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State Highway Administration hasn’t ­collected a penny

Counting any fewer roadside signs as you drive through Chesapeake Country?
    After $25 per fines on signs on the right-of-way on state highways were promised last year, we expected postings to go down. Didn’t you?
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Nobody does it betterSkyfall

Fifty years after James Bond ordered his first vodka martini — shaken not stirred — he has become a cultural icon and a bit of a Cold War relic. Donning an impeccable tux, swilling a few drinks, driving too fast in an Aston Martin and having casual sex with every scantily clad woman who catches his eye makes Bond a bit of a dinosaur. The actors may have changed, but the smarmy swinging-sixties vibe has remained.
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AACo SPCA pet food bank helps give a poor dog a bone

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Anne Arundel County pets — and their human companions in need of a little help — have a reason to give thanks.
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We didn’t grow our own celery, olives or turkey

This year, our garden will be providing butternut squash, onions, garlic, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots and red and green peppers for the Thanksgiving table. We might include sauerkraut that was made and canned in 2010. If needed we could also include Siberian kale and collard greens, but I prefer roasted Brussels sprouts.
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Out of the Hill of Giant Sweet Potatoes

The best thing about giant sweet potatoes is digging them up with seven-year-old grandson Aiden in the kitchen garden behind our house in northern Calvert County. Aiden and I picked out one of the largest hills. Mt. Kilimanjaro, we called it. When dug out, that hill yielded 55 pounds of potatoes, with one 20 inches long and big around as the calf of your leg. Another weighed 11 pounds.
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Take inspiration from this beautifully photographed Virginia Shore dinner

The best appetizer is a good story. With that philosophy of life, I’m drooling over Bernard L. Herman’s first-person story of his ­Chesapeake Thanksgiving feast in this month’s Saveur.
    A titled professor of American studies and folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Herman tells his story with the loving detail we tend to reserve for faraway times.
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Enrich your Thanksgiving menu with fish, fowl and venison

The tradition of Thanksgiving dinner was first attributed to the Plymouth Bay Colony in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. But the practice of a harvest or a thanksgiving dinner was widespread throughout the early colonies and especially around the Chesapeake.
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Embracing time as it comes, from the Thanksgiving feast to the New Year

Lucky us!
    Chesapeake Country is far enough north on Earth’s temperature grid for us to be feeling the chill. Degree by falling degree, we draw into our homes, layer on our wool and fleecy clothes and light our fires. Turning inward and homeward, we’re in sync with the season that celebrates hearth and home.
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Pour Maryland wine at your Thanksgiving feast

The traditional American Thanksgiving menu reads like a compendium of a Maryland farmers’ market: potatoes, corn, squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, apples and turkey. The high-bush cranberry also grows here, and if you want to make your own cranberry sauce, the sour little berries can likely be harvested right from a neighbor’s ornamental garden.
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With trial and error, we’ve found what trees thrive — and which die — in Chesapeake Country’s dense soil

My husband and I have planted more than our share of trees in the soil of Chesapeake Country. We are not arborists by any means, but we have always wanted to plant trees. A cottage in Shady Side gave us opportunity, inspiration and a flat former cornfield, altitude eight feet, just a few hundred feet from the West River.
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