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

Issue Date: November 15, 2018

Gathering of the clans"

Certainly wish Old Man Winter and the Weather Man would both check the calendar! Winter's not scheduled to arrive until Friday, Dec. 21. That's five weeks off, yet here he is already, bag and baggage! Frost in the air, snow on the ground, ice on the water, chills in the bones!

Enough already! Whatever happened to Indian Summer? Where's that Global Warming they were promising us?

GATHERING

Time for gathering the harvest is over, and time for gathering of the clan is here. Gun Deer Season, biggest holiday of the year for many TIMESland residents and visitors, starts on Saturday, Nov. 17. Hunters will be arriving in droves on Thursday and Friday at deer camps and ancestral homes all over northern Wisconsin.

This is not only time to dress in blaze orange and stalk the forest in quest of the elusive white tail, it's time for gathering of the clan, sharing of family legends, and in general, time for many scattered families to get to know one another once again, not only on Thanksgiving but all through the High Holy Days of Deer Season!

Classes at most schools in northern Marinette County will dismiss early on Friday, Nov. 16 because of the traffic and not resume until Monday, Nov. 26. Remember once several years ago Crivitz tried having school on the Monday and Tuesday of Deer Season. Nobody came - including most of the teachers. They didn't try that again.

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS

All over TIMESland there are plans in the works for Hunter's dinners, special sale events, entertainment offerings, and more. Watch the ads, check the bulletin boards, and don't miss out on the fun!

BLACK FRIDAY

The Friday after Thanksgiving has become known as "Black Friday," kickoff for the Christmas shopping season and supposedly the biggest shopping day of the year.

Folks will be asking the little ones what they want for Christmas before they hit the Black Friday sales. Santa will be asking them the same question.

If we want to raise generous kids who really get to feel the joy of Christmas, we may be asking the wrong question.

Perhaps we should be asking the kiddies what they want to give Dad or Mom for Christmas? Maybe those who are old enough to do crafts should be encouraged to consider what gift they will make for Grandma, Grandpa or a favorite aunt or uncle.

Those of us who love the glow that comes with finding exactly the right gift for someone we love should be encouraging our kids to share that joy, and gently coach them to think more about what they can give than what they will get. This is a good time to start.

ON THE SOAP BOX

NO RIOTS? NO SIT INS? NO PTSD?


Come on, Republicans! Where's your team spirit? Here it is a week since voters from southern Wisconsin gave the Wisconsin governorship to Tony Evers instead of Scott Walker, returned Senator Tammy Baldwin to office instead of electing Leah Vukmir, and gave control of the United States House of Representatives to the Democrats, and there hasn't been a single mob uprising, not a store window smashed, not even a slightly disorderly downtown riot! There might have been a few tears shed quietly, in private, but there hasn't been a single public group cry-in!

No fires have been started, no attacks have been made on the state capitol! Maybe that will come later.

But even on a personal level, Republican response seems woefully inadequate. There have been no cry ins, no group counseling sessions for Republican college students so distraught by the Democrat victory that they can't study, and no calls for group treatment of PTSD brought on by election disappointment!

Maybe Republicans are too adult for that sort of behavior!

STILL ON THE SOAP BOX

PROMISES KEPT


That said, do have to wonder what those folks who voted against Scott Walker's re-election want in a Governor?

Can say without reservation that Scott Walker is the best thing to happen to Wisconsin in the more than 40 years that I have been a professional observer of events affecting taxpayers in TIMESland. Until Gov. Walker and friends put the controversial Act 10 into effect property owners all across the state were in very serious danger of having to give up properties they loved because of the zooming property taxes. Am terrified those days will come back if a new borderline regime gets into full power. Luckily, we have a few years. Two anyway.

Need to wonder what voters really want? Scott Walker is that rare politician who actually kept his campaign promises, improved most services, and kept taxes down. So they voted him out of office.

School aids have been increased without raising the property tax, and school boards are no longer having to dip into reserve funds to balance their budgets. Some local control was returned to School Boards. Teachers have the right to decide if they do or do not want to pay dues to the Teacher's Union. Through the School Choice voucher program, parents who choose to send their kids to private schools (mainly religious ones) get some benefit from their tax dollars, just as parents do whose kids attend public schools. Remember, it's supposed to be the kid's education those taxes pay for, not the support of a school with state dictated class offerings and God banned from the curriculum and the building!

Thanks to the policies of Governor Walker and Republican state legislators, along with some very valuable help from the policies of President Donald Trump and Republican majorities in the United States Congress our state and our entire nation right now are enjoying the biggest economic boom since the days of Ronald Reagan and John Kennedy. We currently have the lowest percentage of unemployment on record!

So the people who accomplished this get voted out of office! It's really hard to understand how people think, or what they think they want!

Maybe the problem is that anyone who wants a job can get one, and Walker's policies tightened up against paying welfare benefits to people who will not work and people who cannot pass drug tests.

Maybe the problem is that too many of the welfare clients do not want to go to work, and if the economy is too good, they have to!

How unfair can you get???

Seriously, do hope the Democrats who were elected really do want what's best for the hard working people of this state, and hope they will not undo all the good things that have been accomplished for Wisconsin in the last eight years under the guidance of Scott Walker.

NO PTSD

Retired Marine bomb tech Joey Jones, a double-amputee Vietnam veteran who recently appeared on a "Fox and Friends" TV show, had a few things to say in reference to those who claim to have PTSD due to election disappointment.

Referring to civilians who claim to have PTSD, Jones said, "What these people felt might be a self-imposed stress disorder, but it's the equivalent to a bad hair day. It's not the equivalent to putting your buddy into a bag, it's not the equivalent to trying to save someone's life and watching it slip away in the middle of combat."

Jones said experts have learned that many service members who suffer from PTSD had experienced significant trauma in their pre-military lives, but the brutality of war can frequently expose and aggravate things to crippling levels.

He said simply being upset over an election doesn't equate to something like that, and suggested that those who claim PTSD because they don't like President Donald Trump's rhetoric are insulting those who really do have it.

He said those who claim PTSD without ever having served their country during times of war: ""can take your studies, your degrees, your entitled opinions, and claim whatever you would like"What this country needs is men and women of strong mind and strong faith. That's who serves this country. Unfortunately, those are the people who truly have suffered from PTSD but thankfully, they're strong enough and we believe in them enough that we'll get them through it."

PERSONAL PTSD<>/b

On a personal note, had a brother-in-law who fought in the worst of World War II, spent months in jungles crawling with poisonous snakes and enemy soldiers, was Special Operations before there were Navy Seals and swam onto Japan before they dropped the bomb. He was 16 when he lied to get into service. And for years and years after he got out, you didn't get near the bed to wake him up. You called from the doorway, and made sure there was room to dodge if necessary, because he came up fighting and didn't stop until he was fully awake.

Did he have PTSD? Probably. But he didn't know it, because it hadn't been invented yet.

He received Presidential commendations that he never displayed, got awards that he never talked about, never marched in a parade, never joined a Veteran's organization. Guess he just wanted to forget.

He ran a business, raised a family, and got on with life.

But once in a while, when watching a World War II movie, he'd say, "That was me."

When he was terminally ill with throat cancer he agreed to tell me his story, so I could write it and pass it along to his grandkids. We were to start interviewing the following day. That night, the cancer took his voice. He never talked again. He's gone now, and his whole story will never be told!

COOKIN' TIME

It's fun onThanksgiving to try to feature foods that could have been on that first Thanksgiving table back in the Pilgrim days. The Indians came with offerings from the forests to share the feast, and showed how they prepared things like corn and squash. Maple syrup was an available sweetener. Cranberries were also available. The Pilgrims had brought some traditions from England, and were not adverse to judicious use of things like rum. We're told the feast lasted for several days. That's not unlike our family, where eating leftovers is one of the best things about the holiday! The deer population looks good this year, so hopefully our Thanksgiving table will include some venison simmered in gravy along with the traditional roast turkey. And yes, both venison and turkey are things the Pilgrims almost certainly did have for their feast.

ITALIAN VENISON CASSEROLE

This good old recipe can be made with regular hamburger too, if your hunters are not successful, or if you're cooking ahead for the deer hunting crowd. Recipe doubles and triples very nicely. You can use venison sausage and cut back on the salt and pepper, or a mixture of ground beef, ground turkey and ground pork.

1 (16 ounce) package mostaccioli or other medium tube pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 pound ground venison

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 cups grated Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a 9"X13" baking dish, not aluminum. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve pasta. Meanwhile, place the olive oil into a skillet set over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the venison and cook until crumbled and no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Drain, if necessary. Stir in the tomato sauce, basil, and garlic powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and turn off the heat. Assemble the casserole by spooning a layer of the venison sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the sauce with Parmesan cheese, and layer with cooked pasta. Top with the sauce, layer with pasta, and half of the Mozzarella. Repeat the layers to use the remaining ingredients, ending with a layer of Mozzarella cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil cover and bake about 10 more minutes, or until the cheese topping is light gold.

MAPLE BUTTERNUT SQUASH

This is a recipe the early Pilgrims would have been able to make with ingredients available to them. Wouldn't serve this on the same menu with yams, unless family tradition insists. Then go for it!

 6 cups cooked butternut squash meat, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch chunks

1/4 to 1/2 c. butter

1/4 c. heavy cream

1/3 c. maple syrup, or to taste

3 tablespoons dark rum

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Salt, freshly ground pepper and nutmeg to taste

Bake the squash until fork tender. Then peel and seed it and either puree it in the food processor or mash it like potatoes. Beat in remaining ingredients. Turn into a well buttered ovenproof serving dish. Dish may be prepared up to a day ahead and refrigerated (covered tightly with plastic wrap) or baked immediately for serving. Bake in 325F oven for about 20 minutes if the squash is still hot. If prepared in advance and refrigerated, bake for 30 minutes. Serve with additional butter, if desired.

YAM SOUFFLE

Here's a lighter version of a sweet potato casserole that could have been made in colonial times, especially if you go with the sherry instead of the orange juice.

3 cups mashed cooked yams

1/4 cup sherry or orange juice

1 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 teaspoons orange rind, freshly grated

pinch of black pepper

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

4 eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Using same beaters, in a separate bowl, beat egg yolks until light and lemon colored. In still another bowl combine all the other ingredients. Then stir in the beaten egg yolks, and mixing very gently, fold in the beaten egg whites. turn into a well buttered ovenproof casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes.

CRANBERRY FLUFF SALAD

Make this at least a day ahead, preferably two days. Flavor and texture improve with time, and there's no hassle on the big day. Just put it in your prettiest cut glass dish and serve it proudly. The Pilgrims wouldn't have had the marshmallows or the pineapple, but that shouldn't stop us from enjoying it. Actually they didn't have a food processor either, and cutting all those cranberries into little bitty pieces would have been a real chore!

3 cups fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar, divided

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained

2 cups mini marshmallows

In a food processor, pulse until the cranberries are quite finely chopped without turning to complete mush. In a large bowl, combine cranberries, 1 cup of sugar and pineapple, cover and refrigerate overnight to let the flavors blend. In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese and whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Stir in whipped cream and marshmallows gently. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours, preferably overnight, or until ready to serve. Mix before serving. The salad may seem a bit soupy, but relax! The marshmallows absorb the excess liquid while the refrigerator time blends the flavors. If you feel it's still too soupy when serving time comes, stir in a few more marshmallows.

Thought for the week: Lord, as Thanksgiving approaches and families gather, let us be thankful for the good things You have provided for us. Help us to use Your gifts wisely, share them with the less fortunate, and pass along not only our love for one another but our love for You to the children and grandchildren so they can pass them the coming generations. And please, Lord, keep the hunters and the travelers safe again this year. 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 715-291-9002 or by e-mail to shirleyprudhommechickadee@yahoo.com.)


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