December is the time of year when we celebrate a number of holidays and slow down a little to enjoy, not only the festivities, but each other. We have the regular holidays: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's, but we also have lesser know (but not any less celebrated) holidays in different countries and diverse cultures. 

For example, Ashura is celebrated by Muslims, and Bodhi Day by Buddhists. There is also the Winter Solstice which is December 21 which is the shortest day of the year and the beginning of winter. In many European countries they celebrate St. Nicholas Day and many Catholics celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Whew! I’m exhausted just THINKING of all of this celebrating!

Do you have a favorite holiday recipe? Many of us have a favorite stuffing. Sylvia in our office likes to add oysters, craisins and walnuts while others prefer the packaged stuffing mix from their youth and some others prefer cornbread. Then there's Sue in the office who likes to add breakfast sausage to her stuffing. What’s YOUR favorite recipe? Let me know.  

In our home, we always had sweet potato pie which I enthusiastically share below with you. It is REALLY good!

Whatever occasion you celebrate, the Brown's employees wish you and yours a truly joyous season and our best wishes for a happy, healthy, prosperous, and peaceful new year.

Doug Brown

With the colder weather arriving, here are some tips to keep your heating costs down while still remaining warm and comfortable:

1.   The pool noodle -- You can put them at the base of a door to stop drafts.

2.  If you have double hung windows be sure to cover the screens with the storm sections to reduce the amount of cold air coming in.

3.  Be sure to reverse the direction of your ceiling fans to clockwise and us it at a low speed to produce a gentle updraft, which forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space.

4.  Set your thermostat to a lower temperature at night (better to sleep in) and then set it to go up again in the morning as your family wakes.

5.  Install a tankless water heater which provides hot water on demand rather than a 40-50-60 gallon traditional hot water heater that constantly uses electricity or gas.

Do you have any money saving heating tips?
We would love to hear them!


This was one of my Mother’s pies to make for special holidays.


▢ 1 cup plus a smidge of mashed sweet potatoes
▢ 1/2 cup salted butter, softened and beaten until smooth
▢ 3/4 cup light brown sugar
▢ 1/2 cup granulated sugar
▢ 1/2 cup evaporated milk
▢ 2 large eggs
▢ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
▢ 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
▢ 1/4 teaspoon ginger
▢ 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
▢ 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour and then beat it all until smooth.

Then pour into one (9-inch) unbaked pie crust.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until center is set. (Cover edges of pie crust with aluminum foil if it is browning too quickly in the oven).

Notes from Joyce

·        I like to refrigerate this pie before serving, but you can serve it warm.
·        Use either a homemade pie crust, refrigerated or frozen pie crust. Any Flaky Pie Crust recipe works well for this pie, but a store-bought pie crust or your favorite homemade one is just fine.
·        My favorite way to make mashed sweet potato is to bake them until very soft, peel the skins off and then mash them. 2-3 medium-to-large sweet potatoes should be enough for 1 (+ a little extra) cup of mashed sweet potato.
·        Instead of baking them, you can peel the sweet potatoes, cube them, and boil them in water until soft, but I find they have better flavor if you bake them.
·        This pie is done when it jiggles in the center just slightly when you shake it.


It’s disheartening to listen to the news these days of there being an increase in the spread of the Covid-19 virus and the Delta variant just as we move most of our activities indoors because of the cold weather. What can we do to protect our families and our home? 
One suggestion would be to install an Air Scrubber by Aerus which removes 99% of the microns including bacteria and viruses as well as pet dander, mold, dust, smoke, odors and other allergens from the air. They range in a price beginning at $1,500 and up depending on the size of your home or business. This is great investment for piece of mind and excellent protection for your family and friends.

If interested give Sylvia a call at 732-241-1144 and let her set up an appointment for Joe or Will to come out and demonstrate an air scrubber for you and your peace of mind.