Country CousinIssue Date: July 12, 2018
Ever since Summer arrived, TIMESland's been celebrating with gusto! However, after the long hard winter that lingered well into what should have been spring none of us were really ready for 90 degree days and 70 degree nights. The sweltering heat sometimes has been almost too much. Even the military sends recruits to the Texas deserts to train under hot dry conditions before sending them off to fight in similar climates.
BEWARE OF FRIDAY!
This week brings Friday the Thirteenth. If you're among the superstitious, beware! Avoid black cats, leaning ladders and things that go bump in the night.
There's too much fun going on to just stay home, so cross your fingers, throw salt over your shoulder, or whatever else you have to do, and get out and have fun anyway.
IT'S STILL PARTY TIME!
The Fourth of July celebrations are over for this year, but summer fun continues in TIMESland.
Enjoyed the Twin Bridge Ski Team show at Boat Landing Three west of Crivitz on Saturday, July 7. The evening ended with what was probably the best fireworks display I've ever seen. Incredible that a group of amateur volunteers could put on a show of that quality, and that a little non-profit organization in northwoods Wisconsin could afford fireworks that equaled or exceeded the shows that even larger cities put on. Their next ski show is at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday July 14.
The City of Marinette's annual Logging and Heritage festival gets underway on Friday, July 13 with an outdoor fish fry hosted by the Marinette Moose Lodge at Red Arrow Park along with a polka band and the Country Kickers. Saturday features a host of activities on Stephenson Island, including vendors, live music, the Great Lakes Timber Show with their chainsaw carving, axe throwing, antique logging hand tools, row sawing & more. There will be fireworks at night. On Sunday, July 15 there will be a parade, bike and car show, plus vendors, music and contests again on Stephenson Island.
The Athelstane Fireman's Picnic, always a fun event, is on Saturday, July 14.
The Crivitz Ski Cats present their twice weekly water ski show at Lake Noquebay Park starting at 6 p.m. on most Wednesdays and Saturdays this summer. No show on Saturday, July 21 because of the state tournament, so better enjoy them on July 14.
BANDS AT BADGER
On Wednesday, July 18, come to Badger Park in Peshtigo between 6 and 8 p.m. to enjoy a Peshtigo Jazz Band concert.
During a hot spell a few years ago, friend Richie Gerbyszak was reminded of a story his grandpa used to tell. The hot spell this year reminded me of that story.
His grandpa farmed with horses, and it was back before the days of global warming, when August was still a hot, dry month instead of cold and rainy like it so often is now.
Grandpa was out in the corn field with his team of horses, working on the harvest. The sun was so hot that the corn started to pop. The fluffy white popcorn came down so heavy that the horses thought it was snowing. So they keeled over and froze to death.
Richie claimed at the time that this sad story won first place once in a Liars Club Contest in Milwaukee. Nowadays there doesn't seem to be a Liars Club, but liars still have contests, except that they're called campaigning, and too often the best liar gets elected.
ON THE SOAP BOX
Leave it to the liberal press! If they can't find something bad to say about President Donald Trump and Gov. Scott Walker they'll make something up.
Plans were being laid for groundbreaking ceremonies on Thursday, June 28 for the huge new FoxConn manufacturing facility near Racine that eventually will employ 13,000 people and is expected to add $51 billion dollars to Wisconsin's gross domestic product over the next 15 years. President Donald Trump was to be there, as was Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker.
Foxconn also had just announced that they have purchased the Watermark Building (the former Younkers and Prange department store) at 301 N. Washington Street in downtown Green Bay and plan to open an innovation center there by the end of the year. Reports are that they will employ 200 people there - high tech people including software, hardware and firmware engineers; software programmers; and artificial intelligence and big data experts, among others.
Creating new jobs is one thing, but creating high paying new jobs - especially here in northeast Wisconsin - is entirely something else! So is having an outside firm construct and buy facilities that eventually will pay huge amounts of property taxes! We should be dancing in the streets!
So what was the on-line Associated Press headline? - "The Latest: Residents Rally Against Foxconn Project."
Story interviews demonstrators and activists planning a protest march to the Foxconn site near Racine in connection with the groundbreaking. Some of the protesters seem to be employed in the public sector (one is teacher), or supported by the public dole and afraid they'll be forced to work if jobs are available.
Some are concerned about loss of farmland. Others worry about diverting water from Lake Michigan. One admitted that creating jobs is good, but said he's mainly afraid of air pollution. Bet none of them know anything at all about what pollution, if any, that this plant is likely to produce. But they're protesting about it.
Personally, I'm more concerned about mind pollution spewed by fake news and "activists" in recent years than about air pollution from a factory! Air pollution we might cure. Mind pollution can destroy our nation.
Wonder how much the anti-Trump, anti-Walker people paid to get this set of anti-everything demonstrators up and marching?
Zucchini season is upon us. Again am getting the jokes about over zealous gardeners leaving them on door steps, in the back seats of cars, etc. Didn't get my garden in this year, so we have none. Wish someone would unload some unwanted zucchini on me. They're wonderful in so many ways! Side dishes, appetizers, main dishes, desserts - you name it. Zucchini and related summer squash are good in just about everything. Chop them in a food processor and can with pineapple juice and you even have an excellent substitute for canned pineapple!
You've heard of Shake "n' Bake? Well, these are just shake. No baking involved at all. I don't usually like pretzels much unless they're coated with chocolate, but do love these. The recipe came from Coleman School Board Member Barb Krause-Klug years ago when she ran the school office, but she gave the credit to another district employee, Faye Tress, who was good enough to share the recipe with her. Had a request from a reader to reprint the seasoned pretzel recipe and I think this is the one she wanted. If not, hope she'll let me know and I'll look farther. The original recipe calls for straight pretzels, but this works very well with the small twisted ones too.
40 to 50 ounces thin straight salted pretzels
1 12 ounce bottle Orville Redenbacher buttery flavored popcorn oil
1 package ranch seasoning (salad dressing mix)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dill weed
Put the pretzels in a large plastic bowl with a tight fitting lid. Mix together the oil and all the seasonings and pour this mixture over the pretzels. Put the cover on the bowl and shake. Turn upside down if the cover fits tightly enough. During the next hour shake four or five more times - maybe once every ten to fifteen minutes. They're done. Store however you want - even in the bowl you made them in. Or put into zipper type plastic bags to be stored in the cupboard and served as needed. They stay good for several weeks. Great to take along on camping trips.
FROSTED SPICY ZUCCHINI BARS
Had to reprint this recipe.The first time, zucchini was left out of the list of ingredients. The recipe said to add it, but didn't say how much. Many thanks to the reader who called and pointed out the error! Also found a better recipe for the frosting, so added that as an alternate. Think I'll try using pumpkin pie spice in the frosting next time, probably a teaspoon, instead of he cinnamon and cloves
For the bars:
1 1/3 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
Easy Spice Frosting:
1 (16 ounce) package cream cheese frosting
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (or allspice)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Homemade Spicy Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
3 ounce package cream cheese
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13-inch baking pan. Mix brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract together in a bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir in zucchini and walnuts. Spread batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting, about 1 hour.
For the easy frosting version, just mix the frosting with cinnamon and cloves (or allspice) in a bowl. Spread over the cooled zucchini bars. Actually the frosting is good without the spice, too, or with just cinnamon, no cloves.
For the Homemade Spicy Cream Cheese Frosting whip together the butter, cream cheese, cinnamon,cloves and salt. Gradually whip in the powdered sugar. Spread on top of the bars while they're still somewhat warm.
LEMON ZUCCHINI BARS
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 3/4 cups grated zucchini
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs, lemon rind, and lemon juice; mix well. Stir in shredded zucchini. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add this mixture to the zucchini mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined; mix in the walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool. Sprinkle cake with sifted confectioners' sugar and cut into bars.
GREEK CHICKEN PITAS
Fresh new flavor from the grill. These pita sandwiches take only minutes to cook. Try them with a cucumber relish as another type of Gyro sandwich. Not traditional Fourth of July fare, but very, very worth eating, and they do go well with traditional pasta and Jell-O salads.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about five ounces each
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons crushed oregano
4 slices peeled sweet onion
2 pita bread rounds, 12-inch size, or four six inch ones
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: lettuce, diced cucumber, diced or sliced tomato
Rinse the chicken breasts, pat dry, and pound them thin. Spray the onion slices with cooking spray. Brush both sides with lemon juice and sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper. Light coals of heat grill to medium hot. Spray grates with cooking spray. Set the pita breads on a warm but not hot corner of the grill so they start warming. Put chicken breasts on grill and cook 5 or 6 minutes on each side, turning once. Add onion slices about two minutes later and grill them. (You might want to put the onion slices on a piece of foil so they don't fall through the grill.) If you have pounded the breasts very flat they may be done sooner. When done, transfer the onion slices and chicken breasts to a cutting board and cut into strips. Cut each pita bread in half and into the pocket put some of the sliced chicken breast and some of the sliced onion. Sprinkle on a bit of mint, add your choice of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and Sour Cream Sauce. Eat and enjoy.
SOUR CREAM SAUCE
You can also add a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce if you like. We prefer it without.
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried mint or dill weed
1 teaspoon each crumbled parsley, onion powder, and garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Just mix everything together a little in advance of serving time, and dollop onto the sandwiches as you wish. This is also excellent on thinly sliced grilled pork tenderloin or turkey breasts.
Note: If you prefer, instead of cutting the Pitas in half, just pile the fillings on and fold it over to eat. However, our old landlord in Appleton was from Armenia (now part of Turkey), and his homemade pita breads were always cut in half with the fillings put into the pockets. Done that way, the juices are absorbed so you get to enjoy them rather than have them run off onto your hand. Ed would have been amazed - and probably insulted - to see anyone just pile the fillings on top of his wonderful flat breads!
STRAWBERRY MARGARITA SQUARES
Really, really good. If you want to make this patriotic, top each piece with a dollop of whipped cream, a circle of strawberry slices and a sprinkle of fresh blueberries for a red, white and blue look.
1 1/4 cups crushed pretzels
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup mashed strawberries
1/2 cup lime juice
1 tub whipped topping, 8 ounces, thawed (or use 8 ounces of real cream, whipped, with 1/4 cup sugar)
Mix pretzel crumbs and butter and press firmly into the bottom of a 13x9-inch pan. (You can mix it right in the pan.) Refrigerate until ready to fill. Stir the sweetened condensed milk, strawberries and lime juice gently together in a large bowl until well blended, then gently stir in whipped topping or real whipped cream. Pour over crust. Freeze 6 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before cutting to serve. Garnish with sliced strawberries. Makes 12 servings. To slice easily, run the knife in hot water first.
Thought for the Week: The Fourth of July is over, but there's no limit on the season for appreciating the wonderful freedoms we in this country enjoy. And we need to remember that this nation originally was created because our forefathers wanted the freedom to worship as they chose. Maybe that's why God has blessed us so much. "We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom alone men ought to be obedient." "Samuel Adams, after the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Patrick Henry, who did not sign the Declaration but did help formulate the Constitution, had this to say of the new Nation: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship."
(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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