Tate’s Showband Of The South Performing In Philadelphia Thanksgiving Parade (With Video Link)

November 26, 2014

The Tate High School Showband of the South arrived in Philadelphia Tuesday night. They will perform in the 2014 Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday morning.

The parade cannot be seen on any Mobile/Pensacola television stations, but can be viewed on Philadelphia television station WPVI TV’s live stream at the following link: http://6abc.com/live

The parade will begin at 7:30 a.m. Cantonment time, and the Tate High School Showband will be very near the beginning of the parade and broadcast.

Following the parade, the Showband members will spend time in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Turkey Time Cooking Tips

November 26, 2014

It’s Thanksgiving, time for family and friends to gather and give thanks. And time for cooks to ponder the correct way to prepare their turkey.

Today, we are taking a look at the proper way to cook your turkey with tips from Dorthy Lee, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent for the Escambia County Extension Office.


Begin every meal preparation with clean hands, and wash hands frequently to prevent any cross contamination. As a rule, hands that have come in contact with raw meat or poultry should be washed for twenty seconds in hot, soapy water.


Raw meat and poultry products may contain harmful bacteria, so make certain that the juices from those products do not come in contact with food that will be eaten without cooking, like the salad. Also, never place cooked food on an unwashed plate that previously held raw meat or poultry.

Use of food thermometer should be a standard operating procedure in your kitchen and, when used correctly, will ensure that your turkey is cooked to perfection. To be safe, the temperature of a whole turkey should reach 180°F between the breast and the innermost part of the thigh.

If you stuff your turkey, the center of the stuffing must reach 165°F. If the stuffing has not reached 165°F, then continue cooking the turkey until it does. Let the turkey stand twenty minutes after removal from the oven before carving.

This is another important step because food-borne bacteria can grow while food sits unrefrigerated. Refrigerate or freeze perishable leftovers within two hours of cooking. To prepare your leftovers, remove any remaining stuffing from the cavity and cut turkey into small pieces. Slice the breast meat. Wings and legs may be left whole. Refrigerate stuffing and turkey separately in shallow containers.

Use or freeze leftover turkey and stuffing within three to four days, gravy within one to two days. Reheat thoroughly to a temperature of 165°F, or until hot and steaming.

For more information, call the Escambia County Extension office, (850) 475-5230.

From The Farm To The City: A Thanksgiving Bounty For The Needy (With Gallery)

November 25, 2014

About 200 students from schools in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties worked in fields near Jay Monday to harvest turnips and bag sweet potatoes that will feed hundreds of needy families later this week for Thanksgiving.

The event at the University of Florida’s West Florida Research and Education Center was part of Farm-City Week, bringing the bounty of the farm to the needy of the city.

The FFA students from Northview High School, Tate High School, Jay High School, Central School, King Middle School and Ernest Ward Middle School harvested about 1,200 bundle each of collard and turnip greens and sorted about a ton and half of donated sweet potatoes.

The greens were harvested in assembly line fashion — one student picking the greens, another bundling them with a rubber band and passed student to student to a waiting transport vehicle. Then teams of students worked to wash the greens.

Along the way, the students learned not only about teamwork, but also about the farming process.

The greens and sweet potatoes will be delivered Tuesday with the help of Tate High FFA students to about 600 families that were pre-qualified based upon need through the Waterfront Rescue Mission.

For more photos, click here.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Tax Free Turkey? Florida TaxWatch Talks Thanksgiving Dinner

November 25, 2014

Floridians have another reason to be thankful this holiday season – Florida is not one of the 14 states in the nation that tax groceries, according to Florida TaxWatch, a statewide, non-profit, non-partisan research institute.

While most food that Florida residents prepare themselves for a Thanksgiving feast is exempt, some of the items on dinner tables may be subject to the state’s sales tax, ranging from six to 7.5 percent.

In Florida, groceries are generally exempt as long as they are not prepared in-store. For example, a raw turkey is tax exempt, but a prepared turkey is taxed. However, there are some nuances. Deli foods prepared off-site are not taxed as long as the grocer leaves them in their original sealed container. Bakery products are only taxed if items are sold for consumption at in-store dining facilities. Deli meats and cheeses are not taxed unless they are arranged and sold in party platters, and fruit and salad platters are exempt unless they are packaged with utensils.

“Understanding Florida’s tax laws can be very difficult for Florida shoppers, so Florida TaxWatch is helping taxpayers understand their tax obligations, and get a better sense of what they are buying this Thanksgiving,” said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch.

In nearby Alabama, tax on that Thanksgiving turkey can be as much as nine percent or more.

Ernest Ward Middle Names Students Of The Month

November 24, 2014

Ernest Ward Middle School has named Students of the Month for September and October. They are (pictured L-R) October – Crystal Douglas, 8th grade, and Savannah Spence, 7th grade; September – Liby Pugh. Not pictured is Abenia Diggs, 6th grade, October. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Turkey Time: Extension Service Offers Thawing Tips

November 24, 2014

It’s Thanksgiving week, time for family and friends to gather and give thanks. And time for cooks to ponder the correct way to prepare their turkey.

Today, we are taking a look how to make sure your turkey is properly thawed with tips from Dorthy Lee, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent for the Escambia County Extension Office.

Following four simple food-handling practices—clean, separate, cook, chill—will ensure a delicious and safe meal.

Frozen turkeys should be thawed—at a safe temperature— prior to cooking. There are three safe ways to thaw a turkey — in the refrigerator at 40°F or less; in cold water; and in the microwave.

Frozen Turkeys

Allow 1 pound of turkey per person.
Keep frozen until you’re ready to thaw it.
Turkeys kept frozen in the freezer should be cooked within one year for best quality.

Thawing Your Turkey

In the Refrigerator (40°F or below)

Keep the turkey in its original wrapper. Place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any juices that may leak. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. If necessary, a turkey that has been properly thawed in the refrigerator may be refrozen. When thawing in the refrigerator, allow 24 hours thawing time for every 5 pounds of turkey.

4 to 12 pounds = 1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pounds = 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pounds = 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pounds = 5 to 6 days

In Cold Water

When thawing in cold water, allow 30 minutes per pound and change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. Wrap your turkey securely, making sure the water is not able to leak through the wrapping. Submerge your wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Do not refreeze. Allow approximately 30 minutes per pound.

4 to 12 pounds = 2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pounds = 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pounds = 8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pounds = 10 to 12 hours

In the Microwave

When thawing in the microwave, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and plan to cook the turkey immediately after thawing because some areas of the turkey may become warm and begin to cook during microwave thawing.

For more information, call the Escambia County Extension office, (850) 475-5230.

Former Principal’s Wooden Santas On Display At Molino Library

November 24, 2014

Hand-carved wooden Santas created by a former principal are on display this month at the Molino Branch Library.

Dale Cooey was principal of Molino Elementary School and Molino Park Elementary School from 1997-2007, and was also principal at Barrineau Park Elementary school during the consolidation into Molino Park.  He apprenticed under his uncle was a master wood carver.

Through a one year grant from the Florida Folk Art Association, Cooey and his uncle  began showing their carvings and received several blue ribbons.  The “Santa with the Tree” carving included in the display case won a blue ribbon this year at the Pensacola State Fair. His carvings are made from cypress knees and bass wood.

Pictured: Wooden Santas on display at the Molino Branch Library. Courtesy photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Firefighters Hold Annual Toy Drive For Needy Kids

November 23, 2014

The Atmore Fire Department held their annual toy drive Saturday in Atmore, collecting Christmas toys for needy children in the Atmore area. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Weekend Gardening: What To Do Before November’s End

November 23, 2014

Here is your November gardening calendar from the University of Florida/IFAS Extension:

What to Plant

  • Bedding Plants: Create a display of fall colors with cool season plants. Some to try are pansy, viola, and chrysanthemum.
  • Bulbs: Bulbs to plant this month include amaryllis, crinum, and daylily. Plant Lycoris (spider lily) in partial shade. Plants will produce foliage in winter and beautiful red flowers emerge in late summer.
  • Herbs: Continue planting herbs from seeds or plants. A wide variety of herbs like cooler, dryer weather, including cilantro, dill, fennel, parsley, sage, and thyme.
  • Vegetables: Continue planting cool season crops such as beet, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, kale, and lettuce.

What to Do

  • Citrus: If freezing temperatures are predicted, protect small citrus trees by watering  well at least a day before the freeze. You may also use covers that extend to the
  • ground for protection.
  • Scale on ornamental plants: Now that temperatures are lower, use dormant oil sprays to control scale insects on trees and shrubs.
  • Irrigation: Plants need less supplemental watering in cooler weather. Turn off  systems and water only if needed.
  • Flowering Trees: Taiwan cherry is an ornamental cherry suitable for north Florida. Late winter will bring pink buds so consider planting one now.
  • Birds: As you prune your plants during the cooler months, make a small brush pile in the back of the yard for birds.
  • Camellias: Add some of the new cultivars for bright spots of color in winter. Disbudding, or removing some buds now, will insure larger blooms later.

What to Do Every Month

  • Adjust irrigation based on rainfall.
  • Deadhead flowers to encourage new blooms.
  • Monitor the garden for insects and disease.
  • Plant trees, shrubs, and perennials and water until established.

NHS Fellowship Of Christian Athletes Holds Community Worship Service

November 20, 2014

The Northview High School Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) sponsored a student led worship event Wednesday night in the school gymnasium.

Northview students joined with area churches to present the service which included music, student testimonies and a message from guest speaker Pastor Nathan Brown of Ray’s Chapel Baptist Church.

NorthEcambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

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