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November 2011

Against Thanksgiving’s traditional main course, it’s the sides that add variety to the table

Your Thanksgiving feast is planned to perfection.         Well, almost.         If you’re still looking for last-minute inspiration, we offer three dishes that capitalize on the season’s local bounty to crown your Thanksgiving menu and give all at your table reason for thanks.

Duck would never again be as fun as the tough, skinny, buckshot-riddled birds Mom and I cooked

“Mrs. Safer, Do you like ducks?” my adorable third-grade student asked as class was dismissed on a November Friday in 1962.     “Oh, yes,” I replied, recalling my many hours spent feeding the ducks and geese and riding the swan boats in Boston Common where I had grown up.     “I mean to eat,” she said, as if she had read my mind. “My dad is going hunting, and I could bring you some for dinner.”

Louisa May Alcott’s classic is perfect for young romantics as well as nostalgic mature ladies

Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women is one of those novels you either love or love to forget. It’s sweet or cloying, buoyant or overblown, fiery or flagging — and so is the musical, Colonial Players’ last offering of 2011. Jason Howland’s contemporary score, embellished with eight period songs to cover scene changes, offers some highs and humdrum, presented by some gifted performers and a supporting cast of sweet young things. Think Broadway meets Victorian parlor recital.

Welcome the Season of Bounty

This may be my favorite paper of 2011.         The reason is simple. It’s the winning combination of good food and good times.     Summer is the season I love best, but these dwindling weeks of the year are hard to beat. The light leaves us early, but before it goes, it’s as golden as the leaves. Under the warming influence of the Chesapeake, temperatures are often balmy. Early twilights rage in hot pink and smoky blue.

As temperatures and food supplies drop, mammals hunker down to hibernate

Seen enough of the groundhog, which experts, admirers and detractors alike agree was the Mystery Creature who so fascinated Bay Weekly readers?     Good thing. Because whatever you call him, her and them — groundhogs, woodchucks or whistle pigs — these omnipresent neighbors are ending their season above ground.

Joseph Capozzolli is one of a new species of Chesapeake waterman

A few hardy souls on the Chesapeake still fish to live.    

Whatever you call them, plant them now for spring blooms

Jonquils, daffodils, narcissus: Which is what?     Narcissus and daffodils are one and the same, according to the Encyclopedia of Horticulture, the bible of the horticultural industry. Jonquils, however, are a sub-species of narcissus.

The moon dulls this year’s Leonid meteor shower

In the dark before dawn Friday, countless pieces of cosmic debris bombard the earth as it passes through the path left by comet Tempel-Tuttle. As these bits of ice and dust collide against the planet’s atmosphere, they burst aflame. While none of these threaten the planet, few of them will be visible against the light of the first-quarter moon, which coincides with the peak of this year’s Leonid meteor shower.

Clint Eastwood delivers a touching romance rather than a hard-hitting biopic

J. Edgar Hoover, one of the most powerful men of the 20th century, gained much of his power through political maneuvering, even blackmail. Yet his personal life was characterized by quiet repression. Director Clint Eastwood (Hereafter) seeks to peel back the G-Man veneer and expose the scared little man behind the FBI.

Library patrons line up to check out Kindles and Nooks

Packing your books for your vacation adds pounds to your baggage and with airline fees, stress on your budget.     What would you say if you could pack more than 1,000 books in a container smaller than even today’s phone books?     Wannabe eReaders in Anne Arundel County said Yes, Please!     By noon on the first day of issue, Nov. 2, Anne Arundel library’s 200 portable readers had been checked out by eager patrons.