FTC Scholarships

Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative awards two college scholarships to deserving students within its service area each year. One scholarship is awarded to a high school senior and the other to a student enrolled in college. The $2,000 scholarships help students with college tuition, fees and books.

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Chasody Lynn Reed is a 2015 graduate of North Sand Mountain High School. She was a member of the Beta Club, Fellowship of Christian Students and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. She was a Science Club officer and participated in the Personal Responsibility in Daily Excellence (P.R.I.D.E) club, and she was also the Youth Tour speech competition winner for the Foundation of Rural Services. She attended the Creative Writing Conference at Chattanooga State. Reed also worked as an assistant coach of a Bryant Elementary School basketball team. After attending Northeast Alabama Community College, Reed plans to transfer to Jacksonville State University to study psychology.

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Miranda Ward is a University of Alabama graduate and currently in the top 10 percent in the Physician Assistant program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is also a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Alabama Society of Physician Assistants and a Fyffe High School graduate. She has volunteered her time fundraising with the Children’s Miracle Network, the National Eating Disorders Association, American Cancer Society and Relay for Life. She worked spreading awareness about eating disorders and founded www.unseenobsession.weebly.com. Ward was also a member of The University of Alabama Million Dollar Band trumpet line. After graduation, she plans to work as a surgical or primary care physician assistant in rural Alabama in addition to volunteering in free medical clinics providing health care to those who do not have insurance.

He made a difference

Fred Johnson

Fred Johnson

By Fred Johnson
Executive Vice President and General Manager

Though I try to avoid doing so strictly for personal reasons, it is not uncommon for me to pay tribute in this column to people who’ve made a significant difference in my life. I do this because I feel strongly that the reason for their influence speaks to a much larger community. Such is the case as I offer my thoughts on the passing of a leading citizen of DeKalb County.

March 17, 2015, marked the passing from this life of Max Cash of Mentone. It did not mark the end of his influence. Max was an active and productive citizen. This was evident by his service to his country during WWII; by his devotion to his community as a town council member, mayor and general advocate; by his lifelong support of his church and its ministries; and by countless other ways as well (e.g. his love and conservancy of nature). It would be somewhat easy to lump Max into a larger class of people from “The Greatest Generation” who made similar contributions. After all, Max didn’t consider himself all that special. He would have told you everything he did was something he should have done. He would have also told you he expected the same of you. What made him uncommon to me was that I got to see him up close. Max and his wonderful wife of 67 years, Roberta, had a large family, 7 children to be exact, but anyone who knew them would probably tell you there were few times when their home was occupied only by family. It would be impossible to count the times when Max and Roberta hosted kids at their home. It was truly a gathering place. Make no mistake about it, whether then or now, that only happens when young people FEEL cared for and welcome. Theirs was such a place.

It was in this environment that I most saw in Max the type of person we so desperately need in society today. Max and Roberta have always cared deeply about the things they thought important. They once committed to pray for a matter concerning my wife until such time as the prayer was answered. They did, it was, and we still have their note of promise. In short, people mattered to them. It is obvious their children were paying attention. Each one has in their own way demonstrated evidence of this character passed on.
Unfortunately, Max and Roberta also experienced their share of tragedy when a son died in a car crash. It was an understandably difficult time. Their grief was clearly evident, but if their faith ever waivered, it was not obvious to me. In fact I still remember their testimony, both spoken and unspoken. That’s living your faith in the toughest of times and even more evidence of rock-solid character.

By now you should see clearly that I held Max Cash in high esteem. The way he loved his family, his support of his church and all those in it, his service to town, county and country — all these things spoke of who he was and how he lived his faith and commitment. When men of this obvious character and influence actually take time to care about others, it makes a huge difference. Despite his many responsibilities, there was never a time when I did not feel that this man also genuinely cared about me and my family. That both made and continues to make a difference in my life today. For that I am truly grateful. However, I will repeat something I said earlier. If I could say this to Max today, I have no doubt he would say “thank you” and then tell me clearly that he expected the same thing out of me. Society needs more people like this. May we all learn from his example and from that of those like him. It is our best way of showing gratitude for lives well-lived.

A promising public-private partnership

By Matt Ledger

Pictured from left, Brian Baine, Gov. Bentley and Jason Harper. (Governor's Office, Jamie Martin)

Pictured from left, Brian Baine, Gov. Bentley and Jason Harper. (Governor’s Office, Jamie Martin)

A few new faces with a fresh approach are revitalizing the Leadership DeKalb program.

Jason Harper attended the Marshall County Leadership program while working in U.S. Congressman Robert Aderholt’s office and has worked for TVA in Huntsville for the past five years. “I looked at my home county and decided to take action and remedy the absence of a leadership program in DeKalb,” Harper says. “I started thinking of people willing to serve and truly engage themselves to help bolster a better DeKalb County.”

The first person that Harper contacted was Brian Baine,who he met several years ago while working with the Fort Payne Improvement Authority. Baine has worked his way through the ranks at Foodland during his 30-year career from intern to human resources manager.

Baine attended the same Marshall County Leadership program, as well as a prior Leadership DeKalb class in the 1980s. “I was young and saw it as a way to get out of work back then,” Baine says, with a chuckle. “Now, I am learning things and seeing amazing places, and this new program has even been very informative for me.” That experience may explain why he’s getting a lot more out of the new Leadership DeKalb program than he did the first time he participated early in his career.

State Senator Clay Scofield speaks to the leadership class during State Government Day.

State Senator Clay Scofield speaks to the leadership class during State Government Day.

Revitalizing under new leadership
For two years, Baine and Harper met to discuss the dynamics of their plan and to create the curriculum, which is focused on the areas of education, economic development, tourism and workforce expansion. “The county needed the synergy of all aspects of leadership, talking and working together,” Harper says.

The program aims to help the participants become well-rounded leaders, equipped to make the county better. “Going out and seeing these departments, instead of just hearing about them, makes more of an impact,” Baine says. “It will better inform these leaders and give them the tools they need to guide the future direction of DeKalb County.”

After an absence of nearly seven years, Leadership DeKalb restarted in 2014, with a renewed long-term focus on communication between the public agencies and private businesses in the county. Each month, the current class of 18 participants attend a program detailing aspects of county agencies and area businesses.

It took three years to revamp the new Leadership DeKalb program, made possible with a $25,000 TVA community relations grant that Harper secured. They formed a nonprofit with a board of directors that selected Baine as the president of the Leadership DeKalb program and Harper as the vice-president, then added Janet Hartline as the executive director.

To assemble the first class of students, which began meeting in August, Baine, Harper and the Board sought out current community leaders from various agencies, with an equal balance from throughout DeKalb County. The idea was that networking among these leaders would lay the groundwork to help move the region forward in the future.

The Leadership DeKalb group meets with Governor Robert Bentley during a trip to Montgomery. Front row, left to right: Jason Harper, board vice-president; Judy Davidson; Pam Clay; Dale Manning; John Dersham; Brandi Lyles, board member; and Janet Hartline, executive director. Second row Left to Right: Keri Hamrick; Joey Graham; Corey Ewing; Debbie Nickelson; Renee Simpson; Jenna Sue Payne; and Brian Baine, board president. Third row Left to Right: Buddy Goolsby; Michael Posey; David Clemons; Alabama Governor Robert Bentley; Kristen Emory; Nick Jones; and Bryon Miller.

The Leadership DeKalb group meets with Governor Robert Bentley during a trip to Montgomery. Front row, left to right: Jason Harper, board vice-president; Judy Davidson; Pam Clay; Dale Manning; John Dersham; Brandi Lyles, board member; and Janet Hartline, executive director. Second row Left to Right: Keri Hamrick; Joey Graham; Corey Ewing; Debbie Nickelson; Renee Simpson; Jenna Sue Payne; and Brian Baine, board president. Third row Left to Right: Buddy Goolsby; Michael Posey; David Clemons; Alabama Governor Robert Bentley; Kristen Emory; Nick Jones; and Bryon Miller.

Back to school … and other agencies
Nearly 20 professionals from around DeKalb County are learning about business, government and their community, with a new topic each month of the course. After the class members established relationships with one another, it was time to get down to business, like examining strengths and weaknesses within the community. “Let’s talk about the good and bad things,” Harper says. “Sometimes we are uncomfortable with that, so let’s take a comprehensive approach and look at all aspects of our county.”

The focus in the fall quickly became tourism, as fall colors began to blanket the mountain. The discussions were spearheaded by John Dersham, executive director at DeKalb Tourism and one of the program’s participants. “These public services are important to everyone and integral to a community,” Dersham says. “If all of the leaders in the community understand all of the processes within the community a little better, then I think it helps with our ability to communicate.”

The class also covered public services. “Public Service Day” included trips to the DeKalb Sheriff’s Department, Children’s Advocacy Center and Fort Payne Fire Department Training Center. Other classes in the program included health and social services, education, manufacturing, finance and media, while other activities had the class rapelling from the rim of Little River Canyon and blowing glass ornaments at a local artist’s studio.

In March, the group made its farthest trip during “State Government Day” to visit with officials in Montgomery, including Governor Robert Bentley. “Having citizens interface with leaders in their environment is really good for rural communities,” says Harper. Their final class will cover economic development, with graduation in May.

Class participants listen to Israel Partridge as he explains rock climbing and rappelling on the rim of Little River Canyon.

Class participants listen to Israel Partridge as he explains rock climbing and rappelling on the rim of Little River Canyon.

Planning for the future
Organizers hope the program is not a one-time class, but the start of something new. They’re working to establish a Leadership DeKalb alumni association to include anyone who attended the previous version of the program. The ability to network with peers is proving to be a major benefit of the class, and the participants believe that it will aid strategic planning for the county.

Those interested in enrolling in the next course can find more information on the Leadership DeKalb County Facebook page. Some of the presenters throughout the year have even asked about being in the next leadership class. “The word is getting out that this program has value and is a great networking system,” Hartline says.

This year’s graduates will take on that planning responsibility for the next group of applicants, with board members simply advising. The group will also complete a class project to benefit the community.

“Leadership is void without hands-on service that makes a difference,” Harper says. “There are many people around here who are ready to tackle any problems and revitalize our community beyond the status quo.”

For more details or for an application please visit the Fort Payne or Rainsville Chamber of Commerce websites. www.fortpaynechamber.com, or 
www.rainsville.info.

 

Email changes

As you may have already noticed, FTC is partnering with the Zimbra Collaboration Suite to provide our members with a new integrated email suite. This upgrade brings an efficient email hub for personal or professional task management. Each customer now has a customizable Web interface that makes it a breeze to add reminders to your calendar or pay bills online. App-style buttons allow you to easily navigate between social media pages, or to check the local weather before the kids head to the bus stop. Numerous tutorial videos describe the step-by-step process of a wide variety of functions, available online at www.farmerstel.com/email-help.

Rainsville Freedom Fest 2015

2015 Rainsville Freedom Fest
Saturday June 27
Rainsville City Park

  • Free admission
  • Car, truck and motorcycle show
  • Vendor booths with a wide variety of food
  • Arts and crafts show
  • Live entertainment for the whole family

Festive fireworks finale after dark sponsored by FTC and the City of Rainsville

Rainsville Freedom Fest 5K and 10K Race
Saturday, June 20 at 8 a.m.
For more race details: http://rainsvillefreedomfest.racesonline.com/

New FTCtv Everywhere allows you to watch shows anywhere

Families once huddled around televisions the size of a refrigerator to watch the latest episode of “The Brady Bunch,” “M.A.S.H.” or “Seinfeld.” Elvis Presley made headlines when his car was equipped with a television. Those days are long gone, and now, thanks to the Internet and an app called FTCtv Everywhere, FTC members can enjoy those classic shows or current prime-time hits from anywhere.

With FTCtv Everywhere, you could catch the ESPN pre-game show while tailgating in front of Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. Watching Captain Kirk match wits with Mr. Spock on a handheld device is no longer science fiction. It’s now a reality that you can enjoy the Syfy channel, and many others, once you sign up for the plan.

More than 35 channels are currently available for streaming shows on your computer, tablet or mobile device connected to the Internet.

How much does it cost?
Currently FTC provides this feature at no extra cost to FTCtv Expanded Basic subscribers. This may change over time depending on new requirements made by TV networks. Cellular data rates apply.

Where can I watch FTCtv Everywhere?
You can watch these channels from anywhere your device can receive an Internet connection. Wired connections and in-home Wi-Fi will provide the best quality, and picture quality is determined by bandwidth and signal strength.

What programs are available?
Each TV network makes their own decision about what to make available on FTCtv Everywhere, so it’s best to download the app and check for your favorite programs.

Why aren’t all programs available?
Broadcasting rights are complicated. A TV network may have the right to transmit a show or movie, but only to TV sets and not on FTCtv Everywhere. Once again, it depends on the TV network.

Will other networks become available?
Yes. FTC is working with many different program providers to expand the number of networks and programs available on farmerstel.com/ftctv-everywhere.

How do I sign up for FTCtv Everywhere?
If you’ve already signed up for
SmartHub, FTCtv Everywhere is simple. Register now to begin watching your FTCtv on the go. Simply login in to your SmartHub account. Click the “Edit TV Everywhere” link in the left sidebar menu and create a username and password. You will gain access within four to 24 hours. You will have to try logging in to a programmer’s site to see if your access has been accepted. To do this, click on one of the programmer icons at www.farmerstel.com/ftctv-everywhere. Select FTCtv as your provider and use your TV Everywhere username and password to watch live programming with any device connected to the Internet.

What networks are available?
A&E
ABC
ABC Family
Adult Swim
AMC
Bravo
Cartoon Network
CNBC
CNN
Disney
Disney Junior
Disney XD
E!
ESPN
Esquire
Fox Business
Fox News
FYI
Golf Channel
H2
History
IFC
Lifetime
MSNBC
Mun2
NBC
NBC Sports Live Extra
NFL
Oxygen
Sprout
Sundance
Syfy
TBS
TCM
Telemundo Now
TNT
truTV
USA
WE
To use FTCtv Everywhere…
1. Click the channel you want to watch. You will be taken to the channel provider website.
2. Select FTCtv as your television provider from the provider list on the site.
3. Sign in with the username and password you created when you signed up for FTCtv Everywhere.

The last hurdle before the Battle of Chickamauga

By Matt Ledger

Charles Bass stands near the historical marker that he sought to commemorate a local slice of U.S. Civil War history at for Chestnut Grove Baptist Church.

Charles Bass stands near the historical marker that he sought to commemorate a local slice of U.S. Civil War history at for Chestnut Grove Baptist Church.

Gettysburg, Fort Sumter and Chickamauga are some of the most recognizable places from the U.S. Civil War. Lesser-known tales have become even more obscure in the 150 years that have passed since those bloody days of cannons and cavalry.

Uncovering some of those local accounts sent one area man on a mission to recognize the brave souls that crossed Lookout Mountain on their way to battle. It started nearly 10 years ago, when Charles Bass visited the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. While looking in the park’s bookstore, he wondered about a DeKalb County story he had heard regarding troop movements on Sand Mountain. That story would give Bass a set of marching orders of his own that would take years to sort out and end with a special historic marker designation.

The Path to Battle
Bass lives in Henagar and is a member of Chestnut Grove Baptist Church, a congregation that was formed in 1861. Through research, he learned that Highway 117 in Chestnut Grove was once called Caperton’s Ferry Road and carried travelers — crossed by Union troops during their Southern offensive in 1863 — from Stevenson, Alabama, to Rome, Georgia. “I’ve read where some of the troops that came through here describe DeSoto Falls in such detail you could tell where they were at on Lookout Mountain,” Bass says. For nearly two weeks during the Chickamauga Campaign, the 20th Army Corps troops were encamped near the church in Chestnut Grove, while General Alexander McCook’s headquarters occupied the Allen Plantation, near where Vulcraft of Fort Payne is now located.

Bass had a few questions and returned to Chickamauga to meet with park historian Jim Ogden. He also recruited David Rains, a retired judge and local history buff, to research the account of the Union Army moving through the area. Rains found some interesting details in the Civil War journal of Chesley A. Mosman, who had served as a Union lieutenant in the 59th Illinois Infantry Regiment. “The Rough Side of War” details Mosman’s firsthand experiences on the way to Chickamauga, including great visual descriptions of the journey. “We went on till we met open timber, chestnut and pine. There had been a hurricane across the mountain, and many trees were tore up by the root,” Mosman wrote, in early September 1863. Rains and others believe that he is describing a path carved by a tornado in the Town Creek area of Lookout Mountain, which was used as a makeshift encampment by Union forces on their way to battle. “While there were no major battles on these two mountains, Civil War records and Mosman’s journal indicate that there were almost daily skirmishes in the area,” Rains says.

Local history buff David Rains spoke during the unveiling in 2011. He researched through archives to find first-hand descriptions and other accounts in determining the Union troop movements on Caperton’s Ferry Road.

Local history buff David Rains spoke during the unveiling in 2011. He researched through archives to find first-hand descriptions and other accounts in determining the Union troop movements on Caperton’s Ferry Road.

Rains verified that the campsite existed in the Town Creek area, but was skeptical that a historical marker would ever be approved. Bass’ persistence paid off, and a dedication of the historical marker was held in 2011, ahead of the 150th anniversary of when the troops moved through the region. “In 2011, it coincidentally happens that another tornado ripped through that very same stretch of ground,” Rains says. Chestnut Grove Baptist Church now has an Alabama Historical Association designation as part of “The Road to Chickamauga.”
“It’s for those men who lost their lives. They were fighting for what they felt was right in their hearts and for the freedoms we have today,” Bass says.

 

Can you hear the music?

You’re only a click away from your favorite tunes

By Cecil H. Yancy Jr.

The Rolling Stones asked, “Can you hear the music?” And the answer is, yes! You can easily listen on your computer or mobile device anytime you like.
Digital music services offer you two ways to listen to old favorites or explore new artists.

A download captures the music on your computer for use in the future — think of being able to burn a CD or play the music by clicking on a file from your computer. On the other hand, music streaming is like having a steady flow of music coming into your computer. Just click and create stations from artists you choose.

While downloads have their advantages, streaming appears to be the wave of the future. By this year, according to a Pew Research Institute study, as many as 80 percent of Americans will listen to audio on digital devices. While 51 percent of all adults say they listen to music on these devices, age makes a big difference in music habits, according to the study. More than 60 percent of millennials and 58 percent of Gen Xers listen to music online compared with 48 percent of younger Boomers. Older Americans tend to prefer the traditional AM/FM radio format. But streaming music is getting so easy, music lovers of all ages can jump on board.

Open the box to music streaming

Woman Listening To Music On Her TabletPandora opened the box with one of the first online Internet radio services. With Pandora, you can listen free for 40 hours per month, with advertisements. Pay $36 a year and get the music without commercials. It’s easy to use. Say you like Johnny Cash: Type in his name and a “radio station” of his songs and those of similar audiences will begin playing. The best part is Pandora gives you background information about the artist as the music is playing. You can even skip a certain number of songs you don’t like.

New releases and exclusives

Spotify is another big player in the music-streaming arena. It has a 20-million-plus song catalog from the major record labels, which can be organized into playlists that allow users to stream their own lists or lists from friends or celebrities. The basic features are free after downloading the application, or the premium version is $9.99 per month. Music on Spotify can be imported from iTunes and synced with a mobile device so you can make your favorite songs available anywhere you go!

Create your own iTunes station

In addition to 25 DJ-curated and genre-based stations, iTunes Radio allows you to create personalized radio stations or follow “guest DJ” stations from famous artists. You can pause, skip and playback with iTunes Radio and even buy the tune you’re currently listening to. If you have an iTunes Match Account for $25 per year, it’s ad-free. iTunes Radio is a great merge between a download provider and a streaming service.

A couple of clicks and no cost

Silver Ear Bud HeadphonesIf you’re leaning toward listening to music online, but a bit overwhelmed by the choices, check out sites that only require a couple of clicks to get started and are designed to be more like your radio.

Sites like Boomerradio.com and Bluegrassmix.com offer an easy way to listen to your favorite tunes, with either stations or DJs that pick the tunes. On the Bluegrass site, DJs host shows. On the Boomer Radio site, users can pick from moods like acoustic café, sweet soul music and classic mix.

Real men do eat quiche

By Anne P. Braly

Anne P. Braly

Food Editor Anne P. Braly is a native of Chattanooga, Tenn. Prior to pursuing a freelance career, she spent 21 years as food editor and feature writer at a regional newspaper.

Bea Salley loves to cook. So much so, in fact, that she says she’d like to own a restaurant in her hometown of Walterboro, South Carolina. But until her ship comes in, she’ll stick to catering for area residents in her spare time. Her forte? Quiche.

“I make potato pies, apple pies, coconut pies and cakes, but quiche is my specialty,” she says. “It’s a good, year-round dish, but particularly in the spring.”

Salley’s mother died when she was 13 years old. So with just her father and no siblings, she would never have learned the intricacies of cooking had women in her community — she grew up in Oakman Branch right outside Walterboro — not intervened, taking her under their wing to teach her and stirring her interest in what would become her passion.

But it wasn’t until about 10 years ago that she realized she wanted to make a difference by catering to her community with more healthful food choices.

A healthy choice — With so many ways to prepare quiche, it can be a healthy choice for any season. Be a Salley likes to use ingredients such as fish and vegetables, while keeping the sodium low.

A healthy choice — With so many ways to prepare quiche, it can be a healthy choice for any season. Be a Salley likes to use ingredients such as fish and vegetables, while keeping the sodium low.

“No one in my household — my husband, Fred, our five kids and 10 grandchildren — ever had any problems with high blood pressure or diabetes, and I know what you cook with makes a difference,” she says.

So almost all of her recipes, particularly her quiches, have healthy ingredients, such as fish and vegetables, and not a lot of sodium. And everyone loves them, she adds.

But there’s a saying that’s become quite familiar: “Real men don’t eat quiche.”
Not so, Salley says.

“There are a lot of men who love my quiche. They say it’s filling, so they don’t have to eat as much.”

David Walton of Summerville is one example. He’s been eating and enjoying Salley’s quiches for at least a dozen years. “‘Real men don’t eat quiche’ simply isn’t true when you have quiche as good as Bea’s!” he says.

And it’s this time of year that Salley’s kitchen heats up with quiches in her oven. People like to be outside in the warm weather and not inside cooking, so Salley does it for them.

“Quiche is a quick, full meal for friends and family,” she says. Serve a slice of quiche with a salad and a basket of bread, and you have a complete, healthy dinner. Leftovers are even better — if there are any to be had.

Whether you’re baking a brunch-friendly bacon-and-egg-filled treat for Easter or an elegant vegetarian dinner served with a healthy lettuce or fruit salad, quiche is extremely easy to adapt in a number of delicious ways. The recipes that follow are some of Salley’s favorites.

Veggie Quiche

1/4 stick (2 tablespoons) butter
Quiche_11611/2 onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 10-ounce bag spinach
1 12-ounce container fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 medium yellow squash, sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice), plus more for
 topping
1/2 cup sour cream
1 9-inch pie crust (store-bought or homemade)

Heat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat; add onions and bell pepper; let simmer. Add spinach, mushrooms, zucchini and squash; cover and saute until softened. Stir in salt and pepper; let cool, then pour in bowl and add eggs, flour and cheese, blending mixture together. Last, add sour cream, blending well. Pour into crust, sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake for 40 minutes or until quiche is set around the edges and still slightly loose in the center. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before cutting.

Salmon and Mushroom Quiche

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onions, diced
1 16-ounce container fresh
 mushrooms, sliced
1 large can salmon
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup flour
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 9-inch pie crust
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 400°F. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat; add onions and let simmer for 3 minutes until onions are soft. Add mushrooms, stirring until soft, then add salmon. Blend mixture together, let cool, then add Swiss cheese, eggs, flour, sour cream, salt and pepper. Blend all together, then pour into crust, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake for 35 minutes or until quiche is set around the edges and still slightly loose in the center. Remove from oven and let it sit for a few minutes before cutting.

Note: This quiche is also good served “crustless.” Bake in pie pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray using no pie crust. Follow directions as written.

Bea’s Pie Crust

This is the quickest and simplest pastry crust ever, and it tastes great.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening (preferably Crisco)
5 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
3-4 tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Whisk together flour and salt in medium bowl. Add shortening and butter, tossing with fingers until pieces are well-coated with the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the shortening and butter into the dry ingredients. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons of the ice water and the lemon juice; mix just until the dough comes together, adding the last tablespoon of water if the dough is too dry. Do not overwork the dough or it will become too tough. Pat the dough into a flat disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling out.

Tips to make the perfect quiche

Quiche is a simple idea for brunch or dinner, but getting it right can be difficult. Here are a few key steps to ensure that your quiche will be creamy and your crust will be flaky.

  • The crust: The first step to a good quiche is having a great pastry shell. It will come out better if you parbake (partially bake) it for about 10 minutes so that it’s dry and crisp before adding your filling.
  • Seal it: To avoid a soggy pastry, brush the bottom of the crust with an egg wash (a beaten egg white) right after parbaking it. The warmth of the crust when you remove it from the oven is all you need to “cook” the egg white and seal the shell to help keep it crispy.
  • Say “no” to low-fat: There’s nothing worse than wimpy flavor when you bite into a quiche, so make sure to avoid using low-fat or nonfat ingredients. Their high water content prevents the quiche from setting properly, resulting in a watery finish.
  • Protect the edges: Once in the oven, keep an eye on the shell, and if the edges of the pastry start browning too quickly, wrap them in a little aluminum foil.
  • Loose is a good rule of thumb: Take the quiche out of the oven when the center is still slightly wobbly. This will ensure that it doesn’t over-cook and will still have its creamy custard texture when you cut into it.

FTC remains technology leader

By Fred Johnson
Executive Vice President and General Manager

Fred Johnson

Fred Johnson

It was a good day. Friday, February 6, marked yet another milestone in the history of FTC. With the launch of widespread Gigabit Internet Access, FTC introduced one of Alabama’s first widespread, widely deployed and affordable ultra-high-speed Broadband service. It wasn’t the first time we made headlines.

We launched the digital revolution in telecommunications technology in Alabama by initializing the state’s first digital multiplex switch on February 28, 1979. Our latest accomplishment is proof positive that 36 years later we are still at it. I like to think that speaks volumes about our commitment to those we serve and the communities in which they live, work, and raise their families.

Elsewhere, in this publication you will read what this new service level means to both residential and business customers. In fact, every town touched by our optical fiber network can now claim to be “Gig City” just like Chattanooga and a few other big cities across the nation. You will doubtless take note of the fact that our network far exceeds the minimum definition of Broadband newly adopted by the FCC. In fact, our baseline Internet access offering is now a symmetrical 100 Mbps service that is four times the capacity of the FCC’s current standard. I urge you to resist any temptation to dismiss the hype as just a faster version of Internet access. It is far more than that which leads me to the topic I really want to highlight.

In 2007, our Board of Trustees carefully spent more than a year evaluating all the options available to and facing our Cooperative. They sought much counsel and advice from leading experts at all levels of the business. They essentially decided that FTC would totally commit itself to maintaining state of the art/leading edge technology and resolved that FTC would meet the future needs of the communities, which gave it its existence. It was an “all-in” decision. There was no half-hearted commitment. Once that decision was reached we held course through unforeseen economic crisis and material changes in Federal public policy that have essentially turned the world of rural telecommunications on its end. However, thanks to the support of our members and customers, the diligence of our workforce, and, in my opinion, wisdom from the good Lord, FTC is, in several measurements, as strong today as it was at the dawn of the millennium. This is an accomplishment for which we all are wholeheartedly grateful.

Our launch was meaningful in another way as well. A favorite folk saying goes like this. “Always dance with the one that brought you to the ball.” Clearly, this serves as a reminder that you should never forget the people responsible for your success. The FTC of today is indebted to many influential men and women from years past who believed in their communities and understood that a modern telecommunications system was essential to the economic viability and prosperity of those communities. Mr. R. E. Ables was one such man. He so strongly believed in the mission of this cooperative that in 1952 he subscribed to Membership Number 1. Mr. and Mrs. Ables and their entire family were lifelong champions of FTC and its mission. We were delighted to recognize Mrs. Ables at our 60th Annual Meeting last August. Thus, it was with much gratitude and satisfaction that we returned to the Ables’ home-place on February 6, to launch our new level of service even though the service itself became instantly available across the entire optical fiber network of the Cooperative. The symbolism speaks for itself. Mr. and Mrs. Ables and their family have long demonstrated that the best hope for a community lies in the dedication of its inhabitants to constantly seek its improvement. Our respect that day for the Ables family was intended both to say thank you to a generation of people who cared enough to make a difference in their communities and to demonstrate that a succeeding generation of FTC’s leadership remains firmly committed to that very same cause.