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Today's Features

  • Religion, if not spirituality, is plagued by a certain passivity. Even the words we use denote a presence that requires response but seems not to evoke participation.

    We attend worship services and Bible studies. We say our prayers. We love our neighbor—though often less than ourselves. There is activity involved, but rarely the radical action that tries human souls and resurrects the spirit.

  • Volunteers who pick up a hammer and help a local family are now one-step closer to vacationing with Mickey, Minnie and Donald.

    Brunswick County residents can now volunteer locally and participate in the “Give a Day. Get a Disney Day.” program. Those who volunteer eight hours of time with one of the participating agencies will receive a voucher good for one day at a Disneyland or Walt Disney World theme park.

  • Staff report

    With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, Silver Coast Winery in Brunswick County is setting the stage and mood early with its annual Wine and Chocolate Pairing from noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6.

    Participants will enjoy award-winning Silver Coast wines served in a signature Silver Coast wineglass and paired with four handmade gourmet chocolates.

    The cost is $15 per person.

    Seatings are on the hour starting at noon, with the last one at 4 p.m. Reservations are limited.

  • Cooking seafood is really rather simple once you know the basic cooking techniques and a couple of tips to ensure success.

    When cooking fresh or even frozen fish, the standard rule of seafood cookery is 10 minutes cooking time per each inch of thickness. This will vary, though, depending on the density of the flesh or whether it’s being stuffed or cooked from frozen. You can tell when it’s done when the flesh becomes opaque all the way through and flakes easily with a fork.

  • Last week, I had the opportunity to go to the Green and Growin’ Show in Greensboro and hang out with lots of plant people from all over the state. While the economy continues to struggle, there are some wonderful new plants that will soon find their way into the nursery trade.

    One of the most interesting talks was by Dr. Dennis Werner, a plant breeder at my employer, N.C. State University. Werner worked on coming up with great commercial peach varieties for more than 20 years. In the past five years or so, he has devoted his ample skill to redbuds and butterfly bushes.

  • It’s cold outside and you really don’t feel like working in your garden. Those seed catalogs sitting by the fireplace look much more inviting, but the garden looks so unkempt. Well, that is just fine because those frozen perennial stalks look messy but they serve a purpose.

    The seeds of Echinacea and Rudbeckia will attract and feed the birds: There are also plants that like the protection their foliage provides for their crowns. Asclepias (milkweed), Chrysanthemums and Heuchera (Coral Bells) fare best if cleaned up in the spring.

  • I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in providential happenings. These are the events, experiences and episodes in life that occur with the sudden surprise of grace. They happen while we are busily doing something else, alerting us to the constant presence of a creative God. They cause us to exclaim, “You won’t believe what just happened!” And then, we begin our tale of the unexpected, the unusual, or the unimaginable—a saga we label coincidental.

  • Dr. Jessica Shireman and Dr. Scott Hewett were married Dec. 19 at Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church in Raytown, Mo., where the sanctuary was adorned with red poinsettias and white roses for the holiday wedding.

    The bride is the daughter of Steve and Kathe Shireman of Kansas City, Mo. She was given in marriage by her parents and escorted by her father.

    The groom is the son of Aaron and Lisa Hewett of Shallotte.

  • I am still amazed I knew almost nothing about chicken thighs until I moved here about 10 years ago.

    We ate a lot of chicken breasts and whole chickens, but always thought the thighs didn’t have much meat on them. Boy, was I surprised. Now I can’t get enough of them. I can’t even seem to over-cook them. They always come out juicy and tender.

  • Joan Leotta and Edith Edwards first became friends through the Writer’s Block, a Wilmington-based writing group.

    They soon discovered they had a lot in common—a love of history and a penchant for writing short stories.

    It was just a matter of time for the two to collaborate on “Tales Through Time: Women of the South,” a new book of short stories the two wrote and published together.

    A reading and presentation of their new book is set for 2 p.m. this Friday, Jan. 22, at Hickmans Crossroads Library.