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St. Paul , Virginia
December 17, 2009     Clinch Valley Times
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December 17, 2009

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Page 2 CLINCHVALLEY TIMES, SL~ Paul~ VA,'Thiibsilay, D~b~r'17. 2009 .and ships..and sealing An. ro. g Gregory The word in the above title had to be "holiday" rather than "Christmas," since this is about food that is traditional at Thanksgiving and New Year's, as well as Christmas. I thought of "Holiday Cuisine," but that seemed a bit too elegant, at least for the food at our house; and "Holiday Goodies" implies cookies and cakes and pies, and while they're essential parts of the holidays, entire menus, both savory and sweet, for these special days will be at least listed here, if not discussed. So the safest thing, it seemed to me, was just simply to title these comments "holiday food.". While most families do have a few special foods, sometimes even fancy ones, that appear on one or more of their holiday tables, most of these dishes are nothing more than comfort food, anyway, so I decided to call a spade a spade, or at least a turkey a turkey! Thanksgiving is the easiest holiday to discuss, food-wise, since it's one of the few which is strictly American. Of course, a couple of other countries have days they call "Thanksgiving," but the history is much different, so the special day we observe on the fourth Thursday in November is celebrated only by us. Anyway, most of us have the same basic Thanks-giv- ing menu--which begins with turkey. I suppose some people feature some other main dish--vegetarians, for instance, and some people may prefer chicken or ham or some ,other meat as the centerpiece of the meal. Most, however, settle happily on turkey. With it go side dishes, many of which were enjoyed by the Pilgrims and Indians on that very early Thanksgiving. They had seafood on the table, which we've translated to oyster stuffing. Garden vegetables, such as squash and carrots, sometimes show up on the Thanksgiving table, and at my house, we always have a small casse- role of corn pudding as a special way to remember the Pilgrims and their Indian friends. Potatoes, either mashed Irish potatoes or some kind of sweet potato casserole--or both--are traditionally included on the Thanksgiving table. Cranberries, generally made into a sauce or relish, are almost a requirement for Thanksgiving, as is pumpkin pie with whipped cream (or some acceptable substitution). Most of those foods are included in the traditional Thanksgiving menu, although I'm certain there are families that would turn up their noses at such conventional food and instead enjoy more exotic choices. Wonder what they are! Christmas dining isn't quite as predictable, al- though many people have their family's second turkey dinner of the year on Christmas Day. Ham is quite a popular Christmas food--sometimes as a secondary main dish, served beside turkey or other entree. I went to a very elegant holiday party several years ago when the food was copied from an Old English menu, and the main course was roast goose! Others prefer roast beef (I think I told you about the episode on Food Network which involved a crown rib roast which Bobby Flay bought on a shopping trip accompanied by television cameras. It was to a shop that sells prime meat, to which most of us have no access except in restaurants. He bought an eight pound roast at $16 per pound. Do the math! I can't speak for most of us in this case, but that's way beyond the grocery budget at my house !) New Year's Day foods, according to custom, should be chosen for the luck and economic good fortune they bring. Although I thought that most of the foods I consider to be part of the menu for New Year's Day have Southern roots, I found that many of them are found around the globe, and some date back to early Rome. Several categories are "musts," ac- cording to a website I found. They are grapes, greens, fish, pork, legumes and cakes. Of course the tradi- tionally Southern collard greens and black-eyed peas fit right into that tradition, and I suppose corn bread could be interpreted as a kind of cake... Greens, which are usually folded, suggest paper money, and legumes remind the diner of coins, the website said. Both are considered to be good economic luck, and while an improved economy is always welcome, 2010 would be an especially appropriate time for that to happen! I found one website which touted peach upside-down cake as the perfect New Year's dessert. Sounds good! But all in all, even with the special, we-have-this- only-once-a-year, exotic foods, most if what we love to see on holiday tables is good old comfort food. I didn't intend this to be a recipe site, but I have one really good one for comfort food to share with you-- my friend Martha Ann sent it to me, and it is good--it makes a lot, so is good for big family gatherings. It's a high-end macaroni and cheese casserole-,and you'll see why I call it "high-end." So here's the recipe for Martha Ann's Macaroni and Cheese 3 cups macaroni 1 1/2 cubes sharp Cheddar cheese 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for the top of the casserole) 3 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 1 1/2 cups half and half 1 1/2 cups whipping cream 2/3 cup sour cream 2 large eggs, beaten 2 to 4 tablespoons butter or margarine Cook and drain macaroni; place in large bowl with cubed cheese and 2 cups shredded cheese. Stir to combine and let stand while you prepare other ingredients (heat from macaroni will melt most of the cheese). In another bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together, and to them, add half-and-half, whipping cream, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce and the 2 beaten eggs. Whisk to blend thoroughly. Pour liquid mixture over macaroni and combine well. Grease a large casserole dish and pour mixture into it. Add the reserved shredded cheese on the top. Dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until set around the edge. Let stand for at least 10 minutes. ..... I haven't even mentioned things like eggnog, pecan pie, or the infamous "green bean casserole," which involves green beans, cream of mushroom soup and canned French fried onions. We tried this--once. Whatever your favorites, enjoy the holidays--and forget the calories if you dare! Letters to the editor.. Readers are invited to write letters on matters of general interest to the public. Letters do not necessarily reflect the philosophy or editorial policy of this newspaper, which reserves the right to edit letters. The Clinch Valley Times will not print unsigned letters. To the Editor: This is a copy of a letter the seniors and handicap people of Stonebriar had on their wind- shields Friday, Dec. 11. The parking lot is always empty and is at the back of our building. We would like to know why the Scrooge doesn't allow us to park there. Rita Bush Stonebriar resident St. Paul (Editor's note: This letter to the editor was brought to the Clinch Valley Times accompa- nied bv a notice on an 8.5 "x l l " sheet--the letter writer found it on the windshield of her car-- which stated that parking in the lot in question, which is across the alle~ from the back of Stone- briar Apartments, is only for tenants of the building, and that towing will be enforced. The building's owner's name was at the bottom of the notice.) To the Editor: Congress seems to be spend- ing an awful lot of time these last few months trying to untan- gle messes they've helped create over the years.-One Of the big- gest problems they are dealing with is figuring out how to fix the banking system and stock market that allowed our current economic troubles to occur. For all the talk about the problems with a free market run amok, if they really believed that, then Congress would scrap proposed 'cap-and-trade' mate change legislation. 'Cap-and-trade' will create a whole new commodity market, but this time, instead of trading a real product like corn or orange juice, companies will be able to trade carbon emissions credits. While the idea seems good on paper, it has failed to reduce emissions in Europe and the early version passed by the House contains so many givea- ways and exceptions, it seems destined to fail here as well. In addition to not actually helping to solve climate change, it will create an overly complex financial system, open to the same sort of abuse and manipu- lation that occurred on Wall Street. It seems the Democrats in the Senate have realized that 'cap- and-trade' is something the peo- ple are against and have delayed action on it. Hopefully they will take a more careful look and realize that the bill would do nothing for the environment and create yet another financial tool that would be ripe for exploita- tion. Jonathan Strom Lexington, Kentucky VIRGINIA STATE POLICE - :.~: ., INSURANCE FRAUD DIVISION If you have knowledge of insurance fraud, report it to the Virginia State Police: '. Catt' lg 1 4T/-aRIMIO (1 ,623-7283) 1-877-62FRAUD E-mailing VSPifd@vsp.state, Toy safety for the holidays The Cumberland Plateau and Lenowisco Health Districts serving seven counties and the city of Norton in Virginia's Great Southwest urge parents and caregivers to become more aware of holiday safety mea- sures and toy buying tips they can use to help keep children safe during the holidays. Dr. John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH, Director and Acting Director respectively, of the two health districts said, "We have all heard about safety concerns and quite a few recalls of toys recently and each of us as parents know, unfortunately, we must remain wary and particular about what we buy for our children." We all want to have the chance to delight the children in our lives during the holiday season but the choices can be bewildering and some dangers may not be obvious. "We have thousands of toy choices and some may have hidden risks, like the unconscionable use of lead paint, or risks we can plainly see, like the choking risk for young children from toys with small removable pieces," said Dr. Dreyzehner. Manu- facturers, retailers and govern- ment regulators each have an interest and role in the work to make sure these products are safe yet some that aren't get through and as parents and consumers it is still wise to be careful. Dr. Dreyzehner added, "With the pace of new products, there are also hazards that don't become clear until after they are on the market. We have learned we can't take safety for granted just because it is on the shelf. There is still no substitute for a cautious eye and our adult supervision." Nora Murphy, Safe Kids- Lenowisco Coordinator said, "As parents and grandparents we can be understandably confused about what toy to buy for the children in our lives and we may not be aware of the safety hazards a toy might have." She adds, "When buying toys we should consider the safety, cost, and the age recommendations of the toy as well as the abilities of the child and if in doubt, go with your gut, there are many other choices." Safe Kids-Lenowisco recommends the following tips to help" choose safe toys this holiday season: TYPES OF TOYS TO AVOID For children younger than age 3, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking. For children under age 6, avoid building sets with small magnets. If swallowed, serious injuries and/or death can occur. Be careful of toys with sharp points or edges especially for those under age 8. Beware of propelled toy darts and other projectiles. Stay away from toys with .strings, straps or cords longer than 7 inches which can wrap around child's neck. When buying electrical toys with heating elements, batteries or electrical plugs pay special attention to the age guidelines given. Children younger than the recommended age could be burned if they played with these electrical toys. Be sure that toys for older children are kept away from younger children. TYPES OF TOYS TO BUY BY AGE OF CHILD Infants under age 1-The besttoys for the first year include activity quilts, stuffed animals without button noses and eyes, bath toys, soft dolls, baby swings, cloth books and squeaky toys. Children ages 1-3-The best toys for this age group are books, blocks, fit together toys, balls, push and pull toys, pounding toys and shape toys. Children ages 3-5-Toys that are best for this age group include approved art supplies, books, videos, musical instru- ments and outdoor toys such as a baseball tee, slide or swing. Children 5-9-Best toys include craft materials, jump Capitol Motorists: Commentary DECEMBER 16, 2009 MARKS THE 35th ANNIVERSARY OF THE SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT Federal Law Helps Expand and Ensure the Safety of Southwest Virginia's Drinking Water December 16, 2009 marks the 35th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the law that protects health by ensuring the safety of the nation's public drinking water supply. The provision of a safe and adequate supply of drinking water is an essential step in maintaining the excellent quality of life South- west Virginia affords as well as in meeting our economic devel- opment goals for the region. For these reasons, one of my primary goals in representing our region is to work with our local govern- ments to obtain federal funding to expand and improve our re- gion's public water service, and funding made available by the Safe Drinking Water Act has assisted communities across Southwest Virginia to expand and improve the drinking water infrastructure. The federal government has a number of programs that sup- port the construction and main- tenance of drinking water sys- tems. The largest program, the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund, was created by am- endments to the Safe Drinking Water Act. This program pro- vides federal grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to states. They, in turn, loan money to communities to construct and improve water systems. In 2009, more than $75 million in federal funding, including funds provided by the Safe Drinking Water Act, was awarded to construct and improve public water systems throughout the Ninth District. Obtaining the funding to bring public water and wastewater services to more homes and businesses in Southwest Virginia is a high priority for my office. Thousands of homes and businesses will receive new or improved publicly provided drinking water services as a result of projects we launched with federal funds this year. In 2010, I will continue to strongly support water and wastewater development throughout our region. Scholarship applications accepted Virginia Association for the first time to complete or im- Family and Consumer Educa- tion scholar application forms are available from the Wise County Family and Community Education Scholarship Chair- man. The following scholarships are offered by VAFCE: The Ella G. Agnew scholar- ship is to be used by high school seniors seeking training for a nursing career or in the field related to the medical profes- sion. The amount of this scho- larship is $1,000. The Maude E. Wallace scho- larship, also in the amount of $1,000, is a general scholarship awarded to a graduating high school senior planning to further his/her education in any field. The Mrs. Guy Roop scholar- ship is awarded to a mature adult who is currently in school or who has been accepted for Dante to offer treats for kids Treat bags will be handed out on Saturday, December 19, starting at 12 noon at the Dante Coal and Railroad Museum. Santa Claus will also be on hand for the fun. Everyone ig welcome. ropes, puppets, books, electric trains (after 8) and sports equipment. Don't allow children to change batteries. Children ages 9-14- Gifts include computers, microscopes, table and board games, outdoor and team sports equipment. GUIDELINES FOR BUYING OTHER TOYS When buying a bike be sure it is the right size for the child. Do not buy a bigger bike so that the child will "grow into it" as this can be dangerous for the child because the bike will be too big for him or her to handle safely. Buy a bike helmet for the child to wear and make sure he/she wears it every time while riding a bike. Buy reflective clothing and/or stickers for the child to wear or put on a bike to better be seen at dusk or dawn. Give a horn or bell to use with the bike. For in-line skating or skate boarding give a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads and have the child take lessons (if lessons are available). Parents and caregivers may be able to order a free brochure on toys safety by writing to: Toy Brochure, Safe Kids Worldwide, 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 1000, Washington, D.C. 20004. Parents may also check for toys that have been recalled on the web at, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's recall site. For further local information about accidental injury preven- tion for children ages newborn to 14 years call Nora Murphy at (276) 328-1915. The Safe Kids-Lenowisco is part of Safe Kids Worldwide, the first and only national organiza- tion dedicated solely to the pre- vention of accidental childhood injury--the number one killer for children ages 14 and under. More than 450 state and local Safe Kids in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico comprise the Campaign. Stop for any school bus loadin or unloading children! prove education in any field. The minimum scholarship is $1,000. The VAFCE does not dis- criminate against applicants on the basis of race, dolor, religion, sex, age, national origin or po- litical affiliation. For more information or application forms, call 276-328- 6194. All forms must be completed and postmarked by May 1, 2010. Wise County Sheriff' s Report The Wise County Sheriff's Office reports the following activities for the period of 11/30/2009 through 12/06/2009. Wise Central Dispatch received a total of 1,292 calls for this seven- day period. Of the total calls received 263 were dispatched to the Sheriff's Office. Total number of Domestic calls for this period was 18. Criminal Process for the same period served 20 Felony Warrants, 83 Misde- meanor Warrants, 3 DUI Arrest and worked 2 Traffic Accident. Civil process for this period served 352 Civil Papers During this seven-day period 5 additional Criminal Investi- gations were initiated and 19 were cleared by arrest. The Sheriff's Office provided 198 man-hours of Court Room Security for the three courts. The Sheriff's Office tran- sported 0 adult in state, 0 adult out of state, 5 mental patient, and 5 juveniles for a total of 10 transports, involving 38.5 hours. The Sheriff's Office unlocked 5 vehicles and escorted 10 funerals during this seven-day )eriod. .~.._... I Clinch .... Valley Times ::i MEMBER VIRGINIA PRESS ASSOCIATION Published weekly in St. Paul, VA 24283, by the CLINCH VALLEY PUBLISHING CO., INC. 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