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Today's Features

  • CALABASH—Sunset River Marketplace is featuring paintings by watercolor artist Richard Staat in a show titled “Watercolors with a Transparent Touch,” from Jan. 11 through Feb. 20.

    The eclectic exhibition includes figural pieces as well as landscapes and coastal scenes. A reception, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16.

  • Goodbye, turkey. Hello, Christmas cookies. The bird may reign at Thanksgiving, but cookies will be king for the next few weeks, when almost every gathering and party will feature holiday sweets.

    A great idea after baking all those holiday treats is to have a Christmas cookie exchange with friends and family. We do it every year and end up with many cookies, cakes and other “sweeties” that we would not usually indulge in.

  • Sauerbraten is a favorite of mine to be served around the holidays. It’s not just a dish you can make for just two, three or four people. Since I start out with a 4-5 pound beef roast, it is more conducive to a larger gathering around the holiday season.

    The meat is marinated for two to three days in vinegar and wine, onions, carrots and celery, along with various spices, such as cloves, juniper berries, allspice and peppercorns.

  • Over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, it’s a time for family and friends, which means a lot of eating and drinking. Make your holiday gathering special by including some classic Christmas tried-and-true holiday drinks.

    If you’re throwing one of these parties, it’s essential to serve a combination of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for a successful get together. You want everyone, drinkers and non-drinkers, to have a variety of drink options in having a fun night.

  • Are you planning to go out on New Year’s or stay home with many of your friends and relatives? We used to go out a lot, but lately we’re just comfortable staying put and maybe having a few friends stop by during the day to enjoy the new year.

    If you’re going to be staying at home and are expecting guests to pop in, why not have some scrumptious holiday appetizers for everyone to munch on while downing a favorite beverage of choice? These are not only good on holidays, but just about any other time of the year.

    Baked Parmesan Artichoke Baguettes

  • The December meeting of the Coastal Carolina Camera Club combined a potluck dinner with a juried competition of members’ photographs representing “December Holidays.” Winners were chosen in three divisions: Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced.

    Beginners Division

    First place: Bob Boal–‘4th Advent before Christmas.’

    Second place: Mary Wayne–‘Mother Nature’s Ornaments.’

    Third place: Fran Sheehan–‘Old St. Nick.’

    Intermediate Division

  • The world hailed 2009 as the “International Year of Astronomy,” and across the globe, special events honored the occasion.

    Even the stars and planets seemed to join in the yearlong tribute: Jupiter took a hit from some space junk; Saturn’s rings disappeared for a few days as they faced us edge-on. Our moon gave up a deep secret; there is water on its surface.

  • Rattlesnakes may be hanging out waiting for warmer temperatures, but now is the time to deal with rattlesnake weed. Also known as Florida artichoke and Florida betony, this member of the mint family rears its ugly head in February when a few warm days get it growing.

    Atrazine, which is sold as Purge, does a pretty good job of controlling Florida betony in centipede and St. Augustine lawns. The only material that has any activity on this aggressive weed in shrub beds is diclobenil, sold as Casoron or Barrier.

  • Bluebirds are flying over the area in search of accommodations. It’s a little early, but like some other smart animals, it’s time to plan ahead.

    Bluebirds are particular in their nesting habits. Don Adams of Southport has provided the following information on how to attract these beautiful little birds to your garden:

    Cavity nesting bluebirds are in need of man-made nest boxes. The change from wood fence posts with cavities to steel posts and the cutting of hollow trees for firewood has reduced the natural nesting sites.

  • Jessica Lynn Edwards of Ash and William Allen Todd of Shallotte were married Dec. 5 at Camp Branch Baptist Church in Ash, with The Rev. Leroy Long officiating.

    The bride is the daughter of Thea Barefoot of Ash and the late Wayne Edwards.

    The groom is the son of William Earl Todd and Wanda Todd of Shallotte.

    The bride was given in marriage and escorted by her mother.

    Amy Fulford, the groom’s sister, served as matron of honor. She wore a black knee-length dress.