Now that the weather is cooler (or at least supposed to be) our creative juices are flowing once more. Halloween decorations, some traditional, some distinctly ghoulish, can be seen already in yards and on vehicles – like the one we found (pictured at right) in the Community School of Davidson parking lot.
But creativity is not limited to Halloween. Read today how a group in the New Neighborhood created a gourmet French dinner. Also we have a report on a creative town resident, Michael Young, who covers civilian and military assignments. On the canine front, there is the “scoop” on a new Bark Park and a chance to have your favorite pet blessed at DCPC. A final Noteworthy Note concerns a book benefit this weekend at DUMC.
BON APPETIT! with JULIA CHILD
Sheila Allen, Diane Gabriel, Pat McCall, Marion Thomas and Nancy Waite-Kahn are good friends who gather each week to knit and “cook up” all sorts of plans for “mischief” (or perhaps we should say “interesting activities”).
A recent movie outing to see “Julie and Julia” prompted discussions of food and, in particular, French cuisine. Looking through Diane’s original hardback copy of Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” the ladies decided to prepare an entire meal following each step outlined in Julia’s recipes.
With recipes in hand, the ladies scouted the finest ingredients at local grocery stores: nothing frozen – only fresh would do. The butcher at The Fresh Market was a great help as was the young man at Total Wine who had grown up in the Burgundy region of France and recommended wines for cooking as well as drinking. Once recipes were divided up, the real work began.
Diane Gabriel was the hostess for the October 4th dinner which began with Julia Child’s favorite cocktail, an Upside Down Martini. (Hubbies Bob Allen and Sherman Kahn were included on the guest list.)
Printed menu cards at each place gave a hint of the gourmet courses beginning with Petits Chaussons au Roquefort as an appetizer and concluding with La Reine de Saba for dessert (reputed to be Julia’s favorite chocolate creation).
In Sheila Allen’s words: “The dinner was fabulous. We all had so much fun planning, shopping and cooking together. We can’t imagine what our next ‘project’ will be!” C’est bon!!
Be sure to let Around Davidson know!
10 DAYS IN SENEGAL
Davidson resident Michael Young is able to lead two lives: Not only is he a reservist with the United States Marine Corps, specializing in Information Technology and Information Management, but Michael is also a civilian employee working in Charlotte for Bank of America as a Technical Infrastructure Engineer. With this resume, he is often sought as a consultant for Department of Defense projects.
Last month, Michael left his wife, Amy, and children, Ainsley (3) and Piper (1), and headed to Dakar, Senegal, on the West coast of Africa as a representative of the United States Embassy. There he gave guidance and analysis of Senegal’s IT infrastructure, applications and collaboration tools trying to help them “leap forward” to modern technology uses of these tools, databases and the Internet to run the processes of the country and military. For our readers who are interested in learning more about overall U.S. mission objectives, Michael points us to a public brief (click here) about the situation in West Africa.
Regarding life in Senegal, Michael writes: It is the closest location in Africa to the U.S., with a surprisingly short flight of 8 hours. Dakar is a large city of over 1 million residents with a mix of crushing poverty and European-based business interests. During our stay, the biggest hurdle was the constant flooding due to the rainy season. Traffic was horrible, with delays lasting hours to travel just a few miles. Most city streets were covered with over a foot of water since almost no drainage systems exist.
On the positive side, the city has a heavy French influence with wonderful bakeries scattered throughout, making it easy to grab a ‘pain au chocolat.’ Most restaurants that cater to visitors have a wide variety of dishes of local and French influence. A common meal was fish and rice with an onion lemon sauce followed by a desert crepe.
Infectious disease is a huge concern in this part of the world so while eating one had to be careful to choose an appropriate restaurant recommended by the Embassy.
Able to travel outside Dakar during his stay, Michael went on safari in Bandia Nature Park one day where rhinos were spotted and he fed wild crocodiles. He also visited Goree Island with its sobering monument to the old world slave trade.
What an interesting trip for Michael. Although life in Dakar is not for the faint-hearted, he hopes to return and learn more about the country’s history and culture.
PETS ON PARADE
Bark Park Opens
Davidson has a new Dog Park! Last Saturday afternoon, residents, builders and various members of the dog world came together under Carolina blue skies to celebrate the opening of “The Bark Park,” the newest feature of Summers Walk. (Yes, The Summers Walk Community of single family and townhomes is a part of Davidson located just across from Bradford Store on N.C. 73.)
Following a ribbon cutting and a puppy parade, there were numerous activities for all ages including hayrides, a bounce house for the youngsters, free refreshments, performances by Acrofitness of Mooresville and displays by area pet vendors. The Cornelius Animal Shelter was promoting pet adoptions and received a $5,000 donation from The Summers Walk Community.
Thanks to Elaine Smith and Jenny Kyser for the photo and the “scoop” on this newest addition to our town.
Blessing our Animals
Our animals are a blessing (that is, most of the time) and this Sunday, October 11, you will have a chance to participate the first Community Blessing of the Animals hosted by the Davidson College Presbyterian Church (DCPC). This service will begin at 4 p.m. on the patio just outside the main sanctuary doors. Everyone is welcome, including well behaved animals appropriately caged or leashed. DCPC’s pastor, Lib McGregor Simmons, had the idea for this event from similar services held at her previous church in Texas. (St. Alban’s Episcopal held a similar service Sunday.)
Members of the planning committee working with Lib are Kathy Tyson, Laura Freund, Bettie Casey and Jone Coates. Pet owners will actually extend a blessing to their own pets during the service. Following the event, local animal rescue organizations will host information tables on the lawn.
This weekend the Davidson United Methodist Women are holding a Book Exchange, which is a Book Sale to benefit missions. The UMW at DUMC have collected thousands of books, children’s books, and media. All are for sale at prices ranging from $0.50 to $1.50 this weekend at the Dale House adjacent to the DUMC parking lot. All of the proceeds will aid local charities that help women and children. The hours are Friday, October 9, 3-6pm, Saturday, October 10, 10am to 4pm and Sunday, October 11, 9:30am to 1:30pm. Great chance to pick up some good winter reading.
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