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Today's Features

  •  Last week I talked about a few basic food safety tips to think about during the summer months. There are some special foods that we tend to eat more often in the summer than other times of the year. One of these is hot dogs. I just touched on them previously, but checking the facts for that column lead me to think more about this summertime favorite.

  •  By John Nelson

    “Life’s a beach.” That’s what they say.

     

    This is a species of marine algae. It is commonly found washed up along our southern beaches, dying (or dead), especially after storms or rough weather. This is, indeed, one of the many species of “seaweeds,” a very non-technical term, but a term that is useful. Botanists consider the true seaweeds to be members of a group called the “brown” algae, a group that includes the giant kelps of the northern Pacific.

  • Dixon Chapel United Methodist Church is having a holiday Shrimp-A-Roo from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 3, at Garland’s landing overlooking the Lockwood Folly River at 2 Fisherman Road in Varnamtown.

    On the menu at the Fourth of July Eve celebration are freshly prepared plates of shrimp, boiled potatoes, coleslaw and hushpuppies.

    The cost per plate, which includes a can of soda, is $10 for adults and $6 for children younger than 12.

  • It’s the weekend, plus it’s the Fourth of July along the coast.

    What better combination could there be for celebrating America’s 239th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence?

    Events are already under way, starting with the North Carolina 4th of July Festival that launched June 27 with week-long events in Southport and Oak Island.

    More celebrating is in store in Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach, plus Calabash is back this year with a Fourth of July fireworks spectacular.

    Southport

  • The Blackwater Rhythm and Blues Band, based in Clarkton, is dedicated to live performance of beach music along with blues and funk.

    Band members’ diverse backgrounds guarantee patrons quality entertainment up and down the Carolina coast.

    They’ll be gracing Brunswick County summer concert stages at two venues this month, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 2, at Rourk Gardens in Shallotte and at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday, July 9, in Calabash.

  •  Nothing screams picnic more than the 4th of July. It’s almost required that to eat outdoors on this holiday and I bet everyone has at least one party or other eating event planned for this holiday weekend. Enjoy!

    With that thought in mind, I’d like to offer some quick hot weather food safety reminders. Picnics, outdoor dining, feeding large groups of people and special summer food bring different problems and situations into the picture that you don’t perhaps think about the rest of the year.

  •  By John Nelson 

     

    A simple lunch for a botanist on a field trip … and this mystery plant isn’t much of a mystery. I think you know what it is. There are two basic reasons why you should eat avocados:

  •  Have you ever noticed a small, orange-and-black critter congregating on your summer vegetable plants? Similarly, have you encountered a larger one that appears to be wearing bell-bottom pants? A common mid-season pest, leaf-footed bugs are nuisance pests on many fruit and vegetable crops, as well as nut trees and some ornamental plants. And as the summer wears on, they will become more problematic, so act now to avoid damage to your summer vegetables.

     

    What are leaf-footed bugs?

  •  Recent studies have shown that dark, leafy greens lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. These greens also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect cells in the eyes from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays, helping to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.

  •  Sometimes, we act and live in ways that evoke odd feelings. Sometimes, living seems to be nothing more or less than a job. Sometimes, we find ourselves living in a part-time existence. We are part-time parents, part-time siblings, part-time offspring, part-time employees, part-time grandparents. With a degree of anguish, we try to isolate one from the other, to be wholly one or the other. It doesn’t work. The choice of one in isolation from another results in our feeling torn, estranged, weird, and incredibly sad.