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Cranberries

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Irvine Nature Center
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If your family is like mine, the holiday season becomes a race to see how many traditional holiday foods we can take down between the end of November and the beginning of January. Menu planning becomes akin to an Olympic sport as we try to fit in everyone’s favorites: stuffing, turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, and more. There is one dish, however, that I feel is under-appreciated. It’s usually relegated to a sad, small dish somewhere in the corner of the table, with only a small serving spoon because…let’s face it…it’s not that popular. Whether you make it from scratch or serve it in a jellied, can-shaped cylinder, cranberry sauce has been a staple on American tables since before America was even America. And I’m here to tell you that the cranberry deserves your respect.

W. Brooks Paternotte took the helm of Irvine Nature Center as executive director in July 2013 and immediately began building on the strong 35-year foundation. Brooks is a Baltimore native who was a teacher, coach, advisor, dean and Head of the Middle School during his 13 years at Boys’ Latin School in Baltimore. He is also an instructor and ambassador of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and is a Leave No Trace Master, as well as an avid outdoorsman and a features writer for FlyLife Magazine.