view counter

Highway construction is a long and bumpy road

Solar, wind and energy-efficient upgrades on the way

You’ll have to be as high as Mike to enjoy this stoner comedy

There’s a lot involved in getting our kids to and from school safely

Enrich your Thanksgiving menu with fish, fowl and venison

The tradition of Thanksgiving dinner was first attributed to the Plymouth Bay Colony in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. But the practice of a harvest or a thanksgiving dinner was widespread throughout the early colonies and especially around the Chesapeake.     The Chesapeake was by far the richest colony in America in terms of fish, waterfowl and wild game. Capt. John Smith, who first explored the Bay, spoke of being able to “walk across the water” on the...

Take inspiration from this beautifully photographed Virginia Shore dinner

The best appetizer is a good story. With that philosophy of life, I’m drooling over Bernard L. Herman’s first-person story of his ­Chesapeake Thanksgiving feast in this month’s Saveur.     A titled professor of American studies and folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Herman tells his story with the loving detail we tend to reserve for faraway times.     Just before dawn on Thanksgiving morning, he begins, I pull on...

Out of the Hill of Giant Sweet Potatoes

The best thing about giant sweet potatoes is digging them up with seven-year-old grandson Aiden in the kitchen garden behind our house in northern Calvert County. Aiden and I picked out one of the largest hills. Mt. Kilimanjaro, we called it. When dug out, that hill yielded 55 pounds of potatoes, with one 20 inches long and big around as the calf of your leg. Another weighed 11 pounds.     To cook one of these behemoths is a feat in itself. First, you cut it in half and maybe...

We didn’t grow our own celery, olives or turkey

This year, our garden will be providing butternut squash, onions, garlic, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots and red and green peppers for the Thanksgiving table. We might include sauerkraut that was made and canned in 2010. If needed we could also include Siberian kale and collard greens, but I prefer roasted Brussels sprouts.     Wife Clara always buys the largest turkey that will fit in the oven. As in previous years, I will first brine the turkey starting on Wednesday...

AACo SPCA pet food bank helps give a poor dog a bone

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Anne Arundel County pets — and their human companions in need of a little help — have a reason to give thanks.     On Thursday, November 15, the Anne Arundel County SPCA inaugurates a Pet Food Bank at the shelter on 1815 Bay Ridge Avenue in Annapolis. The food bank opens every other Thursday from 9am to 1pm. Welcome to withdraw pet supplies — including food, cat litter, treats and bones — is any Anne Arundel...

State Highway Administration hasn’t ­collected a penny

Counting any fewer roadside signs as you drive through Chesapeake Country?     After $25 per fines on signs on the right-of-way on state highways were promised last year, we expected postings to go down. Didn’t you?     In the weeks before the November 6 election, signs bloomed. Many were gone before Election Day, though business-as-usual signs — Christmas Lights was an omnipresent one — quickly returned.     The State Highway...

Nobody does it betterSkyfall

Fifty years after James Bond ordered his first vodka martini — shaken not stirred — he has become a cultural icon and a bit of a Cold War relic. Donning an impeccable tux, swilling a few drinks, driving too fast in an Aston Martin and having casual sex with every scantily clad woman who catches his eye makes Bond a bit of a dinosaur. The actors may have changed, but the smarmy swinging-sixties vibe has remained.     In Skyfall, director Sam Mendes (Away We Go) pays...

You won’t mind picking up after comet Tempel-Tuttle

The young crescent moon appears in the southwest at twilight Thursday and Friday, with ruddy Mars a half-dozen degrees to the east the first night and to the southwest the next. Through the weekend the waxing moon sets well before midnight, providing a dark backdrop for the annual Leonid meteor shower.     This year’s Leonids should be most active before dawn Saturday, November 17, but you might well see meteors a couple days before and after. The meteors look as if they...

Great songs, strong voices and ­spirited dancing

Oklahoma!, the Pulitzer Prize-winning first collaboration between Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II, is a rousing night of theater with spirited and memorable music. 2nd Star Productions has the vocal talent to do justice to this great musical.     Director and set designer Jane B. Wingard has chosen to present an Oklahoma! with a beautifully painted set that is flat and one-dimensional. That works because it keeps the focus on the music and the voices.   ...

With trial and error, we’ve found what trees thrive — and which die — in Chesapeake Country’s dense soil

My husband and I have planted more than our share of trees in the soil of Chesapeake Country. We are not arborists by any means, but we have always wanted to plant trees. A cottage in Shady Side gave us opportunity, inspiration and a flat former cornfield, altitude eight feet, just a few hundred feet from the West River.     Over the past 12 years, we have dug wide holes in the yellow clay and put in probably 120 trees. At least half have died, due to drought, deer damage or our...