Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving = Giving Back

For most of my time here at Haband, on the last Wednesday of November, we've been greeted at the door on our way home with a hearty handshake and a fresh turkey for our Thanksgiving supper. But last year, the suggestion was made to give everyone Black Friday off instead, so that they could get a head start on their holiday shopping if they wanted, or just spend the extra day with family. Thing was, on Monday when we all returned to the office, everyone seemed to be a little sad to have seen the end of an 80-year old tradition.

So this year, we're mixing things up again. In addition to getting Black Friday off, we're also bringing back the turkey! Just not for us! I'll explain...

We had a food drive where all the departments put together baskets for the local food banks. We collected canned corn, bags of potatoes, stuffing, pie fillings, and all the good things that make up a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner. The only thing that we did not have to supply was a turkey. So Haband chipped in and put a nice, large, fresh turkey with every basket collected!

Our strongman and Jack-of-all-trades, George, hand delivered all the food and baskets of goodness to the local food bank, Center for Food Action, where he reported, that dozens of locals had come out to help sort, store and ultimately distribute the bounty to anyone in need this holiday season. He commented that it was very organized and quite a large operation.

I think I can speak for everyone when I say that Haband was Thankful for not only getting to enjoy a day off but also for the opportunity to help provide a Happy Thanksgiving to those in the community that could use one the most. This holiday season, I'd ask that everyone give thanks for the good things in their life, but take any opportunity you can to help those who need more.

Happy Thanksgiving!





Friday, November 12, 2010

Comfort Food

I have been soliciting ideas from fellow Haband'ers for our blog and have been getting some great content. The first of which I'd like to share comes from Cate, our intrepid copy writer and Haband employee for 20 years! She tells the tale of some great home cooking that she grew up with and wanted to share her mom's recipe with all of you -- hope you enjoy!


Hello!

Well, here in the Northeast, the autumn leaves have almost completely fallen, it turned really cool over the weekend, and the frost is definitely on the pumpkin! Time for a fire in the wood stove and some nice, home-cooked comfort food!

What constitutes comfort food? It's something that tastes really yummy, of course, something that reminds you of your childhood, and something makes the house smell fantastic!

Next question: What to make? The first recipe that came to mind was a wonderful scalloped potato and pork casserole that my Mom used to make when I was a kid.

We lived in a rural area with lots of woods and neighbors who owned horses. In the fall and winter, we'd play in the woods, go horseback riding, or sledding, and really work up an appetite! After hours outdoors, (no TV or video games for us) our cheeks would be all rosy and we'd be chilled to the bone. Then we'd come into our house and be greeted by the amazing aroma of Mom's casserole! Such a welcome, comforting smell. And the taste was even better!

I've taken Mom's recipe and lightened it up a bit. It still has all the delicious flavor of her original, but a fraction of the fat and calories. It’s also fairly easy to make.

I suggest you make this recipe for someone special, and guaranteed, they'll feel loved and comforted indeed!

Potato and Pork Chop Casserole
  • 4-6 lean pork chops (boneless or with bone in), trimmed of fat
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 cups potatoes, with skins on, thinly sliced
  • 1 can low-fat cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup water
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375ยบ F. Grease a 13x9-inch baking pan.
  2. Trim fat from chops and season with salt and pepper and brown lightly in oil in skillet.
  3. Place chops in the bottom of baking pan. Layer with onions and then potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine soup with water, mixing well. Pour over top.
  5. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Uncover, continue baking for 15 minutes more.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
Servings: 4-6 Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Thursday, November 11, 2010

They don't make 'em like this anymore

Here's a classic! I found this beauty parked at Pennings Orchard in Warwick on my way to work this morning. I couldn't drive by without stopping for some pictures. It's decked out with a nice Fall display from their recent apple harvest season, but will soon be covered in garland and Christmas trees. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Office Pranks

One of the best parts of working at Haband are the lighthearted pranks people play on each other around here. I recently changed the layout of my office by removing a big, un-used file cabinet and brought in a table and chairs: my own version of a mini-conference table.

To my surprise, when I returned from an extended weekend, I found my new table arranged for a party of three complete with 6-piece settings (including salad forks), placemats made from continuous-feed dot-matrix printer paper, and a center piece made from leftover parts we used in an old photo shoot! Tea is at four, one lump or two?

Just remember what they say about paybacks ;)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Haband's 2nd Annual Halloween Costume Party

Halloween is always a fun time around Haband's Oakland headquarters. Naturally, we held our annual contest competition (congratulations Mike L., your headless man costume was definitely a cut above the rest - hardy har har!).

But this year, we decided to shake things up a bit and added a bowling competition to the mix - in costume of course! John M. and Shenay G. were our best bowlers, but the worst were recognized for their "achievement" as well. However, I wouldn't dream of embarrassing them by giving their names. *cough* Stacy L. & Ross H. *cough*

We even had a baking contest, and you can see a small portion of the entries in the pictures below. (The nice thing about a baking contest is, EVERYONE wins because we all get to enjoy the sweets and treats!) A spooky, sugary, silly time was had by all! Hope you enjoy the pictures!