Finding food that everyone can eat makes Thanksgiving a turkey NORTH LAUREL/SAVAGE

NEIGHBORS

November 20, 1992|By LOURDES SULLIVAN

I don't know how this happened, but this week's column is almost all about food.

I'm not real good at this holiday. I mean, I like it. You get to cook a messy, pre-set menu, gorge like swine, feel good about your relatives, especially as I won't need to see Uncle Fred for another year, and, other than listen to the guys rave about football, this is a commercially untrammeled holiday.

bTC Non-denominational, too. Or so I thought. This year we're eating at my house. This wouldn't be more of a problem than that posed by trying to impress your in-laws (who are all really kind).

No, the problem is the food. My spouse is a strict vegetarian (lacto-ovo) for health reasons. Jane subscribes to Gourmet. My father-in-law is on the Rabbit Diet: he can only eat low-fat salads. My mother-in-law is mildly allergic to everything; she can eat anything she hasn't had in a month. Glen eats peanut butter and bananas. Goodbye turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and candied yams.

Fortunately I am a confirmed Dessertatarian, which means my preferences are covered. So far, the menu consists of fruit salad, pumpkin cheesecake, cranberry souffle, chocolate mouse and peanut brittle. Now if I can just carve a watermelon into a turkey.

*

Not everybody is as inept at this as I am. The second-grade class at Bollman Bridge Elementary is getting a head start on Thanksgiving by preparing a traditional holiday dinner next week.

The children, assisted by Debbie Livak, the team leader, Bev Brooks and the rest of the second-grade teachers, will prepare a turkey, and make stuffing, applesauce, pumpkin pie and candied yams.

Lucky home room parents, such as Pam Paper, my alert reader, will take the dressed turkeys home to bake. The next day, on to the feast.

The second-graders will be unrecognizable, all of them dressed as Indians and pilgrims. Naturally, there will be more Indians than pilgrims, just as in the first Thanksgiving dinner. The educational objective is to show the students how much the new settlers depended on the Indians and how difficult preparing the meal was. The other objective is to have fun.

*

Do you love to decorate cookies and make holiday candy? Love the bright frosting and the smell of chocolate? Hate cleaning up? Never have enough jimmies and sprinkles? The secret is to do this in someone else's kitchen!

That's right! Visit a better cook than you are, one with well-stocked cabinets and let loose. But if you don't have such a gullible friend nearby, come to the Forest Ridge Elementary School Recreation Center on Gorman Road.

There will be a candy making workshop there on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. For $5 you can learn to make peanut clusters, peppermint patties, molded chocolates, fudge, raisin clusters and other delights.

Two weeks later, on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m., the center sponsors a family cookie decorating workshop. Bring two dozen holiday cookies, a tray to carry them home, the family and lots of imagination.

The cost is $10 per four member family. Call Brian Emelson at 880-5855 for more details, and register early, as space is limited by the size of the kitchen. Bon appetite!

*

The La Leche League announces its Dec. 2 meeting at the Savage Library on Gorman Road. The meeting begins at 10:15 a.m.

This month's prepared topic is "Breast-Feeding and Weaning," but as always the topic changes in response to questions. Cindy Clemmens and the others are pretty laid back about this. Babies are encouraged to bring their moms and a quiet time toy for when the discussion gets too technical for baby.

After the meeting, stop in the library and check out the collection of circulating toys suitable for infants to 3-year-olds. There's everything from crib mobiles to puzzles to riding horses.

*

The Savage Volunteer Fire Company's Ladies Auxiliary will sponsor a spaghetti dinner Dec. 4 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

For $5 for adults and $3 for kids 6 to 12, you will be served all the spaghetti you can eat, plus garlic bread, salad, dessert and coffee.

The world's "most famous senior citizen" will be there taking advantage of the seniors $4 dinner before planning his midnight toy run. Come have your picture taken with him, he's not shy at all.

*

Some non-food news. (I'm getting hungry just writing about everything above).

For the last three years, the first-grade teachers at Hammond Elementary have run a Traveling Tales program. Each Thursday, teachers Tara Divnti, June Moody and Kathy Orlando send a child home with a vinyl briefcase filled with art supplies, paper staples, lots of glitter and the like.

The child and his family then create a book. The story can be about anything the family decides.

When the family has finished, it schedules time to visit Hammond Elementary and share the story and the book itself with the child's classmates.

Ms. Orlando says the books range from plain text with lots of pictures to pop-ups and accordion folded papers. The stories' diversity is shown by the titles of the first few received this year: the Bobbs family wrote "Chip The Scarecrow"; the Adkins family wrote "The Bear Who Loved Kings Dominion" (guess who's been there this summer); the Ballenger-Murdock family penned "The Story About The Earth"; the Azzolini family wrote "Paul And His Friends"; the Cassella family scripted "One Scary Halloween"; the Hammers wrote "Excitement In The Hammers' House" (She's pregnant, and has 12 dalmatian pups); and the Briggs family penned "Animals."

Ms. Orlando, the team leader, likes this program because it involves the families in the educational progress of the children. It gets the parents involved in more than fund-raising.

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