Learn the basics of arranging attractive holiday tables

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Since many of you have told me you wished you could create something special for your holiday table, I have planned a special holiday arrangement class from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday, Dec. 9, at the Extension office.


Hav-ing it later in the afternoon may give more of you working outside the home a chance to take this class.

You may know Sharon Graves of Ghent to be a local artist. She possesses many other talents – including being a certified florist. She will teach us to make a beautiful holiday arrangement. 

Sharon studied under and is certified by Bill Hixon of Cleveland, Ohio, who decorated the White House in the 1970s and ‘80s and has published several floral design books. 

You will be able to use the skills you learn from Sharon to create your own floral designs. 

Cost is $15. If you wish to take the class, we ask that you register by calling the Carroll County Extension office at (502) 732-7030 so I have enough materials.

You should also bring your own dish, no longer than 8 inches, craft scissors and a good wire cutter, if you have one. All other supplies will be provided.

Healthy holiday eating

Does the holiday season often mean that you will gain extra pounds that will be difficult to lose?

Over the years, those few extra pounds can add up until obesity looms later in life. So what can you do?

Discovering how to prevent those extra pounds can help reduce the risk of other diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, some cancers and other serious health problems. 

During this season, a fear of eating the wrong kind of foods or eating too much can create guilt, and extra stress as you see more and more pounds creeping on. So what can you do?

To keep from feeling deprived during the holidays and fend off those extra pounds, try these ideas:

• Fix traditional favorites, but eat smaller portions.

• Look for ways to reduce the calories in side dishes. For example, use low-fat soup in that green bean casserole, and sugar and butter substitutes in candied sweet potatoes, desserts and other dishes.

Also consider alternatives such as steamed green beans with slivered almonds, a roasted vegetable medley of roasted carrots, parsnips, mushrooms and other vegetables tossed with olive oil, rosemary or other herbs of your choice, mashed sweet potatoes with low-fat milk and a light butter replacement instead of all that brown sugar, butter and cinnamon.  

• Add lighter foods such as raw fruits and vegetables with low-fat dips and reduced-fat cheese and crackers to provide color and nutrition without a lot of extra calories.

• Never skip meals all day to be able to go to a holiday party. Instead eat low-fat, nutritious meals and drink plenty of fluids all day.

Before leaving for the party, drink a large glass of water and eat a snack, such as yogurt or whole-grain crackers with peanut butter. 

At the party, take smaller portions of food.

Focus on healthy foods, choosing bite-sized samples of several desserts and appetizers rather than a whole piece of dessert or a plate filled with pieces of fried chicken and only a few vegetables. To keep from nibbling without thinking, move away from the table after fixing your plate.

• Keep active during the holidays. Encourage everyone to go for a walk or take in other favorite outdoor activity.

Enjoying conversation during a special activity rather than food can create fun holidays instead of stress trying to avoid those extra pounds.


Part of this information was provided by Dr. Sandra Bastin, Extension Specialist for Food and Nutrition, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture

Dates of interest

Friday, Dec. 6: Third annual legislative breakfast for elected county and state officials, Extension leadership, 7:30-9 a.m., Extension office.

Monday, Dec: 9: Holiday table arrangement workshop, 4-6 p.m., Extension office.

Thursday, Dec. 12: All Extension Councils’ Holiday Get-Together, 6 p.m., Extension office.


Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to gangotti@uky.edu.