Post image for Give an Experience: Cooking classes through Culinary Underground

[The following information was provided by My Southborough sponsor the Culinary Underground.]

If you’re starting to panic about finding a gift for the person who has everything, I might have a solution.

A Southborough based business is touting its cooking classes as the gift of an experience. (Shh! Don’t tell my family, but they convinced me. One of them is about to get the experience for Christmas!)

You can pre-register loved ones for an upcoming class at Culinary Underground.

Culinary Underground is a “School for Home Cooks”. They have a slew of upcoming classes to choose from.

Not sure which class is for them? Purchase a gift card and let them decide:

Gift cards are a great way to give a culinary gift while still allowing your friends and family to decide what they want to cook. Gift cards come in any denomination, so you can decide how many classes you want to gift this holiday season!

Below is a glimpse of just a few of the more than 20 upcoming classes still available in January/February:

Master the Basics

Learn the basics of home cooking with our four-night class series: Master the Basics. With Master the Basics: Beginner students will learn basics of knife skills, simple soup, stocks, sauces; easy vegetable preparations; how to cook eggs; and the methods for cooking beef, pork, chicken, and fish. Master the Basics: Intermediate builds on existing skills, expanding taste range, and becoming less recipe-dependent and more creative.

Parent Child Class: Homemade Soup & Bread

Spend some time in the kitchen together this weekend in a parent/child cooking class. Kids ages 7-10 pair with an adult to learn some new kitchen skills and prepare a meal together. Click to sign up.

Couples Night: Thai Wok

Fresh ingredients, fresh herbs, a little technique, and a big wok: that’s all you need to make great home-style Thai dishes. This is a fun, casual class where you’ll learn a lot and meet some great people to share the bounty of this Southeastern cuisine. Click to register.

You can take a look at their full list here.

The school also hosts private events and parties. And now they offer catering, too. Visit culinaryunderground.org to learn more.

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Post image for Where are the best Christmas lights in Southborough, 2014?

Above: Last year, the owners of this grand display on Harris Drive told me it would be their last hurrah. So, where should we head to for festive decorations this year? (Photo by Beth Melo)

Call me a hypocrite.

As a child, and now as an adult with kids, I’ve loved seeing Christmas lights around town. But, I have never bothered to put up lights of my own (beyond my Christmas tree).

So, I rely on the rest of you to do it for me. (And I’m quite disappointed if you don’t.)

I haven’t gone for our annual holiday drive this year. But I’m thinking this is the weekend for it.

First, I need your tips to plan my route. (And of course to help readers, too.) As Susan once wrote:

Where do you think the best light displays are?

From the elegant to the extravagant, share your favorites in the comments below.

Feel free to toot your own holiday horn – anonymously or otherwise – if you think your lights are the best!”

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Holiday favorites (redux)

by beth on December 19, 2014

Post image for Holiday favorites (redux)

[Editor's Note: As I packed away the Christmas Cookies my kids decorated this week, it reminded me of a post I ran last year. I thought I'd share it again.

OK, I have a lot of holiday prep I'm behind on. So I don't have time to write another post this morning!

But the sentiment still rings true. I'd love to hear from some of you on favorite holiday traditions. Especially, if you have any tips related to celebrating in/around Southborough!]

I’m a sucker for Christmas celebrations.

When my daughter was a toddler, I started a Christmas Countdown calendar with special activities and I crafts planned for each day.

I’m no over achiever. It started when their naptimes left me with a lot of time on my hands. (And it was more fun than doing laundry.)

As all our lives get busier, it’s hard to fit in. But each year, she clamours for a new one. And it’s so worth the effort to see the excitement on their faces each morning.

It helps make Christmas about more than one day. Activities include many that focus on giving to others, so that’s a nice lesson as well.

Some of our favorites:

  • Getting the cousins together to make Christmas cookies (which don’t end up looking anything like the ones pictured above!)
  • Decorating the tree while listening to carols
  • Making handmade ornaments and gifts

(Given the head-slapping response by my son to reading Wednesday’s activity, card making isn’t always a hit.)

As I work on finalizing next week’s plans, I’m wondering – what are some of your favorite activities this time of year?

Do you have some great family traditions to share?

Or maybe you discovered some new joy this winter?

(Image posted to Flickr by Samdogs)

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Why flags are at half staff: December 19, 2014

by beth on December 19, 2014

Post image for Why flags are at half staff: December 19, 2014

Flags in Southborough and across the state are flying at half staff today in honor of PFC Keely R. Walsh, 18, Massachusetts Army National Guard.

The Lancaster teen had just recently joined the Guard. She died in a car crash on December 14. You can read more here.

(photo from Susan Fitzgerald)

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Post image for Holiday safety assistance and tips from the SPD: House checks on request

The Town of Southborough tweeted a reminder this week that the Southborough Police Department does house checks on request.

If you are traveling (for the holidays or any time of year), you can submit a house check request. SPD patrols will give your residence extra attention during your absence.

You can access the request form here.

I was wondering if the department had any other safety tips this season. In fact, they do.

Their Facebook page shared some Holiday Home Security tips.

Holiday Home Security tipsSPD posted:

we are sharing a Holiday Home Security Checklist, designed by a national home security company called “Protect America”. If you are traveling for the holidays, please take a minute to print this out and check off the list before you leave. We believe that its a great tool to help keep your home and property safe & secure while you are away.

You can click on the image to enlarge.

(I have to admit that I got a chuckle out of seeing tips based on a “survey of burglars”. I’m imagining the circumstance in which someone completed that survey. “You have the right to remain silent. But first, can you tell us, did you pick this house to rob because there weren’t any lights on?”)

The department website also offers a plethora of advice on holiday safety from locking car doors while driving, to eating before drinking, to talking to your tots about how to handle being lost in a store.

You can find that tip list here.

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On the market this week in Southborough

by beth on December 18, 2014

Post image for On the market this week in Southborough

Above: This home at 31 Woodland Road went on the market this week for $774,900 (MLS photo)

Here’s what went on and off the market this week. Thanks to Gail DuBois (email) of Keller Williams for supplying the town’s new listing information for the week.

New on the market

Sale pending

  • 166 Southville Road (map) – 7 room, 4 bed, 2f 0h bath Colonial – 34 days on the Market, Listed at $157,500

Sold

  • 38 Constitution Drive (map) – 9 room, 4 bed, 2f 1h bath Colonial – 103 days on the Market, Listed at $699,900, Sold at $690,000
  • 160 Woodland Road (map) – 9 room, 4 bed, 2f 1h bath Colonial – 410 days on the Market, Listed at $709,999, Sold at $738,000
  • 5 Presidential Drive (map) – 10 room, 4 bed, 4f 0h bath Colonial – 41 days on the Market, Listed at $949,900, Sold at $951,000

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Budget news: Town rebuilding budgets in hopes of avoiding tax hike and district fighting state cut

December 18, 2014 10:35:17 AM

Southborough Wicked Local reported on two stories that effect Southborough tax payers this week.

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Sing-a-long with the Songsters – December 23

December 18, 2014 07:30:50 AM

The Southborough Senior Center is hosting a Holiday Sing‐a‐Long.

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Ethics of giving to teachers

December 17, 2014 02:20:33 PM
Thumbnail image for Ethics of giving to teachers

uperintendent Christine Johnson issued a statement last week about the ethics regulations surrounding gifts to public school teachers.

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Southborough man arrested for alleged role in 2012 meningitis outbreak

December 17, 2014 12:04:50 PM

Today, 14 employees of New England Compounding Center were arrested. The charges, including racketeering, stem from a 2012 meningitus outbreak that infected 750 patients and is blamed for the death of 64 people.

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SWL: Historical Commission pursuing Demolition Delay Bylaw and Historic District

December 17, 2014 09:15:20 AM

Southborough’s lack of a demolition delay bylaw for historic homes was front and center in town news this summer. A Town committee has been working to change that.

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St. Mark’s opens for public skating over the holidays on Sunday

December 16, 2014 04:20:36 PM
Thumbnail image for St. Mark’s opens for public skating over the holidays on Sunday

Mother Nature has not cooperated enough to get the community skating rink at Woodward up and running, but there will still be opportunities to skate over the Christmas break as the rink at St. Mark’s opens to the public.

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Magical animals at the Library – December 29

December 16, 2014 02:53:10 PM
Thumbnail image for Magical animals at the Library – December 29

The Library will host Flynn’s Magic Show over winter break.

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Register/save dates for Winter Break fun: Dodgeball, movie day, gadgets, and open gym (Updated)

December 16, 2014 11:50:05 AM
Thumbnail image for Register/save dates for Winter Break fun: Dodgeball, movie day, gadgets, and open gym (Updated)

If you’re going to be home with kids over Winter Break this year, you’ll be happy to know that there are programs available after Christmas.

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