Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 01-09-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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4 ENTERTAINMENT / AT HOME JANUARY 8-14, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER LIVING EDITION 2020: The year of new beginnings LINCOLN — Well it's hard to believe another year has gone by and a new decade begins. This one will be dubbed the "Decade of New Beginnings" for me. My husband, Jim, and I will step back and retire at a not-so-far-off point. They call it the golden years, but with that comes many thoughts, worries, concerns, anticipation and a lot of excitement, too. We have both been working since our teenage years. I began babysitting at age 11; next was a "real" payroll part-time job (I had taxes withdrawn) at the Lincoln Laundromat in the Front Street plaza, after school and on Saturdays. My Auntie Barbara and Uncle Andy owned it back then and I made a whopping $1.60 per hour. I worked many other part-time jobs. I babysat for my niece in my home, I worked at Child World (a toy store) during the Christmas season of Cabbage Patch dolls and held a part-time day job at R.I. Buckle Company when my son's friend's mom offered me the office job with perfect hours to accommo- date our children's schedule when they were all in school. Jim worked two jobs, oftentimes adding nights or weekends, when I stayed home round the clock. The worst time for us was when he worked full-time days, I worked full-time nights and we literally handed the kids off to each other. But we paid our bills, we worked, and we worked hard. My first full-time job was in print- ing, platemaking specifically, and I was responsible for proofreading back then, too, a skill that helped with my Valley Breeze beginning in 1998. I've always had this "gift" for finding what's wrong with the picture. Some would call it perfec- tionism, and yes, it can be a curse as well. So proofreading (finding what's wrong) has always been a great fit for me. In my more mature years, how- ever, I have been gifted with a new appreciation for what is right in the world. You need to look harder for the good in our busy self-absorbed world but there is always more good than bad if you open your eyes, and your heart, and believe. Having worked so hard for these many years, and knowing no other way, it is a bit unsettling, the thought of stepping down and away from that daily grind. Yet the flip side of that coin is the clock. It ticks and ticks and then one day it will stop ticking. This year I lost two important people in my life, my Uncle Andy last February and my father-in-law, Harold, this past October. It really makes you stop and think about time. It is not a given – it should never be taken for granted or wast- ed. I choose to do my part to try and make it better one person and one interaction at a time. It matters. And so with a new horizon, one that we have worked for and toward for almost 50 years, this new beginning is in full view. I have decided to embrace the unknown, our unmapped future, with a confidence that it is going to be grand. I hope you enjoy this week's beef stew recipe. It is a hearty and deli- cious dish that is best served with a crusty slice of bread and butter. The Recipe Box RHONDA HANSON Dutch Oven Beef Stew Ingredients: 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 tsp. salt, optional 1/4 tsp. pepper 1-1/2 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch cubes 1 large onion, chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 tbsp. canola oil 4 cups beef broth 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) stewed tomatoes, cut up 1/2 tsp. dried thyme 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices 3 celery stalks 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed Directions: 1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. Save any remaining flour mixture. 2. In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, onion, celery and garlic in oil over medi- um-high heat until meat is browned. Stir in reserved flour mixture until blended. Gradually stir in beef broth, tomatoes and thyme. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/4 hours. 3. Add the potatoes and carrots. Cover and bake 1 hour longer or until meat and vegetables are tender. Stir in peas; cover and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6. Fiber market returns to Slater Mill this weekend PAWTUCKET – The annual Knitting Weekend and Fiber Market returns to Old Slater Mill, 67 Roosevelt Ave., on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 11 and 12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to organizers, the upcom- ing event will have an expanded mar- ketplace as compared to prior years, with 30 fiber vendors located on two floors of the historic factory. The opening of the second floor of the mill, also a former manufactur- ing space in Samuel Slater's time, will allow for an expanded roster of fiber producers, artisans, and crafters in the 2020 market. Knitting Weekend is not just the Fiber Market, but also includes oppor- tunities for classroom instruction for knitters seeking to expand their skills. Two four-hour classes, one each on Saturday and Sunday, will be offered for early and intermediate skill levels respectively. "We're super excited to host inter- nationally known master knitter Laura Nelkin as our guest instructor this year," said Lori Urso, the executive director of the museum and historic site. "Her Sunday sweater class filled up quickly, and Saturday's beading class is just a few seats away from being full." In addition to Nelkin, who travels from upstate New York to teach at the event, the mill will host fiber vendors from the six New England states and Pennsylvania, including Rhode Island vendors: WeeOnes, Gigi Bonin Yarns, We Got the Buttons, Ball and Skein, Ladylove Llamas, Lucky Star Llamas, North Light Fiber, Dursin Merino Roving, and Old Slater Mill Book Shop. Visitors to the Fiber Market may register for free for a door prize raffle, featuring Berroco yarn gift bags, and other prizes. Admission is free both days, and free parking is available in the lot next to the mill on Slater Avenue, or in the municipal lot across from the mill on Roosevelt Avenue. For more information, visit www. facebook.com/slater.mill , email info@ slatermill.org, or call 401-725-8638, ext. 108.

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