Summer's Swan Song...
Summer 2017 is over, according to the calendar. Fall arrived officially at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, and ironically brought with it the hottest day and the finest spell of rain-free summer weather we've had this year. Seems to be over now. Folks complaining about the weekend's muggy heat in September are probably happy. Me? I'd rather have Summer keep right on, even if it does mean running the air conditioning and getting the summer clothes back out of storage.
Hard to believe, but Halloween decorations are already coming out. It's only a month away!
Peshtigo's huge Historical Day Celebration is Saturday, Sept. 30, starting with the Firetower Walk/Run event at 8 a.m. and parade at 10:30 a.m. Throughout the afternoon and evening historical reenactment groups will be doing their thing in Badger Park, sharing the attention with live music and lots of entertainment for all ages. Food and drink will be available all day and well into the night, which is highlighted by fireworks at dusk.
Also on Sept. 30, Gov. Tommy Thompson State Park has some special events planned for Fall Color Weekend, and Crivitz Business Association is hosting its Fall Harvest Fest Craft Sale at Crivitz High School from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Loomis Historical Society's annual Loomis Days Potluck Picnic at the Town of Lake Hall on Sunday, Oct. 1, at 12:30 p.m. All past and present residents of the Loomis area are invited and are asked to bring a dish to pass, tableware, and an appetite for food, friendship and a bit of history. Beverages are provided. Keith Thoreson, who with wife, Judy, owns Tree Treasures in Middle Inlet, will speak on trapping. Thoreson is also an expert on the history of logging history in this area, and might also be induced to talk a bit about that too.
Recently read a cute little ditty about Summer's Swan Song - the coming of Autumn and what we are in for. Goes like this:
"Soon the little leaves heard the wind's loud call and started tumbling, one and all.
"Over brown meadows they danced and flew, singing a little happy song they all knew.
"Dancing and whirling the little leaves went, winter had called them and they were content.
"Soon fast asleep in their earthly beds, snow for a coverlet over their heads."
Before all those leaves go to sleep for the winter, let's get out there and enjoy the spectacular beauty Marinette County offers in Autumn.
THE ROADS LEAST TRAVELED
Folks who live in TIMESland know we don't have to go to New England to enjoy some spectacular Autumn colors.
Visit Marinette County's Thunder Mountain Overlook to take in the awesome views. On a clear day you can see the sparkling waters of Green Bay, even though you're in mid-Marinette County west of Crivitz off Parkway Road. In fact, this is a great time to visit any of Marinette County's beautiful parks.
Wisconsin has a list of Rustic Roads that are well worth traveling, particularly at this time of year. Several are located in TIMESland. There are lots of beautiful drives here that are not on the official list, but maybe they should be. One of those is Old J off County C in Silver Cliff that travels over hill and dale through marvelous maple forests where lots of sap is drawn in spring for syrup making.
For a really great 37-mile drive on an authentic state certified Rustic Road, take Parkway Road from County W north to County C, then on County I (formerly Parkway Road) to US 8 in Goodman. Turn off on Goodman Park Road and stop at the park to see the waterfalls there in all their glory. This route, partly paved and partly gravel, Wisconsin's longest rustic road. It runs past the entrance to Gov. Thompson State park, and entrances to several county parks as well as the Peshtigo River State Forest. It passes through uninterrupted miles of hardwood ad conifer forests, granite outcroppings, and offers vistas of the Thunder and Peshtigo rivers and the High Falls and Caldron Falls flowages.
The stretch of County I between Silver Cliff and Goodman Park Road passes through what we used to call the Golden Cathedral, where gilded leaves met in a long and awesome arch over several miles the winding road, back when it was Parkway Road. Some of the trees have been cut back now in the interest of making snow and ice removal easier, and that's a shame. But it's still a glorious drive, especially on a golden Autumn day. You're also likely to see a multitude of wildlife, from deer to raccoons to bears and maybe if you're lucky, a bobcat or wolf. It can happen. They do live there.
For a shorter drive, Sweetheart City and Creek roads in the Town of Middle Inlet east of Hwy. 141 form a 5-mile loop off County X. The curved and hilly route, partly paved and partly gravel, passes through many wooded areas that often form a scenic canopy over the road.
On the east end of Lake Noquebay, take Right of Way Road from Sumac Lane/Pioneer Road north and east to County X. A second branch of Right of Way Road extends southeast to the Porterfield/Lake town line at Panske Road. This paved scenic 6.5 mile route once was part of the Wisconsin-Michigan Railroad, hence the name of the road. It crosses two creeks and runs adjacent to the and through Marinette County Forest land.
For a different sort of Autumn Drive, through what some call the Wisconsin Everglades, take a 2.3 mile tour on North Park Avenue Road, beginning at County S in the city of Oconto and ending at Maple School Grove Road in the Town of Little River. In the right seasons, you'll see majestic cattails that line both sides of the road, as well as blue flag iris, swamp milkweed, marsh fern and lowland grasses. In the middle of the route, trees lining the road form a graceful canopy that arches overhead. There's also a century farmstead visible from the road.
Or go west to Old 32 Road, between County W and County F in Oconto County near Mountain. This 9.4 mile drive is all paved. It passes through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest where beautiful wooded vistas teem with wildlife and birds. A complementary feature is the Mountain Fire Lookout Tower. Built in 1934, it is the only fire tower still standing in the area.
A bit farther, and you could take Hwy. C west from Silver Cliff or Hwy. 32 north from Carter and get to a great 26.3 mile drive through parts of Forest County, beginning at the intersection of Hwy. 32 and County C, and following a loop that takes Indian Market, Kuffner, Camp 1 and Bay Shore roads and ends up back at County C at Wabeno. The route is a prime destination to view wildlife and fall colors since it's heavily wooded with maples, oaks, pines and poplars.
The weather is fine right now, but this is Wisconsin, after all, so we could be steaming at 80 degrees one day and wiping the frost off our pumpkins the next. Heck, that could even happen in the same day.
Watch the weather, and if it feels like frost, pick your green tomatoes and get them indoors. If you have a place to hang them, pull up some plants, roots and all, and hang them upside down inside, preferably in the basement. We picked fresh vine ripened tomatoes until December by doing this.
Warm outside or not, it's time to start moving houseplants back inside, or at least getting ready to do that. If they're planted in the ground, transplant the ones you want to save into planters. That way you can leave them outside as long as it stays nice and they don't have the double shock of being transplanted and moved from outdoors to indoors at the same time. But have a spot ready inside, in case moving in becomes an emergency.
This is a good time of year to divide and transplant outdoor perennials.
Leave your brussels sprouts where they are as long as you can. Ditto for parsnips. Both taste better harvested after the first frost. If the snow covers them, brush it off.
Take root cuttings from annuals, such as begonias, geraniums, and impatiens and the like before the frost gets them. Put the cuttings to root in water, and then plant in containers. Keep them in a sunny place indoors and you'll have their cheery blossoms all winter and plants that are ready for yard duty in spring, no charge.
If you're still among those who are forced to interchange window screens and storm windows at the proper seasons, make life easier for yourself. Get a permanent magic marker and number each window with the screen and storm window that fit it. No questions about where each goes when it's time to switch them out again.
ON THE SOAP BOX - DON'T BACK THE PACK!
The late, great Vincent Lombardi must be spinning in his grave!
To think that today's pro coaches and owners allow their players to disrespect the American National Anthem while on company time is nothing short of disgraceful, an insult to all of us. It's the fans who pay their salaries. Guess it's time for us to stop doing it!
Kneeling during the National Anthem might be okay if they were praying, but politically correct folks would probably object to that. Freedom of expression only goes so far, you know.
Even worse was hearing about a grade school coach who encouraged his little fourth graders to disrespect the nation that gives us the good life we all enjoy. If that coach encouraged his kids to pray he'd be fired!
But back to that disgusting bunch of football players who live the good life, with million dollar salaries paid mainly by us privileged white folks who can't even afford to go to the games. Shame on them!
Bet if you gave them the chance to turn back history and have their ancestors stay in Africa instead of being brought here to America as slaves they'd turn it down.
If their ancestors had not come here and endured the misery of slavery, those football stars would likely be among the starving hordes at refugee camps in Africa fed by generous American missionaries.
Had a very thoughtful e-mail message from a reader who disagreed with last week's comments about "degrees of slavery." Still maintain that's true, and being an indentured servant is indeed a degree of slavery. Difference is that it has an end. If you live that long.
As to treatment of blacks after the Emancipation Proclamation, maybe some folks should study history with an open mind.
More than most nationalities, except the blacks, the penniless immigrants from Ireland and China were treated very badly when they first came to America, and they had no owners to make sure they were clothed and fed. But they made the best of bad situations instead of sitting on their pity pots or turning to crime and vengefully destructive demonstrations.
They worked hard, assimilated into the American culture, and proved they were good people. Today they are very well accepted.
It's time for everyone to look forward to more of the good life we all enjoy today instead of trying to get even for past injustices. America gives us all the chance, and deserves to be respected for it!
Harvests keep coming, especially of zucchini and summer squash. Apples are falling from the trees, and all sorts of good things are there for the picking. Eat what you can now, and freeze, can or otherwise store what you can't so you can enjoy summer's bounty during the winter. Time is always short, especially at this time of year, so today's recipes are for quick and easy vittles made as much as possible with fresh ingredients. Best of both worlds!
VEGETABLE DUMPLING SOUP
Make this when you have a bit of leftover rice. Instead of canned tomatoes, use 4 cups of fresh diced tomatoes if you want, and instead of frozen vegetables use 3 or 4 cups mixed of diced carrots, potatoes, celery, onion, green beans and corn.
1/2 pound ground beef
4 cups water or vegetable soup stock
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package frozen mixed vegetables
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter or shortening
1/3 cup cooked rice, room temperature
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain if there's too much fat. Add the water, tomatoes, vegetables, soup mix, oregano and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 to 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender
For the dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Toss in the rice and parsley. Separate the rice grains if you have to. In a small bowl combine the milk and egg and stir this into the rice mixture, stirring just until everything is moistened. Drop by teaspoonsful into the simmering soup. When it returns to a good boil turn down the heat, cover, and let simmer for about 15 minutes without removing the cover. Then take out a dumpling, and with it safely in a bowl insert a toothpick to be sure it comes out clean. If not, simmer another five or 10 minutes. Best if served immediately, but it can stand a bit if it has to.
THIS "N' THAT SALAD
Very forgiving. If you don't have green beans, use frozen or fresh peas. Leave out the water chestnuts if you prefer. Add some shredded carrots for color if you like, or even sliced radishes if you planted a late crop. Shredded cheddar cheese is also a good add-in.
1 pound fresh broccoli, cut into florets
1 1/2 cups corn (fresh cooked, canned or frozen)
1 cup green beans, sliced, cooked tender crisp
1 can water chestnuts, sliced (8 ounces)
1 small green pepper, diced
3 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
Lettuce leaves, optional
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ranch salad dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl combine the ingredients down to the lettuce leaves. In a smaller bowl mix the mayonnaise, salad dressing, Salt and pepper. Stir the dressing into the vegetables, then cover and refrigerate for two hours or more, even overnight. Serve on lettuce-lined plates, garnished with the sliced eggs and tomatoes.
SWEET POTATO APPLE BAKE
Try this now, and you'll probably want it on the Thanksgiving table when the time comes. Makes good use of maple syrup, too.
6 medium tart apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted
In a buttered shallow 2 1/2 cup baking dish combine the apple and sweet potato slices. Combine remaining ingredients and pour evenly over the apple/potato mixture. Cover dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove cover an bake for 15 to 20 minutes more or until apples and potatoes are tender. Makes six to eight servings.
Thought for the week: Came across this wish to revise and share with the many parents and grandparents whose kids have gone off to school, or ventured into new lives in distant cities. Also applies to kids who wish it for their retiring parents, and for those of us who have loved ones with illnesses from which they will likely not recover: "My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to be. Your dreams stay big and your worries stay small. You never need to carry more than you can hold. You find comfort when you need it. And while you're out there getting where you need to go, always know that somebody loves you and holds you close in their heart."
(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 email@example.com.)
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