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Recipes for humans and other fanciers

Jack-o-lanterns have withered, but pumpkins are not old news yet. November is the biggest month of the year for pumpkin consumption. Pie, ice cream, cheesecake, soup, muffins, bread and lattes all feature pumpkins this time of year. In anticipation of Thanksgiving, canned pumpkin sales soar. Ninety percent of canned pumpkin sales are made in the fourth quarter.     Canned pumpkin is good, but Libby and all the other canners get it the same place you can: in the shell.

Can policy and perseverance put oysters back in the Bay?

a Bay Weekly special report Oysters are Maryland’s delicacy of the season. Oystermen and women are tonging, dredging and power-tonging Bay and river waters as you read, in a season that runs from October 1 through March 31.

Frostbite sailors find best sailing of the year

Just as most sailors have hauled out their boats for the winter, the racing season is heating up for the most intrepid.     The Frostbite Races, sponsored by Annapolis Yacht Club, kicked off the 2014-’15 winter sailing season Nov. 8 with a bang — actually an air horn. Some 98 sailboats entered the Sunday afternoon race, held just off the U.S. Naval Academy seawall. With crews of three to five people each, at least 400 sailors were out on the Severn River for the inaugural Frostbite.

After 22 years, the Chesapeake Bay Monster is spotted anew

The following is an account of my strange sighting. For what it’s worth, I swear on my life it is without exaggeration.     My friend Dave and I frequently park my car on the side of Arundel Beach Road and admire the view of the Magothy River while chatting and eating McDonalds. We are down at the location a few nights a week and have been for the past two years, Dave even longer. The early morning hours of August 5, 2014, showed us a sight I could not explain.

Big rig T880 is bringing Christmas to our nation’s capitol

In a 50-year tradition, the Christmas tree that shines throughout December on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol is cut in one of the nation’s states.     This year’s Capitol Christmas Tree, a whopping 88-foot white spruce, was cut in Minnesota’s Chippewa National Forest on Oct. 29. Followed by a caravan of caretakers, it will make more that 30 celebratory stops on its 2,000-mile truck journey to Washington, D.C. It is carried by a Kenworth Truck Company T880, assembled for the honor in Chillicothe, Ohio.

$29k helps Spay Spa and Neuter Nook keep cat — and dog — numbers down

Multiply 400 cats — as they’ll do without any assistance — and in a year you’ll get 4,000 kittens, more or less.     “It can cascade,” says Kathy Evans of Rude Ranch’s Spay Spa and Neuter Nook.

End-of-year deadline for ­Colonial Players Promising Playwright Competition

God created the heavens and earth, planets, stars and creatures, in seven days.     Playwrights, naturally, take longer.     So you’d better get busy if you aspire to create a play for The Colonial Players of Annapolis’ biennial Promising Playwright Contest. Entries are due by Dec. 31.     Prizes are big and requirements few — beyond the act of creation.

Bid to play Santa for SPCA

Christmas comes in November for the home-seeking animals of the SPCA of Anne Arundel County.         Or will, if you’ll play Santa. It’s a job you won’t regret. Accept it, and you’ll do your holiday shopping early and easy.     Through Nov. 23, the First Annual Auction for the Animals invites you to shop online for gifts for your animals and animal-loving friends. You’ll find animal-themed art, jewelry, gift baskets, gift cards and pet supplies.

If there be spirits, now’s the time to find them

Storm clouds shot lightning in the distance across the water that cool, damp evening. The flash of the camera was the only other light that pierced the night. Nothing could be seen in the screen except two small balls of light. But when the picture was enlarged, a man appeared: a bearded man in a long coat with — perhaps — a lantern in his outstretched arm. Later, this same face appeared in the photo of a window pane.     Those photographs were our reward on an early October ghost hunt at the historic Point Lookout Lighthouse.

Al ­DeCesaris is running down the East Coast for Sturge-Weber syndrome

Millions of people dump ice water on their heads to raise money for ALS. Hundreds of thousands walk for breast cancer. Can one lone person hope to make a difference? Especially fighting a plight out of the limelight?     Annapolis lawyer and St. Mary’s High School graduate Al DeCesaris knows he can.     For the second year in a row, he’s crossing vast distances under his own power to raise money for a condition most of us have never heard of, Sturge-Weber syndrome.