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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Country Cousin

Historical...



Hi Folks!

This year is moving along so fast. Just yesterday it was the Fourth of July, and now it’s half past September. Saturday, Sept. 22, marks the official departure of summer and the start of Autumn.

Isn’t it amazing how quickly the heat of summer can switch to the cool days and cold nights of fall?

Forests are beginning to seriously sport their fall finery. The colors will just keep getting more riotous unless a hard frost dims the display.

GROWIN’ THINGS

Gardens are about to be put to bed for the winter, but don’t do it too soon. There was even frost in some unprotected areas of Marinette County this week, but before you call it quits on your garden for this year, consider protecting some of your finest tomato, squash and pepper plants. Cover them tenderly on cool nights, and if they pull through this cold snap you could get another month or two of fine fresh, home grown produce. One year we kept tomatoes producing in the garden until early December.

Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage can stand quite a bit of cold, so just keep picking. Brussels sprouts are even good after the snow falls.

As for tomatoes,we had success pulling up some plants by the roots and hanging them upside down from the basement rafters. The tomato skins toughened, but the fruits still tasted wonderful, far, far better than their store-bought cousins.

Just for fun, consider small late sowings of lettuce, peas and radishes. If they grow, you’re way ahead. If they don’t, you’re out a little effort and a few seeds. It’s certainly worth a try.

HISTORICAL DAY

The City of Peshtigo is gearing up for its major festival of the year. Historical Day events from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept.. 22 begin with the Fire Tower Walk/Run at 8 a.m., followed by the parade at 10:30 a.m. There will be Art and Craft Booths, Children’s Rides, Food and Refreshments in Badger Park all day and into the evening. Music includes Sheltered Reality at 11:30 a.m., Music Jar at 3 p.m., and Suns of Memphis 6:30 p.m. A horseshoe tournament and Peshtigo High School’s homecoming football game both start at 1 p.m. The big day ends with fireworks at dusk.

It all honors the tenacity of the city that survived the horrors of the Peshtigo Fire on Oct. 8, 1871 and rebuilt on its ashes.

That forest fire remains the most devastating in the history of America, taking 1,200 lives. In two hours, that horrendous tornado of fire destroyed a swath of forest 10 miles wide and 40 miles long. It obliterated the towns of Peshtigo in Marinette County and Brussels on the Door Peninsula, killing about 1,500 people.

In all, the fire burned more than 280,000 acres in Oconto, Marinette, Shawano, Brown, Kewaunee, Door, Manitowoc and Outagamie counties. Besides the death toll, another 1,500 were seriously injured and at least 3,000 were made homeless. Property loss was estimated conservatively at $5,000,000, not including 2,000,000 valuable trees and saplings and scores of animals.

Today, the forests have grown again, and so has the city. And it is that survival that Peshtigo will celebrate on Saturday.

ON THE SOAP BOX

BASIC DIFFERENCES


The recent Islam uproar over a video they claim insults their prophet Muhammad - and it probably does - demonstrates their total inability to understand the freedoms of thought and expression enjoyed in this country. Because of opinions expressed by one individual in that video they have been busy rioting and killing innocent Americans in embassies all around the Moslem world.

Do they not understand that the American government and the American people in general had nothing to do with that video? Do they not understand that in America the government has no right to halt statements they object to?

Or, is it possible they are in reality trying to quash one of the major freedoms citizens of America have fought and died for since this nation was created?

Talk about ignorant intolerance!

We’re told that our President has apologized for our nation’s behavior!!!

He has absolutely no right to apologize for being the head of a country that allows private citizens to express their private opinions in public, whether he agrees with them or not.

If he had made the video, or ordered it made, it would be his right to apologize. Neither he nor our government had anything to do with it, and they did not have the right to stop the person who did. That is something to be proud of, not ashamed of. He should be furious with the totally intolerant uncivilized atrocities perpetrated by the Muslim murderers and retaliate in any way available.

We must not ever let these international bullies think their blind and vicious intolerance will be allowed to destroy our precious American freedoms!

And we must not allow any American official to think he or she (in the case of a certain UN Ambassador) will be allowed to remain in office for long if they will not defend the right of American citizens to express opinions they or someone else may not agree with!

RECORD KEEPING

If you’re like me, and just now getting around to spring cleaning, you may find yourself facing staggering amounts of paperwork you may or may not need.

For the record, for tax deduction purposes you need to keep personal financial records only seven years.

THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER

As summer draws to a close and the days for preserving food come to an end, we’re reminded of the old, old tale of the ant and the grasshopper.

In the original version:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

Moral of the story is, be responsible for yourself.

Sadly, there’s a modern version. Here it is, retold.

MODERN VERSION:

The ants work hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building their houses, storing fuel and laying up food for the winter.

The grasshoppers think the ants are fools, and laugh and dance and play the summer away.

Come winter, the ants are cozy, warm and well fed, while the shivering grasshoppers demonstrate outside, demanding a share of the food and fuel the ants have set aside for themselves. They call a press conference and demand to know why the ants should be allowed to be warm and well fed while they and their families are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC , PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshoppers next to a video of the ants uncomfortable homes and heavily laden tables. America is stunned by the contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, that these poor grasshoppers are allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with some grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green.’

More demonstrations are staged in front of the ants’ houses, where news stations film them singing, We shall overcome. Then Rev. Jeremiah Wright has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper’s sake. President Obama condemns the ant and blames President Bush, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for the grass-hopper’s plight.

Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshoppers, and call for an immediate tax hike on ants to make them pay their fair share. Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Ant Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ants are fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs. Having nothing left to pay their retroactive taxes, their homes are confiscated by the Government Green Czar and given to the grasshoppers.

Eventually the ants disappear into the snow, never to be seen again. The grasshoppers are found dead in drug-related incidents, and the ant houses, now abandoned, are taken over by gangs of spiders who terrorize the ramshackle neighborhood that once was so peaceful and prosperous. The entire nation collapses, bringing the rest of the free world with it.

Moral of this story: Be careful how you vote in November!

COOKIN’ TIME

It’s time for soups and slo cookers, and fresh veggies galore. Cook, eat, enjoy!

LIGHT ‘N CREAMY

FRESH MUSHROOM SOUP

Have you noticed the price of soup lately? Save money by making your own. This recipe comes courtesy of NAPSA, a newspaper clipping service. Mushrooms add something special to a meal, but they give us more than great taste. Did you know that mushrooms help contribute to our daily intake of potassium, selenium and riboflavin? Plus, mushrooms are low in fat and have only 20 calories per serving. This soup has only six grams of fat per serving, yet tastes rich and delicious. Prepare your favorite grilled sandwich while the soup simmers and dinner is served. Cook up a double batch and freeze half for another dinner.

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (scallions)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano leaves

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 pounds white mushrooms, sliced (about 9 cups)

1 an (141⁄2 ounces) ready-to-serve chicken or vegetable

broth

1 cup white wine or water

1 1/2 cups low fat milk

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add carrots, onions, garlic, salt, thyme and pepper; cook, stirring often, until onions just begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, broth, and wine; bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove 1 cup of the vegetables; set aside. In a blender or food processor, place half of remaining soup from the saucepan; puree until smooth; remove to a bowl; repeat with remaining mixture; return entire pureed mixture to saucepan; stir in milk and reserved vegetables. Simmer just until heated through, about 5 minutes. If desired, garnish with thinly sliced green onion. Makes about four servings, each with 153 calories, 6 grams fat, 10 grams protein and 17 grams carbs.

GARDEN STYLE PASTA PRIMAVERA

Leave out the asparagus and double the green beans if you like. We all know asparagus isn’t in season any more, but everything else in this recipe is. Serve with any baked or grilled meat, especially ham, meat loaf or fish.

1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 sweet orange peppers, cored, seeded, cut into 1/4 inch

strips

1 pound spaghetti

3/4 cup half and half

3/4 cup chicken broth

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 cloves garlic, sliced

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Shaved Parmesan, optional

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add asparagus and green beans and cook four minutes. Add peppers and cook for one more minute. Scoop out vegetables with a large slotted spoon and place in a colander. Rinse with cold water. Add spaghetti to the kettle from which the vegetables were removed, using the same water. Cook according to package directions, probably nine minutes. Drain and return to pot. While the pasta cooks, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add cooked veggies and tomatoes and cook, stirring a few times, for about a minute and a half. Add the half and half, chicken broth, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer for a minute or so. Stir in the rated Parmesan, then stir the whole thing to the pasta. Gently stir in the parsley. Allow to stand five minutes before serving, topped with additional grated Parmesan.

PUMPKIN PIE BARS

The frost is on the pumpkin, and pumpkins are on the market. Ran this recipe a few years ago, and recently had a request for a reprint. This sugar-free recipe is so great everyone will be happy, dieters, diabetics, and those who are neither. It’s packed with nutrition and healthy fiber besides. What a wonderful way to sneak another vegetable into the diet. If you’re observing low fat dining go ahead and substitute low fat margarine for the butter and low fat cream cheese for the real thing. Try these luscious bars now just because, and you’ll probably decide to add them to the Thanksgiving menu, especially if there’s a diabetic in the family. (Yes, Thanksgiving isn’t that far off!)

1 1/3 cups flour

1/4 cup SPLENDA Brown Sugar Blend

1/2 cup SPLENDA Sugar Blend, divided

1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

3/4 cup butter or margarine

1 package cream cheese (8 ounces)

3 eggs

1 can pumpkin (15 ounces)

2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 cup miniature chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with foil and spray with a non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Combine flour, SPLENDA Brown Sugar Blend, half of the SPLENDA Sugar Blend, oatmeal and walnuts. Cut in the butter with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Press all but one cup of the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Beat cream cheese, eggs, the remaining half of the SPLENDA Sugar Blend, the pumpkin and the spices until well blended. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the pre-baked crust and sprinkle with the 1 cup of remaining crust and the chocolate chips. (If you opt not to use the chocolate chips, you might want to sprinkle on more chopped nuts.) Bake for 25 minutes or until set. Lift from the pan, foil and all, to cool. Cut into 24 bars. (Each bar has 21 grams of carbs.) Do cover leftovers well and refrigerate.

P.S. To the caller: Thanks for the kind words in your voice mail. You really made my day

Thought for the Week: Read the Bible — It will scare the hell out of you. If you’re wrinkled with worry, turn to God for a faith lift.

(Column written by Shirley Prudhomme of Crivitz. Views expressed are her own and are in no way intended to be an official statement of the opinions of Peshtigo Times editors and publishers. She may be contacted by phone at 715-927-5034 or by e-mail at shirleyprudhommechickadee@yahoo. com.)

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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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