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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: April 11, 2019

Another April Blizzard???



April Fool's Day is over, but apparently Mother Nature isn't done fooling with us. We've had some fairly spring-like days, including a really fine one early on Monday, April 8, fine enough to make us feel that Spring had really arrived. Then evening came and the story changed.



Now forecasters say Mother Nature is planning to throw a major blizzard at us on Thursday, April 11 into Friday, April 12. They're warning of rain, snow and other nastiness, including winds up to 40 miles per hour and possible accumulations of up to three inches of ice.



Sound familiar? Anyone remember the blizzard of 2018, when record breaking snows hit TIMESland and much of the Midwest from Friday, April 13 through Sunday, April 15?



HARD RAIN

We used to talk about April showers. Are April blizzards now becoming traditional?



Not that we haven't also had enough rain. In fact, enough is enough! On the evening of Monday, April 8 we had some really hard rain. Not talking about raining hard, though it was. Talking about hard rain, pelting us with gazillions of hard rain-drop size ice crystals, miniature hailstones that bore no resemblance to the snow pellets that sometimes mix with spring rains. Then it stopped and the sun came out again, but the wonderful day was ruined.



HOLY WEEK

Lent is nearly over. Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday on Sunday, April 14 and ends with Easter, the holiest of Christian holidays, on Sunday, April 21. Those of us who aren't finished with our spring house cleaning and spring soul cleaning had better get busy or it will be too late to get ready for Easter.



Judging by the kind of weather we've been having, planting peas on Good Friday may not be possible, even though Easter is late his year. On the other hand, things change, and with most of the frost out of the ground the snow we're supposed to get on Thursday and Friday may not last long.



One thing about Wisconsin weather seems to remain true no matter how much global warming or global colding we get: If you don't like the weather in Wisconsin, just wait 10 minutes and it will change.



Lots of activities coming up this week and next, leading into Easter.



The 13th Annual Goodman-Armstrong Creek PTO Smelt Fry is to be held from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 14 at Rocque's 8 Hi Club in Goodman. They're offering all you can eat smelt, fries, beans, coleslaw, salads and desserts at $8 for adults, $4 for those aged five to ten years, and $2 for smelt or a hot dog plate for those under five.



On Monday, April 15 enjoy "Into the Garden: The Wonder of Nature in Literature," at Wausaukee Public Library from 7 to 8 p.m. Join Wisconsin author and storyteller Rochelle Pennington for a free walk through nature"along garden paths and forest floors. Pennington will share observations and poetry from some of the world's most remembered nature writers, and reveal many mysteries that surround us daily.

From 4 to 5 p.m. on Monday, April 15, Pennington will be at the Peshtigo Public Library to share the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald.



The Coleman-Pound Lions Club will hold their annual pancakes and sausage brunch on Palm Sunday, April 14 at the Coleman High School. Also on Sunday, April 14, the Peshtigo Lion's Club will have their annual Pancake Breakfast at the Elementary School in Peshtigo.



On Saturday, April 20 there will be Easter Eggs hidden in many TIMESland communities. Peshtigo and Crivitz are among communities advertising fun events centered on egg hunts, and there are many, many more. The eggs may need to be hidden by a Snowshoe Hare instead of the traditional bunny, but that doesn't matter as long as the job gets done. Colored eggs are easier to find in the snow anyway. Check the ads, posters, bulletin boards and don't miss the fun.



TAX TIME

The April 15 income tax filing deadline arrives on Monday, April 15. Brings to mind Will Rogers' comment that we should be thankful we are not getting all the government we're paying for. Fact is, we seem to have too much government for our own good. If those lawmakers would lay off a bit we'd be better off, both finances and in quality of life.



A very wise friend lady who has closely followed local, state and national news for all of her 80-plus years still maintains that legislators should be required to take one old law off the books for every old law they pass. Says if they had to do that they'd be so busy finding old laws to get rid of that they wouldn't have time to think up new ones.



Speaking of old laws, in Wyoming you cannot take a picture of a rabbit from January through April without a permit, so photos of kids with the Easter Bunny appear to be mostly prohibited.



There seems to be something about bathtubs. In Arizona it's illegal to allow a donkey to sleep in a bathtub, and in South Carolina horses cannot be kept in them.



In Alaska, it's illegal to wake a bear to take its picture, but who would want to do that anyway?



Dairy products seem to have special protections. In South Dakota it's illegal to sleep in a cheese factory, in Wisconsin it's illegal to serve a butter substitute in prison, and in Utah it's illegal not to drink milk. Don't know if it's still on the books, but Wisconsin law used to require restaurants to serve a slice of cheddar cheese with every slice of apple pie.



There are lots of strange laws around the world that somebody, sometime must have thought would benefit someone.



Kissing comes under fire a lot. In England kissing at railway stations is prohibited, and there are "no kissing" signs everywhere. It's said that government is concerned that long embraces can cause delays for commuters. In Eboli, lovers are banned from kissing in cars.



In New Jersey and more populated parts of Oregon retail customers are prohibited from pumping their own gas, so there are no fully self-serve filling stations.



Now there's a law I could love! How I would like to find a "service station" today like the ones we used to enjoy, where you could pull up to the pump and when the attendant came to your window tell him to "Fill the gas, wash the windows, check the oil and air the tires," and he did. Gas was 23 cents a gallon for a while in those days, and the attendant, who often was also the owner, didn't even expect a tip!



BUG SEASON

Warning! Mosquitoes aren't out yet, but ticks are. Dog came home with a nasty little deer tick on Sunday, and where there is one there are bound to be more - lots and lots more. Wish God would send us flocks of guinea hens and peacocks, because we're told that no other creature eats the nasty little disease spreading vampires. On the other hand, need to be careful what we wish for, or pray for, because there certainly may be drawbacks to having too many of those critters around too.



That said, check yourself and your family regularly for ticks. They often carry Lyme Disease, which can have deadly consequences that may show up long after the disease itself appears to be gone.



RECYCLE, REUSE

We regularly throw away hundreds of things for which there is a good second use.



Recently read that banana peels make a great silver polish. The advice is to run the peel through the blender with a little water, then use the resulting paste as a polish for the family silver, and enjoy the tropical scent while you do it. Dip the piece in warm water when you're done to wash off the paste and dry with a soft clean cloth.



If Spring Cleaning means renewing the family's tooth brush supply save one or more of the old ones for later in the season, when it's time for sweet corn. Just run the brush through the dishwasher, including the heated drying cycle, and then use it to brush strings off the corn after you've husked it.



Provided you haven't added salt or vinegar to the water, cool the water from boiling eggs or steaming vegetables and then use it to nourish house plants with the valuable minerals the water contains.



Want to pipe fancy icing onto cakes and cookies? Thoroughly clean a squeeze-bottle from ketchup or salad dressing, fill it with frosting in whatever color you choose, and use it to decorate your baked goodies with flowers, scallops, designs or words at no added cost.



Used razor blades or single edge disposable razors can be used to de-fuzz sweaters or other garments. When you run it over the fabric lightly the razor will remove the unsightly pills without hurting the fabric. You can buy a special gadget to accomplish this chore, but why spend the money?

Got more ideas? Would love to hear about them.



COOKIN' TIME

SALMON STUFFED WITH CREAMED SPINACH


4 (6-oz.) salmon fillets

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 (8-oz.) block cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup frozen spinach, defrosted

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Pinch of red pepper flakes

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons butter

Juice of 1/2 lemon



Season salmon all over with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, mozzarella, spinach, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Using a paring knife, slice a slit in each fillet to create a pocket. Stuff pockets with cream cheese mixture. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add salmon, skin side down, and cook until seared, about 6 minutes. Use a turner to flip salmon without tearing the skin. Add butter to the pan and squeeze lemon juice over each fillet. Cook until skin is crispy, another 6 minutes. If you haven't let the butter scorch pour some pan drippings over the fillets as you serve them. Serve warm with buttered rice or noodles and separate green vegetable for an outstanding meatless meal.



HOT CROSS BUNS

Traditional Easter week treat in some households. You might like these well enough to make them a regular treat in your household too. It's not traditional, but if you don't like raisins or currents, use some other dried fruit, perhaps Craisins or dried cherries.

BUNS:

1 cup whole milk, warm

2 (quarter ounce) packages active dry yeast

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup dried currants or raisins, plumped in hot water then

drained

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Egg wash, for brushing

GLAZE:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons whole milk

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest



In a medium bowl, combine milk, yeast and a pinch of sugar. Let sit, without stirring, until foamy, about 20 minutes. Whisk butter, egg yolk and vanilla into the yeast mixture. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is a thick, shaggy dough. Stir in currants. Turn the dough onto a heavily floured surface and knead until the dough is soft and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a large ball. Grease the inside of a large bowl with butter and put the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hours. When the dough is ready to form into rolls, butter a 9"-x-13" baking pan. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead a bit and then pat it into a large rectangle. Divide the dough into 12 portions. Shape each piece into a roll, tucking the edges under. Place each roll seam side-down into the buttered pan. Use a sharp knife to cut a cross into the top of each bun. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 45 minutes. Shortly before rising is complete preheat oven to 375 degrees. When they're ready for the oven brush tops of each bun with egg wash. Bake until golden and puffy, 22 to 25 minutes. While they raise mix the glaze ingredients. If you have one of those squeeze bottles talked about earlier in today's column fill it with the glaze, which should be thin enough to squeeze, and thick enough to stay where you put it. When the buns have cooled slightly, pipe the glaze into cross shape on top. Serve with good Wisconsin butter.



LEMON OREO

COOKIE BALLS


1 package (8 ounces) Cream Cheese, softened

1 package (14.3 ounces) vanilla or lemon flavored sandwich cookies, finely crushed

1 tsp. lemon zest

12 ounces White Chocolate, broken into pieces, melted Assorted decorating icings, sugars or tiny decorations



Mix cream cheese, cookie crumbs and lemon zest until blended. Shape into 40 (1-inch) egg shapes. Freeze 10 minutes. Dip balls in melted white chocolate; place in single layer in shallow waxed paper-lined pan. While the coating is still slightly soft, gently press a decoration into the center or each, or pipe a small icing flower or cross onto top of each egg. Gently press a decoration into the center of each. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.





The Country Cousin



Thought for the week:
Dalai Lama head of the Buddhist faith and formerly ruler of Tibet (until China took over) commented, "All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness - the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives." That, from the head of the Buddhist faith, compares closely to the observation of Roman Catholic Cardinal Basil Hume, head of the Catholic Church in England for many years: "The great gift of Easter is hope " Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake." Thank You, Lord, for giving us Your greatest gift, which is Love, and for helping us understand that the greatest gift, perhaps the only gift, we can give You is Love in return.



(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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