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

Celebrations...

Hi Folks!

Finally! It’s Summer! Calendar says so, but the furnace hasn’t stopped kicking in yet. At least the rain Tuesday was a warm rain. Perhaps someday again we’ll get picnic weather!

Must be honest, though. It’s pretty much a fact of life that a good way to get rain in northeast Wisconsin is to take the family on a camping trip, especially if it’s tent camping. Must be a lot of folks going camping this year!

CELEBRATIONS ABOUND!

June and July are always big months for celebrations in our corner of Wisconsin, but this year is exceptional. There are Centennial celebrations this coming weekend in Niagara and Pound, Marinette County’s June Dairy Month Breakfast on the Farm on Sunday, June 29, parades and fireworks on Friday, July 4 in Crivitz and elsewhere, July 5 in Wausaukee, Goodman and Armstrong Creek have Lake Hilbert Family Fest July 5 and a VFW breakfast Sunday, July 6, and then the Marinette Logging Heritage Festival on July 12 and 13.

Later, the first weekend of August, Pembine will be celebrating its Centennial, on Aug. 2.

During the whole summer lots of other communities will be hosting other celebrations, in addition to business promotions, water ski shows and a lot more fun than we could ever hope to take in.

And that’s without even mentioning all the fun events Oconto County communities are preparing for.

Peshtigo’s Historical Day on Saturday, Sept. 27 pretty much ends the annual summer celebrations, but lucky for all of us, every year someone figures out a new excuse to celebrate, and we have more fun to look forward to.

TROUT FISHING

Just learned that back in 1941 Pembine hosted what was to be its first annual Trout Festival.

Coming from a family of trout fishermen, can really appreciate such a celebration. Back in the day, the opening of Trout Season in the Crivitz area was as big as the opening day of Deer Season was a few years ago. The importance of that event too seems to have dwindled in recent years.

Know there are no fewer deer today, probably more, but the hunters don’t seem to get as excited.

As to the trout fishermen, we don’t hear much from them, but they were always somewhat of a quiet lot anyway. The state stopped stocking trout and the DNR set up a bunch of ridiculous regulations and sticks with them, which has pretty much destroyed trout fishing as a widely enjoyed source of family entertainment.

Too bad! Going trout fishing in northern Marinette County was something very special. Fifty (okay - more than 50) years ago we’d pack up the cars (usually two of them, one for each family) with tents and miscellaneous camping supplies, and then head for a secret spot in the Marinette County Forest that Dad and Uncle Dorsey knew about, but hopefully no one else did. For us, that would usually be on the Eagle or Harvey Creek. If there was another car on the dirt road we traveled, we moved on to the next spot.

When we found an isolated enough site, we’d set up camp. Dad had a great old Army tent that had to be strung between two trees. Slept eight. Aunt Martha and Uncle Dorsey had a smaller one.

Before leaving home, the adults would bribe us kids to pick fish worms, usually paying a penny a worm. Getting to eat the trout they’d catch was a bonus. Don’t get this wrong. We never counted on trout for breakfast, but sure did love it when we got them.

If there weren’t fish, there were still bacon and eggs and potatoes, fried in a great cast iron skillet over a campfire, or on the Coleman camp stove that Dad would pump with air to get it to burn. We had to pump up the lanterns too.

Uncle Dorsey taught us to scour out the skillet with sand when the cooking was done, and then rinse it thoroughly and heat it to dry before putting it away. Dishwashing water came from the creek, and yes, it was that clean!

Wherever there was water, we kids would go swimming, icy trout waters or not, so getting clean was no problem.

Mosquitoes were a problem, though, and so was rain. It almost invariably rained on those fishing trips. Don’t know what else the folks did to stay sane in tents with kids in the rain, but we kids played guessing games and such, and often they played with us. There were What Color is the Birdie, and Grandma’s Big Red Toe, among others, in addition to Quaker’s Meeting, in which the person who was it had to make someone else laugh, and that person became it.

Portable radios weren’t known yet, and TV hadn’t been invented so those entertainments were not available. Card and dice games were, and we did play those.

But from daylight to dark, and sometimes before and after, if it wasn’t raining too hard, the dedicated adults would be on the stream, plying their fly rods. All four of them loved to fish, and they were good at it. They used angle worms, chubs or flies for bait, not night crawlers. Usually we ate what we wanted and went home with quite a haul on ice too. The fish were always wrapped in fresh grass before being put in the ice chest. One limit for each person, which included non-fishing kids. The limit in those days was 10, and trust me, the barely legal trout, bright red if they were natives, were the very best eating! Legal meant six inches, regardless of variety. Ditto for the 10 trout limit. Very simple. No complications.

Incidentally, in our family at least, once eaten, the fish no longer counted toward the daily bag limit. Even a child can easily consume half a dozen six inchers!

LIMIT BEFORE BREAKFAST

Recall one wonderful day with my husband years later when we were camped at Goodman Park. In those days, the small log cabin was open for anyone who wanted to use it, complete with fireplace, wood stove, a supply of firewood, and a dry sink for cleaning up. It wasn’t for sleeping in, just for day use.

So, we went from the campsite to the cabin early, before everyone else, to get things ready for breakfast.

Hubby said I should get the fire going while he caught breakfast for us. I said I’d fry the bacon. No faith at all!

Couldn’t believe it when he came in an hour or so later, with his limit of trout big enough to supply breakfast for the whole group! He was literally one happy camper! So was everyone else.

ON THE SOAP BOX

INDEPENDENCE DAY!


On Friday of next week we celebrate Independence Day, the 238th anniversary of the date our forefathers declared their independence from England and the despot who ruled it at the time.

That declaration led to creation of the United States of America, which was destined to become the greatest nation this Earth has ever known.

Our nation, of which we have every right to be proud, led the world in providing for every individual the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

After the Revolution was successful, those same forefathers who had the courage to defy authority, to assert their rights as individuals, proceeded to devise a government designed to protect the liberties for which so many patriots fought and died. For very good reasons, they designed that government with three branches, each to have control over the power of the others. They invented a new mode of government that proved to be a monumental success.

America, by freeing the Common Man to achieve whatever his energy and abilities allowed him to do, set the stage for the greatest surge of prosperity in the history of mankind.

And now, we should be deeply ashamed to be part of the generation that seems to be throwing it all away!

We are allowing one branch, the Executive, to usurp and ignore the powers of the Legislative Branch.

It seems our only hope is that the third branch, the Judicial, will call a halt to the power madness displayed by President Barrack Obama.

ABUSE OF POWER

Just read that House Speaker John Boehner is considering suing the president for abuse of power.

If that’s the true, more power to him! That may be the step necessary to save our great nation from going under.

According to an article in the Business Insider, quoting from an article in Roll Call, House Speaker John Boehner may file a lawsuit against President Barack Obama in days, in an attempt to challenge the administration’s heavy use of executive actions to further its agenda.

The report is that Boehner told House Republicans during a closed-door meeting on Tuesday (June 24) he could have an announcement in the next few days on whether he will mount the legal challenge. According to the report, he has been consulting with legal scholars ahead of his next move.

Business Insider said Boehner’s office confirmed the Roll Call story, but declined to comment on whether specific executive actions would be targeted.

It goes on to say, Any legal action by Boehner would be a significant and somewhat unprecedented challenge to executive power.

One could add that Obama has displayed a significant and totally unprecedented use or misuse of executive power by applying his magic pen and his telephone! No president in United States history has so blatantly ignored the rule of law.

The article states, Obama, however, has given House Republicans plenty of potential material. He has made 2014 a self-proclaimed ‘year of action,’ issuing executive orders on everything from the minimum wage to federal pay discrimination. Perhaps the most controversial administrative-only move this year came in the form of newly announced regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency on carbon emissions.

It concludes with a statement from Boehner spokesman Michael Steel: The president has a clear record of ignoring the American people’s elected representatives and exceeding his constitutional authority, which has dangerous implications for both our system of government and our economy.

Amen!

Personally am uncertain of why they would file a lawsuit versus attempting impeachment, but either one is far preferable to letting things go on as they are. Personally believe that due to Benghazi and and some other actions or inactions, he could be tried for treason, but that probably would never fly!

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry and their fellow patriots must be spinning like tops in their graves to see how far from their ideals this administration has taken us!

PUNS INTENDED!

Saw a sign the other day advertising a yard sale, but there were no tables of merchandise set up, and no people around. However, there was a real estate agent’s House For Sale sign posted by the driveway. Guess the yard and the house were both for sale!

Did you hear about the weapons incident in Texas recently? A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math destruction.

A dog who gave birth to puppies by the side of the road was cited for littering.

The fattest knight at King Arthur’s Round Table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi!

Then there was the gal who was arrested for making whiskey, but her sweetie loved her still.

And this one, which may belong in a Soap Box item: In a democracy, it’s your vote that counts. In feudalism, it’s your count that votes!

COOKIN’ TIME

Time for some festive summertime treats! Strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb, and asparagus are readily available, and add to holiday celebrations.

STIR FRIED STEAK ‘N’ ’SPARGUS

Lots faster than cooking outdoors, and very, very good!

Makes four 1-cup servings. Very good over rice, but good without it, too.

2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

2 tablespoons honey

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

12 ounces beef flank steak or sirloin steak, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

5 ounces shiitake or portabella mushrooms, stems

discarded, caps sliced thin (about 2 cups)

1 pound asparagus, sliced diagonally (1 inch)

1/3 cup sliced green onions

Whisk soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger and red pepper in medium bowl; reserve two tablespoons in a separate small cup. Stir steak slices into remaining soy sauce mixture and toss to coat. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in large nonstick skillet or wok over high heat until hot; swirl to coat the pan. Cook steak in batches, if necessary, one to two minutes or until lightly browned. Remove steak. Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet; stir-fry mushrooms two minutes or until lightly browned. Add asparagus; stir-fry two to three minutes or until its done as you like it. (it’s best crisp tender.) Return steak with any accumulated juices and reserved two tablespoons soy sauce mixture to skillet; stir until hot. Serve sprinkled with green onions.

RED, WHITE AND BLUEBERRY PARFAITS

Perfect dessert for the Fourth!

1 pint blueberries

3 tablespoons currant (or blueberry) jelly

1 pint strawberries

3 tablespoons sugar

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons sugar

16 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (or 1 1/2 if you’re making six

desserts)

Reserve some of the blueberries and some of the strawberries for garnish. In a bowl, mix the remaining blueberries with the jelly and use a fork to mash slightly. Cover and set aside. Slice the strawberries into another bowl and stir in the 3 tablespoons sugar. Cover and set aside. In a mixer bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, milk, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons sugar until smooth; fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping. Spoon two tablespoons graham cracker crumbs into each of four or six 8- to 10-ounce stemmed glasses. Top each with alternating layers of blueberries, cream cheese mixture, crumbs and strawberries, dividing equally. Top with remaining whipped topping and garnish with a strawberry and a light scattering of blueberries. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 6 hours.

RHUBARB DUMPLINGS

Friend and coworker Niki came up with this recipe. It’s worth repeating. And most definitely worth eating!

1 (12 ounce) can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar

1 cup water

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the rhubarb with the 2 tablespoons sugar. Separate the biscuits and flatten each into about a 3-inch circle. Place a generous tablespoon of chopped rhubarb in the center of each and wrap the dough around it, pinching tightly to seal. Place the dumplings seam side down in a buttered 9x13 baking dish. In a medium bowl, or large measuring cup, mix the sugar, water, butter and vanilla. Pour over the dumplings in the pan. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven or until golden brown, basting every 10 to 15 minutes or so to create a crispy topping.

Thought for the Week: God Bless America! Lord, we certainly do not deserve Your blessings, but more than ever in history, we need You. We have stood by silently while our fellow Americans, in the name of tolerance, banned You from schools and from courthouses across this land that You have so richly blessed. We have turned from You. We have been ashamed to speak out, lest someone think we are prejudiced. We tolerate abortions and gay marriages, and we tolerate schools that refuse to allow the Pledge of Allegiance within their hallowed halls because it contains the words under God! Please forgive us, Lord. Please give us the courage to speak with a loud voice, and tell Your enemies and ours: No more! We will stand by the Lord our God!

(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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