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Stories by Claire Hickey

Claire Hickey was born the last year of the Baby Boom and spent the first half of childhood in Chicago. She has always loved to write but wanted to create pieces worth reading. Her curiosity and love of research lead her to create her column based on the “garbage in garbage out” theory to provide interesting and thought-provoking pieces that enrich her readers. She also believes life is a banquet and loves to learn new things. Her professional pedigree includes Cosmetology, Surgical Technology, and the Culinary Arts. When not working she loves to spend time with family and friends. She lives in Fort Worth.

Defeating darkness: Chanukah and Christmas

FORT WORTH, Texas: Christmas may define December in the minds of many. But it also hosts Chanukah, or the Festival of Lights. This year, Chanukah began at sundown on December 22nd. It would seem that Chanukah and Christmas have nothing to do with each other. But that isn’t so. Raised as a Christian around Christians, ...

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer; the real story

FORT WORTH, Texas: Robert May’s holiday standard, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will be 81 next month. Rudolph first appeared in a 1939 booklet written by Robert L. May and published by Montgomery Ward, a retail and catalog department store in Chicago, Illinois. The origins of Rudolph The author of one of Christmas’ most famous pop-culture ...

Encourage reader to read column

Merry and bright; a history of Christmas lights

FORT WORTH, Texas: Of all the Yuletide trimmings, hanging Christmas lights is probably the most modern tradition. Many a light hanger has pulled their hair out over the years in frustration while at the task. Why do we do this anyway? Where did it start? The Yule Log says that the tradition of lighting the ...

Get reader's attention

Holiday cleaning plan: make your bathroom shine

FORT WORTH, Texas: It’s easy to hide some rooms from guests. In contrast, the kitchen and bathroom are open to all. Last week we covered deep cleaning your kitchen. Equally important is the bathroom. The old axiom to clean “top to bottom, side to side” is the best way to accomplish your cleaning goals for ...

To alert readers of holiday cleaning tips

It’s time to clean for the holidays: kitchen tips

FORT WORTH, Texas, Nov. 12, 2019: Most of our kitchens will be extra busy in the next few weeks until after Dec. 31. It’s a labor of love for those of us who cook and bake a lot during the holidays. However, it is possible to make the labor part a bit easier if you ...

Shows readers what they can expect when they make it

Recipe for chicken stock in an electric pressure cooker

FORT WORTH, Texas October 17, 2019: Chicken stock plays an active role in many cold-weather and comfort food recipes. Store bought stock is a great time saver and there are all kinds for many types of recipes. On the other hand, homemade stock is much more nutritious, costs a lot less, and tastes a whole ...

Autumn comfort food to warm your heart

FORT WORTH, Texas October 12, 2019 — Summer finally broke its hold on North Central Texas this week. The temperature is finally below 60˚ signaling the arrival of Autumn. We can at last pull out our cold weather comfort food recipes. You know those special recipes on worn 3×5 cards from our mothers and grandmothers ...

Idaho’s Oktuberfest celebrates America’s favorite vegetable

Fort Worth, Texas October 4, 2019: My last column describes Oktoberfest that takes place in Germany every year and its history. Similarly, another yearly October festival has popped up on radar that takes place in Idaho. Idaho?? Indeed, the Gem State has its own Autumn festival. However, it’s not lauded with beer. Oktuberfest is sponsored ...

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Not Forsaken: a woman’s journey

FORT WORTH, Texas, August 24, 2019: Until the McMartin Preschool case hit the media in 1983, childhood sexual abuse really wasn’t part of mainstream thought. These crimes were often swept under the rug, the victims not believed, or incidents were played down. Many of them never told. Of course, this was not always so, but ...

Commencement primer: Graduation traditions explained

FORT WORTH, Texas, May 30, 2019: It’s May, and the 2019 spring commencement season is in full swing. Those participating in the graduation ceremonies may find themselves wondering about the traditions surrounding this peculiar event. Why do graduates march in to Pomp and Circumstance? And why do candidates for graduation wear a robe and funny ...

Chanukah and Christmas: Celebrating the defeat of darkness by the light

FORT WORTH, Texas: Christmas may define December in the minds of many. But it also hosts Chanukah, or the Festival of Lights. This year, Chanukah begins at sundown on December 2nd. It would seem and Chanukah and Christmas have nothing to do with each other. But that isn’t necessarily so. Raised as a Christian around ...

Thanksgiving, Cranberry Salad, Pumpkin Pie, Claire Hickey

Thanksgiving recipes: Hazel’s Cranberry Salad and Mom’s Pumpkin Pie

FORT WORTH:  Thanksgiving means old family traditions, particularly when it comes to food. Like most families, our own favorite Thanksgiving recipes have been handed down throughout the generations. Every family has their favorites, from green bean casserole to Waldorf Salad.  At our house, we always serve two traditional Thanksgiving recipes – Cranberry Salad and Pumpkin ...

More Dolley Madison: for whom the title of First Lady was coined

FORT WORTH: James and Dolley Madison were the golden couple of their era, but they were not without detractors. They had no children of their own, although Dolley had given birth during her first marriage. Enemies used this information to question James’ virility, indicating that he was impotent and was too feeble to lead the country. ...

Dolley Madison: for whom the title of First Lady was coined

FORT WORTH: When people think of Dolley Madison, one of two thoughts come to mind. Either that of a determined woman bent on saving national treasures from a British onslaught or a pastry company that made snacks for children’s school lunches. These are both true. However, this enchanting lady is so much more to American ...

America’s Founding Fathers; what price did they pay for freedom?

FORT WORTH: We celebrated Flag Day last week and Independence Day is just around the corner. Americans from one end of the country to the other will celebrate with parades, barbecues, and cook-outs filled with food, fun, and last but not least: fireworks. The pyrotechnic displays remind us of what our forebears went through to ...

Recipe: Tex-Mex beef enchiladas

FORT WORTH, Texas: What’s your favorite ethnic food? Nation’s Restaurant News counts Italian, Mexican, and Chinese food as the top three in the United States. It’s not surprising. You’d be hard-pressed to not find at least one variety of restaurant representing them in virtually any town in the U.S. Recipes for each fill cookbooks brought home ...

Mother’s Day: cocktails and mocktails to toast her day

FORT WORTH, Texas: Mother’s Day is just around the corner on Sunday, May 13th. We pay tribute the second Sunday of each May to our mothers, mother figures, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, stepmothers, and foster mothers. We’ve been doing so as a nation since 1914, when Woodrow Wilson signed the holiday into law. How do we celebrate ...