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

Hungry...

Hi Folks!

Keep hoping we’ll get Indian Summer, but it looks like that won’t happen. Winter apparently is here to stay, and isn’t willing to kid around about it. There were snow flakes in the air last night, and who knows what tomorrow will bring?

If the hatches aren’t battened down, best take advantage of every possible minute to “get ‘er done.” Time’s a wastin’! If the storm windows go up without washing, at least heat isn’t going out the windows that they’re on. Sometimes it comes to that!

HONOR THE VETERANS

Veteran’s Day falls on Sunday, Nov. 11. Let us all offer some prayers for the fine men and women who gave of their time, their health and their lives to keep us free. Let us not dishonor them by giving up the fight. Whatever happens, we must keep faith in the American ideals they fought and died for.

ON THE SOAP BOX

SAD TODAY


Half of America is sad today, and the other half is glad. It should be no surprise to readers of this column that Yours Truly is among the sad half. Sad and embarrassed that Americans seem to have turned their backs on the ideals of our Founding Fathers, and indeed on the blessings that have made this a great nation.

But more than sad, terrified.

Terrified that some day we will have to explain to our children what the American Dream once was, and where it has gone.

Terrified that we will have to explain to our Maker why we as a nation turned our backs on Him.

Terrified that in the name of religious and ethnic tolerance we Americans will surrender our rights to honor our Maker as we see fit.

Terrified of what the man will do who sat in the White House and watched - in real time - the torture and death of an American ambassador and did nothing, even refused to send the help they called for when it was only half an hour away.

Terrified of what the man will do who on March 27 of this year promised Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. “After my election, I have more flexibility.’’ And they were talking about the issue of missile defense!

Terrified of living in a nation that re-elected the man who would do these things!

Terrified that God will turn His back on our most blessed nation, since we as a nation seem to have turned our backs on Him.

Realize that the elections are over. What will be will be. It is time for healing, time to soothe the fears, halt the accusations and hopefully move on to better things. Time to hope that those elected are not as bad as some of us think, to pray that they will realize they had only the slimmest majority, and that the other half of America disagrees with some of their goals. Time to pray they will not destroy the things we hold dear.

But the terror, for now, remains. Never, ever, has anyone more sincerely prayed to be wrong!

God bless America!

TURN TO THE SKIES

No matter what we do here on Earth, the sun, moon and stars hopefully will remain in their proper places. Anyone interested in seeing where the stars are and what they are doing is invited to Harmony Arboretum on Thursday, November 8, from 6 to 7:15 p.m. for some star gazing. There will be a free program about stars, constellations, and mythology. Kids can make their own star chart to take home.

Dress warm, and bring some blankets. Harmony Arboretum is located seven miles west of Marinette on Hwy. 64, and then half a mile south on County Road E.

HUNGRY KIDS

Some of us go hungry because we’re dieting. Some today, mainly school kids, are going hungry because someone else thinks they should be dieting.

Wrote last week about the new Federal hot lunch guidelines that have more than a few kids spending their afternoons at school hungry. Others, about half the student body in some districts, have said farewell to a hot meal at noon in favor of carrying lunches from home.

The cutback in the amounts and types of foods served is all part of a plan to slim down America’s population, a pet project of First Lady Michelle Obama.

Promote it, fine! Require it? Just one more Federal intrusion into individual rights.

Districts that don’t comply with the new menu requirements and the time consuming record keeping that goes with it will lose the Federal funding that makes their programs possible, and the kids who need the food most won’t be getting it.

From this writer’s point of view, requiring schools to offer generous amounts of healthy fruits and vegetables is a very good thing. It’s probably good that the ever popular corn dogs will be served seldom in schools if at all. But the severe restrictions on the proteins that are so badly needed by growing bodies borders on evil.

Not all kids are heavy, some can hardly eat enough to keep up with their energy needs.

Under the new rules, which are slated to get even tougher next year, Hot Lunch can serve no more than 8 to 10 ounces of protein a week for kids in grades K-5, 9 to 10 ounces a week for grades 6-8, and 10 to 12 ounces a week for grades 9-12. Repeat, that total is per week, not per meal. That averages roughly two ounces a day for an older student.

An average egg weighs about two ounces. Consider a 1-ounce slice of cheese! A nice size hamburger weighs four ounces - half the week’s allowance - but that will never be a problem because fat limits and calorie restrictions destroy the possibility the kids ever again enjoying a cheese burger or grilled cheese sandwich for hot lunch.

The guidelines allow hot lunch programs to serve only 550 to 650 calories a week to kids in grades K-6 (size of the kid is immaterial). That’s about 110 to 150 calories per lunch! The limits go up to 600 to 700 calories a week for grades six through eight, and 750 to 850 for kids in high school. One Hershey bar with almonds has 230 kcals. A one ounce bag of cheddar potato chips has 160 of them. (Incidentally, the official rules talk about “kcals” but looked it up and found out that’s just a fancy term for a plain old calorie.)

Milk must be served with the meal, whether the youngster wants it or not, but it can only be either unflavored low fat or flavored or unflavored skim. Get that? They allow sweetened, imitation skim milk, with sugars kids don’t need, but not real, nutritious milk with the nutrients kids need to grow strong bones and teeth!

Amounts as small as a quarter ounce of salad dressing count toward the almost zero fat allowed in the meals! Means kids can’t even get the salad dressings they like to make the saltless, butterless vegetables they’re served more palatable.

There is a strict new requirement that all grain products served - breads and pastas - must be made at least partly of whole grains. Not a bad rule, really, but it’s another abrupt change for the kids.

Juices are allowed but restricted. There are no upper limits on fruits or plain vegetables, served without salt or butter, but minimum amounts must be put on every kid’s plate, even if that kid declares he absolutely will not eat it. Hot lunch crews report many of their vegetables end up in the garbage.

Sugar is pretty much restricted by calorie limits that make most desserts off limits, except for maybe a sugar free Jell-O with whipped air topping. That’s possibly good, again except for the wiry, active kids who need that energy to keep going.

Wonder if the folks who drew up those regulations and pushed for their passage follow the guidelines themselves? Now, that might be a good rule!

MONSTER MASH

Halloween is over, but it brought to mind some of the monster hits of years past.

Monsters are supposed to scare people, but some have proven to be pure gold for recording stars, and they seem to have done it without anyone really trying.

Remember the 1958 hit, “Purple People Eater?”

Seems a friend of recording artist Sheb Wooley told him a riddle he had heard from his kid: “What’s purple, has one horn, flies, has one eye and eats people?”

The answer, of course, was, “A one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater.” What else would it be?

Well, Wooley thought the line was catchy, and wrote a song with that theme.

Loved that song as a kid. Used to know all the words, but found out I’d forgotten them, so had to look it up. It went like this:

“Well I saw the thing comin’ out of the sky...It had the one long horn and one big eye...I commenced to shakin’ and I said “ooh-eee”...It looks like a purple eater to me... It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater...(Chorus: One-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater... A one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater..Sure looks strange to me (One eye?)

“Well he came down to earth and he lit in a tree...I said Mr. Purple People Eater, don’t eat me...I heard him say in a voice so gruff...I wouldn’t eat you cuz you’re so tough (more chorus) I said Mr. Purple People Eater, what’s your line...He said it’s eatin’ purple people and it sure is fine...But that’s not the reason that I came to land...I wanna get a job in a rock and roll band...(A new chorus: “Well bless my soul, rock and roll, flyin’ purple people eater...Pigeon-toed, undergrowed, flyin’ purple people eater...(We wear short shorts)...Flyin’ purple people eater...Sure looks strange to me!)

“And then he swung from the tree and he lit on the ground... He started to rock, really rockin’ around...It was a crazy little ditty with a swingin’ tune...Sing a boop boop aboopa lopa lum bam boom...(chorus)

“And then he went on his way, and then what do ya know...I saw him last night on a TV show...He was blowing it out, a’really knockin’ em dead...Playin’ rock and roll music through the horn in his head.”

Wooley recorded the song, and three weeks later it was the Number One single in the U.S.!

That may have been the first of the monster hits, but it wasn’t the last. “Monster Mash,” by Bobby Pickett, was probably the biggest of the monster hits, so big that it hit the charts three times, in 1962, 1970 and 1973.

See how cool we were back then? We knew good music when we heard it. Lots smarter than kids these days!

COOKIN’ TIME

Let the cold winds blow! We can be inside, warming up with hot soup, sipping hot chocolate, coffee and enjoying these luscious treats. Lots of recipes today, because Deer Season and Thanksgiving are coming on, and with them comes the annual gathering of the clans and the feasting that goes with it.

HUNTER’S BREAKFAST

Set this up in the crock pot the night before, and hunters will not need to go hungry into the forest. Serves a dozen burly men very well.

1 bag frozen hash brown potatoes, 32 ounces

1 pound ham, cubed

1 pound bacon, diced, fried and drained*

1 onion, diced

1 green bell pepper diced

1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

1 dozen eggs

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper (more or less to taste)

Dash or two cayenne pepper, optional

Place a layer of frozen potatoes on the bottom of the slow cooker, followed by a layer of bacon, then onions, green pepper, ham and cheese. Repeat the layering process two or three more times, ending with a layer of cheese. Beat the eggs, milk and salt and pepper together. Pour over the crockpot mixture, cover and turn on low. Cook for 10-12 hours.

*Do save the bacon grease. It’s great for American fries, and if you’re cholesterol-phobic, mix it with bird seeds once the bears have all gone to sleep and hang it high in a tree as a treat for our feathered friends.

TUSCAN PASTA AND CHICKPEA SOUP

Here’s a hefty soup for your gourmet hunting party. The guys who aren’t gourmets will love it too! So will the support staff, busy keeping the home fires burning, especially after they get home from a tough day at the Mall.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons marjoram Leaves

1/2 teaspoon rosemary, crushed

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cans (16 ounces each) chickpeas (garbanzo beans),

drained and rinsed

3 1/2 cups chicken stock or soup base

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 cup water

1 cup short macaroni type pasta (alphabets are nice)

1 package (6 ounces) baby spinach or 6 cups sliced spinach

leaves

Herb-Infused Olive Oil (recipe follows)

Heat oil with marjoram, rosemary and garlic in a large sauce pot on medium-low heat until fragrant. Do not allow the garlic to brown. Stir in one can of the chickpeas or garbanzos, stock, tomatoes and water. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pasta. Put the other can of chick peas into the blender or food processor and process until smooth, then set aside. Simmer the soup mixture 10 minutes or until the pasta is very nearly done. Add the pureed chick peas and return to a boil, stirring to be sure it doesn’t stick. Add the spinach and cook until it wilts stirring occasionally. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Pass the Herb-Infused Olive Oil to drizzle on to taste.

Herb-Infused Olive Oil: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, one minced clove garlic, 1 teaspoon each basil leaves and marjoram leaves and a pinch of ground Cayenne (red pepper) in a small saucepan on low heat 5 minutes. Strain through a small sieve into a small bowl or pitcher. Pour into the cruet from a vinegar and oil set if you have one, or serve from the bowl with a teaspoon or a very small ladle.

CARAMEL APPLE STICKY BUNS

No way these easy treats would ever be on the school hot lunch menu under today’s rules, but it’s still legal for you to enjoy them at home. Wonderful treat for deer hunters in for a mid-morning break with a cup of hot coffee or cocoa after several hours in a cold, windy deer stand.

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon apple pie spice

2 apples, peeled, cored and grated

14-ounce bag caramels

3/4 cup whipping cream

2 cups pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a floured surface into a rectangular shape about 16x12-inches. Spread butter over top of dough allowing 1/4-inch from edge all around the dough. In a small bowl, mix sugar and apple pie spice. Sprinkle over buttered surface only. Grate apples right over the spice mixture, spread evenly just to the buttered edge. Wet edge with water, then roll into a long tube and pinch ends in press to seal long seam. Cut into slices. Grease a 13x 9-inch baking pan with vegetable spray, and set aside. In a large microwavable bowl, combine caramels and whipping cream. Zap one minute at a time for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring after each minute. After completely melted, stir well. Pour into greased pan. Add pecan halves. Place slices of dough with cut side down on top of pecans. Space evenly to allow room for rolls to rise. Spray a piece of waxed paper with vegetable spray, and place sprayed side down on top of rolls. Let stand in warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled. Remove waxed paper and place in preheated oven. Bake 35 minutes,or until golden brown. Cool in pan 5 to 10 minutes and then turn rolls out on a serving dish, bottom side up.

Thought for the Week: Lord, our nation has been through some trying times. Do not turn Your back on us. Please help us accept that You know best. Help us all to accept Thy will. Grant our leaders the purity of heart to do what is best for our nation rather than for themselves. Help them move America forward on the paths You have chosen for it, and help us move ourselves forward on the path You have chosen for us. Amen.

(This column is 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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