Holiday Show Opens at ArtSpace Falls Church

November 29, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Falls Church Times Staff

Creative Cauldron will remount its critically acclaimed production of “The Christmas Cabin of Carnaween,” an Irish folktale adapted for the stage. Creative Cauldron’s 2009 production garnered praise from Michael Toscano of The Washington Post as “poignant and bracing…a reminder of the season’s rich ideals.”

"Christmas Cabin of Carnaween" will be performed at Creative Cauldron at ArtSpace, 410 S. Maple Avenue, December 1 - 18. Go to for show times and to reserve tickets.

Performances are December 1 through 18 at ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Avenue.  OPENING NIGHT is Saturday, December 3 at 7:30 pm. The production is sponsored by Irelands Four Provinces Restaurant.

“The Christmas Cabin of Carnaween” is set in Ireland in the days of the great potato famine.  The story follows the journey of Oona Hegarty, a tinker’s child who spends her days caring for the young, the sick and the elderly in other people’s homes, but dreams of one day having a cabin of her own.  Her wish would go unfulfilled were it not for the intervention of the fairy people who come to her aid one snowy Christmas eve.

Tickets for “Christmas Cabin of Carnaween” are $15 for Adults and $12 for students and seniors. Preview performance is Thursday, December 1 at 7:30 pm (PAY WHAT YOU CAN).  Shows continue on Fridays, December 2, 9, 16 at 7:30 pm, Saturdays, December 3, 10,17 at 2pm and 7:30 pm and Sunday, December 4 at 2:00 pm and Sunday, December 11 and 18 at 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm.

Reservations can be made on-line at or by calling 571-239-5288. ArtSpace Falls Church is located at 410 South Maple Avenue in the Pearson Square Building.  Free Parking is available in the 400 and 410 South Maple Buildings.

Creative Cauldron Producing Director Laura Connors Hull is directing the production for the third year.  “This beautiful story is a classic gem that will melt even the hardest of hearts.  We are pleased to introduce it to more and more patrons each year, and to share it in a fresh new way with patrons who are inspired to attend from year to year,” said Hull.

Katie Culligan will reprise the role of Oona Hegarty.  She appeared this fall as Virginia in Creative Cauldron’s Helen Hayes Award-recommended production of “Nevermore.”

Christmas Cabin of  Carnaween will be underscored with live traditional Irish music from “Mag Meall.”  “Mag Meall” is the musical duo of Rosemary Gano and Mary Wilkerson, who play Irish music in the “pure drop” manner, playing and singing in the style heard in pub sessions and at traditional dances and events.  They are both classically trained musicians who were drawn to Irish music, honing their skills on traditional instruments through study with Irish musical masters. Mag Meall literally means plain of joy.  It is a mythical realm achieved only through death or glory where sickness and death do not exist. A place of eternal you and beauty where music, strength, life and all pleasurable pursuits come together in a single place.

Also performing in the cast will be Judy Butler, Penny Fleming, Jim Lynch, Anna Brotman Krass, Emily Chewning, Coulter Adams, Charlie Adams, and Alex Jerez.

Margie Jervis is the scenic designer and Paul Spiegelblatt the Lighting Designer.

Creative Cauldron is a not-for-profit arts organization operating in Northern Virginia since 2002 that provides opportunities for learning and articipation in the performing and visual arts for children and adults.  Classes, workshops and performances in all disciplines are offered year round at ArtSpace Falls Church.  Creative Cauldron’s programs are funded in part through grants from the Arts Council of Fairfax County and the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts and the Economic Development Authority of the City of Falls Church.


What to do with the leftovers?

November 25, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

By Kathleen Nixon

November 25, 2011

Falls Church Times Staff

Now that the big food day is over, the question now is: what to do with all the leftovers? You have shopped, prepared and presented all of this glorious food, but how many times can you reheat and eat it? Don’t get me wrong I love turkey sandwiches and reheating gravy and mashed potatoes but after a day or so, you would like to see these great dishes take on a second act.

With this in mind, I asked two of our local phenomenal chef’s Tracy O’Grady of Willow and Steve Mannino of Rustico to share with me their ideas of what to do with our Thanksgiving leftovers. Tracy came up with Turkey Stuffing Shepherd’s Pie and Steve blew me away with his Mashed Potato Chocolate cake.  If you don’t feel so inclined to do either of these, please consider at least  making a broth out of your turkey carcass and use it for soup or stew with your remaining turkey meat.

Broth has seems to fallen out of favor in our society because it takes so long to prepare but I firmly believe there is nothing better for our cooking or health than homemade broths. When I am feeling particularly frazzled, I will set aside a day of the weekend to make a broth so that the house smells heavenly and I have quarts of great broth sitting in my freezer to add to any dish. Many of us grew up on broths from bouillon cubes or from a can, but these miss many of the minerals and nutrients that come from the bones that are part of any great broth. The critical component of making a broth is time – just letting the bones simmer in a pot on the stove for hours – preferably at least 6 hours but more like 8. This doesn’t mean you have to sit and watch it, just let it simmer while you do other things around the house. I really liked these two methods of making broth from Cooking for Engineers and Cheap Cooking.

Now if you want to use more of the leftovers, Tracy O’Grady Chef and Owner of Willow Restaurant created this recipe for us using many of the ingredients that we will have left over from our Thanksgiving meals.

Turkey Stuffing Sheppard’s Pie by Tracy O’Grady – Willow Restaurant

Serves 6

Bake in an 8”x10” earthenware dish, dimensions do not need to be exact


4 cups picked turkey meat, use both dark and white or whatever is leftover

2 cups leftover gravy

1-2 cups turkey broth made for another meal of turkey soup, cook the turkey carcass very slowly over night in water with mirepoix of celery, carrot and onion

½-1 cup left over mashed potatoes

1 cup leftover glazed or roasted carrots

1 small onion, diced and sautéed until tender

2 stalks of celery, diced and sautéed until tender

4 sage leaves, roughly chopped

3-4 cups leftover stuffing

Salt and cracked black pepper to taste

  • Use leftover cranberry sauce as an accompaniment
  • Use leftover green bean as an accompaniment


Heat the gravy and mashed potatoes together whisking until smooth, add in turkey stock to the desired consistency.  The gravy mixture can be as thick or brothy as desired.  Fold in the turkey meat, carrots, onions, celery, sage, salt and pepper and place in the earthenware dish.  Spread the leftover stuffing evenly over the top of the stew (if the stuffing is too dry add some of the turkey stock).  Cover the Sheppard’s pie with foil and place in a 350* preheated oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until fairly hot.  Remove the foil and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until the stuffing is crispy and the pie is hot and bubbly inside.

I had always tried to think of ways to recreate something with mashed potatoes so when Steve Mannino shared his family recipe of Mashed Potato Chocolate Cake I was overjoyed and intrigued. Caution: this is not a recipe to use with garlic or cheesy mashed potatoes.


Chocolate-Potato Cake by Steve Mannino of Rustico
Makes one Bundt cake.


2 cups sugar
2/3 cups butter, softened
2 eggs, separated
1 cup skinless mashed potatoes, such as peeled Idaho potatoes mashed with cream, butter, and salt
1 cup whole milk
½ cup cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: 1 cup chopped nuts such as chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds (to be folded into the batter)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using egg beaters or a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter on medium-high speed. Add the egg yolks and beat until incorporated, about a minute. Blend in the potatoes and then the milk until thoroughly mixed. The mixture should have a thin mashed potato consistency at this point.

In another bowl, combine the cocoa, flour, baking soda, and cinnamon (if using). Fold these dry ingredients into the batter. Add more flour if the batter seems too loose—it should be the consistency of regular cake or brownie batter.

Using egg beaters or a stand mixer beat the egg whites on high speed until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the cake batter. Beat in the vanilla, and then stir in the chopped nuts (if using).

Pour into a greased Bundt cake pan and bake approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the cake and if it comes out clean, it’s ready to eat. Frost with the cream cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound butter, softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar until the mixture reaches desired sweetness and smoothness. Mix in the vanilla extract and set aside.

High-end Real Estate in City Shows Improvement

November 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Falls Church Times Staff

November 24, 2011

The Falls Church City housing market has held up better than most of the country during the past four years. But the high end of the market has been the most sluggish. That may slowly be changing, however, for the better.

Real estate agents interviewed by the Times say the high end, defined as homes over $1 million, remains difficult, but they suggest it is loosening somewhat.

“Low interest rates help,” said agent Kathleen Ferlazzo of Long and Foster, who sold 407B Lincoln for $1,300,000 in October after five months on the market. Low rates help the real estate market in general, but can really have an impact on the monthly mortgage payment on a pricier home.

This year, 15 homes have sold in the City at more than $1 million, compared to only four in 2010. Closing prices ranged from $1,020,000 at 317 Lincoln to $1,360,000 for 101 Buxton. Another house that will be over $1 million is being built at 212 Patterson St., and was under contract before the developer put a shovel in the ground.

These houses run the gamut from new construction to classic older homes, although most were newer, and they are located throughout the City. One thing they have in common: a lot of square footage. All but two had at least five bedrooms.

The high-end market has been slower than lower price ranges throughout the relatively prosperous Washington area, where housing markets have been healthier than most others, because of a large supply of homes in that price bracket and the daunting price tags that scare away buyers.

“People are nervous once you get past a million; there’s just more concern there,” said Louise Molton of Weichert Properties, who sold 416 Poplar, also in October, for $1,100,000. “There’s also a cycle of concern about the financial markets.”

Ms. Ferlazzo also suggested the high-end market in Falls Church City is stronger than some because of the unique nature of the City and the low inventory of high-end homes. “If you want to be in Falls Church City, there’s not much available and you need to move quickly,” she said.

That is true throughout all price brackets here. Many houses at the lower-end of the City market, in the $500,000 to $700,000 range, continue to sell in a matter of days. Some 25 homes have sold in the City this year in 10 days or less. “It’s a very strong market,” Ms. Molton said. “Homes still need to show well and be priced right…if they are, it’s a two-week turn around” from listing to contract.

That said, it isn’t all wonderful for home sellers. The selling price of Ms. Ferlazzo’s listing on Lincoln, which closed for $1.3 million, still wasn’t enough to allow the owners, who had bought during the tail end of the boom in 2007, to get out break-even. They had paid just under $1,426,000, according to City records.

Memorial for Richard Marsh at GMHS Sunday

November 19, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Richard Marsh with his mother Rena

November 19, 2011

A memorial service for Richard Marsh will be held this Sunday, November 20th at the George Mason High School Auditorium from 2:00 PM until 5:00 PM.

Richard, age 16, died on Wednesday November 16 in Newport News where he was attending Woodside High School. Until recently Richard was a resident of Falls Church where he was an outstanding athlete on local football, baseball, and basketball teams. He was a beloved friend to many here and his passing has caused an outpouring of emotion from many students, staff, and residents.

Richard’s mother Rena, is a resident of Falls Church and, as GMHS principle Tyrone Byrd said in a letter to parents, “a steadfast advocate for the Falls Church City school system for more than a decade,”

The Memorial will be held in the George Mason High School Auditorium. There will be overflow seating available in the cafeteria with a live feed. Parking will be available on the GMHS campus with additional free parking in the Virginia Tech/Metro parking lot adjacent to the GM campus. The Memorial program will also be broadcast live on FCCTV.

Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 AM on Sunday, November 27 (Thanksgiving weekend) at 15322 Warwick Blvd, Newport News, VA.

In lieu of flowers, contributions are gratefully accepted at:

Hoops for Youth Foundation
10623 Jones Street Suite 101-A
Fairfax, VA 22030

New Bike Store on Broad Street Gets Warm Reception

November 19, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Falls Church Times Staff

November 18, 2011

Quick as a Tour de France cyclist, a new bike store has suddenly popped into a Broad Street storefront before many knew that the previous store at the location was gone.

Bikenetic, the brainchild of owner Jan Feuchtner, just opened its doors this week in the storefront formerly occupied by Asian Imports, an Asian grocery.

Jan Feuchtner at his new bike store Bikenetic (Stephen Siegel photo).

The timing of the grocery store’s departure was only one of the things that was fortuitous.

Mr. Feuchtner was looking for a storefront in Falls Church City and inquired about the nearly empty strip mall next to the Sunoco gas station at Broad and West streets, which is just two doors down from the storefront he eventually leased. He was told that they were only offering a short lease of one year or less, which wasn’t going to work for him — or for any business.

City officials mentioned to him that the grocery store had departed, and Mr. Feuchtner was intrigued. He was looking for a place that was “inexpensive, yet functional.” Then he learned that the building’s owner is the father of a woman who played basketball with his wife at Fairfax County’s Falls Church High School during the 1990s.

His wife, Helen, contacted Sarah, the daughter, and subsequently got in contact with the owner. “He loved the idea; he’s a bike enthusiast,” Mr. Feuchtner said.

The rest is history, and a bike store was born. The location was selected in part for its proximity to the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, which Mr. Feuchtner rides on regularly and which is only about a quarter-mile away.

“When I learned it (the storefront) was available, I looked on Google Maps, and then I fought for it,” he said.

And that seems to be paying dividends already, as cyclists alerted to the location by advertising along the trail, just placed there Friday, came into the store while a reporter was there Friday afternoon.

The store carries a sizeable selection of bicycles for a small store, offers mechanical work, a variety of clothing and equipment, and energy drinks, among other items.

Mr. Feuchtner didn’t want to toot his own horn too much, but said he was gratified at the response from city officials when he told them he was opening a bike store. “It was a very warm welcome,” he said.

Bikenetic is located at 922 W. Broad Street and can be reached at 703-534-7433.

Rustico’s Fall Salad

November 18, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

By Kathleen Nixon
November 18, 2011
Falls Church Times Staff

As the leaves are turning their vibrant colors, we start to miss some of the colorful salads that enticed us during the summer months.  We still have many wonderful ingredients available to make salads to complement any meal we just have to bring a little imagination to them. Some of the best ingredients for fall salads include apples which are plentiful this time of year and will be so until early winter.  Steve Mannino of Rustico created this wonderful fall salad which is great for any meal or your special Thanksgiving meal next week.

Rustico’s Fall Chopped Salad

Serves: 4

Dressing Ingredients:

2 cups apple cider, reduced to 1 cup

1/3 cup apple cider vinaigrette

2 oz honey

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Juice of half a lemon

1 T whole grain mustard

1 cup canola oil


1. Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender and mix on high for 30 seconds

2. Put blender on low speed and slowly add oil until dressing is creamy in texture

3. Remove and store dressing in an air tight container for a week

Salad Ingredients:

2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped into 1/8 inch wide strips

1 red apple, small diced then put in water with lemon juice

1 green apple, small dice then put in water with lemon juice

12 leaves fresh parsley, chopped into fine strips

1 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

3 leaves fresh sage, cut into thin strips

½ cup carrots, shredded

¼ cup red onion, small dice

1 cup granola plus 1/4c for garnish

¼ cup celery leaves


  1. Toss together all salad the ingredients (except for 1/4c of granola and celery leaves) in a large bowl.
  2. Just before serving combine salad ingredients with dressing and serve immediately
  3. Divide salad among 4 bowls and garnish with granola and celery leaves

You can also add smoked turkey, grilled chicken, steak or even salmon to turn this salad into a full meal.

Happy Thanksgiving!

CBC Shifting Focus From Elections to Voter Education

November 16, 2011 by · 6 Comments 

Falls Church Times Staff

November 16, 2011

The Citizens for a Better City’s Executive Committee has voted to suspend its Nominating Convention, the election of CBC candidates, and the CBC campaign, and to turn the organization’s primary focus to community and voter education.

In a November 12 letter to members, CBC president Sally Ekfelt termed the Committee’s vote “decisive.”  Entitled “A New Way Forward”, the letter states that the organization’s primary objective now will be to inform the electorate and vigorously promote civic engagement.

The Committee will convene a working group to create an action plan for 2012.  Among its first actions will be a town hall meeting or forum in February which will showcase all candidates running for elective office in May.  CBC will continue to promote and encourage citizen participation on City and School Committees and Commissions and to scout for effective leaders.

Suspending the Nominating Convention requires a change in CBC’s bylaws.  Members will vote on the revision at the annual meeting on Sunday, November 20, at the Winter Hill Senior Center. 

For 52 years CBC has fielded candidates for Falls Church City Council and, since 1994, for School Board.  Its decision to leave the election process creates a new playing field for the May 2012 election.

Unless a new group suddenly emerges to field a slate, all candidates for three Council seats and three School Board seats at stake will be running as independents.   There will be no “brand” available and voters will have to focus more on the individual candidates, rather than voting a straight ticket.

CBC has dominated Falls Church politics for decades.  From 1974 to 1986 it won every Council seat.  More recently CBC won 14 of the 17 seats at stake from 2000 to 2008.

However, in 2010 only one of its four candidates for Council was elected.  One candidate appeared to break with the slate in the final days of the campaign, issuing his own flyers.

Of the seven current Council members, four were elected as independents and three on CBC tickets.  Vice Mayor Dave Snyder has been elected on past CBC slates but ran as an independent in 2010.   All seven members of the present School Board were elected on CBC tickets. 

The May 2012 election will be the final one held in that month, as voters last Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a referendum to move the polling to November, beginning in 2013.  CBC’s decision to leave the field ensures that next spring’s campaign will be one of the most interesting in many years.

FRIDAY 11/18: Military History Forum

November 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Guest speaker will be Mrs. Charlene Schiff, topic:” The Holocaust: A Personal Story of Survival.”

No charge. 10 a.m. – noon, Falls Church Community Center, 221 Little Falls Street. 703-248-5020.  The Forum meets every other Friday, same time, same place.

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