Dec. 22, 2014 – Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice (Northern) History
The Winter Solstice happens every year around December 21 or 22. It marks the shortest day of the year as the Northern Hemisphere is angled the farthest away from the Sun on this day.

Facts about Winter Solstice (Northern)
On the Winter Solstice there are 24 hours of sunlight in the Antarctic Circle, and 24 hours of darkness in the Arctic Circle.

Many pagan rituals have revolved around the Winter Solstice. The short days and long hours of darkness prompted rituals intended to lure the Sun back.Winter Solstice

The Mayan calendar ended on the Winter Solstice, December 21, 2012.
10 inches of snow melts down into only 1 inch of rain.

Winter Solstice (Northern) Top Events and Things to Do
Eat more Vitamin-D rich foods to balance out the lack of sunlight.
Light some candles and enjoy the early evening.
Finish some last minute Christmas shopping.
Purchase a Christmas tree. Tip: For a more environmentally friendly Christmas, purchase a Live trees in a burlap root sack that can be planted after the holiday.
Watch the lunar eclipse which happens within several days of the winter solstice.

 

Click here to find out more from the Farmer’s Almanac.

Jimmy Dean® Sausage Balls

These tasty sausage balls can even be made ahead of time, and frozen. Just thaw and bake when you need them…but you may not want to wait that long!

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Make-ahead Jimmy Dean® sausage balls – a perfect appetizer for the holidays.

Ingredients:
2 (16 ounce) packages Regular Flavor Jimmy Dean® Pork Sausage
(Sage pork sausage is also a good choice)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose baking mix, such as Bisquick®
4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)

 

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir well. Form into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet; bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve with cocktail forks or  toothpicks.
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