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Country Cousin

Issue Date: June 21, 2018

Busy Sunday...

Summer is here. Officially arrival time of the Summer Solstice here in TIMESland is 5:07 a.m. on Thursday, June 21. We won't hear its plane land or anything, but if the sun shines as predicted there will be more minutes between sunrise and sunset than on any other day of the year. The sad thing is, as soon as Summer gets here, it starts leaving. Days will start getting shorter from Thursday on until December.

But let's not worry about that. Let's just enjoy fine weather while it's here. We've had some sweltering days, and some chilly ones, and lots, and lots of rain. Lucky for us we missed the heaviest of the downpours that caused serious flooding in far northwest parts of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Less serious flooding was reported around Niagara and in the Daggett area on the Michigan side of the Menominee River.

Lakes and streams in TIMESland are still a bit cold for swimming, but lots of folks are splashing in anyway. They're also busy fishing, sailing, rafting, tubing and doing all the other water sports that we're so lucky to have here.

NEW YEAR

It has always seemed to me that the New Year should start when the snow melts in Spring, not in the middle of dreary old winter. In ancient Egypt the first day of summer was observed as the start of the new year. Rising of the star roughly coincided with the summer solstice and the annual flooding of the Nile River, which brought new life to the lands around it.

FUN GOES ON

On Sunday, June 24, folks all over TiMESland will be celebrating in a big way. There are so many fun things to do that you won't know where to start, but you might want to start by picking strawberries, which are now ready to harvest and enjoy. Do it early enough and you can still enjoy a few of the really fun things. That means getting to Church really early, or on Saturday night, but that's life!

BREAKFAST ON THE FARM

Eat your fill and more at the annual all-you-can eat Marinette County June Dairy Month Breakfast on the Farm and then tour the farm operations and enjoy displays and activities. Find detailed info elsewhere in todays issue. This year it's hosted by Carlson Family Farms, on County W just southwest of Hwy. 64 in the Town of Grover.

BREAKFAST IN THE SCHOOL

From 8 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 24th, the Catholic Central Athletic Club is hosting its annual Pancake Breakfast in the Saint Thomas Aquinas Academy High School gym at 1200 Main Street in Marinette. Features all you can eat pancakes, sausage and beverages for $5 per person.

CEMETERY REENACTMENTS

If history and cemeteries are your thing, join one of the tours of Forest Home Cemetery between 1 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. on Sunday. Call or stop by the Forest Home Mausoleum to reserve a spot at $5 each. This walk, complete with reenactors, portrays Memorial Day, 1890, when the cemetery was dedicated, through events in 1895. Reenactors will portray six of the people involved, and tell their stories. Music will be provided by the Menominee River Choir and Dean Hoffman. Refreshments available.

BOOYAH FOR YOU?

St. Margaret's Church in Pembine is having its annual Booyah & Music event from noon to three p.m. on Sunday, June 24. If you're Up North, show up ready to eat. Those people are really, really good cooks!

ART FOR ALL

There will be an art show and sale at Menominee Marina Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine, with more than 50 regional artists, hands on art area for children, food booths and entertainment.  Performances from First Street Academy of Dance begin at 10:30 a.m; music by the Dynamic Duo starts at 12:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available.

BADGER PARK MUSIC

A free outdoor concert with Christian music by John Walker will start at 4 p.m. at Badger Park in Peshtigo.

LEOW STRONG BIKE RIDE

Like bicycle riding? Join the Leow Strong bike Ride on Sunday. Riders leave from Marinette High School on three routes of nine, 25 or 50 miles. There will be six rest stops along the way through the Peshtigo River area, along Green Bay and on country backroads.

JUNE IS DAIRY MONTH

We here in Wisconsin really need to celebrate June Dairy Month, because Wisconsin is America's Dairyland. We made that official with a declaration adopted in 1930.

Am told that Wisconsin no longer has more cows than people, but according to some data collected in 2010, our state is home to more than 1.27 million dairy cows " that's as many cows as school children! Even more cows than deer.

Wisconsin boasts more dairy cows per square mile than any other state, even though California claims to have surpassed us in milk production.

Dairy farms and related businesses and industries are mainstays of the Wisconsin economy. Wisconsin dairy producers turn out more quality cheese every year than any other entire nation in the world.

Wisconsin dairies fuel our state economy at the rate of more than $39,000 per minute. Those dollars support schools, roads and businesses in our local communities. Each cow generates more than $21,000 each year in economic activity. This means the average 250-cow dairy farm contributes more than $5 million each year to our state's economy.

All we need to do to preserve our reputation as America's Dairyland is keep enjoying cheese curds, Mac 'n' Cheese, cheesecake, whipped cream"..

No problem!

COW PIES

As kids on grandpa's farm we avoided stepping in cow pies or deer apples on our treks through the pasture and into the woods. Today, have to chuckle every time I see a sign offering "Deer Apples" for sale.

KEEP IT FRESH

When stored below 40 degrees, whole milk lasts 5 to 7 days; non-fat 7 to 10 days; and reduced fat 7 days. But you can stretch the freshness by storing milk in the back of your fridge, the coldest part, and the farthest away from the light, which degrades it.

When buying milk, pick it up just before you check out, and put it on ice in the car if it's a long ride home. Bringing a cooler on a hot summer day is good idea for meats and freezer items anyway.

After you pour a glass of milk, return container directly to the fridge. Don't let it sit on the counter any longer than you have to. Divide your gallon of milk into smaller containers, filled to the top. Then cover tightly and keep closed in the coolest part of the fridge until you will use it. Use up one container before opening the other.

You can also freeze milk, but be sure to leave headroom in the freezing container. Freezing may change the color and texture of the milk, but it's safe to drink and good to use in baking and cooking.

Another tip for keeping milk fresh longer is to add a teaspoon of baking soda to a gallon when you open it; then shake. Baking soda reduces the acidity in milk and retards spoilage.

Adding a pinch of salt also works to keep it fresh longer, although some health experts say this changes the nutritional qualities.

To keep cottage cheese fresher longer after opening, be sure the cover is tightly on, and then store upside down.

SOUR MILK

Sometimes, no matter what we do, those of us who live alone can't use up our gallon of milk before it goes bad. Sour milk doesn't taste good, but its not dangerous. Add some vinegar if necessary, and then use it to make buttermilk biscuits, waffles, pancakes, cakes and sauces containing both milk and yogurt or sour cream.

Add it to your bath water for a soothing soak. You might want to add essential oils, perfume or bubble bath to make it smell better. They claim Cleopatra preserved her beauty by bathing regularly in milk, and that was in Egypt where it's usually hot, so her milk bath was probably soured.

Pour sour milk around outdoor plants to add nutrients and keep deer away.

Dab it on poison ivy itches.

So, when in doubt, don't throw it out. Put it to another good use. That's the best way to recycle anything!

JUBILATION QUAKE???

Yahoo writer Blake Schuster claims a minor earthquake in Mexico City may have been caused by "an entire nation lost in jubilation" over its World Cup soccer victory. He reported that on Sunday, June 17, during Mexico's thrilling 1-0 victory over reigning champion Germany, government officials reported a man-made seismic activity occurred right around the time El Tri (the Mexican team) scored in the 35th minute in downtown Mexico City.

He says, ""this certainly wouldn't be the first time a sporting event in North America has caused a seismic activity. Most famously in the U.S., Marshawn Lynch's tackle-breaking touchdown run in the 2011 playoffs became known as the "Beast Quake.'"

The United States Geological Survey appears to also have recorded some quake activity near Mexico City on Sunday morning, but made it clear that it was unclear if the quake was related to Mexico's World cup soccer goal.

Can sure think of a lot more things more worth setting the the world aquiver for than a soccer game. But true soccer fans would probably disagree.

"MY HAT'S IN THE RING"

When were discussing political issues the other day, we got to talking about political candidates, wondering where the phrase, "Throw your hat in the ring," got its start.

Today we mostly hear it in connection with someone deciding to run for political office, but according to "Wonder Why Wednesday" on the "attention.land" website, the phrase got started in the boxing world. In the early 1800s, onlookers at boxing matches would crowd around the ring to watch the action. Anyone who wanted to be the next one up to box would take his hat off of his head and physically throw it into the ring. This was the 1800s way of "calling next."

Earliest published use of the phrase was believed to have been in an 1805 issue of "The Sporting Magazine," that told of a boxer who "threw his hat into the ring as an act of defiance to his antagonist."

Theodore Roosevelt, an avid boxing fan, apparently picked up on this. Teddy was the first candidate known to use the phrase in the political context. That was in 1912 when he announced his intention to challenge William Howard Taft for the U.S. presidency by saying: "My hat's in the ring."

Now we know. Hope everyone can sleep better for having that burning question answered.



COOKIN' TIME

ZA'ATAR


Have been reading a lot about Middle Eastern cuisines recently. Many of the recipes call for a seasoning called "Za'atar." Haven't found any to buy, but did find some recipes for making it. The true form contains a sumac, which in some forms is poisonous, so buy yours if you can. Don't pick it unless you're sure. You can find sumac at Middle Eastern markets, specialty foods stores, and on line.

To make about a quarter cup of Za'atar, combine 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, 1 tablespoon sumac, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds. Stir in 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. As a substitute for sumac add grated lemon zest mixed with salt or black pepper or fresh lemon juice. Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

My old Armenian landlord made some wonderful foods that we enjoyed during our newlywed years as tenants of their upstairs apartment and he used lemon as a seasoning in many of them.

TEXICAN VEGGIE SKILLET

Quick, colorful and delicious.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 onion, sliced into rings

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 cup whole kernel canned corn, drained

15-ounce can stewed tomatoes with green peppers and onion

1 clove garlic, minced

salt and ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 lime, juice only

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion in hot oil until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in cumin. Add garlic and fry briefly. Stir in zucchini and yellow squash and cook until slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Add corn; cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes. Cook and stir until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook to desired doneness, 5 to 10 more minutes. Sprinkle in cilantro; stir until wilted. Remove from heat and squeeze lime over mixture.

FROSTED SPICY ZUCCHINI BARS

1 1/3 cups brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup chopped walnuts

Spice Frosting:

1 (16 ounce) package cream cheese frosting

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (or allspice)

Preheat the oven to 350 degree. Butter a 9x13-inch baking pan. Mix brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract together in a bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir in zucchini and walnuts. Spread batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting, about 1 hour. Mix frosting with cloves (or allspice) in a bowl. Spread over the zucchini bars. Actually the frosting is good without the spice, too, or with cinnamon instead.



Thought for the week: Found this in a set of musings that I had saved years ago, and they are worth thinking about. Part of it reads: "Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, a child of God, no less than the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here, and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God"Whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul"It's still a beautiful world!"



(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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