Good Day Atlanta viewer information: November 26, 2019

 Poinsettias brighten the season at Pike Nurseries

Along with a decorated tree and a jolly man in a bright red suit, the poinsettia stands as one of the most iconic symbols of the holiday season — and right now, Metro Atlanta Pike Nurseries locations are blanketed in red, thanks to the popular plant.  But did you ever stop to wonder…where do all those poinsettias come from?

The Good Day Feature Team took an early morning drive up I-75 this morning to find the answer.  We spent the morning at the Pike Nurseries Farm in Ringgold, Georgia — which happens to be the company’s newest and largest facility.  And just how large are we talking?  The Pike team is able to grow millions of plants a year at the ten-acre farm, which are then shipped to the 18 retail locations (most of which are in Metro Atlanta).

Back to the poinsettias — Pike Nurseries Farm General Manager Kelley Holmquist tells us they receive poinsettia cuttings from Central America in June, which are then hand-planted in specially-formulated soil at the farm.  And here’s an interesting fact — to turn that vivid red color, the plants need about 14 hours of darkness per day.  Holmquist adds that Pike Nurseries grows more than 20 different varieties of poinsettia (with colors including red, white, and pink) — and that they’ll grow more than 17,000 poinsettia plants total this season.  

What about caring for poinsettias once they’re in the home?  Here are a few tips — keep them indoors, and avoid overwatering.  Also, keep them at a consistent temperature (between 60 and 75 degrees) and away from air vents or fireplaces, which can give off too much heat and dry air for the plants.

For more tips on caring for poinsettias — and to see the Pike Nurseries Farm in Ringgold — click on the video player!

Holly Chute's Thanksgiving Dessert: Chef Holly Chute is the executive chef for the State of Georgia.

She's served as chef to 6 Georgia Governors, and now runs the Georgia Grown program which promotes local agriculture. 

While visiting Good Day Atlanta she shared her Gingersnap Butternut Squash Trifle.

Chef Holly says it's a little something different than your typical holiday pastry dishes.

Check out the recipe below, and for more information on the Georgia Grown Program click here.

Gingersnap Butternut Squash Trifle

1 12 ounce box ginger snaps

1 pint heavy cream

¼ cup sugar

2 teaspoon vanilla or rum extract

3 Cups mashed roasted butternut squash

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ Cup light brown sugar

2 Cups Candied or spiced pecans, broken in pieces

1 recipe pastry cream

Pastry Cream *

2 cups milk

6 egg yolks

2/3 cup sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, heat milk to just under boiling.  While milk is heating, combine yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl.  Whisk yolks until light.  Slowly add scalded milk, whisking to avoid curdling.  Pour yolk mixture back into pot and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Add vanilla. Set aside.

Whip cream with sugar and extract until soft peaks form.

Trifle

To assemble trifle: combine butternut squash in a bowl with cinnamon and ginger, mixing well.  Fold pastry cream and squash mixture together.

Crumble ginger snaps with fingers, leaving in big chunks.  Place one third of ginger snaps in the bottom of trifle bowl or other glass bowl.  Top with one third of squash mixture, spreading evenly over ginger snaps.  Top squash with one third of whipped cream then sprinkle with one third of Heath bits on top.  Repeat this process twice more finishing with whipped cream and Heath bits.  Refrigerate several hours before serving.  Serves 12 – 16.

*you can you packaged vanilla pudding

Unplugging during the holidays: With the latest and greatest tech gadgets coming out for the holidays, Angela Buttimer gives some ways you can prevent technological stimulation overload?  Below are a list of different ways to help get in gear and unwind during the holidays. You don't have to only use these tips during the holidays, they can be extended for everyday use. For more information on Angela Buttimer click here.

  • Schedule technology- Angela says if you don't take charge of technology it could take charge of you
  • Turn off notifications- This can help you unwind and focus
  • Creating gadget-free rituals - Set-up times to not use your tech devices 

Hosea Helps Thanksgiving Dinner: For 49 years, Atlanta has come together on Thanksgiving Day to help feed and support the city's homeless.

It's the largest sitdown meal in the Southeast, and it was started by the late civil rights icon Hosea Williams.

The organization is carried on in part by his daughter Elisabeth  Omilami.

For more information on the foundation click here.