Tag Archives: thanksgiving

Middle Village scout troop needs members


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Charles Krzewski

The St. Margaret’s Boy Scout Troop 119 of Middle Village was once a bustling group filled with dozens of youngsters eager to learn about the outdoors.

But membership in the nearly 70-year-old troop has declined after years of competing for attention with computers, video games and now, mobile devices.

About two decades ago there were more than 35 members, but now with just 14 scouts, the group is seeking new members to teach the importance of nature and charity.

“Outdoor skills are very important,” said Charles Krzewski, the troop committee chair. “If they don’t learn this stuff they’re never going to have an appreciation for the outdoors. And you don’t want people going out to wreck it.”

The boy scout troop teaches boys from ages 10 to 18 how to start fires and build camps. They go on hiking and camping trips upstate and in New Jersey, Staten Island and Pennsylvania.

The troop also teaches the boys sports such as basketball, dodgeball, skiing, fishing, rafting, canoeing and rock climbing, among others.

But, in addition to the fun, the scouting group focuses on charity. They paint over graffiti and do community clean-up. Recently, the scouts also collected pies, snacks, canned food and turkeys, and donated them to local disadvantaged families for Thanksgiving.

Following the holidays, the scouts will collect food to donate to St. Margaret’s Roman Catholic Church in Middle Village, which will give it to people in need.

“Today’s kids are all concerned about self,” Krzewski said. “We want to have a good time, but we stress ‘you must give back.’ It lets them know that there is more out there than just themselves.”

Krzewski asks parents interested in signing their children up for the Scout Troop 119 to contact him at 718-894-4099.

 

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MTA service for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend


| editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

From Wednesday, November 27, through Sunday, December 1 the MTA will operate on special schedules because of Thanksgiving weekend travel demands, according to the transit agency.

New York City Subways and Buses

New York City subways and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day. The closest subway stations to the start of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are the 1 at 79th Street and the C at 81st Street. There will be additional service on the 42nd Street Shuttle as well as increased early morning service on the 1 line. A number of bus routes will be impacted by the parade, and details will be provided at www.mta.info under “Service Status.” On Friday, November 29, service will operate on a weekday schedule with some exceptions listed at mta.info.

Long Island Rail Road

The Long Island Rail Road will provide extra trains on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 27, with extra afternoon eastbound trains to handle the expected getaway day rush home. On Thanksgiving Day, there are extra trains to get riders to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and extra trains them from the event. On Friday, November 29, there will be a regular weekday schedule with off-peak fares. There will be extra trains on Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1.

For more information, please click here.

Metro-North Railroad

Off-peak fares will be valid throughout the entire four-day period, and train schedules are adjusted to better serve more customers. On Wednesday, November 27, Metro-North will operate 20 extra afternoon trains departing Grand Central between noon and 4:10 p.m.

On Thanksgiving Day, Metro-North will provide additional inbound morning service for customers going to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. There is also expanded outbound service starting in the late morning and continuing until mid-afternoon for customers traveling to suburban destinations. There is expanded evening service for customers returning to New York City.

On the day after Thanksgiving, Metro-North will run fewer morning rush hour trains but more midday trains. Regular Saturday and Sunday schedules are in effect with extra trains on November 30 and December 1.

For more information, please click here.

Staten Island Railway

On  Wednesday, November 27 there will be extra trains added earlier in the afternoon beginning at 2:31 p.m. from the St. George Ferry Terminal. There will be one express train and one local train awaiting every boat until 7:50 p.m.

On Thanksgiving Day, November 22, SIR will operate a Saturday schedule, while on Friday, trains will run on a regular weekday schedule.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels

Routine maintenance and temporary construction work at all MTA Bridges and Tunnels crossings will be suspended beginning noon on Wednesday, November 27, through early Monday morning, December 2.

For more information, please click here.

 

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Middle Village man seeks home to donate his ducks


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

One man wants to donate his birds, but won’t let them be sitting ducks for Thanksgiving.

Middle Village native Frank Garet, who saved three ducks from possibly being the centerpiece of a dinner table last year, is now looking for a permanent home for the birds.

He believes the ducks deserve to return to nature, so he is considering a wildlife sanctuary upstate, but Garet is also talking with possible pet owners.

“I really hate to give them up, but they need a natural environment,” Garet said. “They are like my boys, but I think they deserve a beautiful pond.”

Since he found them, the birds have been in a pen at the Maspeth car dealership that Garet co-owns, Garet Motors on Flushing Avenue.

Garet said a woman had bought the ducks along with some chickens from a Flushing poultry market last year. But, when the box holding the birds broke and the animals started running around freely the woman collected the chickens, and left the ducks in the street.

Garet decided to rescue the young ducks because of a lesson his grandfather, who owned a hot dog truck, taught him early on.

His grandfather used to tell him to feed hungry birds that would gather near the vending truck. When he did, dozens of customers would suddenly appear to buy hot dogs.

“‘If the birds don’t eat, you don’t eat,’” Garet recalled his grandfather saying. “I fed the birds and cars never stopped coming.”
Since then, Garet has had a soft spot for the birds. He feeds corn and berries to his three feathered friends — Huey, Dewey and Louie — every day. But after a year, he said they have become too big.

Garet wants to find a home for them and is listening to anyone interested. However, he won’t donate them to someone until after Thanksgiving, “so they don’t kill them or sell them” and will take care of them “until the end of their natural lives,” Garet said.

“They are tame and friendly. They are healthy ducks and they deserve a good home,” he said.

Anyone interested in taking care of the ducks is encouraged to call Frank Garet at 718-371-1261.

 

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Donations help thousands have a happy Thanksgiving


| mhayes@queenscourier.com


Thanksgiving had a new meaning this year for thousands of Sandy victims throughout New York, who received Thanksgiving dinner donations at the request of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Boxes filled with cranberry sauce, vegetables, stuffing, gravy and other Thanksgiving dishes, along with thousands of turkeys, were delivered to New Yorkers affected by the storm.

On Wednesday, November 21, the day before Thanksgiving, the Korean Senior Center in Flushing was one of the many sites across New York that received the generous donation.

Austin Shafran, vice president of public affairs for the Empire State Development, attended the lunch and helped prepare the meal.

Cuomo deployed agency commissioners and senior staff, such as Shafran, to help with the Thanksgiving donations, volunteer and serve at centers across the city.

“This Thanksgiving, we wanted to ensure that New Yorkers impacted by the storm can still celebrate the holiday with their loved ones,” said Cuomo.

At the Korean Senior Center, over 600 hungry people were served.

Statewide, roughly 4,000 dinner boxes and turkeys were distributed to different disaster-stricken areas, all donated by Costco, Delta, ShopRite and Walmart. They were packed and delivered by the National Guard, and brought to different centers in Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Westchester County and Long Island.

“The generous contributions . . . made [Thanksgiving] possible for families in the hardest hit communities in the state. I thank our corporate partners for their continuing assistance which will provide the invaluable comfort of a Thanksgiving dinner to thousands of New Yorkers,” said Cuomo.

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 58. Calm wind becoming south 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon. Friday night: A slight chance of showers between 9pm and midnight. Cloudy, then gradual clearing toward daybreak, with a low around 40.

EVENT of the DAY: Improvius Maximus

Some of the best improv teams, from all corners of the land, gather to compete for Emperor Nero’s pleasure and yours in acclaimed comedy group Face Off Unlimited’s newest show. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Couple offers Ohio home rent-free to Superstorm Sandy victims

A warm-hearted Midwestern couple is offering free rent on an empty four-bedroom house — the only catch is that the tenants must have lost just about everything in Superstorm Sandy. Lauri Weinfeld, 56, and her husband Irwin Weinfeld, 69, are donating their rental house, in Perry Township, Ohio, to storm victims for four months free. Tenants will be responsible for their own utilities. Read more: Daily News

City Harvest salvages food from eateries to deliver to local storm victims

Members of the food rescue group City Harvest picked up meals donated from local restaurants and kitchens and delivered them throughout areas of Queens, Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan that were greatly affected by Hurricane Sandy ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday Wednesday. Read more: NY1

Driver killed after crash on Queens highway

A motorist was killed this morning after crashing on a Queens highway, police said. The 53-year-old victim was driving his 2011 Honda Accord eastbound on the Grand Central Parkway, near the Jackie Robinson Parkway interchange in Forest Hills, when he lost control and slammed into a median at around 3:20 a.m., police added. Read more: NY Post

Internal emails offer details on Osama Bin Laden’s burial

After his dramatic death at the hands of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six, Osama bin Laden’s last rites were kept so covert his corpse was referred to as “the package” and no sailors watched the burial at sea. Read more: Daily News

City outreach efforts abound this Thanksgiving

With so many New Yorkers still struggling to recover from Sandy, the city and other volunteer groups are trying to give them something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office said more than 26,000 Thanksgiving meals were expected to be handed out Thursday. Read more: NY1

Cops investigating whether Holy Cross HS coach had inappropriate contact with students he ‘watched shower’

The NYPD is investigating whether the hoops coach at Holy Cross HS in Queens had any inappropriate contact with the students he’s accused of watching take showers, law-enforcement sources told The Post yesterday. Read more: NY Post

Burglary is crime du jour post-Sandy, stats show

Some of the most cold-hearted locals saw a storm-torn Rockaway peninsula as the location for the perfect heist. Police are waging an offensive against brazen looters and dishonest tow-truck drivers in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, NYPD officials said. Read more: Daily News

Mother & son busted with illegal cigarettes & $132,000 in cash

A Queens mother and her son were arrested with 677 cartons of illegal Asian cigarettes and $132,000 in cash, authorities announced today. Ying-Jian Lin, 48, and Xiao Lin, 23, face up to four years in prison for peddling the shady smokes, which are untaxed and don’t carry the required surgeon general warnings, according to a Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Read more: NY Post

 

Shoppers line up for savings on Black Friday


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

Fighting off the tryptophan, shoppers made their way out after Thanksgiving dinner eschewing sleep and leftovers for some early morning shopping.

Nearly 150 million people were expected to take advantage of Black Friday sales throughout the country this weekend, according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey.

For some, Black Friday has become a tradition with Thanksgiving dinner providing the necessary energy for the shopping spectacle waiting the next morning.

“You eat, relax a little and then you’re ready to shop,” said Marilyn Bloom as she waited online outside Macy’s in Queens Center.

An estimated $586.1 billion will be spent during the holiday season, according to the NRF, a 4.1 percent increase from last year.

“Though the Black Friday tradition is here to stay, there’s no question that it has changed in recent years; already there is a tremendous amount of excitement and anticipation surrounding retailers’ Thanksgiving and Black Friday promotions,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

Many shoppers have begun to skip the long lines of Black Friday, instead opting for the ease of buying online on Cyber Monday. For others, the yearly practice of lining up the night of Thanksgiving has become a tradition.

“I do this every year. I prepare, check the deals and know exactly what I want. That’s how you have to do it, or you’ll be lost,” said Gabrielle Gandy, 37.

While Black Friday has begun to creep deeper into Thanksgiving – some national chains opened as early as 8 p.m. on Thursday – most stores in Queens Center waited for the stroke of midnight before opening their doors.

A DJ spinning records on the bottom floor provided the soundtrack to the party-like atmosphere in the Queens mall.

Z100’s Skeery Jones was also on hand giving customers a chance to win gift cards to the mall through a bevy of games.

As midnight approached, a New Year’s Eve like anticipation built outside Macy’s, which had the mall’s longest line, with customers even counting down the time until the doors would open.

“You have to get in there fast, but you don’t want to get stepped on,” said Erick Cruz as midnight approached.

Once crowded hallways emptied as shoppers flooded into stores as soon as the gates rose.

While some shops had hundreds of people lined up waiting to get in, others had none allowing shoppers to stock up on savings while avoiding the waiting and the crowds.

“It’s kind of crazy not to come. You’re paying less and there’s not even a line,” said Vic Calderon at Banana Republic, which no lines, but was offering 40 percent off.

A couple of blocks west at Queens Place, buyers looking to stock up on gadgets lined up outside the mall’s Best Buy hoping to score the hundreds of dollars of savings the electronics megastore was offering on televisions, computers and phones.

A floor up at Target, customers poured in at 9 p.m. to stock up on clothing, electronics and appliances.

Wielding multiple bags in each hand, Rachel Morales, 36, said however crazy it may get on Black Friday, the crowds are well worth it.

“I’m done Christmas shopping. Maybe just a couple of more small things,” she said. “Wait to the weekend before Christmas and then you’ll see craziness.”

Cuomo visits Breezy Point, promises community will come back stronger


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence Cullen

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thanksgiving Eve visited first responders and Breezy Point residents and promised them that, despite the current turmoil, the entire New York community would be rebuilt and stronger in a year’s time.

“Today you see a day of damage, but you come back here in a year from now and you will see a community that is rebuilt better than before and a community that is stronger than it was before,” he said. “Because that’s what Breezy Point is all about and that’s what New York is all about, and I’m proud to be part of it.”

The governor, surrounded by state and federal officials who represent the area, called the collaboration between communities in the Rockaways, and the state as a whole was touching and something he was proud to be a part of. The small signs of recovery already showing in Breezy Point, Cuomo said, were inspiring and a good sign for the future.

“This is a special community, Breezy Point, and this is really devastating damage,” he said, “but you know it’s also a metaphor for what this is really a metaphor for what this is all about: it’s a very strong community, and they’re rebuilding and you see progress already. And it’s a heartwarming story around Thanksgiving the way people have come together, the way New Yorkers have come together, and the way the spirit of the community is going to rebuild.”

Alleged ‘cannibal cop’ denied bail, plotted to feast on victims for Thanksgiving: reports


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Facebook

The alleged “cannibal cop” will remain behind bars this Thanksgiving after reportedly planning to feast on “girl meat” during the holiday.

Prosecutor’s read transcript obtained from Valle’s computer during a hearing yesterday, according to multiple reports.

“I’m planning on getting some girl meat,” said Valle, according to transcripts. “This November, for Thanksgiving. It’s a long way off, but I’m getting the plan in motion now. She’s not a volunteer. She has to be abducted. I know where she lives. I will grab her from her house.”

The six-year NYPD veteran was busted by federal agents in October after files with more than 100 women were found on his computer.

The Forest Hills resident, who pleaded not guilty on Monday, plotted to kidnap, cook and eat the women, authorities said.

Valle was denied bind and a trial was set for January 22.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High of 52. Winds from the NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 41. Winds from the NNE at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Monthly Jazz Jam at Flushing Town Hall 

Professional jazz musicians, jazz students and music educators are welcome to come jam and meet fellow musicians at this monthly drop-in event at Flushing Town Hall. Open to the general public with a $10 admission. Performers, students and members get in free. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Burglary is crime du jour post-Sandy, stats show

Some of the most cold-hearted locals saw a storm-torn Rockaway peninsula as the location for the perfect heist. Read more: New York Daily News

Giant sinkholes a problem in Queens after Sandy

First they were flooded by Hurricane Sandy and now they’re being swallowed by sinkholes. Read more: ABC New York

Queens restaurant owner to offer free Thanksgiving dinner to residents

A Queens restaurant owner is spreading some Thanksgiving cheer for residents hit by Hurricane Sandy. Read more: NY1

Police question man in ‘John Doe Duffel Bag’ Brooklyn shopkeeper killing cases

Police were questioning a man Tuesday night that they said matches the description of a man seen on surveillance video near a recent murder scene in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, WCBS 880 learned. Read more: CBS New York

Giuliani: MTA chair would make great NYC mayor

Rudy Giuliani believes Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota would make a great New York mayor. Read more: Fox NY

PETA asks Obama to opt out of turkey pardon

It’s a White House tradition with a century and a half of history behind it, but PETA is asking the White House to skip it this year. REad more: ABC News

Amid Gaza diplomacy, bus bomb hits Tel Aviv

A bomb struck an Israeli bus near the nation’s military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding 10 people and complicating major diplomatic efforts to forge a truce between Israel and Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers. Read more: AP

MTA Thanksgiving weekend service


| editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Starting Wednesday, New York City buses and subways, and area regional trains will operate on special schedules for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Subways and Buses

On Thanksgiving Day (November 22), subways and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule, with additional service on the 42nd Street Shuttle for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Also, some bus routes will be impacted by the parade.

On Friday, subways and buses will run on a weekday schedule with some exceptions.

LIRR

There will be additional LIRR trains on Wednesday, November 21 and Thanksgiving.

On Friday, it will operate on a near-normal weekday schedule, but off-peak fares will be in effect from Thursday through Sunday.

During the four-day weekend, riders can also use the Family Fare discount, where children aged five to 11 are just 75 cents, and parking will be free at many stations.

The LIRR will continue to run extra weekend trains for six holiday weekends, through December 30.

Metro-North

Metro-North will operate extra trains departing from Grand Central on Wednesday, beginning at 1 p.m.

On Thanksgiving, it will run on a holiday schedule with extra morning service into the city and extra late morning and early afternoon trains out of NYC for those attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day.

On Friday, Metro-North will operate on a Saturday schedule with extra service during a.m. and p.m. peak times. Thursday through Sunday, off-peak fares will be in effect, and parking will be free at many stations.

There will also be extra weekend trains on the New Haven, Harlem and Hudson Lines through December 30.

Staten Island Railway

There will be extra SIR trains added on Wednesday, beginning at 2:31 p.m. from the St. George Ferry Terminal. There will be one express train and one local train awaiting every boat until 7:50 p.m.

Bridges and Tunnels

Routine maintenance and temporary construction work at all MTA bridges and tunnels will be suspended starting at noon on Wednesday, November 21, until early Monday morning, November 26.

 

Big-hearted people help Sandy victims during the holidays


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE RIVER FUND NY

Cans of vegetables and boxes of macaroni brought Linda DeSabato to tears.

DeSabato, owner of Vallo Transportation, engineered her company’s first Thanksgiving food drive, weeks after Superstorm Sandy drowned hopes of traditional festivities for thousands.

Within days of announcing the drive, crates of sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and jugs of apple cider, donated by a roster of generous employees, inundated the lobby of her Whitestone office — reminders of why holidays exist.

“It’s about the spirit of thanks and giving and gratitude so that the tradition of Thanksgiving goes on,” said DeSabato. “People have lost a tremendous amount but there’s always something to be thankful for.”

On Tuesday, November 20, members of non-profit food source The River Fund NY collected the donations from DeSabato’s office, adding them to what will create a Thanksgiving meal for many of Sandy’s victims, striving to retain some semblance of the holiday season.

“It’s a sense of normalcy,” said DeSabato. “It’s done every year. It’s warm, it’s fuzzy and even in the worst times it makes people feel good.”

Swami Durga Das, director of The River Fund NY, has travelled to storm ravaged neighborhoods almost daily since Sandy struck, leading caravans of food, batteries and diapers to over 700 families.

“We’ve been a busy little group,” he said.

On Monday, The River Fund NY assembled 2,000 turkeys to be distributed to people in the Rockaways. On Thanksgiving, the group will distribute 1,000 holiday meals to Averne residents.

After days of meals of applesauce, raisins and tuna fish, The River Fund NY volunteers searched for an item that required no cooking. An unlikely donation led the group to dispense packages of blankets, hygiene kits and cheesecake.

“The cheesecake knocked it out of the park,” said Durga Das. “That was like the item.”

As residents lined up for cheesecake, a World War II veteran, displaced from his home in the Rockaways, hobbled up to Durga Das on his walker and asked him for a piece.

He gave him two.

“There’s a military guy, older gentleman, and it was like ‘Wow a cheesecake, this is making someone happy.’”

Durga Das is no stranger to helping during a crisis. For the first four months after the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, Durga Das fed first responders, assembling a station near Ground Zero to hand out meals to those cleaning up debris and searching for victims.

“It gave you the same feeling,” said Durga Das. “Really devastated and destroyed. Your food, your shelter, everything. For everyone it’s painful.”

In the wake of the fast-approaching holidays, Durga Das said his group and others like it aim to bring aspects of the holidays to displaced residents and to detract from hard times.

“[Holidays] have that kind of consistency,” said Durga Das. “Things will be OK. You have to keep those things going.”

Holiday party in minutes: Three gourmet cheese plate pairings guaranteed to impress


| Brandpoint@queenscourier.com

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Whether you’re gathering with friends, colleagues or family this holiday season, entertaining with appetizers is the perfect way to have fun without the stress of creating a multi-course meal. And when the question of what to serve arises and you need an easy-yet-impressive solution, cheese plates are an ideal way to bring a gourmet touch to your event without a lot of effort.

If a cheese plate sounds too basic, think again. It’s all about balancing tastes, textures and visual appeal with a variety of fun food and beverage pairings. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter to get your guests interacting.

Luckily, if you’re in a rush on the day of your gathering, a cheese plate is easy to put together in minutes – no cooking necessary. Just plan to include three to five cheeses per platter – estimate about 3 to 4 ounces of cheese per person – and arrange -your choices on a pretty dish or tray.

There are infinite ways to create a cheese plate that will be the talk of your party. Consider these simple suggestions for a bit of inspiration:

* Play with variety and contrast. Include cheeses in a range of textures, from soft to semi-hard to crumbly or hard, that have a range of flavor profiles. Consider combinations like a soft and creamy brie, a harder aged cheese like Stella Sharp Provolone and a crumbly Salemville blue cheese.

* Start mild and move to strong. Give your guests a tastebud tour of the many different flavors fine cheeses have to offer. Present a trio of options with varied intensity of flavor including an appealingly tangy chevre like Organic Creamery goat cheese, a buttery Gouda and a bold cheese like Black Creek Extra Sharp Cheddar.

* Shake it up with unusual cheeses. Give guests the opportunity to try cheeses they might not have had before. It’s the perfect way for them to sample something that could become a new favorite. Look for cheeses with unique ingredients, like Great Midwest Mango Fire Cheddar, which has habanero pepper and the rich sweetness of mango.

It’s a great idea to set out some other small food items that pair nicely with cheese, like Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, Marcona almonds, grilled vegetables, sliced fruit or even chocolate.

Cheese and wine famously go together, so offering your guests samples from a few bottles will make the tasting experience even more fun. Keep these wine-and-cheese pairing principles in mind:

* For hard, stronger-flavored cheeses (e.g. Gruyere or aged Cheddar): Medium-bodied reds (e.g. Pinot Noir)

* For soft, young cheeses (e.g. goat cheese): Simple, young wines like sauvignon blanc

* For stronger blue cheeses (e.g. gorgonzola, Danish Blue): Sweet/dessert wines

* For mild, buttery or creamy cheeses (e.g. triple-creme bries): Sparkling wines

* Semi-soft cheeses (e.g. camembert): Chardonnays and full cabernets

Parties should be just as much fun for the hostess as they are for guests. Opting for easy-to-create gourmet cheese plates will save time and allow you to enjoy the tasting experience with friends and family.

How baking serves up a batch of skills for children, tweens and teens


| Brandpoint@queenscourier.com

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When you think of baking, your mind probably goes right to warm cookies, fruit-filled cobblers or pies and savory bread. While those are all the happy results of spending some time in the kitchen, when children, tweens and teens get involved in baking, they’ll come away from the experience with a lot more than just happy taste buds.

It’s no secret that kids learn while they’re at play, but baking is a particularly great way to make learning interactive, effective and fun. With so many positive outcomes wrapped up into one activity, teachers, parents and others responsible for helping young people learn can use baking to create hands-on experiences that relate to everything from science to managing money.

Consider all of the ways that baking can apply to school subjects, everyday life skills and a richer food future:

* Science – Chemistry goes hand in hand with baking. A range of results can be clearly seen when including – or leaving out – key ingredients. Biology, agriculture and local food production become real when kids learn where ingredients like flour, butter, sugar, and leavening come from, or the physical changes that occur in a product when substituting ingredients to meet health and nutritional needs.

*Math – Baking is an activity that applies sequencing, ordering, fractions, weights, measures, dimensions, temperatures, adding, subtracting, dividing and multiplying. Children can learn at all ages, from the early days when they can stack measuring cups, count out the number of ingredients that go into a recipe to more complex tasks for older kids, like working with fractions and calculating the costs, and savings of do-it-yourself (DIY) baking.

* Health – As you pick out recipes and ingredients for baked goods, it’s the perfect opportunity to talk about the nutritional value and function of the grains, milk, eggs, fruits, veggies, sugars, butter, leavening and salt used in baking. There’s sometimes a misperception that baking can’t be healthy, but teaching kids how to divide and control portion sizes, and to bake using a wide variety of ingredients actually helps young people try new foods and ingredients.

* Personal economics – Learning about managing household resources is a skill that will benefit kids throughout their lives. Baking not only teaches kids how to make delicious foods for themselves, but it also includes lessons about how much it costs when others prepare food for you, how much you can save with a few DIY food skills, saving and managing money. The economics of an active lifestyle includes food skills that save money and time all while burning calories and building traditions.

* Literacy – Another critical skill comes with reading ingredient lists, recipe directions and sequencing preparation steps. Combining reading with baking emphasizes comprehension, because kids apply what they’re reading to an activity. If you miss a step in the instructions or don’t read it properly, it can have a dramatic effect on what you’re baking. But all is not lost – this leads to evaluating the results, problem solving and critical thinking to improve the product.

Baking at home was far more common, if not essential, in past generations. Many adults have lost those skills. However, research conducted in 2011 by Mintel for the Home Baking Association showed that adults still know baking brings value to life – 33 percent say they would bake from scratch, if only they knew how. Because no one’s too old, or young, to learn to bake, it can be a great way for parents and kids to share a learning experience. And if you try out some of grandma’s or great-grandma’s baking recipes, it can be a tradition-rich, multi-generational family affair.

In the classroom or at home, there are countless opportunities for kids to gain a deeper understanding through baking. For classroom baking lessons, after-school activities, kitchen science experiments, a complete baking glossary, resource links and more visit www.homebaking.org. On the site, you’ll also find the DIY Baking Channel, where you can watch baking videos and learn how to make anything from fruit tarts and whole grain breads to pizza and Confetti Cornbread.

Confetti Cornbread

Makes 12, (2.25 ounces/66 grams) squares or wedges

Ingredients

1 cup white, yellow or whole grain cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour (may alternatively use half whole wheat/half all-purpose flour)

1 or 2 tablespoons sugar, optional

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 cup low-fat milk or skim milk

3 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese or reduced fat cheese

1/3 cup chopped green onions

1/3 cup chopped green, red and/or yellow peppers

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Grease bottom and sides of 9-inch square or round baking pan.

3. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar (optional), baking powder and salt in medium mixing bowl.

4. In separate small mixing bowl, beat egg with fork or whisk. Add milk and melted butter, beating well.

5. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients; mix only until dry ingredients are moistened and combined.

6. Stir in cheese, onions and peppers. Do not over mix, the batter will not be smooth. Pour batter into greased pan.

7. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Option: Pour batter into greased muffin cups. Bake 18 to 20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Excerpted from “Baking with Friends,” the 2012 Purple Dragonfly Award-winning children’s cookbook, by Sharon Davis and Charlene Patton. The book has also received the Benjamin Franklin IBPA and Kansas Notable Book awards.

Deafening Noise After Incident At Queens Plant


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Two women shot in Astoria

Cops are on the hunt for a man who allegedly shot his wife and daughter inside of a home in Astoria on Monday morning.  According to reports, the two women were shot in the head and were taken to Elmhurst Hospital and are now listed in stable condition. Read More: Queens Courier

Teenage boy fatally shot by bus madman Damel Burton was a protector of neighborhood kids 

The mother of the teenage boy killed by her ex-con boyfriend minutes before he shot up a Queens bus said Saturday there had been no signs of trouble.  She fought back tears speaking of the bright future she had seen for her slain son, a senior at Queens Transition Center. Read More: Daily News

Deafening Noise After Incident At Queens Plant

A steam release at a power plant in Queens was causing a deafening noise on Monday morning.  The steam was released to reduce steam pressure at the TransCanada owned Ravenswood Generating Station at Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City. Read More: MyFoxNY

Queens family of seven evicted in dispute with landlord over ‘dozens’ of violations 

A Queens family of seven is scrambling to find a place to live after their landlord served them with an eviction notice the day before Thanksgiving. Laura and Thomas Cavanagh said began withholding rent on the Broad Channel home after their landlord refused to fix dozens of problems — ranging from black mold under the sink to a rodent infestation in the attic.  Read More: Daily News

Postal Service Cuts To Lengthen Delivery Time

As financial problems continue to mount, the U.S. Postal Service is set to announce a series of unprecedented cuts today.  The estimated $3 billion in reductions will affect first class mail and likely eliminate the possibility of next day delivery for the first time in 40 years. Read More: NY1

St. John’s Visits The Motor City To Take On Titans, Honor Vitale

Head coach Steve Lavin’s new-look St. John’s basketball team (4-4) stays on the road in its final contest before breaking for 11 days for exams, taking on the Detroit Titans (3-6, 0-2 Horizon League) on Monday at 7 p.m. The second-ever matchup between the Red Storm and University of Detroit will air live nationally on ESPN2. Read More: Red Storm Sports

Thanking the men and women in blue


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz

102nd Precinct

Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill East, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and the Northern part of Ozone Park

Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz and the Richmond Hill Block Association’s Simcha Waisman delivered Thanksgiving dinner to officers at the 102nd Precinct, including Executive Officer Captain Martin Briffa on Thanksgiving Day.