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Country Cousin

Eggs...

Hi Folks!

Short summer, wasn’t it folks? Considering that this is Wisconsin, the snow just possibly could be gone in time for Easter. On the other hand, they’re promising more for Holy Thursday.

The snow that fell late Sunday night would have been absolutely marvelous had it come on Christmas Eve. Now it’s a little late for Snowman Snow and the picture postcard beauty of a Winter Wonderland that greeted us Monday morning.

Come on! Doesn’t that weatherman know Mondays are bad enough already?!!

EVIDENCE

Meanwhile, evidence of “global warming” keeps piling up along the shores of Green Bay in Marinette and Menominee and probably elsewhere. At Tourist Park just across the Menekaunee Bridge in Menominee, ice floes from the winter freezeover are piled up 20 and 30 feet high, and have buried trees and covered the road in some places.

My sister, who lives just across that road along the beach in Tourist Park, said she woke up Sunday night thinking a huge freight train must be going by. But the sound just kept up. Then the whole house started to shake. Curtains were waving, dishes were rattling, and pictures were threatening to fall off the walls. She thought it was an earthquake. Then she looked out an east window and saw the ice piles growing, thrown ashore with mighty force by the lashing waves.

That brings to mind events about two decades ago when ice destroyed many things along the shore, including the structures at Red Arrow Park.

Looks like the cycle is starting over. Am predicting the next few years will be wetter than they have been, and the winters will continue to be colder with deeper snows than they have been for about the last 20 years, more like they were when Yours Truly was a kid, and trust me, that was a lot more than 20 years ago!

EASTER EGGS

Eggs are a symbol of the Resurrection, and have become a symbol of Easter. In the old days, Christians in many areas were forbidden to eat eggs during Lent, so when Easter finally arrived they went all out enjoying them. Probably that’s how the idea of boiling and decorating them came about. Hard boiling the eggs would make them last a little longer, and if they didn’t stay good to eat, at least they could stay good to look at.

Eggs are also wonderful eating, no matter what you do with them, and doctors have restored them to the “can do” list.

According to Margaret Boyles in a recent edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, “After years of warning consumers not to eat eggs (or at least the yolks) because of their high cholesterol content, research has prompted the medical/nutrition establishment to bring the “incredible edible” back to the menu.” She said one physician wrote, “Egg reduction or elimination (with a few possible exceptions, including allergies) must now join the list of urban myths from 20th-century medical care.”

Just don’t eat them raw or under cooked because of salmonella and other possible contaminants.

SAVE THE SHELLS

Eggs also offer some fringe benefits that most of us don’t take advantage of. If you eat eggs, you’ll have eggshells. They’re a great addition to the compost pile, but also can provide nutrients that are beneficial to humans.

We shouldn’t try to eat egg shells, but there are ways to release their minerals and convert them into forms human bodies can use.

The treated shells also can provide nutrients for specific plants or plant ailments.

Sterilize the shells by baking if they haven’t been boiled. Dry them completely by spreading on cookie sheets and baking at a low temperature. Then grind them into a fine powder. Did that in the food processor once and found that it dulled the blades, but the coffee grinder works well. Treat each tomato transplant and summer-squash hills to a handful of eggshell powder to add calcium to the soil. This prevents blossom end rot, which can be a real challenge during summers of erratic rainfall.

Store the eggshell powder in a covered glass container.

Powdered eggshells can serve as a digestible calcium supplement in the diets of people and companion animals. One teaspoon of eggshell powder makes about 800 milligrams of calcium. It also contains small amounts of other essential minerals present in the shell. You can add the powdered eggshells to baked goods, sprinkle them into soups and casseroles or add to a health cocktail that starts with tomato or V-8 juice.

I’ve read that old-time sauerkraut makers sometimes added crushed or powdered eggshells between the layers of cabbage, where it gradually dissolved in the mild acid environment of the fermenting kraut. Today, some people dissolve the eggshell powder in cider vinegar and add the vinegar to salad dressings.

Grandma used to dry the shells on the back of the wood stove, then crushed them and fee\d them to the chickens. This, she said, made the shells stronger on the eggs they laid.

On a whole different note, to make nutrients for plants and chickens, dry banana peels thoroughly, grind them and grind. Good for chickens, but wonderful worked into the soil around rose bushes along with the eggshell powder. Flowers need to eat too, you know.

RHEUMATIZ

Remember the last time you heard anyone complain about “lumbago”? How about “rheumatiz”? The pains from both ailments, otherwise known as rheumatism or arthritis, are aggravated by stormy, rainy weather.

An old time cure, published in a 2005 cookbook that featured old time recipes from Athelstane and Silver Cliff included this recipe for a Rheumatism cure. You mix the juice from three lemons and one grapefruit with a teaspoon cream of tartar, a teaspoon of epsom salts and a quart of hot water. Keep the mixture in the fridge and drink one wine glass full each morning.

Have no idea if it works or not, but if you try it, hope you’ll let the rest of us know how it turns out.

QUIZ TIME

What do you call 10 Easter bunnies hopping backwards through the snow together? See answer after Cookin’ Time.

LAWS OF PHYSICS

One of my long-lost cousins recently shared these Laws of Physics that are not taught in doctorate classes. Obviously these are closely related to Murphy’s Laws, which most of us encounter regularly. They explain a lot of things. Thanks, Mike, otherwise known as PB. Took a while to figure it out.

1. The Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll have to pee.

2. The Law of Gravity: Any tool, nut, bolt, or screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible place in the universe.

3. The Law of Probability: The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

4. The Law of Random Numbers : If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal; someone always answers.

5. The Variation Law: If you change lines in traffic lanes, the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.

6. Law of the Bath: When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone will ring.

7. The Law of Close Encounters: The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.

8. Law of the Result: When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will.

9. Law of Biomechanics: The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

10. Law of the Theater and Hockey Arena : At any event, the people whose seats are farthest from the aisle always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the game is over or the performance ends. Folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk.

11. Coffee Law: As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

12. Locker room Law: If there are only 2 people in a

locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

13. Law of Physical Surfaces: The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

14. The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.

15. The Law of Shopping: If the clothes fit, they’re ugly.

16. Law of Conversation: A closed mouth gathers no feet.

17. Law of Commercial Marketing: As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it or the store will stop selling it.

18. Doctors and Dentists Law: If you don’t feel well, make an appointment to see the doctor. By the time you get into his office, you’ll feel better. But if you don’t make an appointment and you’ll stay sick. Ditto goes for the dentist and a toothache.

COOKIN’ TIME

Easter usually means ham, and that means an opportunity for some very good planned leftovers. The ones below are examples of what you can do with leftover ham to create treats that will make you sorry when it’s gone. The ones below not only use Easter ham leftovers, they provides good uses for boiled eggs as well.

JAJKA FASZEROWANY

POLISH STUFFED EGGS

6 large hard-cooked eggs, shelled and halved

8 ounces cooked ham, ground

4 tablespoons Polish honey cheese (slotki ser z miodem) or

other mild cheese, perhaps Swiss or Colby

4 tablespoons sour cream

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

Salt and black pepper

2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill, chives or both

1 cup fine dry bread crumbs

2 ounces (1/2 stick) melted butter

Remove yolks from egg halves and combine them with the rest of the ingredients, except the bread crumbs and melted butter. (If you don’t have fresh dill weed, use 1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed instead.) Mix well. Heat the broiler. Mound the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites. Place on a heatproof dish or pan. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, covering the filling and whites completely, and drizzle with melted butter. Broil about 3 minutes or until bread crumbs are crisp and golden. Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers.

CREAMED HAM AND EGGS

1 cup cooked ham, cut in julienne strips or cubed

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/4 cup sliced green onion

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (half red bell pepper for

more color)

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

4 hard-cooked eggs, sliced

1 1/2 cups cooked asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

Baked puff pastry shells, toast, hot cooked rice,or buttered

noodles

In a large skillet or heavy saucepan over medium heat, lightly brown ham in butter or margarine. Add green pepper and onion; cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender. Add flour and cook, stirring, until flour is absorbed and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and add milk a little at a time, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Add eggs and asparagus and reheat. Serve over puff pastry shells, toast, hot cooked rice or buttered noodles. Serves 6.

KEY LIME PIE NESTS

These cute little treats are fantastic. They speak of South Sea Islands and summer sunshine, and with very little effort you can convert them into miniature nests for a very special Easter dessert.

CRUST:

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

FILLING:

2 egg yolks

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup Key lime juice

1 tablespoon grated lime peel

3/4 teaspoon coconut extract

dash salt

TOPPING:

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon coconut extract

GARNISH:

1/4 cup sweetened flaked or shredded coconut, toasted, see instructions below. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line 24 mini muffin cups with paper liners. Combine all of the crust ingredients, except butter, in medium bowl. Stir in butter until crumbs are moistened. Spoon about 1-1/2 teaspoons crumb mixture into each muffin cup; press firmly over bottom to form crust. Bake 5 minutes; cool completely on wire rack. Wisk egg yolks, condensed milk and lime juice in medium bowl until combined. Stir or whisk in all remaining filling ingredients. Spoon about 1 tablespoon filling into each muffin cup. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until set. Cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight. Beat cream in medium bowl at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add all remaining topping ingredients; beat until stiff peaks form. Fill pastry bag fitted with star tip or resealable plastic bag with corner cut off with topping. Pipe decoratively on top of each pie; garnish with coconut. Refrigerate until ready to serve. For Easter, sprinkle the coconut in a nest shape and tuck in two or three tiny jelly beans.

TOASTED COCONUT

Stove Top Method: Place desired amount of coconut flakes in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the flakes are mostly golden brown. If the coconut is sweetened it tends to brown faster so, it will take less time. Watch very closely.

Oven Method: Preheat oven to 325F. Spread coconut flakes on a baking sheet in a thin layer and bake in preheated oven. The flakes will toast very quickly and won’t take more than 5-10 minutes. After a few minutes stir the coconut to help ensure even color. Remember, sweetened flakes will take less time because sugar speeds the toasting process.

EASY PINA COLADA CAKE

Fat free dessert, but extremely good any way. Those not on a fat free diet should use real whipped cream or whipped topping.

1 package angel food cake mix

1 can crushed pineapple

1/2 cup toasted coconut

Whipped topping, fat free is original recipe

Add 1 can crushed pineapple to one package of angel food cake mix. Pour into greased baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool. Spread with whipped topping and sprinkle with 1/2 cup toasted coconut. Keep refrigerated.

Answer to Easter Bunny quiz: A receding hare line.

Thought for the week: Lord, we know there aren’t many real saints walking on this Earth, and often wonder how You can forgive some of the things we’ve done, or neglected to do. We also know that the Apostles walked and talked with Jesus, they saw the Transfiguration, heard the Father say, “This is my beloved Son in which I am well pleased. Yet despite this, Peter did not have the courage at first to acknowledge Jesus when the soldiers came to arrest him on the eve of Good Friday. God forgave him. How then can we think He will not forgive us? Thank You for Your mercy, Lord.

(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 715-291-9002 or by e-mail to shirleyprudhommechickadee@yahoo. com.)

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