617 Houston Street, Manhattan, KS 66502
House in July
The Morning Star Update, February 2013

    Our temperatures here in Manhattan were all up and down in January, ranging from bitter cold to abnormally warm. We had a record high of 76 degrees here on Monday (1/28) and as I walked around I could see perennials coming up in the yard. Really, that did it ... I am ready for Spring. Even though by Tuesday night we were back to snow and cold winds, I just couldn't bring myself to use a winter photo for the column header this month. Maybe by March, my mind will be in the correct season.
    There is a lot going on in Manhattan this month - Valentine's Day, Chinese New Year and Mardi Gras specials at local restuarants, men's and women's  basketball games, and a number of performing arts events. I hope that you get to enjoy some of it all; and for that matter, I hope that I get to too! Thinking ahead to Valentine's Day, I decided to create my own version of a chocolate martini. I call it Cupid's Arrow. So there, I'm already off to a good start. Here is hoping that you enjoy this month's issue of The Morning Star Update!
Cupid's Arrow
Cupid's Arrow:
a Chocolate Raspberry Martini
(makes 2 strong cocktails)

Dessert-like, yet not too sweet, you might just fall in love with this cocktail.

*3 oz. Chocolate Vodka, such as Cupcake Devil's Food Vodka
*2 oz. Raspberry Liqueur, such as Pallini Raspicello
*2 oz. Chocolate Liqueur, such as Meletti Cioccolato
*Dark chocolate
*Fresh raspberries

Add vodka and liqueurs to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into chilled martini glasses. Drizzle a little half-and-half over the top - it will sink to the bottom, then float to the surface and create something of a marbleized effect. Then shave some chocolate over the top. Garnish with fresh raspberries. Serve immediately.

Tips: Chill martini glasses in the freezer for at least 10 minutes ahead of time. Used chilled ingredients. This drink should be served very cold, but you don't want it diluted by melting ice.

The Zanzibar Affair
The Zanzibar Affair: A Novel Out of Africa
    Unfortunately, I can't remember who recommended The Zanzibar Affair. It had been sitting in my "to read pile" for about a year before I recently got to reading it. I enjoyed this dark romance by Samantha Ford. So to whomever suggested the book, thank you.
    Ford, who worked in the luxury safari business for several decades used her experience in that field to develop the background for this "novel out of Africa." Set in the present but reaching back 30-some years, The Zanzibar Affair tells the story of Kate Hope and the people who pass through her life as she builds a career for herself in Southern and Eastern Africa. When Kate mysteriously disappears from the island of Zanzibar, a man from her past sets out to discover what became of the woman he has loved for most of his life in the hope that he is not too late.
    Please keep sending your book recommendations!
Orchids Larger
Phalaenopsis Orchid "Happy Girl"
Phalaenopsis Orchids
   Around this time of year, florists of course are carrying roses, but also orchids. Symbolic of love, beauty, and perfection - just to name a few things - orchids have been admired since ancient times, but have never been as widely available as they are now. Unfortunately, this has led many people to treat orchids as disposable - plants to be thrown out after blooming.
   The most popular, and one of the easiest to care for, is the Phalaenopsis Orchid (Moth Orchid). These colorful orchids start to bloom at about 4 or 5 years old and with the proper care can bloom several times a year for many years thereafter. Here are some tips for keeping your orchids:
* Purchase a healthy plant to start with, one that is free of bugs, has mid to dark green leaves and buds, and healthy silvery-colored aerial roots. (The bright green foliage in the background of the photo above belongs to a different plant.)
* Keep in a warm indoor location (65 - 80 degrees F) away from direct sunlight. Do not put plant outdoors.
* Keep watered, but do not let water sit in the crown of the plant or in the bottom of the pot. (Orchids prefer soft water.)
* Use orchid fertilizer every second or third watering.
* Mist the aerial roots whenever watering.
* When in bloom, tie the flower spike to a cane.
* Repot orchids in fresh compost (orchid mix) whenever there are dead roots on the surface and the compost has badly decayed. Do not repot when  in bloom or during winter months. Do not attempt to divide orchids. Use a pot of the same size or slightly larger than the pot that the plant is currently in.
* After the first bloom, cut the flower spike between two of the upper leaf nodes to stimulate new growth on the flower spike. After it blooms again, cut back to near the base of the flower spike and wait for a new spike to form.  
As always, thank you for reading The Morning Star Update. Happy February!
Laurie Pieper
The Morning Star B&B
In This Issue
Cupid's Arrow
The Zanzibar Affair
Phalaenopsis Orchids
Love Your Library Month
K-State Turns 150
Dates to Remember
I Love Libraries Logo
Love Your Library Month
February is Love Your Library Month a.k.a. Library Lovers Month. Across the country, libraries will be having book-related events to help remind the people in their communities of the vital roles that libraries play even in the internet age.  Click here for a list of Love Your Library Month events at the Manhattan Public Library - right across the street from The Morning Star.
Anderson Hall in Snow
K-State Sesquicentennial
February 14th - 17th is the Kick-Off Weekend for K-State's 150th Birthday Celebration. Click here for more information about this special weekend and related events. 
Larger Mr. Lincoln Rose file
Dates to Remember
through March 2nd: The Big Picture, Strecker-Nelson Gallery 
February 1st: Sweet Honey in the Rock, McCain Auditorium 
February 2nd: Polar Plunge, Tuttle Creek Swim Beach 
February 2nd, 9th and 16th: Oscar Winners Film Series, Manhattan Public Library 
February 6th: Behind the Scenes at Hale Library's Special Collections 
February 7th - 17th: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Nichols Theater 
February 8th: Drum Line Live, McCain Auditorium 
February 12th: Shrek The Musical, McCain Auditorium 
February 16th: Konza Prairie Docent and Master Naturalist Orientation, Konza Prairie Biological Station 
February 16th: Carol Burnett, McCain Auditorium 
February 16th - 17th: Manhattan Area Garden Show, Pottorf Hall 
February 22nd: The Rambler by the Joe Goode Performance Group, McCain Auditorium 
February 22nd - 24nd: The House of Blue Leaves, Manhattan Arts Center 
February 23rd: Unstock the Bar, Harry's Restaurant
February 23rd - 24th: Flint Hills Home Show, Manhattan National Guard Armory 
February 26th: Capture the Moment (garden photography), KSU Gardens Lunch Time series  
February 26th: The History of Native Americans in Kansas, College Avenue United Methodist Church 
Links of Interest
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