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Features

  • Inspiration can come from the strangest of places. Take these two boxes, uh...box and a half of chocolate-covered cherries I’m staring at. 

    For me, this early gift, from my daughter, Kathryn, is a sure sign that Christmas is on its way.

    Before I could get one of the boxes open, my great-granddaughter, Madison, 3, came tearing through the house screaming at the top of her lungs.

    “Nana (Kathryn) fell off the ladder,” she said.

  • If you travel Charlotte Highway often, you’ve probably noticed the cute home with a parking area surrounded by a low brick wall just north of the city limits.

    If you haven’t noticed the house, Woody and Linda Wilson’s landscaping most likely caught your eye. 

    Tidy sculpted beds filled with a variety of low maintenance shrubs and other perennials topped with freshly tossed pine straw surround the house. Fresh seasonal container gardens and quaint front porch rocking chairs paint an almost flawless image.

  • You just walked by the bulletin board in the break room and saw a big question mark on the list by your name.

    You’ve been so busy that tomorrow’s Christmas party at work was forgotten. It’s a week earlier this year since there is one less weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    Now you’re in a cooking quagmire. 

  • I’m feelin’ pretty good these days, with the gutter-cleaning mishap behind me. But that’s not why I’m feeling rather spry. 

    I’ve had numerous folks contact me this week, telling me how enjoyable “Remember When” has become for them. In my case, numerous means more than three.

    I share a special bond with any reader who gets a chuckle over some of my childhood escapades or better yet, can close his eyes and snicker about  doing the same sort of thing.

  • Name: Debbie Gill

    Age: 46

    Address: Foxmeade Court

    Family: Husband, Troy; children, Shakari and Jermaine

    Pets: Betty (a fish)

    Job: U.S. Postal Service

    Church: New Independent Church

    Hobbies: Softball

    Favorite movie/book: “Sammy the Goat”

    Favorite food: Steak

  • Family. We all belong to (at least) one.                       Our families can include the people we cherish and love the most.  

    According to broad definition, “family” means a group of people who are tied together through some common thread – whether it be biological, ancestry, living arrangements, common interest or love. Family, in my dictionary, has 11 distinct definitions.   

  •  Potatoes can be a mystery. With many stores now carrying multiple varieties, trying to figure out what potato works best for what can be a guessing game.

    Potatoes usually fall into two categories (baking and boiling). The chief difference between the two types is the starch content. 

    Baking potatoes are relatively high in starch. Boiling potatoes are lower in starch and waxy, which holds them together when boiling or in soup and stews.

  • In the late 1860s, chili was frontier food. 

    The mixture of dried beef, suet, chili peppers and salt was pounded together into compact bricks and left to dry in the hot sun was a regional dish enjoyed by those in Texas and neighboring Louisiana.

    Easily transported, these bricks could be dropped into a pot of boiling water on the trail to make a stew-like soup for settlers and cowboys trekking across the Midwest.

  • Most of us have had an experience or two that we really can’t figure out. 

    I was reminded that I as watched and read about the tornado in neighboring York County on Nov. 16 that took three lives.

    All it takes is something like that to bring forgotten memories to mind.  

    Married servicemen often find it tough to secure housing for their families when reporting to a new duty station. 

    I was no different.

  • When Beverly Dozier’s family went around the table to say what they were thankful for during Thursday’s Thanksgiving meal she didn’t hesitate.

    Dozier is thankful for her gently-used brown corduroy coat and how it’s taken on a new meaning in her life.

    Andrew Garris may not have been at the Columbia home of Dozier’s brother to hear her sentiments Thursday, but he is just as thankful for that coat.

  • Name: Talf Wrenn

    Age: 16

    Address: Kershaw Camden Highway, Kershaw

    Family: Parents, Will and Meg Wren; a brother, Hammond and a sister, Caroline

    Pets: A dog, Bell

    Job: Junior at Andrew Jackson High School (also class president)

    Church: First Baptist Church, Kershaw

  • Thanks to cyberspace, cell phones, Twitter, and e-mail, reaching someone halfway around the world is almost instantaneous with very little face to face interaction.

    There’s nothing wrong with using technology to your advantage, but that’s not always the way the Rev. T. Edward Kofi, director of African Christians Fellowship International (ACFI) does things. Yes, Kofi has a Facebook page, but he prefers to reach out in love. 

  • There is a quotation by Albert Einstein tacked up in my work cubicle.             He was a genius when it comes to capillary forces, general relativity, matter-energy equivalence and how light from another star can be bent by the sun’s gravity.

    It isn’t Einstein’s ability to comprehend atomic vibrations, wave-point duality and critical opalescence that I respect. Gosh, I have trouble just spelling Brownian motion and thermodynamic fluctuations, much less discerning what all of that means.

  • This tender, moist cake uses pureed pumpkin to replace much of the fat and is delicately seasoned with classic Thanksgiving flavors and can be made ahead of time.

    Glazed Chocolate-Pumpkin Bundt Cake

    Ingredients

    1 cup all-purpose, flour

    3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

    1 cup granulated sugar

    3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, (not Dutch-process)

    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • For years, there were two vacant lots between our house and the one where the family of building contractor Mr. Barney Gardner lived. 

    Those overgrown fields were the setting for many adventures such as fighting wild animals in the jungle or standing off an Indian attack on the prairie.

    But all good things eventually come to an end. One of the fields disappeared when Mr. Ned Gregory, Sr., and his wife Mrs. Lucille, built a two-story brick house next door to us.

  • Most of the time, the doctor does the talking and the patient does the listening. Some physicians are even apprehensive about dropping their guard to pray with patients.

    However, that’s not the case for cancer specialist Dr. Kashyap Patel of Carolina Blood and Cancer Care, or at least not anymore. 

    Now, Patel, the vice chief of staff for Springs Memorial Hospital, does both.

  • Editor’s note – The Lancaster News recently asked readers on Facebook to share the names of some of the county’s best foodies. One of them is Cathy Ardrey. 

     

    Cathy Ardrey’s family thinks she’s a great cook, with good reason. 

    From vegetables to wild game and seafood, Ardrey has an arsenal of dishes, many of which she’s developed herself or adapted from recipes found in her cookbook library. 

  • Cool mornings and warm afternoons pretty much sum up the weather on Chesterfield Avenue this week. We wrapped up a few of the big pears in tissue paper and placed them in a corner of the back porch. 

    Those pears will taste just right around Thanksgiving.

    The talk of the town was politics, chewing tobacco, elephants and airplanes, depending on what circle you ran with.

  • Editor’s note – The Lancaster News recently asked readers on its Facebook page to share memories on family members who proudly served in the United States military. Here is Mickey R. Hinson Sr.‘s story on his dad, the late John Harry Hinson, who died Feb. 16, 2008, at the age of 92.

     

    This was my father in the U.S. Army infantry in Germany and Italy in World War II. 

  • What turns a dish into a comfort food?

    There is no simple answer.

    Scientists who study happiness theorize that it happens whenever nostalgia meets nourishing food in a nourishing environment.

    With comfort food, it’s never about the amount of money that is spent.

    For some, it may be when we are surrounded by family and friends enjoying a no-frills meal that includes old-fashioned meat loaf, macaroni and cheese or a green bean casserole.