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Today is February 17

SPECIAL TO

L’OBSERVATEUR

LAPLACE–Every day is special and brings something to celebrate, from Spunky Old Broads Day to Bubblegum Day to Eat Ice Cream in Bed Day. This month, L’OBSERVATEUR began a new online feature called “Today is.” In a world that is filled with uncertainty, this is meant to bring  entertainment and maybe a smile or even a memory. In addition to a day “event” (and sometimes there are several named events on a day) this feature may have a recipe, fun facts, tidbits, trivia, historical facts or Lagniappe.

  L’OBSERVATEUR welcomes suggestions for content, “dad” jokes and recommendations for “day events.” Photos from the past should include information, such as what is happening, where it was taken and, if possible, identifying the people, left to right, bottom to top. The name of the submitter may be included in the feature.  Send submissions to diane.browning@lobservateur.com. Please include a phone number in case we have questions.

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Today is February 17.

National Cafe Au Lait Day

According to Coffeeatthree.com, Cafe au lait is French for coffee with milk and orginated in France. It’s one of the easiest coffee drinks to make at home. The difference between cafe au lait and a latte is the former is made with regular coffee and the latter from espresso. A latte also uses more milk.

Ingredients

1/2 cup freshly brewed French Market Coffee & Chicory

1/2 cup milk

Sugar, to taste (optional)

Directions

Heat milk almost to the boiling point.

Fill a coffee cup halfway with hot milk and half with hot coffee.

Add sugar to taste.

For more recipes visit https://www.frenchmarketcoffee.com/recipes

National Cabbage Day

Collard Greens and Cabbage

Add more green veggies to your meal with Collard Greens and Cabbage.

Ingredients

8 ounces collard greens (washed, stems removed, shredded)

2 cups cabbage (shredded)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion (chopped)

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon vinegar

Steps

Fill a pot halfway with water. Bring to a boil.

Add collard greens, let water return to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes. Add cabbage and cook 1 more minute. Drain well.

In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until light brown, about 5 minutes.

Add greens, garlic powder, and vinegar to the skillet and stir well. Cook until most moisture is evaporated, about 1 minute.

Source Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Homes for Birds Week

The arrival of winter forces everyone to confront the changes synonymous with the season, and local wildlife is no exception. Low temperatures, harsh winter storms and a scarcity of food can make it challenging for wildlife, including birds, to thrive throughout the winter.

Even though several species of birds are migratory and travel to warmer climates to wait out winter, many others stay put. The Audubon Society says that keeping close to home helps some species of birds maintain their territories.

Some birds will puff up to retain heat; others will seek shelter in dense foliage or cavities to avoid the elements. Many birds will huddle together to share warmth.

Another way of keeping warm is building up fat as an insulator and energy source. The Audubon Society says more than 10 percent of some birds’ winter body weight may be fat. That can be challenging to maintain when common sources of food, such as insects and berries, disappear as winter wears on. This is when some human intervention can prove handy, advise ornithologists. A few simple efforts may benefit birds and other wildlife that may not hibernate winter away or escape to the tropics.

· Have a supply of food, bird feeders, houses, and any other bird-related gear at the ready before the storms really rev up.

· Invest in nutritious food, such as black oil sunflower seeds or blends that are high in black oil sunflower seeds. You also can make available more foods that are high in fat, such as suet, peanut butter or even whole peanuts. Mother Nature Network also suggests adding meal worms if they can be found.

· Choose feeders that will keep seed dry; otherwise, it will be prone to bacterial and fungal growth.

· Don’t discard fallen leaves or any downed twigs or pruned boughs from trees. This will give birds material for creating shelter or hiding away when the weather gets especially brutal. When the Christmas tree is finished for the season, place it in the yard as a windbreak for birds.

· Put shallow water sources around so birds can drink. Replace them frequently if water freezes.

Wild birds can benefit from some help when the temperatures start to drop in winter.

Christine Browning contributed to this report