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Friday, December 18, 2020

It’s time for turkey, ham and tons of desert. The holiday season has finally arrived and that means food, food and more food. Now is the perfect time to come together with all of your family and friends and get in the kitchen. Finding a good holiday recipe last minute can be a headache. Below, are three easy recipes that you can make this holiday. Grab your apron and ladle and let’s get cooking.

Pull – Apart Christmas Tree

1 lb. refrigerated pizza dough

Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp water)

7 mozzarella sticks

1/4 c. melted butter

1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan

1 tbsp. Thinly sliced basil

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

1 tbsp. chopped rosemary

Marinara, warmed (for serving)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 450°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut mozzarella sticks into 1” pieces and set aside.

On a floured surface, divide pizza dough into two pieces. Stretch and roll each piece of dough into a long rectangle, then cut dough into 2” squares (you’ll need 33 total).

Wrap a dough square around each piece of mozzarella, forming a tightly sealed ball. Place balls seam-side down on the baking sheet in the shape of a Christmas tree (they should be touching). Brush egg wash on dough balls and bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together melted butter, Parmesan and herbs. Brush on baked pizza balls. Serve warm with marinara for dipping.

Bacon Wrapped Turkey  

1 (11-lb.) turkey, neck and giblets removed

1 large red onion, cut into large wedges

1 bunch thyme

1 bunch rosemary

1/2 c. (1 stick) melted butter

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. paprika

1 lb. bacon

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375°. Stuff cavity with onion, thyme, and rosemary then tie legs together and tuck wings in.

In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter and seasonings. Brush turkey all over with butter mixture.

Place turkey in a roasting pan. Place strips of bacon on turkey and weave together.

Bake for 3 hours, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165°. Check after 2 hours and cover with foil if bacon gets too dark.

Baked Mac and Cheese 

1 lb. dried elbow pasta

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 1/2 cups half and half

4 cups grated medium sharp cheddar cheese - divided (measured after grating)

2 cups grated Gruyere cheese - divided (measured after grating)

1/2 Tbsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. paprika

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease a 3 qt baking dish (9x13").  Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  When boiling, add dried pasta and cook 1 minute less than the package directs for al dente.  Drain and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil to keep from sticking.

While water is coming up to a boil, grate cheeses and toss together to mix, then divide into three piles.  Approximately 3 cups for the sauce, 1 1/2 cups for the inner layer, and 1 1/2 cups for the topping.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over MED heat.  Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine.  Mixture will look like very wet sand.  Cook for approximately 1 minute, whisking often.  Slowly pour in about 2 cups or so of the milk/half and half, while whisking constantly, until smooth.  Slowly pour in the remaining milk/half and half, while whisking constantly, until combined and smooth.

Continue to heat over MED heat, whisking very often, until thickened to a very thick consistency.  It should almost be the consistency of a semi thinned out condensed soup.

Remove from the heat and stir in spices and 1 1/2 cups of the cheeses, stirring to melt and combine.  Stir in another 1 1/2 cups of cheese, and stir until completely melted and smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, combine drained pasta with cheese sauce, stirring to combine fully.  Pour half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Top with 1 1/2 cups of grated cheeses, then top that with the remaining pasta mixture.

Sprinkle the top with the last 1 1/2 cups of cheese and bake for 15 minutes, until cheesy is bubbly and lightly golden brown. 

Happy Cooking!
Thursday, December 10, 2020
The Columbus Water Works has a long history of being a responsible community partner. This month marks the 25th anniversary of our investment of more than $100 million to construct a nationally recognized combined sewer overflow (CSO) control program that continues to protect our community and the Chattahoochee River today.

The combined system, located in an older section of town covering about 2% of the land area of Columbus, removes debris and treats stormwater before discharging to the river. The system has significantly improved water quality in this part of the river – helping revitalize our downtown that now supports a beautiful Riverwalk and world-class whitewater rafting amenities attracting thousands of visitors each year.

Today (December 10th, 2020) we are filing an appeal to the state’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD) revised permit for the CSO system which adds costly and unnecessary requirements. This appeal is limited to the CSO system permit and not related to the quality of the drinking water that we provide. The river water quality through Columbus meets regulatory standards.

The EPD permit changes would force our customers to invest millions more with no real benefit to the river quality – placing an unfair burden on our community at a time when we’re already facing financial challenges from the pandemic. If the appeal is successful for Columbus, the river will continue to be of high quality at no additional costs. If unsuccessful, substantial costs will be incurred by our customers to “fix a problem that doesn’t exist.”

The Columbus Water Works team has collected and tested thousands of water samples on our CSO system, including eight years of monitoring the middle stretch of the river in Columbus. This proactive approach (above and beyond state and federal requirements) prompted the EPD and EPA in recent years to remove our section of the river from its list of surface water bodies impaired by pollutants, meaning it is no longer impaired by bacteria. Nothing has changed to warrant additional requirements on our CSO permit.

While we can’t support the permit changes, we remain a strong community partner in protecting the quality of our river and doing our part as responsible stewards of the environment and community resources. For us, it’s personal. Our employees and families live and work here.

We’re proud of our important role providing vital services that support the quality of life we all enjoy.

Click Here To View The Chattahoochee River Quality FAQs

Please follow us on our Facebook page for updates and additional information about the Columbus Water Works.
The holidays are a joyful time for friends and family to show how much they love and appreciate one another. Lights are hung, dinner is prepared and holiday spirit fills the air. This season is a time to come together and not only receive blessings, but to give to those less fortunate. While celebrating with your friends and family, please remember this year has been extremely difficult for us all due to COVID-19. The smallest act of kindness can make a huge difference. Here are some ways you can safely be of service to others this season: 

Become a virtual volunteer
Due to safety precautions regarding COVID-19, organizations have started virtual volunteer programs. United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley has several virtual volunteer opportunities available this holiday.

Opportunities include writing encouragement cards for hospice patients and donating supplies to women’s shelters. Volunteer by clicking here or dialing 211.

Help those at risk with their holiday shopping
As we all know, shopping this season will look a little different. Not everyone feels comfortable shopping in large crowds due to the pandemic, especially those with underlying health conditions. One way to be of service to those in need is to help them with their holiday shopping. Offer to help someone in need and provide non-contact options such as an agreed drop-off location.

Donate to a local organization.
One of the best gifts you can give during this time of year is donating your time and money to support your local community. Here are a few organizations that you can donate to this holiday season:
The Coronavirus Response Fund
The Salvation Army
Toys for Tots
United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley
Feeding the Valley Food Bank
Habitat for Humanity
Open Door Community House

Whatever you do to help someone in need this holiday season can truly make a difference. Making a difference in someone else’s life may just be the best gift you get yourself this year!

As a special reminder: save your holiday cooking grease and bring it to one of our eleven drop off locations or to our Grease Recycling and Pharmaceutical Disposal event on Jan 9, 2021! For details, click here.

Columbus Water Works wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
In recognition of the holidays, our offices will be closed on Thursday, December 24 and Friday, December 25, 2020 and Friday, January 1, 2021. 
If you experience a water related emergency during this time, please call 706-649-3400. Emergency crews will be available.

Connect with us on Facebook!
*https://www.facebook.com/events/3356867441107128
*https://www.facebook.com/ColumbusGAWaterWorks/
   
Thursday, December 03, 2020


The holidays are finally upon us, meaning social gatherings are at the forefront. This year, you may be thinking of ways to enjoy quality time, safely, with family and friends. Even though we’re in a pandemic this year, there are still a ton of events that you and your loved one’s can enjoy.

If you’re skeptical about leaving your house this holiday, there are still activities you can take advantage of at home. Here are a few local gatherings you can attend and some activities that you can partake in during the holidays. 

In Person Events

Fantasy in Lights, Callaway Gardens

Begins November 20, 2020

Treat your family to a fun tradition that’s filled with holiday cheer! It’s Christmas at Callaway, featuring Fantasy in Lights, one of National Geographic’s Top 10 Light Displays in the world. Do some Christmas shopping at the Christmas Village and ride through the dazzling illuminated forest.

To learn more, click here.

Candlelight Weekends, Warm Springs, GA

Until December 19, 2020

Come experience the magic of a hometown Christmas! Thousands of lights throughout the town will create an unforgettable holiday experience. Enjoy carolers, dancers, and musicians each Friday and Saturday, and bring the kids for pony rides and visits with Santa.

To learn more, click here.

Virtual Events

Virtual visits with Santa

Until Jan 7, 2021

Live from the North Pole...it’s Santa Claus! Enjoy exciting pre-session entertainment and a live virtual visit with Santa. For extra holiday fun, add Storytime with Santa or Mrs. Claus to your session.

To learn more, click here

At home activities

Have a scavenger hunt

Get the family together and have a scavenger hunt. Choose a theme and allow everyone to receive a prize. Below is a link to a downloadable scavenger hunt that you can complete with your friends and family!

Click here to download.

Make a holiday craft

Find a DIY craft online and have the whole family participate. A few suggestions for holiday crafts include making paper ornaments, painting wooden Christmas trees and making wreaths out of tulle. You can even get creative and make your own holiday DIY.

Watch a holiday movie

Pop popcorn, grab drinks and watch movies on the couch with family and friends. Even if you can’t be together in person, you and your loved ones can use Netflix’s extension Netflix Party to watch a movie virtually.

 Try a new holiday recipe

Try out a new recipe for the holidays or have each of your relatives bring something new to your holiday dinner this year.

However, you choose to celebrate the holiday this year, we hope that you consider your safety and the safety of your family. We wish you a happy holiday and a full stomach!

Let the holiday celebrations begin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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