Today's Features

  •  Each year as I write this pre-Thanksgiving column, I wonder what else can be said about holiday foods. I know the column will be published the day before, but with all the pre-holiday prep and houseguests arriving, I’m guessing that some of you are reading this after Thanksgiving.

    So here are a couple last-minute thoughts and recommendations on that holiday meal. If you’re reading this later in the weekend, I hope you’ll keep these in mind for another year.




    Most of us spend our time racing from one thing to the next in an attempt to keep up with all of life’s demands. But our uniquely American holiday of Thanksgiving is this week affording most of us the opportunity to eat too much and then fall asleep on the couch watching the Tony Romo-less Cowboys lose another game. More importantly, this is a time to reflect on the good times and people that make our lives richer. With that thought in mind and as a guy who likes to play in the dirt (OK, soil), I wondered, “What am I thankful for as a gardener?”

  • Ingram Planetarium at 7625 High Market St. in Sunset Beach invites the public to a Star Party scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20.

    Participants will have access to the planetarium’s telescopes to view the moon, constellations and deep-space orbits. Planetarium staff will be on hand to assist. Event-goers can also bring their own telescopes.

    The event begins with a short presentation inside, then will proceed outside to hopefully view the Moon, Orion, Canis Major, Canis Minor and other wonders of the night sky.

  • The Brunswick Concert Band will present a seasonal concert, “Fall Into Winter,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, at Hatch Auditorium in Caswell Beach and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, in Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College.

    Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted to help support the band and its music students assistance program.

    For more information, go to http://brunswickbands.org.




  • A variety of vendors are scheduled for the second Holiday Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, at Shallotte Farmers Market at Riverside Park at N.C. 130 and Main Street.

    More than 20 vendors will offer winter vegetables, baked goods, sauces, jam, jewelry, pottery, handmade goods, goat’s milk soap, army and navy supplies, scarves and products including Tastefully Simple, Px4Gear, Avon and Dixieland Kettle Corn.

  •  That beautiful, bronzed, succulent roast turkey! For most of us, the Thanksgiving dinner usually revolves around the big bird. This is probably one of the easiest parts of the meal. Preparing all the other dishes that complement the bird and making sure they’re all done at the same time is the real challenge.

    Most of us buy a frozen turkey and thaw it ahead of time. It takes at least 24 hours in the refrigerator for every 5 pounds of turkey, so a 20-pound bird will take four to five days to thaw.


  •  What does a vegetarian eat on Thanksgiving? As this big eating holiday approaches, we are inundated with recipes for how to thaw, dress and season a turkey, the main dish and delicious centerpiece for our holiday tables. But what if you have a vegetarian coming to dinner?

  • By John Nelson

    Every now and then, the mystery plant column features something that isn’t exactly a plant — like this time. I think it’s pretty easy to recognize this thing is some sort of a fungus. That’s right. Fungi are enormously important organisms on our little planet, and everyone has had experiences with them, both good and bad (probably).

  •  By Sam Marshall, Horticulture Agent

    You have likely seen the vibrant pink plumes of muhly grass this fall, now a much-used and vibrant addition to home landscapes. Ornamental grasses are quickly establishing themselves as a common addition to landscape beds and along roadsides. And with good reason. Grasses afford interesting texture and graceful, arching foliage that adds movement to an otherwise stagnant landscape.