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In its 4th year, the Annapolis Irish Festival draws an ever-larger crowd seeking Celtic music and heritage

Two past winners illustrate the magic of make-believe

Creativity comes out to play in Twin Beach Players’ Kids
Playwriting Festival

Talent Machine’s young actors are rehearsing for life

Summer’s darlings, winter’s pests

Fish recipes from the Chesapeake

Annapolis is a good place to start

I can still hear my mom’s voice: Go outside and play, but be back for dinner. The street where I grew up was surrounded by woods. A dirt trail — a remnant of a 10-mile, horse-drawn, streetcar track — cut through the woods and gave me hours of outdoor magical fun. I was a free-range kid. Chances are if you are over 50, you were too. If you’re under 50, you’ve likely been deprived of free range-spaces. Population has tripled. Eighty percent of us now live in urban...

Finding an Indian arrowhead is Daniel Kraus’ best history lesson

Long, long ago before there were packaged turkeys waiting to be cooked for Thanksgiving — or the Thanksgiving holiday at all — Native Americans hunted their food. Mayo Elementary School first-grader Daniel Kraus learned that lesson firsthand when he laid hands on an ancient Native American arrowhead. A day of family bonding turned up a discovery that linked Daniel, and the Kraus family, with an ancient past. “Dan’s godparents came down, and since they don’t have...

For pheasant, there’s no better place than South Dakota

The South Dakota countryside exudes a kind of magic this time of year. It’s generated by a particularly celebrated game bird, the ringneck pheasant. Fish Are Biting The big cold-weather stripers are stalled just to our south but within range of determined anglers. Fish to 40 inches are being encountered below Poplar Island on the Eastern side and near Chesapeake Beach on the Western. Rock in six- and seven-pound sizes are being taken in the mid-Bay, trolling small to mid-sized...

They’re Mother Nature’s mulch

In the fall, I hate to see black plastic bags full of leaves lining streets. Next spring, I’m likely to see empty bags of mulch, peat moss and fertilizer waiting to be collected by the solid waste municipal workers. Of all the 42 years that I have owned a home in Maryland, I have never discarded leaves. Nor have I ever purchased a bag of mulch. Fallen leaves are Mother Nature’s natural mulch. Upon decomposition, leaves replenish the soil with the very same nutrients that the roots...

There’s a lot to like in the midshipmen’s roots journey to Oklahoma

Green Grow the Lilacs is a love story set in a community on the brink of change: farmers crowding cowboys, Indians assimilating with settlers and Oklahomans pondering the controversial question of the territory’s statehood. In 1931, Lynn Riggs, part Cherokee himself, wrote about people whitewashed by Rogers and Hammerstein for 1940s’ audiences in their musical adaptation, Oklahoma!, which eclipsed the original. Under the direction of Native American dramaturgist Christy Stanlake,...

This dysfunctional family comedy makes for a terrific season opener.

  The dysfunctional family comedy Keeping Faith is a terrific choice for Twin Beach Players’ season opener. When well-meaning parents kidnap their own daughter to frustrate her May-September romance, it’s high-stakes drama in a low-rent motel. The plot, inspired by a 2007 news sensation, requires only four solid actors and a simple space that lends itself well to cheapening. The Holland Civic Center fills the bill beautifully, and the cast is nearly there. Prolific Baltimore...

South of the Mason-Dixon line, ham rules the Thanksgiving feast

Full disclosure: I’m not a fan of green eggs — or ham. In spite of Sam’s urgings, I say ham is a good chunk of pork wasted, no matter if it’s smoked, spiced, spiraled or, heaven forbid, stuffed. Stuffing belongs in turkeys. Maybe a pork chop. But never a ham. Try it? No way, I sniffed.  Even after more than two decades living in Calvert County, I still turned my nose at the locally celebrated gastronomical confusion known as Southern Maryland stuffed ham. I never...

Chesapeake Country Chefs share their recipes for signature Thanksgiving side dishes — and more

There’s going to be turkey, you can bet on it, writes Richard Whelan, general manager at Pirates Cove. Whether you’re going to a friend’s or relative’s house, or, maybe they are all coming to your house, chances are there is going to be a big fat roasted turkey in your future come Thanksgiving. That’s why we call it Turkey Day. Maybe even a ham. A good, salty, country ham if you’re lucky. But what makes the difference between grandmom’s house, your best...

While touch and go at first, I now know my veggies — and how to cook them

Remember me? And my journey? For the past six months I’ve navigated Solomon’s Island Road every Thursday to restock my kitchen with the week’s produce that came in my share of the Community-Supported Agriculture farm I joined in April. I have embarked on a great food experiment: I am teaching myself to cook, I wrote back then. I know nothing about vegetables beyond the traditional broccoli and carrots. Knowing that I will have to branch out of those comforts if I really want...

The National Aquarium is looking for a manatee with a bad sense of direction

If there is a manatee swimming in the Middle Branch of the Upper Patapsco, it must be cold. The sub-tropical marine mammal was reported in mid-October. Since then, nothing — despite a plea to boaters for updates. “With this one we haven’t been able to confirm an actual sighting ourselves with photographic evidence,” says Baltimore National Aquarium’s media/public relations director Jen Bloomer. This could be good news: The wayward swimmer could have fled the cold...