a psychological compulsion for completion in all aspects of our lives. People tend to see things as running in cycles from 1 January to 31 December. So if our relationships, jobs or finances are in trouble, we often use the end of the year as the deadline to resolve things. Nuts in November The looming holiday season brings pressures of its own. December is not necessarily a good time for people, especially those without family or friends, or those who have lost someone - it reminds them of what they don't have. Others feel compelled by a sense of duty to be with family they would rather avoid. Parties can increase tension rather than release it, particularly if they're office parties. There's often anxiety around revealing your personal side at work events. People get terribly worked up about finding a partner if they're unattached, and hear horror stories of the embarrassment caused when a partner misbehaves. Alcohol takes a toll, encouraging indiscretions and contributing to exhaustion the next day, leaving us less able to cope with heavy schedules. Party fare and fast food can also lead to mood swings and an energy slump. And when exercise is put on the back burner, the cost to our body shape and confidence mounts - just when we're hoping to shape up for holiday swimsuits and party dresses. Also, financial concerns frequently weigh us down as Christmas shopping and holiday costs loom in already tough economic times. Don't go Crackers Unchecked, Novemberitis can result in major stress, even emotional breakdown. When we're exhausted and overwhelmed, and the end is at last in view, it's easy to start letting go the control that's carried us this far. We're prone to lose patience, tolerance and tact, and a minor incident or remark can trigger events we regret long after New Year. The moment you sense warning symptoms, from sheer exhaustion to rising panic or uncharacteristic rage, take steps to stop the madness. Acknowledge that you are taking strain, breathe deeply and relax consciously. Ask yourself: are my goals realistic and set aside a reasonable period for truly important tasks on a daily planner. Get help with the rest or delegate. It's okay to admit you're not Superwoman. Some tasks can probably be held over. Don't feel automatically compelled to finish things before you go on leave. However full your day, factor in time to unwind and to exercise, sleep properly, eat nutritious meals and drink plenty of water - all of these will help keep your brain functioning optimally and your mood up. Celebrate sensibly and drink alcohol responsibly. Learn to say no - to invitations, drinks or holiday plans you don't truly want, and to conventions that don't work for you. If you can't afford expensive holidays or gifts, make plans to enjoy your own town and give small presents or handmade cards. If you'll be working until the eleventh hour before going on leave, plan chill time at home for a day or two before heading on holiday. You’ll be far more receptive to the benefits of your all-important break. Remind yourself you feel this way every year and that you'll get over it - it's just November. Written by Sandra Prior. Courtesy of Articlesbase.com. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.


SURVIVING Thanksgiving Dinner

When you were a child, this was the time of year you couldn't wait for. The holiday season, from Halloween all the way through New Year's Day, seemed like one long feast for your eyes and taste-buds. And, of course, the anticipation of Santa's visit was the fuel that kept you giddy, the whole time. Now, you're grown, with small children of your own, and the season seems more like one long military operation: "OK, we survived Halloween. Now, let's plan our assault on Thanksgiving." You hope your mother will offer to handle Turkey Day; you try dropping not-sosubtle hints, but she's unsympathetic and doesn't take the bait. "I'm the grandmother, now," she points out, "I did my time. We're coming to your house, this year." Meaning, of course, "We're coming to your house, from now on, forever." Like you don't have enough to do, preparing for your children's' Christmas, now the family Thanksgiving traditions have been dropped into your lap, and it's an awesome responsibility. As long as you can remember, every Thanksgiving has been conducted in exactly the same manner, down to the particular ingredients in the turkey stuffing. You remember the time your mother spent-days and days-putting together the perfect meal. She did all the shopping and baked pies the weekend before, she made the fruit salads and Jellos early in the week, she spent the day before Thanksgiving carefully preparing the bird-and you can't even remember when she had time to clean the house, in anticipation of all the relatives who'd join the feast (and Lord knows, in those days, Dad was no help). How are you supposed to follow her example, with a working husband, two small kids, and a career that requires your presence in the office the day before Thanksgiving? Simple. You cheat. You can't possibly replicate your mother's efforts. First of all, she was operating in a different time, when two-income households were the exception, rather than the rule. She had the time to carefully and lovingly prepare every dish that went onto the table. And you weren't taking ballet and soccer, requiring her to drive you all over town in her free time. Your mother also knew that, in those days, if she wanted her family to have a delicious Thanksgiving meal, she had to make it, herself. That's not the case, anymore. Today, most large grocery chains and many restaurants have turkey dinners that you can purchase, which are complete and delicious. Usually, you're required to order such a meal at least a week in advance. Most chains offer a choice of turkey size (some even offer breast-only meals), side-dishes, and desserts. Then, the night before Thanksgiving, you just pick up your dinner at the store, and on the big day you just pop your turkey in the oven-it comes complete with cooking instructions-pop your pumpkin pie in the microwave, and when Mom and Dad arrive, the house smells like you've been cooking for days. The stuffing may not be exactly full of Mom's specific ingredients, the beans may not be cooked with exactly the same spices, but you can just tell Mom that things have changed-you're the Mom, now, and you're starting new traditions. You don't have to tell her you cheated. Do you really think that she wouldn't have done the same thing, if it had been available, when you were little? And, besides, who cares? Thanksgiving will still be about good food and family fellowship, just like when Mom did it all, herself. Written by J Gardener. Courtesy of Isnare.com Photographs courtesy of SXC.HU


Black Friday Top 10 Tips to Help You Survive it!

The Day after Thanksgiving brings out every bargain shopper looking to find the best deal. Being prepared for this hectic day can save you time and frustration just by following a few simple guidelines. 1. Arrive to the stores early Lines at the stores usually start forming as early as 3 PM Thanksgiving Day. If you are after the limited quantity items, you need to be in this line. Some stores hand out vouchers an hour before the doors open. If you don't get that voucher, you probably won't get the merchandise. 2. Park close to an exit Find a parking spot at a local store that is not open for Black Friday. This way, you won't be stuck in the big rush of people coming in and out of the main store. 3. Dress warm and comfortable. This is not a fashion show. The people in line don't care what you look like. Ladies, leave the heels at home. Guys, don't fix your hair, your going to be wearing a hat anyway. Even if by some miracle, it's 50-60 degrees outside, it gets really cold when you’re in line for 8, 10, or even 12 hours. A thick coat, thermal underwear, and a nice pair of gloves will help keep you warm. Two layers of socks and comfortable tennis shoes are a must. 4. Divide and Conquer What better way to plan your attack than at Thanksgiving dinner? Spread out the ads between family and friends, decide who is going to what store and make a list of what everyone wants. Each person buys everyone's items and then you all meet up afterwards. 5. Shop Online Many of the sale items will be available at the same Black Friday price online Thanksgiving Day. Purchase as many items as you can online through www.bfgear.com, and get the remainder Friday morning. 6. Make a "Dry Run" the night before Thanksgiving About an hour before the store closes on Wednesday, go to the store and spot where everything is that you want to buy. Some stores, especially Best Buy, set up a checkout maze consisting of 4 foot high DVD players, TV's, and other miscellaneous merchandise. One wrong turn could easily cost you an extra 45 minutes in the checkout line. 7. Leave the kids at home Unless you've taught your kids to get the deal no matter what (which is probably bad parenting anyway), leave the kids with a babysitter or family member. There are a lot of people at the stores that will be more willing to trample your child than help them off the ground. Standing in line for 10 hours is not fun for an adult, what do you think it's like for a child? 8. Protect your money Although big sales attract loads of shoppers, they also attract loads of thieves. Ladies, leave your purse at home. Bring your ID, credit cards and/or cash and keep it close to you. Guys, with 2-3 layers of clothing, it's harder to feel a thief lift your wallet while you’re not paying attention. Keep your wallet in your front pocket. 9. Make friends with others standing in line Having a good conversation with someone standing in line can pass the time fairly quickly. Not to mention, if you have to run to the bathroom because you just drank an entire pot of coffee. Your newfound friend will probably be willing to hold your place in line, especially if you’re willing to return the favor. 10. DON'T bring alcohol to a shopping frenzy Sure, adding a little something extra to your coffee may seem like a good idea, but there are police officers standing at every corner. They walk up and down the line to see what people are doing. They won't have any problem hauling your butt off to jail because you decided to handle line jumpers your own way. If fighting the crowds is not your style, you can always buy many of the items on your wish list online. Many shoppers don't realize that beginning Thanksgiving Day around midnight, retail stores automatically adjust the prices to reflect Fridays' sale. Simply purchase what is available online, and then decide if you want to pick them up later in the day, or pay a little extra to have it delivered to your front door. Written by Anthony Luna. Courtesy of Isnare.com


Mystery Ingredients A Russian Thanksgiving Dinner

Living for a year in Siberia was bound to results in a few laughs. There was no funnier time than my effort to celebrate Thanksgiving. The Set Up As an American male, my idea of cooking was dropping by the local Chinese restaurant on my way home from work. We are talking about a person who considers cooking rice a culinary challenge of the highest order. This lack of skill came to the forefront while spending a year teaching at a university in the Siberian city of Chita. Thanksgiving Experiencing the Russian culture was one of my primary reasons for moving to Siberia. Experiencing the American culture was apparently one of the prime reasons the University hired me. These conflicting view points resulted in every Russian and American holiday being celebrated, even if it wouldnʼt have been otherwise. As the end of November approached, I started getting questions about Thanksgiving. My Russian peers and students were particularly interested in the concept of Thanksgiving dinner. In turn, I started asking seemingly innocent food related questions and was pleased to learn most of the necessary food items were not available in the local market. This included turkeys, cranberries and so on. Then I made my mistake. Since the ingredients werenʼt available, I began to mouth off about the injustice of missing Thanksgiving dinner. Oh, how I could cook a turkey. To bad everyone would miss out on it. The moral trifecta of justice, fate and karma rose up to put me in my place. The uncle of someoneʼs brother was flying in from Moscow. If I created a list, he would buy everything and bring it on the flight. I was in deep, deep trouble. Reverting to the times of my youthful indiscretions, I immediately did what anyone in my situation would. I emailed my mother for help. The first response was, “Very funny. Youʼre going to cook?” After explaining the situation, I received a very long list of instructions written at a third grade level. “This is a knife” and so on… Well, the magic day came and everything went shockingly well. The turkey tasted like turkey. The stuffing tasted like stuffing. Heck, the cranberries even came out red. Then it was time for the gravy. In Siberia, you do not buy ingredients in pre-packaged bags. Instead, you buy everything in a clear plastic bag with no label. In theory, you should arrange everything at home so you know what it is when it comes time to cook. Thus did the flour adventures again. Cooking instructions were read. Turkey juices went into the pan. Instructions were read. Flour went into the pan. Instructions were read. Constant stirring was undertaken. Instructions were read. Water was added. Feeling cocky, I then did a tasting sample and nearly choked. The gravy was incredibly salty and exceedingly chunky. I added more water, but there was no change. For the next 20 minutes, I kept adding water and stirring. The gravy just kept getting chunkier, tasted horrible and actually began to smoke! After awhile, one of my female students came into the kitchen to find out what was going on. She blanched as she tasted the gravy. We went through the instructions and I made a passing reference to my suspicion the flour might be bad. She took one look at the flour and started laughing. Hysterically. She was laughing so hard she couldnʼt tell me the reason in English and my Russian was pretty bad. She recovered after a few minutes and gave me the English translation. I had grabbed the stuff used to paste over holes in the wall, not the flour. Put another way, I was making turkey drywall. No wonder it was so chunky! After the crowd left, I repaired a door knob hole in my bathroom. Thanksgiving lasted for months! Written by Nomadrick Chapo. Courtesy of Isnare.com


Products To Love In November Your oven is crammed full and yet more things that need baking are lined up on your counter. Tired of the same problem every Thanksgiving? Not enough oven space because of the turkey? Let us ease your fears! Nesco Professional 12-Qt. Convection Roaster Oven in beautiful Stainless Steel is the answer! This kitchen saver will roast up to a 12 pound turkey and adjusts up to 425 degrees for perfectly cooked..anything! Take a deep breath, help is here! Please visit www.walmart.com for more information.

November and Thanksgiving for many people means one more very important thing: Football! Make your house the ultimate Thanksgiving sports spot with the Samsung UN55B7000 55-Inch 1080p 120 Hz LED HDTV. This super sweet piece of football enhancing technology is practically guaranteed make this year始s Thanksgiving one that will be remembered for many years to come. It even offers Internet connectivity to allow those diehard fans to check the stats between plays! The only problem you may have is getting everyone to stop staring long enough to eat dinner. Please visit www.amazon.com for more information.

Dinner with the In-Laws is enough to make anyone want to pull their hair out, but add a perfectionist mother-in-law to the mix and you are ready to hide until the holidays are over. Well hide no more! The Whole Roast Turkey Feast from The Honey Baked Ham Company is here to save the day! One gorgeous perfectly roasted turkey, Sweet potato souffle, cornbread stuffing, turkey gravy and a mouth watering pecan pie make this the ultimate mother-in-law pleaser. Just heat and serve! The only trouble is with a turkey this good, they will want to come to your house every year! Please visit www.honeybakedonline.com for more information.


City Spotlight

History and Fun Come Alive in Williamsburg VA Once the seat of early American government, Williamsburg, Virginia is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay and larger cities like Washington, DC and Virginia Beach also attracts many people seeking a new home for raising a family, or for retirement. In the summer months, however, the town provides ample opportunity for families to explore the roots of our nation's history and culture, as well as have some fun. Situated on the tip of the booming Hampton Roads metropolitan area, Williamsburg forms one point of the historical triangle of sites (the others being Yorktown and the Jamestown colony) that attracts thousands of tourists annually. It is easy to find, being a short trip off I-64 and accessible through the local AmTrak station. At most, Williamsburg is an hour's drive from three airports: Richmond International, Williamsburg/Newport News, and Norfolk International. In Williamsburg, visitors may experience the life of our forefathers with a stroll through the streets of the colonial district. Stepping into the cobblestone streets sends one back in time as costumed folk demonstrate traditions and vocations of the time period. Gardens are cultivated for the beautiful floral arrangements decorating each door, the town blacksmith toils to forge ironworks, and the many shopkeepers bustle to serve their customers with handmade soaps, candles and linens. While many of the buildings situated along Duke of Gloucester street charge no admission, some sites in the preserved colonial area are part of a larger tour requiring passes which may be purchased from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Among the buildings people may explore at no charge are Bruton Parish, one of the oldest Anglican congregations in the country, and the Wren Building, the oldest academic structure in the United States. The Wren Building is part of the College of William and Mary, which abuts the colonial district. History lovers will be interested in Williamsburg's latest attraction, President's Park. Located just on the outskirts of town, President's Park is a large outdoor museum featuring gigantic busts of every US President. From George Washington to George W. Bush, visitors may learn about each presidency as they gaze at larger than life replicas of our nation's leaders. Visitors seeking a bit of excitement will want to stop at nearby Busch Gardens Europe, a seasonal amusement park sectioned to celebrate the different cultures that shape our nation. Spine-twisting roller coasters, three-dimensional rides and top entertainment delight thousands of visitors each year. When the sun is especially brutal, companion park Water Country USA offers a respite in the form of water slides and a giant wave pool. For lovers of culinary delights, Williamsburg is home to some of the finest restaurants in the state. Virginia ham, Chesapeake crabs, and colonial classic cream of peanut soup are just a few of the items one might find in the taverns and eateries around town. Williamsburg is home to The Trellis, made famous by the decadent Death by Chocolate dessert that is so big, it has to be shared! For visitors interested in less touristy things, Williamsburg offers opportunities for relaxation as well. Nestled the looming pines on the northern edge of town is Waller Mill Park, favored by locals and tourist for its many hiking and biking trails. Cyclists especially enjoy riding the Colonial Parkway for breathtaking views of the marsh and Chesapeake Bay. For golfers, there are three PGA-rated courses within the town borders. Williamsburg is a haven for golfers, history buffs, and anyone desiring a reprieve from the bustle and traffic often found in DC and Northern Virginia. Because the attraction to Williamsburg is seasonal and spread out, the area also allows for a sense of isolation and peace without being inaccessible. So if you're thinking of Virginia for your next vacation, be sure to reserve a few days for Williamsburg. You won't be disappointed. Written by Kathryn Lively, courtesy of Articlesbase.com


Random Facts

This month's random fact gives us further insight into one of Thanksgivings most mysterious culinary traditions Stuffing the Turkey.

Some of the first references to this rather bizarre practice are found in ancient Roman texts pertaining to cooking. After dressing out whatever poor animal was destined for the table they would stuff the main cavity with anything from old bread mixed with spices to another smaller animal! Strange as this practice sounds there is some common sense behind it. Stuffing the cavity helps to retain moisture and therefore should help to produce a juicier product.

Stuffing as it was known kept both it's name and it's place of honor at dining tables everywhere until the Victorians took umbrage at the name stuffing. It was so offensive to them that they changed the name to "dressing" and served it on the side instead of the traditional form, still in the bird. That was the beginning of the end for poor stuffing! Before too long someone figured out that while it does not taste exactly the same, the bird cooks faster without stuffing and the stuffing itself can be cooked separately and more quickly as well.

The real death of traditional stuffing however was not the Victorians changing it's name or some over worked cook conniving to save time. It was the USDA! They claim that stuffing your Turkey at Thanksgiving does not allow the temperature to get high enough to thoroughly cook everything, possibly resulting in, GASP!, food poisoning! So Stove top Stuffing is now the be all and end all of stuffing and not many people stuff their turkeys anymore. Sad but true!

So on Thanksgiving day before you tuck into your turkey, ham, tofu turkey or whatever it is that your family honors the holiday by eating, take a moment of silence for the once great side dish stuffing, aka, dressing.

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