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November 2015

A rested bird and a sharp knife are essential

1. Carve out a proper amount of time to cook the turkey. When coordinating your schedule Thanksgiving morning, keep in mind that between taking the turkey out of the oven and carving it, you should allot about 20 minutes. This waiting period is not frivolous. It makes the handling of the hot turkey easier on your hands, and it gives the meat’s juices crucial time to redistribute. 2.  If your turkey is tied, remove the string. Then remove each leg and thigh from the body of the turkey, using your hands to separate and your knife to slice through the meat.

Two ways you can help this week

As the season of thanks and giving approaches, sharing is the best way to stoke your gratitude.     This week is your time to share through Harvest of Plenty and Operation Christmas Child.     Help Operation Christmas Child send shoe boxes full of gifts to 11 million children in need around the world in Samaritan’s Purse giant annual Christmas project.     Choose a shoebox-sized box and fill it as you like with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement.

Final year for Festival of Trees

In the Festival of Trees, Calvert Hospice forged a link between their end-of-life mission and joy in the world.     For 27 years, on the day after Thanksgiving, Hospice volunteers have created a magical forest of Christmas trees adorned in whimsy and wonder.     “It’s a wonderful event that really kicks off the season and gets everyone in the spirit of the holidays,” says Hospice board president Gail Gibson.

Auction and gala shines spotlight on science center

The Carrie Weedon Science Center in Galesville is a place with an uncertain future but, its backers say, a great present.     The former elementary school has been home to Anne Arundel County’s outdoor education program since 1988, a science field trip destination for elementary students countywide.     Now, the School Board is weighing turning Carrie Weedon, along with 125 other facilities across the county, into an early education center.

A sweet potato the size of a turkey

This sweet potato could be the vegetarian answer to the Thanksgiving turkey.     It looks the part, though Birgit Sharp — who grew the lookalike at American Chestnut Land Trust’s Double Oak Farm in Prince Frederick — calls it The Swan.     At 25 pounds, nine and one-quarter ounces, it’s big enough to do the job.

For the third year the Coast Guard Auxiliary Drum Point Flotilla has come together to help those less fortunate by sponsoring a food drive within their unit for Chesapeake Cares Food Pantry.     Members of the unit donated 67.2 pounds of non-perishable food items that would supplement a turkey for Thanksgiving. They also donated $140, which according to Patty Fiegel from the pantry, will supply another 700 pounds of food, which equates to five pounds of food for every dollar donated.

Thanksgiving is coming, with Christmas right behind

Perfect Thanksgiving weather, don’t you think?     Propelled by the gusty winds of autumn, fallen leaves dance the season. But not all have fallen, and trees glow with color, green and yellow yielding to scarlet, mahogany and umber, further gilded by long rays of the low sun. Cattails and reeds sway, and pine cones drop, all spreading their seed.     Above us, Vs of honking geese and ducks fly, pulling our eyes skyward to dramatic vistas of cloud and color.

Scientific suppositions clash with religious superstitions at the United States Naval Academy

Bertolt Brecht’s key question in his play Galileo — whether society can stand on doubt and not on faith — refers to the astronomer’s trial by the Inquisition for his heretical theory of heliocentricity. The question had parallel relevance on Galileo’s opening night at the Naval Academy, just hours after terrorist attacks in Paris.

Since plastic leaf bags aren’t biodegradable, their residue will remain in the soil for eternity

Use wet-strength paper bags in place of plastic bags for curbside yard debris collection: That’s the plea of the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works.

There’s a lot to see before dawn

Venus, Jupiter and Mars command the pre-dawn sky, strung out in a nearly straight line above the east horizon. The first-magnitude star Spica crests the horizon a little before sunrise, adding a fourth point in the string of lights.