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

Invasions...



Hi Folks!

Nights are still chilly, but we’ve had several nice days in a row. It must finally be Summer!

Weather or not, TIMESland in summer is treated to a wonderful variety of picnics, celebrations, concerts and other outdoor festivities. Let’s hope nothing happens to change that. Makes the mosquitoes, rain and other dismal drawbacks so much easier to bear!

ODOR EATERS

Unless your home is thoroughly air conditioned, warm weather brings a tendency toward evil odors, particularly in things like sponges and dish rags. To help avoid this, clean a plastic berry basket and cut down the sides so it’s only an inch or two deep. Then turn it upside down and use it as a resting place for your dish sponge, dish rag or steel wool scrubbers. Air circulating around the item allows it to dry so it won’t rust or sour.

ANT INVASIONS

Not a misprint. Not referring here to visits from beloved relatives. Referring to the little critters that manage to creep in through cracks and crevices and proceed to soil cupboards and countertops and contaminate the food supply.

Recently had an invasion of the tiny, tiny ant variety. In the past recommended a mixture of sugar, honey and dry yeast granules that ants take home to their families. They eat the dry yeast and the little bellies blow up. Sounds cruel, but we do what we have to do. That mixture works on the sweets loving varieties, but recently learned by accident how to manufacture a lethal treat for meat loving ants.

Opened a can or corned beef hash and left the lid lying on the counter while preparing our breakfast. Found the counter literally crawling with ants. Had been battling them for a few days anyway. Came up with the bright idea of mixing some yeast granules with the greasy residue, moved it to an invisible corner and left it there. By the next morning there wasn’t an ant in sight!

Another ant cure is to mix equal parts borax and powdered sugar with enough water to make a syrup, and put little containers of this around where pets and small children can’t get at it. Is said to be lethal.

And if nasty winged things tend to take up residence in your flour containers, cereals, etc., add a few bay leaves. They won’t affect the flavor, but apparently the critters don’t like the smell so they move out. Also scatter bay leaves in the cupboard where you keep these things.

REFUGEES

Speaking of invaders, the flood of illegal immigrants from South America keeps coming. However, a friend from Wausaukee just sent word that we may soon be flooded with another entirely different brand of immigrants.

Seems the Navy recently intercepted a boatload of them off the Texas coast. Placed the Navy in an awkward position, as the boat was not heading to the U.S., but toward Mexico and Central America.

And it was filled with American seniors of retirement age. Claimed they were trying to get to Mexico so they could return to the U.S. as illegal immigrants. Then they’d be entitled to all the benefits that entails, which they said is vastly superior to Social Security.

It is believed the Navy gave them food, water and fuel and assisted them on their journey.

Friend claims he’s booking on the next boat out and has heard lots of others are doing the same.

ON THE SOAP BOX

OLD, OLD ENEMIES


With the world situation deteriorating, and tensions escalating in the Mideast, we’re inclined to feel that Doomsday is fast approaching.

It may be comforting to realize that the fight we’re waging today has been going on for centuries, and the enemy hasn’t won yet. (Of course, in past years we had a president that was on our side. Hope that doesn’t make a difference.)

Back in 2004, Joseph Farah, who at the time was Editor and CEO of “World Net Daily” wrote of the Muslim terrorist threat:

“Most Americans probably think the Islamic terrorists declared war on the United States Sept. 11, 2001. Actually, it started a long time before, right from the birth of the nation.”

He told of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin being commissioned in 1784 by the first Congress to look into marketing United States products in Europe. The two met in Paris, and after a bit of study, Jefferson decided the biggest threat to U.S. merchant ships were the “Barbary Pirates.” He also noticed they were not really pirates at all, in the traditional sense. They didn’t drink or chase women, and weren’t out to get rich. “Instead, their motivation was strictly religious,” Farah wrote. “They bought and sold slaves, to be sure. They looted ships. But they used their booty to buy guns, ships, cannon and ammunition.

“Like those we call “terrorists” today, they saw themselves engaged in jihad and called themselves “mujahiddin.”

Jefferson learned the European nations were paying tribute to the fiends, who in turn used the money to expand their own armada, buy more weapons and ultimately demand more tribute.

“This didn’t make sense to Jefferson,” Farah wrote. “He recognized the purchase of peace from the Muslims only worked temporarily. They would always find an excuse to break an agreement, blame the Europeans and demand a higher tribute.”

At the time, America didn’t even have a Navy.

America’s first “Sept. 11” happened in 1793 when jihadist Algerians seized 11 U.S. merchant ships and enslaved more than 100 Americans.

That attack threw the fledgling American economy into a tailspin. The stock market crashed. Voyages were canceled in every major port. Seamen were thrown out of work.

It took the U.S. Congress only four months to decide to build a fleet of warships. But even then, Congress didn’t choose war. They sent diplomats, paid nearly $1 million in tribute and bought the pasha of Algiers a new warship to win the release of the 85 surviving American hostages.

Sound familiar?

“It wasn’t until 1801, when Jefferson was president, that the U.S. engaged in what became a 4-year war against Tripoli. It wasn’t until 1830, when France occupied Algiers, and later Tunisia and Morocco, that terrorism on the high seas finally ended.

And that changed shortly after France left North Africa in 1962.

Farah concluded, “What’s the moral of this story? Appeasement never works. Jefferson saw it. Sept. 11 was hardly the beginning. The war in which we fight today is the longest conflict in human history. It’s time to learn from history, not repeat its mistakes.”

Farah in fact didn’t take his history back far enough. The Crusades in fact were fights against Islamist, and the battle between Christianity and Islam has been going on for about a thousand years. Christianity is in fact a peaceful religion. The precepts of Islam demand that whoever cannot be converted must be destroyed. Politically incorrect or not, that’s the difference, and that’s why we cannot afford to lose this fight!

PUN INTENDED

Heard there was a hole in the wall of the nudist camp. Police are looking in to it.

The two silkworms who decided to race ended up in a tie.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said, “Keep off the grass.”

The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray became a seasoned veteran.

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

The rubber band pistol confiscated from an algebra student was a weapon of math disruption.

Once a person sent ten puns to ten friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. Not one pun in ten did.

Hope that isn’t the case here!

FOOD SAVERS

With the price of groceries continuing to soar while wages stay pretty much the same, we can’t afford to waste things.

Some of us learned “mingy” housekeeping tricks from Depression-raised mothers. Some of us missed that, and are having a hard time learning to use up or do without.

Eggs, for example, sold for maybe 70 cents a dozen less than a year ago. Now the price is more like $1.50 most of the time.

At just over 10 cents an egg, the hen fruit is still a bargain, but if we’re baking something that uses just yolks, we can no longer afford to simply throw the whites away. Add one or two whites to boost the protein content of scrambled eggs. Or freeze them individually in ice cube trays. There’s a need to plan ahead, but if you allow the frozen egg whites to thaw on their own they whip up just like fresh egg whites for use in recipes that don’t call for yolks. That is not always true of the packaged egg whites. For them you need to use the directions on the box. Some don’t whip.

When you separate the eggs, slide each white into its own ice cube compartment. Once they’re frozen, slip the cubes into a zipper type bag and the night before you plan to use them, take out as many cubes as your recipe calls for.

Egg yolks can also be frozen, but it’s a bit more tricky. You need to beat them slightly with sugar or salt to keep the texture good, and then freeze.

According to the Iowa Egg Council, beat in either 1/8 teaspoon salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar or corn syrup per 1/4 cup egg yolks (4 yolks). Label the container with the number or yolks, the date, and whether you’ve added salt (for main dishes) or sweetener (for baking or desserts).

Thaw frozen egg yolks overnight in the fridge or under running cold water. Use as soon as they’re thawed. Substitute 1 tablespoon thawed egg yolk for 1 large fresh egg yolk.

COOKIN’ TIME

Garden goodies are ours for the taking. We can enjoy them in all our favorite old ways, or try some wonderful new taste treats, like the cold soups

BULGARIAN COLD CUCUMBER SOUP

This is really an old, old recipe, but made the new easy way. Make ahead so it has time to chill. This is pretty much of a salad in a soup bowl. or leave thick as a dip. This is also closely related to a cold soup of Polish extraction.

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

4 cloves garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup walnuts

2 slices day-old crustless white sandwich bread, torn int

pieces

2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sunflower, walnut or

olive oil

1 1/2 cups yogurt

1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste

1/2 cup cold water

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Fresh dill weed

Using a food processor (or mortar and pestle, if desired), puree garlic, salt, 1/4 cup walnuts and bread. Slowly add oil through food shoot and process until well combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and beat in yogurt, cucumber and lemon juice. At this point, the mixture can be served as a dip. Otherwise, for soup, add water and leave chunky or puree until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour soup into chilled bowls and garnish with 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, a drizzle of oil and a sprinkling of fresh dill.

CREAM OF SQUASH SOUP

Another use for a bounty of yellow summer squash. Serve this soup hot or cold.

1 medium chopped onion

1 chopped celery rib

3 peeled and chopped carrots

2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter

1 1/2 pounds peeled, seeded and chopped yellow crookneck

squash or unpeeled, unseeded yellow zucchini

1 medium peeled and chopped potato

6 cups stock of choice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill weed (or to taste)

3/4 cup heavy cream (optional)

Salt and pepper

In a Dutch oven, saut onion, celery and carrots in butter until onion is translucent. Add squash, potato and stock to pan. Stir, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Puree the soup in a food processor or blender. Return to the pan, add dill, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Temper the cream with a few ladles of hot soup, mixing well. Add the tempered cream to the hot soup and mix thoroughly. Adjust seasonings. Alternatively, drizzle cold cream on top of soup at serving time. Serve hot, or cool soup to room temperature in an ice water bath, and refrigerate, covered, several hours. Serve in chilled bowls or mugs. Makes six servings

FRESH FRUIT SOUP

This gorgeous soup will cool you down on a hot summer night, or make a refreshing addition to breakfast. Quick and easy to prepare, or make it the night before. Serves four to six.

1 pound Bing cherries, pitted or 1 (15-ounce) can dark

cherries, drained

1 cup orange juice

1/3 cup sugar

2 cups fresh raspberries

1/8 teaspoon cardamom

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup vanilla yogurt

2 cups white grape juice

1 tablespoon lemon juice

In blender or food processor, combine cherries, orange juice, sugar, and raspberries and blend or process until smooth. Pour into large glass pitcher and stir in remaining ingredients; stir with wire whisk until blended. Serve immediately, or cover and chill for 2-4 hours before serving.

BLUEBERRY ANGEL FOOD DESSERT

This is so delicious, quick and easy that you won’t believe it. Came from friend Lynette, who deserves many thanks for discovering it. Plan to experiment with other flavors of pie filling and pudding. Can’t wait!

So easy it doesn’t really need a recipe, just some directions.

Mix one can of blueberry pie filling with one box of dry angel food cake mix. Put into ungreased 9”x12” cake pan, preferably glass, and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

For topping, whip together 1 cup milk and 1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix. Add one carton thawed frozen whipped topping. Mix well. Spread on top. Refrigerate.

MUGGLES BUTTERSCOTCH BLONDIE

People who live alone sometimes need treats in small quantities. This recipe fits the bill plerfectly. Makes one quick and easy serving of a sinfully delicious treat. Recipe doesn’t call for adding butterscotch chips, but you could add some, or drizzle melted chips over the top. Serve warm with ice cream ifm you’re really into self-indulgence!

5 tablespoons flour (whole wheat is even better)

3 level tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons soft butter

3 tablespoons water

1/8 traspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch salt

Mix everything very well in a mug that holds at least 12 ounces. Be sure all the butter gets stirredin. Microwave on high for one minute, and then check at 10-second intervals until the treat is done to your liking. Don’t let it get too done. Let cool a bit and enjoy. Add ice cream if you like.

Thought for the week: Almost everything we really want in life requires some hard work and taking a few chances. As Dale Carnegie put it: “The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure thing boat never gets far from shore.” On the other hand, if your boat look like it’s coming to your shore, Jonathan Winters said you need to swim out to meet it. Put more simply, you’ll never get where you’re going if you don’t take the first step. Luck isn’t likely to come to you on its own. You have to go after it. Those who look the luckiest in this old world are generally those who worked the hardest.

(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.)

COUNTRY COUSIN


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