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

History...

Hi Folks!

Isn’t it wonderful! That nearly intolerable heat wave seems to have gone without needing severe storms to drive it away. We’re once again enjoying good crisp Wisconsin air, with cool nights for sleeping and warm days for playing in the sun. Isn’t it grand?

Incidentally, the brief monsoon rains that seemed come every afternoon during the heat wave probably kept a lot of lawns and gardens alive. Certainly it was great growing weather. Corn that was barely knee high by the Fourth of July now stands over my head. Admittedly, I’m pretty short, but still, anyone in the corn fields at night must have been able to hear it growing!

Raspberries are ripening, and if you haven’t checked the blueberries, better do it soon.

LANDMARK CELEBRATION

On July 27 the Menekaunee Old-Timers Picnic will celebrate its 35th anniversary. Anyone 50 years of age or older with ties to Menekaunee is invited to join in the fun starting at 11 a.m. at Red Arrow Park in Menekaunee. Contact Sharon (Brix) Powialaites at (715) 735-5577 for a ticket or for more information. Tickets are $15 each.

The first picnic was a potluck held at Marinette City Park on July 15, 1979. That event drew 150 guests. Anyone who attended would now be 100 years old, since the requirement to attend at that time was to be at least 65 years of age.

LOTS TO CELEBRATE

Menekaunee folks have much to celebrate this year, mainly that the city of Marinette, in cooperation with the Corps of Engineers, the Wisconsin DNR and the United States EPA are embarking on a program to rehabilitate their part of the Menominee River and the entire harbor area.

A second little bonus is that the old Menekaunee Elementary School will re-open this fall as the newest addition to Marinette School District after being closed for over a decade. Marinette School Board just last week approved “Menekaunee Sunrise Learning Center” as the name of their new school for the youngest of city students.

A BIT OF HISTORY

Menekaunee, located at the mouth of the Menominee River was first settled by the Menominee Indians, the only present-day tribe whose origin story indicates they have always lived in Wisconsin. They referred to themselves as “Mamaceqtaw,” which means “the people.”

Other Indian tribes referred to them as the Menominee, a name is derived from “manomin” the wild rice that was a main food source for the tribe.

They called their village on the site of the present-day Menekaunee as Minikani Se’peu, and the word Menekaunee is defined as their word for “this is where we began.” Some historical sources say the settlement dated back to the ice age. It is certain that the Menominees lived at present-day Menekaunee prior to the arrival of the French fur traders 1667.

The first white men, mainly of French Canadian, Swedish, Norwegian and German extraction, settled in Menekaunee in 1845. For a time the settlement was an unincorporated village in its own right, separated from nearby Marinette by a creek that once ran through the city about where the present City of Marinette Fire Station is. Menekaunee for some time was also known as East Marinette and eventually was annexed to Marinette.

But at the time of the Peshtigo Fire it was still an independent village. Marinette itself was not affected greatly by the Peshtigo Fire in 1871, but Menekaunee lost about 50 buildings, including an extensive new sawmill, three stores, a flour mill, two hotels and 35 houses, in addition to several scows, nearly a million board feet of lumber, and numerous horses, cows and other animals. Many residents escaped death by boarding vessels that sailed out onto Green Bay, where burning cinders fell on them as much as seven miles from shore.

Menekaunee, built on the low lying bay shore, grew as sawmill wastes built up the swampy areas along the river, and many of the newly created properties were occupied by “Squatters.” Settlers there were mainly employed in fishing, sailing and associated trades.

Menekaunee became known as a “tough” place, filled with sailors, fishermen, too much drinking and too many taverns.

But the people who lived there formed a true community with a heritage of bonding to be envied by many other towns. Family roots ran deep, and still do. Colorful nicknames identified some of the more colorful characters that populated the harbor town, where Great Lakes sailors often noisily celebrated their shore leaves.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

As a youngster whose formal education began at Merryman School in Marinette, I know first hand about the competition between “the Menekaunee brats,” as we called them, and the rest of the city.

We kids denied it then, but claims of youngsters from other schools in that city that Merryman School was part of Menekaunee were true, since we were east of the dividing line between Menekaunee and the rest of Marinette. Once we were in middle school and high school the line of demarcation meant little, and kids from Menekaunee, Merryman, Park, Lincoln, Ella Court and maybe other elementary school districts joined forces in competition with our Twin City of Menominee that went far deeper than the legendary M&M Football game. But that too was a sibling rivalry. We could criticize and lay claim to being better, but woe to the outsider who tried that!

Today, I am proud to claim Menekaunee heritage, both by birth and by marriage, since my eventual husband and his family were indeed from Menekaunee. Also am proud to claim Twin City and Twin County heritage, and like most old time residents, am pleased when people from both Wisconsin and Michigan sides of the river join forces for the benefit of the entire area, as with operation of Twin County Airport and other joint efforts.

SINGLES BAR

Speaking of taverns and drinking, it seems this fellow walks into a bar, lays down a $20 bill and orders a beer.

“Can’t accept that,” bartender says. Fellow offers a $10 bill and gets the same response. What was wrong with the money?

Why is it that some people appear bright until they speak to you?

See answers just before Cookin’ Time.

A PRINCE IS BORN!

In case anyone in the world missed it, England has a new prince! His Royal Highness the Prince of Cambridge was born at St. Mary’s Hospital at 4:24 p.m. Monday, July 22, and weighed in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces. As third in line to succeed the throne after his grandfather Prince Charles and his father, Prince William, he will probably one day be King of England.

His birth marks the first time since Queen Victoria that four generations of monarchs will be alive together.

It is ironic that the boy baby is the first royal baby born under new succession laws that allow the royal couple’s first-born child the right to inherit the throne regardless of gender.

Not quite sure how the throne went to Queen Victoria and the two Queen Elizabeths, but the female monarchs definitely were the exception rather than the rule.

FOOD MYTHS

Sometimes when we think we know something, we find out we were wrong. Or at least some experts think we - and they - were wrong. Sometimes they’re right.

If this sounds confusing, you’re also right.

Have long believed that less processed foods are healthier for us than the alternative. For example, we all know that feeding ourselves and our families brown rice is better than white rice.

Now some researchers say we were wrong, but apparently the jury is still out on this. They say the white rice sold in the U.S. is enriched with the nutrients that are lost during processing and due to this fortification, now has more nutrients than brown rice, although it still has less fiber. The bran layer on brown rice contains phytic acid, an “anti nutrient” which makes minerals like zinc and iron unabsorbable and contains higher levels of arsenic . Other experts say you could soak your brown rice before cooking to break down the phytic acid, and washing it well should remove the arsenic, leaving the other benefits intact.

FRESH VS FROZEN

Most of us feel virtuous when we prepare fresh vegetables for the family table rather than serving the faster, easier frozen variety. If the veggies are truly fresh, as from our own garden or locally grown from the farmers market, we’re probably right, and we should do that whenever possible for all kinds of reasons.

But if those vegetables were picked a thousand miles away days before they hit our tables they’ve probably been treated with chemicals and/or have lost many nutrients before we cook them. In that case, we’re probably better off with frozen foods which hopefully are picked and packaged at the peak of freshness, or even with commercially canned foods.

A word of caution here though: You may want to check the labels to be sure the foods were prepared and packed in the good old USA to be sure they were subject to our standards of cleanliness and safety, not in some third world country with child labor and bad sanitation. Tell your grocer that’s what you’re looking for, because foods grown and prepared here in the market basket of the world are getting harder and harder to find!

EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY!

After years of being on the “No-No” list, Coffee, egg yolks and chocolate have been rehabilitated. Some say even alcohol isn’t that bad.

Eggs, the whole thing, not just the whites, contain all nine essential amino acids, in addition to 3 grams of protein, vitamin D, phosphorus, riboflavin, choline, and selenium. And the myth that they harm the heart have pretty much been debunked. Supposedly though, the fatty foods we like to eat with them, like bacon and sausages, and cured meats like ham, are still bad for us.

Coffee, far from being the evil brew a generation of Americans were advised to avoid, is now recognized as the fantastic beverage addicts like myself have always believed it to be. In addition to containing caffeine that helps get you alert for a busy day or keep you awake on a long road trip, coffee is also one of the top sources of flavonoids in the U.S. diet. Flavonoids are known to help improve heart health and protect cells from the natural negative effects associated with aging.

Some scientists now say coffee may help reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and that moderate amounts of coffee, like three to four cups a day, can have modest health benefits and no evidence of health risk. Even years ago, when coffee was still on most “no-no” lists, doctors at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. advised a friend that it was okay to drink coffee unless she started getting the shakes or indigestion from it. If that happened, they said it was best to cut back or switch to another beverage of choice.

Scientists must have had a bit of fun on this research. They say drinking a moderate amount of alcohol has health benefits. It can slash risk for heart attack, as well as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Additionally, moderate alcohol consumption can help keep your brain sharp as you age. A 2011 study showed that moderate drinkers were 23% less likely to develop mental diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. In addition, red wine and dark beers are antioxidant-rich, which may make certain adult beverages even better for you.

However, don’t get carried away. The researchers define moderate drinking as about one drink a day for women, two for men. And they caution that for certain people, such as pregnant women, those with a personal or family history of alcoholism, and those with liver disease, the risks of drinking even moderately definitely outweigh the benefits and they should just say no.

What all this seems to boil down to is that, as the good nuns taught us back in high school, most things humans have perceived as beneficial over generations probably are, but all things should be used in moderation.

Gluttony - whether with food or with alcohol - is a sin that offends God and our own bodies.

RIDDLE RESPONSES

Money issue: It was a singles bar.

Bright question: Because light travels faster than sound.

Some folks seem to think anything goes these days, but still profess to believe in God. Maybe they should join a new church - the one that has dispensed with the Ten Command-ments and offers instead just six commandments and four suggestions.

COOKIN’ TIME

Gardens are producing and farmer’s markets are popping up all over. Outdoor grilling is still the most fun way to cook, even though the heat wave has abated. If you don’t prefer to cook outside, though, you can still “grill” foods in your oven’s broiler.

GRILLED SALMON STEAKS WITH CREAMY

LEMON SAUCE

4 salmon steaks

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon dried parsley or 4 tablespoons fresh chopped

parsley

1 teaspoon dried dill

Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice and herbs together. Baste salmon steaks with half of the sauce. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Serve with a tablespoon of remaining sauce on the side or on top of the steak.

NEW WAY GRILLED VEGGIES

Gardens and farmer’s markets are producing summer squash and most of us are still in favor of cooking over a camp fire on on the grill, so now is the time to enjoy this luscious and healthy vegetable dish. It’s so good the family will forego dessert to get seconds of the squash.

4 small zucchinis

3 medium yellow squash

1/2 red sweet bell pepper

1/2 yellow sweet bell pepper

1/2 green sweet bell pepper

1/3 of a yellow onion

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon sweet and spicy mustard

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Slice the vegetables into quarter inch thick slices. Put a bit of oil into a grill tray, add the vegetables, drizzle on a bit more oil and place on your outdoor grill on medium to medium high heat. Cook for about 10 minutes or so. The edges should start to brown. Your goal is to get a bit of char from the grill. Remove from the grill and place in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the dressing ingredients - the quarter cup of olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Mix well, pour over the hot vegetables and mix well again. Serve hot or at room temperature.

RHUBARB CUSTARD CRUNCH PIE

9-inch deep dish pie shell, unbaked

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons flour

2 eggs, beaten

4 cups rhubarb, chopped into small pieces

Topping:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup butter

Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together the dry ingredients for the filling. Stir in the beaten eggs, then add the chopped rhubarb and mix all together. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Make topping by mixing together the sugar and flour in a small bowl and then cutting in the butter until the mixture becomes “crumbly.” Sprinkle topping mixture over the rhubarb filling and bake for an hour.

Thought For the Week: From an unknown philosopher: “Everything you do, everything you experience, everything you think affects who you are. You have an incredible amount of input into the creation of yourself.” Very true. God gave each of us a certain amount of opportunities and abilities. What we do with them is up to us, but in the end, He will judge us on what we managed to accumulate or accomplish, but on what good we have done with the gifts He gave to us.

COUNTRY COUSIN


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