Goodbye winter, hello spring

I just wonder how many of you missed church or work today because of the time change? As the time changes today, I feel like saying goodbye to winter and hello to spring.

Even the sound of the word spring makes me feel good and come alive, but looking out it looks as if ol’ man winter wants to hang around a little longer.

It is March so the worst is over, even if I remember us getting a lot of snow one time in April.

There are many things happening and taking place in our community at the present time so be sure to get involved — do not forget that today is the 50th annual Wood County Society Telethon — live on WTAP TV and taking place at the Blennerhassett hotel. (I personally will be one of the VIPs accepting calls for donations from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and as your VIP, I will personally thank you for your contribution and no donation is too large or small to make an impact. Keep in mind that all donations remain in the Mid-Ohio Valley to help local children.

In the evening, you might want to attend the production “The Game’s Afoot” at the Parkersburg Actors Guild that will be running through March 16 and support our local players and their talents and my good friend Dixie Showalter the director.

Remember also that the Annual Spring Easter Celebration is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 11 on the Parkersburg High School Campus with entertainment followed by a 4000 egg Easter hunt sponsored by the Elks Lodge #198 for all ages, including a special handicap egg hunt.

Then of course on Saturday, April 13, the 10th annual Easter Parade will kick off at 2 p.m. in downtown Parkersburg. This year will mark the 10th year of the parade and there will be no entrance fees to take part in this year’s parade. So be sure to join the fun and get your entry applications in now.

Last but not least is the fundraiser sponsored by the West Virginia Symphony League-Parkersburg “TIE ONE ON TEA” 1:30 p.m. March 30 at the Parkersburg Country Club. This year, the tea event will feature scarves and various ways to use them, followed by an auction. Admission is $30 and you can call 304-481-6909 for reservations.

So as you can see, there is lots going on in our area, so take time and get involved and have fun.

Until next week!

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Irish Creamed Scones

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

5 teaspoons baking powder

5 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup whipping cream

1 egg yolk

1/3 cup dried currants

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 450. Lightly grease large cookie sheet. Sift flour and baking powder into medium bowl. Mix in sugar. Add butter and rub with fingertips until mixture resembles fine meal. Whisk milk, whipping cream and egg yolk in small bowl to blend. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Mix in currants. Turn dough out onto floured work surface. Press to thickness of 1 inch. Cut out rounds using 2 to 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter. Gather scraps and press together to thickness of 1-inch. Cut out additional rounds. Transfer rounds to prepared cookie sheet, spacing evenly. Brush with egg glaze, covering throughly. Transfer scones to rack and cool slightly. Serve warm with butter and jam.

Orange Butter

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

2 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

pinch of salt

Combine butter, confectioners sugar and orange zest in a mixer bowl and beat until light. Slowly beat in the liqueur, juice, vanilla, nutmeg and salt until smooth. Transfer to a crock and serve.

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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1-2 tablespoons poppy seed

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup milk

1/2 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted

1 egg, slightly beaten

Heat oven to 400. Line muffin pan with paper baking cups or grease bottoms only. Combine flour, sugar, poppy seed, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Add milk, lemonade, butter and egg, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fill muffin cups 1/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from cups immediately.

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Scallion and Rice Muffins

1/2 cup regular rice

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons safflower oil

2 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped

Preheat oven to 425. Cook rice as directed and set aside to cool. Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and pepper into bowl. In another bowl, lightly beat the egg, then whisk in the milk and oil. Stir in the cooled rice and the scallions. Pour the rice mixture into the flour mixture, then stir the ingredients just until blended. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each one n more than two-thirds full, Bake the muffins until they are lightly browned 18-22 minutes. Remove the muffins and serve warm.

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Cinnamon Muffins

1/3 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup milk

Topping:

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 250. Grease muffin cups. Mix first 8 ingredients and bake 20-25 minutes. While baking, mix sugar and cinnamon. Melt margarine or butter in separate dish. Right after baking, roll in margarine, then in sugar and cinnamon mixture.

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Higbee Muffins

1/3 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

2 egg whites, beaten to soft peaks

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons baking powder

2 cups milk

Cream shortening. Add sugar and egg yolks and beat until fluffy. Combine flour, salt and baking powder. Add alternately with milk to the creamed mixture.

Fold in beaten egg whites. Spoon into 2 1/2 dozen well oiled standard muffin cups. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Muffins will be very tender.

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Kiki Angelos is a longtime columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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