CITY FOCUS: Budget Forums, Black History Celebration, No GEORGE Service/Trash Pick Up on President’s Day, Cherry Hill Valentine’s Tea, Summer Camp Registration Now Open
SCHOOLS FOCUS: Colonial Day @ TJ, Mulch Sale, Special Ed Study, George Mason’s Gourmet Cooking Class, FCEF Needs Auction Items
February 10, 2010
The 5th Annual Black History Celebration and Basketball Game is scheduled for Friday, February 26 at the Falls Church Community Center. The City of Falls Church and the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation are sponsoring the evening of laughter, family fun and basketball in celebration of black history month.
Festivities get underway at 5:30 p.m. with a pre-game discussion, Girls Got Game, that takes an intriguing look at early female basketball players and fashions as well discusses the present and future of women in basketball and sports.
At 7:00 p.m., the Falls Church City All-Star Team (made up of elected officials, business persons, parents, students and local community members) will play New York City’s finest, the Harlem MagicMasters. The game is geared to be fun, exciting and “edu-taining.” If you love basketball, fun, laughter or history you won’t want to miss this!
The pre-game discussion will take a look at women in the early days of basketball through a slide show of vintage “ladies” basketball fashions and a fun look at the early “ladies” basketball game rules. Invited guest speakers will discuss the challenges, victories, experiences, “roles” and opportunities for women in basketball and sports today. The hour-long Girls Got Game discussion is free.
The basketball game will tip off at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $8 for youth and $10 for adults by visiting instant seats. Tickets at the door cost $10 for youth and $12 for adults. Children under 5 are free.
Black Heritage Walking Tours
Celebrate Black History Month with a walking tour through Falls Church City’s historical African American community every Saturday in February. This mile and a half walk winds through the back streets of Falls Church, across the main thoroughfares and visits historic cemeteries and little known enclaves as it focuses on the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Step Back in Time: Black Heritage Walking Tour begins at 3 p.m. at the Creative Cauldron at 410 S. Maple Avenue. Guides share points of interest, and historical highlights and facts of Falls Church, including that at one point African American residents made up nearly 40% of the population of the town of Falls Church.
The walk ends at the Henderson House, the 1913 home of educators and early civil rights advocates, Dr. Edwin and Mary Ellen Henderson, affectionately called “Miss Nellie,” for whom Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School was named. Walkers will gather inside for music, light refreshments, hot drinks and enjoy, in the words of Miss Nellie “a bit of pound cake and a glass of wine to warm your bones after a long walk.”
Reservations are required. Tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for youth. The walk is not recommended for children under 10 years of age. There are special student group rates and individual group tours can be arranged. Call 703-534-4627 or 703-534-4627 for tickets.
February 10, 2010
So there I was, gazing out at the near-blizzard, enjoying the beauty of the morning — no place I had to be other than in my bay window, laptop at hand, not a care in the world (well, except a nagging fear of losing power) – when I chanced to look out the side window at our heat pump.
Oh-oh. It was buried in a snow drift. Only the top vent was uncovered, which the continuously operating fan blew free. I knew the air was supposed to be coming through the sides of the unit and exiting at the top, but with the whole enclosure buried in snow, that was impossible.
How could I relax while my best winter friend was suffocating? There was nothing to be done but to bundle up and venture outside to rescue the heat pump. With a few minutes’ work it was dug out – and then I could see that the entire radiator was encased in solid ice.
That’s because every 30 minutes or so a heat pump will cycle in reverse to defrost its coils. You can recognize the defrost cycle when you see steam rising from the pump. But with snow packed around the pump, it could never defrost. Every try resulted in thicker ice.
There’s so much ice that I’m not sure it will melt, but since I did what I could, at least now I can relax.
Some technically challenged readers may be wondering whether they have a heat pump or not. Here’s the answer: Almost everyone has an outdoor unit that looks similar to mine. Take a look at it. If the fan is running, it’s a heat pump, and it wouldn’t hurt to dig it out. But if it’s shut down, completely buried, and deathly quiet, then don’t worry – that’s just an air conditioner in hibernation.
You won’t be needing to disturb it for a long, long time.
By KATHLEEN NIXON
Special to the Falls Church Times
Right around the corner is one of those holidays that strikes fear into the heart of many – Valentine’s Day. This day focused on romance and love reminds us that we have to come up with something creative to show that special someone in our life that we care. There is no better medium than food.
A great source of inspiration for a Valentine’s Day feast is the Falls Church Farmers Market. You can go all-out and gather ingredients to prepare a delicious brunch or you can simply buy some of the high quality pre-made treats that vendors offer. The winter hours for the Farmers Market are 9 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on Saturdays, so it sets up beautifully for Valentine’s Day, which falls on a Sunday this year.
Sunday Brunch Ideas
After a recent trip to the Farmers Market I put together a meal of French toast, bacon, and spiced apple cider, which you could easily translate into a Valentine’s Day brunch spread.
You will first want to stop by Atwater’s for the bread. Now there are many different types of bread you can pick up for French toast. For me, the ideal French toast bread has a crunchy crust and a soft inside. I first tried the Cranberry Pecan bread thinking that the cranberries and pecans would add a nice texture to the French toast, but I was very wrong because it was too dense, soaked up too much of the batter, and became very soggy. You will want bread that is soft on the inside and will only lightly absorb the batter. My pick is Atwater’s Rosemary Italian bread, which despite its savory-sounding name actually works perfectly.
Good French toast isn’t possible without good eggs. You can pick some of those up at Smith Meadows. Apple cider can be had at either Toigo Orchards or Black Rock Orchards, both of which put out a fine product. Finish out the tour by swinging by Cibola Farms for some bacon and Blue Ridge Creamery for fresh butter.
There are many recipes online or in cookbooks for French toast. I use a few eggs, vanilla, cream and maple syrup. When you mix up the batter, you will want to make sure you whisk it thoroughly. I haven’t gone to the gym much lately, so I end up whisking at least three separate times to get the right consistency. I also put all of my bread slices in a shallow pan and pour the batter over the slices, turning them a few times to make sure the batter is fully absorbed. Finally you will want your cooking oil and pan medium hot for thorough crispy cooking.
It’s a good idea to set your oven to 200 degrees when making a big batch of French toast. When you’re done with a batch slide it into the oven and it will stay warm and fresh while you continue to cook the rest. A warm oven is a good resting place for bacon as well, which you should cook at a low temperature on the stove to render out all the fat and crisp it up nicely. When you’re putting together a meal like this it’s also nice to have the table set before you start cooking—you’ll want to eat right away. Another nice touch is to gently warm the maple syrup for the French toast. Trust me; your fellow diners will appreciate it.
Don’t Want to Cook?
If cooking a full meal is not for you, there are some other options at the Falls Church Farmers Market. Stop by Sinplicity for the ingredients to put together a romantic dessert. Leland Atkinson will be offering all the ingredients for a Passion fruit Sundae. You can pair Passion Sorbet (Passion fruit, Coconut Milk, Ginger and Rum) with a bag of Biscotti Rustica and a bottle of Port and Vanilla Glaze. If chocolate is your thing, Sinplicity can still deliver with ancho chile fudge, hot chocolate mix or a pair of Sinplicity coffee mugs filled with biscotti. And don’t forget your frequent Sinner card!
Want to go out?
And if none of these ideas work for you, many of the Falls Church Farmers Market Chef restaurant partners will be offering special meals to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Liberty Tavern will be open for brunch; Willow has several Valentine’s Day dinner specials February 12th-14th along with a wine dinner on February 11th; and Argia’s will be open, featuring many special dishes including a lump crab, avocado and white truffle appetizer.
For photos of the French toast breakfast and more pictures of the winter scene at the Farmers Market click here.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
February 10, 2010
Falls Church City Public Schools will be closed on Thursday, Feb. 11 (Code Red).
School day care and ASAP also will be closed Thursday, and all evening activities have been canceled.
Because the schools have now exceeded the four snow days built into the school calendar, make up days will occur Monday, Feb. 15 (Presidents’ Day), and Monday, Apr. 12 (Professional Day). Additional makeup days will be determined after the FCCPS resumes a normal schedule.
The school budget work session scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 9 has been postponed until Saturday, Feb. 13. (The meeting will occur in the Central Office Conference Room, the “Flower Building,” 800 W. Broad Street, Suite 203, Falls Church. The time has not yet been determined but will be posted at www.fccps.org.)
City Offers Safety Tips for Storm
Falls Church City government has offered the following safety tips for the current storm.
1) Keep a light on near the front of the house so police know you have power. Report power outages to 1-888-667-3000.
2) If the wind and snow fell a tree on your house, evacuate and call 9-1-1. To report downed trees on streets or gov’t buildings/schools, call 703-241-5050.
February 7, 2010
As the snow shoveling begins, we will be happy to post names and contact information of snow shoveling services in Falls Church City. To be added to the list, please send your information to email@example.com.
Snow Shoveling Services
1. Jason Rorrer, 571-437-5217/5218, firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Blake DeMarr 703.424.8436 or email is preferred since I have a blackberry.
3. Jon Miller. Please call my mobile phone at 703-405-8805.