Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 6, 2012

TIM PRESTON: Turkey and bacon, white half-runners and child care

The Independent

ASHLAND — I will strive to have a new food-related note or two in next week’s column (I just heard of a new buffet in Cannonsburg I plan to investigate), but this week’s adventures have kept me close to home and the same places I’ve already written about.

I will confess to some cheating in my recently adopted healthy-eating plan, including a stressed-out lunch break at the Cannonsburg Waffle House that witnessed a near meltdown order for a bacon sandwich with a side order of bacon.

I’m a big believer in cheating on a diet. Before I go any further, I will say I recently managed to fit into my smallest pair of dress pants and will show anyone the evidence of my decreasing belt-notch action resulting from what I’ve dubbed the SOFA (Stressed Out Fat Aging) Man Diet.

It was the constant popping of pants buttons (OK, and a heart-health scare) that spurred this new approach to eating and, even though I still have a belly and a couple of extra chins, I have achieved my original goal of not having to invest in new pants for work.

Minus the shameful bacon-inducing moment of weakness, cheating on the diet has been a crucial part of that success. Basically, I cheated once a week with something I really wanted.

The best cheat was probably a pair of hot dogs, bag of chips and a big Mountain Dew from Jim’s place while on the job covering one of October’s “Melodies and Masterpieces” concerts in downtown Ashland. The music was great that day, as it has been throughout this year’s series, and those dogs were an absolute treat for a hungry guy who has been eating a whole lot of spinach.

Dining out on Judd Plaza while enjoying live performances from diverse and highly talented musicians was also a fine experience, even with a stiff breeze that threatened to send my weiners flying down the sidewalk a few times.

Diet cheating also taught me eating healthier doesn’t have to be that difficult, and the dieting mind can play tricks on itself.

For example, I have long been a lover of massive cheeseburgers topped with bacon. I denied myself that cheat for a few weeks and when I finally broke down and “rewarded myself” with one, it only took a few bites to realize I had been highly overthinking the situation.

I mean, it was good, but not something I feel I must have even once a week.

And, to my own surprise, I’ve found I genuinely enjoy the daylights out of a good turkey burger. I’ve begun hitting my limit on chicken-based salads and decided to try my first turkey burger at Callihan’s American Pub & Grill recently. Honestly, I didn’t even want to like it (I used to make fun of a friend’s daughter who swears turkey-based versions of pork products are actually delicious), but there’s no denying it was an excellent sandwich and I’ve had a few since.

It’s almost enough to make me abandon all I once held true and try an order of turkey bacon.

Fate of Georgia beans

I’ve learned to never joke about the things people love to eat, and that no matter what you write about green beans, people will read it.

I should’ve remembered that in recent weeks as people have asked with great interest, “What happened to all those bushels of white half-runners from Georgia?”

If you missed the first note on this one, I got a call from farmer Sandra Law in Tifton, Ga., a few weeks back just as we were starting to get our first cool temperatures here in the hills.

Law was trying to contact Artrip’s Market on 13th Street in Ashland in hopes of working with owner Ken Artrip to sell between 100 and 125 bushels of fresh white half-runner beans grown at the peak of their season, about 90 miles south of Macon. On this side of the formula, Artrip said it was the wrong time of year to move that many beans even in this white-half-runner-loving area.

I’ve talked to at least two dozen people who’ve said, “I would have liked to have had about two more bushels of those myself this year,” before asking if I ever found out what happened to what I called the “orphan green beans.”

I did get Law back on the phone last week and she reported the last big harvest had to be abandoned when she got sick and found herself in the hospital.

“They had the trailers ready to go with the air conditioning,” Law said, explaining she was initially concerned she was suffering a heart attack as her husband, Gary, got ready to hit their 45-acres for one more bean picking. “We lost them all.”

On the good news side, Law says she did not have a heart attack and is recovering nicely. If everything goes well through summer, Law said she would make sure I get some of those good Georgia peaches from their neck of the woods next year.

Drop them off, go shop

I met a nice lady, Robin Tackett-Blankenship, during the recent Oktoberfest at Kyova Mall. She told me about the new business she was preparing to launch, offering Christmas shopping drop-in child care Nov. 5 through Dec. 20 at Creative Kids Daycare.

Drop-in services are offered with a three-hour minimum from 6 to 9 p.m., and there is a graduated rate if you have more than one child who needs supervision.

The center also provides regular day care from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. with meals and snacks provided, as well as a preschool curriculum for a “loving and safe environment providing a learning atmosphere.” I’m not sure what CCAP is, but Creative Kids accepts it.

For more information about the center at 905 Bob McCullough Drive (next to Ashland Community and Technical College on Roberts Drive), call (606) 929-5398.

Any suggestions?

If you know someone in the Grayson business community who deserves recognition for the things he or she does, the Grayson Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for the 35th Annual Community Service Awards.

The chamber is soliciting nominations for individuals to be considered for Law Officer of the Year, Firefighter of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Business Person of the Year and Medical Professional of the Year.

The group also hopes for nominees to receive several community and service awards. The S.U. Pratt Community Service Award is awarded to an individual who has excelled at work and accomplishments for the Grayson community during the past year. The R.E. Applegate Memorial is a posthumous recognition of a deceased individual who has contributed in some special way to the life of the community. The Keystone of Grayson Award is the chamber’s “Hall of Fame” award. This award is given to those who have contributed to the civic, educational, business or spiritual life of the Grayson area during a decade or more on a regular, consistent basis.

The Dr. Rodney T. Gross Youth Leadership Award is given to ages 22 years and younger who have excelled in leadership and volunteerism in the community. And, the Agriculture/Farm Family Award is given to emphasize the importance of agriculture in the community.

Nominations should be submitted in writing or by email no later than 3 p.m. Nov. 26.

Nominations must include the suggested person’s name, address, phone number and a concise summary of the reasons for the nomination.

Nominations can be mailed to GACC, P.O. Box 612, Grayson, KY 41143 or email graysonchamber41143@windstream.net. The awards will be presented during the chamber’s annual banquet at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Grayson Conference Center.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.