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My Town: Celebrating the holidays like a pioneer

My Town: Celebrating the holidays like a pioneer

WALKER, Mich.-- Registration is required to experience this holiday trip back in history.

Guests have the opportunity to decorate their own cookie next to the cozy fire, create a craft in the Star School House and take part in snow games in the school yard. This peek into holiday pioneer life will take place Saturday, Dec. 13 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Blandford Nature Center, 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW.

Cost: $5 for members, $8 for non-members

Register at (616)735-6240 or visit www.blandfordnaturecenter.org for more calendar listings.

My Town: Sixth grade students face off in Cupcake War

My Town: Sixth grade students face off in Cupcake War

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The baking battle is over, and the winner is West Michigan charities.

Wednesday, sixth grade students from Blandford School, Zoo School and CA Frost Environmental Science Academy competed in their own Cupcake War to raise money for local charities.  The students worked in teams of four to create a cupcake that would take top ratings in theme, appearance, design and taste.  They also had to incorporate a special ingredient.

The Best of Show award went to Blandford School.  Zoo School sold the highest percentage of their cupcakes, and CA Frost Environmental Science Academy sold the most cupcakes.  Altogether, the schools raised $656 selling their cupcakes, which will go to the schools’ charity of their choice.

My Town Walker: Rescued Alabama puppies available during adoption special

My Town Walker: Rescued Alabama puppies available during adoption special
WALKER, Mich.-- If you're thinking about adding a Christmas pet to the family, this weekend is your chance. The Humane Society of West Michigan is hosting a Home for the Holidays Adopt-A-Thon this Saturday, Dec. 6.In addition to the 150 animals they already have in their care, another 40 puppies have just arrived from Alabama through the Puppy Pipeline Rescue. From 10:30 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, they're offering $300 dollar puppy adoptions.  Visitors may also name their price for a variety of other animals. The Humane Society of West Michigan is located at 3077 Wilson Drive.

In the Kitchen with Kal: Pastry Cream - the versatile dessert

In the Kitchen with Kal: Pastry Cream - the versatile dessert

If you are looking for something unique for a dessert during the holidays, here is a versatile dish. I had a basic recipe for this pastry cream, but tweaked it to my liking. I think it is a fairly easy recipe. I certainly recommend using a double boiler when making a filling like this.

This cream would really look nice in a pretty stemware glass with fresh berries on it along with the other suggestions I have at the bottom of this recipe.

PASTRY CREAM                        Makes enough for a deep dish pie crust

My Town: Inaugural Winter Fest comes to Walker Dec. 4

My Town: Inaugural Winter Fest comes to Walker Dec. 4

WALKER, Mich.—  A new seasonal celebration will take the ice in Walker this Thursday.

The City of Walker is teaming up with Walker Ice and Fitness Center and the Kent District Library Walker branch to host the inaugural Walker Winter Fest.  Community members are invited to enjoy an evening of free ice skating, a visit from Santa and his reindeer, hot chocolate and holiday music provided by the Kenowa Hills High School marching band and orchestra.  At 7 p.m., the city’s Christmas tree will be lit.

We will be inviting the community to enjoy an evening of free ice skating, live reindeer, hot chocolate, holiday music, and our 7 p.m. tree lighting!  Live performances will be provided by the Kenowa Hills High School marching band and orchestra. Santa will also be visiting from the North Pole. The event will be held at the Walker Ice and Fitness Center at 4151 Remembrance Rd. NW.

My Town: Suit up and get ready to sweat during 'Go Santa Go' 5k

My Town: Suit up and get ready to sweat during 'Go Santa Go' 5k

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—Work off those Christmas cookies while helping families in need when the “Go Santa Go” 5k comes to Walker next month.

The family friendly 5k run/walk will unfold at Millennium Park.  A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank, which will be providing food to local families in need this holiday season.  Participants may also win prizes for best costume. 

For more information, visit the event page here.

My Recipe of the Month

My Recipe of the Month

I don't know about the rest of the world but I love apple butter on my toast or on a fresh slice of homemade bread.

For the first time, I have found a recipe to make this delicious spread in a Crock-Pot! It turned out so good and with very little fuss on my part. It is just a matter of assembling the ingredients, letting the Crock-Pot do its thing and then enjoying the results.

My mom made this when I was a kid and I have carried the tradition on with my kids. It's always a treat. Maybe it will be for you too.

HOMEMADE APPLE BUTTER

Makes about 6 cups

  • 5 ½ pounds of apples, peeled and cut up (I use a variety)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Put all the apples in a Crock-Pot and top with the remaining ingredients and stir to coat the apples.