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November 2012

International intrigue with a local angle and author

Midnight in Moscow opens with a scene with immediate familiarity for local readers: a news story featuring a car set ablaze at a BWI parking lot. Then a young Russian American woman is found murdered along the C&O Canal. From there it’s a short hop to Annapolis and the main character, Emily Cowan, a sassy sleuth of a certain age who globetrots from western Maryland to Germany, Russia and the Near East.

If you’ve got the shotgun, Three Rivers has the targets

Pointing my shotgun downrange and just over the top right corner of the low, dark trap house, I called for the bird from my position on station No. 5. The frigid breeze that had been swirling about all morning had died, and the air was calm and still. Perfect conditions for shooting this game.     The fluorescent-green clay shot out of the house at a hard right angle and lifted skyward.

A dozen neighbors share their blessings. What are yours?

Thanksgiving is America’s feast. Like all our holidays, it’s a celebration created by immigrants, with each new culture learning the traditions and mixing in their own. Diverse as we are, Thanksgiving unites rather than divides us. We celebrate it, regardless of age, race, region, religion or heritage — even vegetarians, for whom the turkey gives thanks.

Help build a sweet village for Annapolis

Looking for a creative outlet this holiday season? Or perhaps a great bonding exercise for the family or office? Get your ovens preheated and architectural plans drawn for this year’s Historic Annapolis gingerbread contest. Entries will be on exhibit in local businesses in Historic Annapolis December 6 thru January 1.     Register by Monday, November 26, in professional or amateur categories. Pick up a registration form at the Historic Annapolis Museum at 99 Main Street or download at

A saintly man makes an uninteresting subject

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis: Nine) had just been elected to his second term. He enjoyed a wide popularity in spite of the Civil War, which slaughtered American citizens and deeply divided the country.

Steal a minute of mindfulness from cooking turkeys and playing Santa

Blub … blub … blub … blub …             That’s the rhythm that tells you your Southern Maryland stuffed ham is boiling its way to perfection. So says Celeste Furey of St. Leonard, hostess of an annual pre-Thanksgiving all-day stuffing party.     Blub … … … … blub … … … … blub … … … … blub … … … … is too slow.

From wild to Broad Breasted White

The turkey carved for your Thanksgiving dinner is likely a Broad Breasted White, a hybrid developed to live up to its name.     Heritage breeds like the Black Spanish and Urban Red Ed Cramer raises at Fisher Farm in La Plata may be tastier, but they are more costly to raise, grow slower and produce less meat than the Broad Breasted White. You’ll pay roughly twice the price of a small-farm, pasture-raised, Broad Breasted White to enjoy one of those birds.

SeaKayaker discovers the Patuxent Water Trail

Autumn is forecast spectacular for the Thanksgiving weekend, opening one of the year’s last doors to get out into Chesapeake Country. One way to accept the invitation is to follow the December issue of SeaKayaker onto the treasure in our own backyard, the Patuxent Water Trail.

But the catching’s strenuous

From all indications, the last quarter of 2012 isn’t going to set any fishing records before rockfishing closes December 15. There have been very few days when being on the water was anything other than an ordeal.

There’s still time to plant short-day onions

Short-day onions generate their bulbs when daylight hours are less than 12. If you are going to plant onion plants this fall, make certain that you purchase only short-day varieties. Short-day varieties can be successfully transplanted as late as mid-December and still produce a normal crop.     Many of us will be planting almost that late, as Dixon Dale onion farm, one of the nation’s largest producers of onion plants, did not have plants ready to ship until mid-November.