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CALS’ Quick Guide for the Holidays

A hand beginning to pour a mug full of egg nog

During the holidays, spending time with family and friends always gets us in a festive spirit. While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our plans this year, it doesn’t mean we can’t keep that festive spirit alive and well. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has put together a little guide for celebrating and enjoying the season even if we can’t all be together.

Howling Cow Egg Nog

If you’ve never tried Howling Cow Egg Nog, now is the perfect time to taste it for the first time. The holiday beverage is made right here on NC State’s campus at the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences dairy processing lab in Schaub Hall. It costs $5 per quart and can be purchased at Talley Student Union or at the Howling Cow Dairy Education Center and Creamery located at 100 Dairy Lane in Raleigh. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making the tasty drink at home!

NC Trees and Greenery

North Carolina is one of the largest producers of Christmas trees. In fact, the North Carolina Christmas Tree Industry is ranked second in the nation. With more than 1,300 Christmas tree growers, you and your family are sure to find the right tree, wreath or greenery you’d like to deck your halls with. To find a local grower near you, check out the N.C. Christmas Tree Growers Association website. Not only do they have ways to order fresh greenery, they have a list of choose and cut farms. Be sure to check before going as COVID-19 might have changed operations. Learn how to keep your tree merry and bright throughout the season with tips from NC State Extension expert Jeff Owen.

Holiday Meal Tips

raw turkey

It’s not a holiday without our favorite foods. From turkey to sides plus all the desserts, our food safety experts have research-based tips on how to have a delicious and safe holiday meal. Topics range from how to properly thaw a turkey, how to tell when your bird is done (165°F or higher) and what to do with all those leftovers. NC State Extension food safety specialist Ben Chapman has you covered.  

Take Care of Yourself

2020 has been a whirlwind of a year. From a global pandemic to dealing with racial injustice and a contentious election, this year has not been what any of us had imagined. Now tack on the stress of the holiday. Taking care of yourself is more important than stressing over the right gift for a loved one or the perfect holiday meal. Youth, Family, and Community Sciences alumna Niambi Ivery says use this time to focus on you. She shares a few tips on how to prioritize and balance your self-care during uncertain times that 2020 has brought. One of the easiest and best things Ivery says to do — remember to breathe.

This post was originally published in College of Agriculture and Life Sciences News.