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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: June 24, 2020

Welcome, Mr. President!

On behalf of what I believe to be a majority of the residents of TIMESland and Marinette County, want to extend a hearty "WELCOME" to President Donald Trump, who is to visit the Marinette Marine shipyard on Thursday, June 25. Few of us will be able to enjoy the pleasure of his company, but just the fact that he has chosen to come here is an honor.

Whether you are a supporter or not (and it is well known to regular readers of this column that I am), Donald Trump is the duly elected President of the United States of America, the first ever that I know of to honor this county with his presence.

Wish he could stay to enjoy the many beauties our area has to offer. Am certain he would also enjoy the many "Trump/Pence" signs posted along city streets and county highways and by-ways.

Sincerely hope there's a chance for him to witness some of our sincere northern hospitality and none of the animosity that is so rampant in much of this nation today!

ANOTHER VISITOR?

Have often said that God may not actually live here in Marinette County (except in our hearts) but have expressed belief that He does spend summer holidays here, especially in the Crivitz area. As happens on so many summer holidays here, despite dreary days of chilly rain before and after, we were blessed with glorious weather on Father's Day ". lots of sunshine, warm enough for swimming, great for outdoor grilling, but not too hot for comfort. Isn't it grand to live in God's country?

ON THE SOAP BOX KEEP AMERICA GREAT!

With Independence Day rapidly approaching, am appalled by the tendency of folks today - especially educators and mainstream news media - to downplay the achievements of the brave men who fought for our freedom in the American revolution and helped create our great nation, and start a new idea of personal liberty and opportunity that caught on all around the world.

Today, there seem to be almost constant efforts to portray or nation's forefathers, especially President George Washington, Father of our Country, as evil, bigoted men who owned slaves or tolerated slavery.

We need to understand, and our children need to be taught, that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other heroes of the American Revolution, were born into the world that existed at that time, not a world as some people of today think it should have been. Whether we agree with their position on slavery or not, they risked their lives and their fortunes by fighting for the freedom we have today.

In that world of 1776, there was a quite entrenched social system, with chances of moving upward slim to non-existent in most of the world.

Personal service to kings and queens was done by members of the nobility. Base work was done by lesser servants. Nobles - lords and ladies, dukes and duchesses, earls and countesses, had their servants. Much like the system that existed in India until very recent years, and perhaps still does in places, everyone was pretty much born to their status in life. Children of the serving wenches, stable boys, and the like had little chance of growing up to be anything else. Children of craftsmen had it a bit better, and generally learned their trades from their parents. They could gain some wealth, but likelihood of gaining a title was very slim. Women were almost universally relegated to lesser roles, and were expected to be subservient to men. We may not like it,but that is the way it was. Read any works of history!

In much of Europe and elsewhere in the world, there were overlords and there were serfs. Serfs were somewhat owned by the overlords. The idea of being able to profit from your own labors was a comparatively new one on this planet, and it's success here in America led quickly to a revolution that led the free world to the freedom and comfortable lives most of us enjoy today, even those of us who have little money.

Most of the inventions that make our lives easier today would never have happened had not men and women been allowed to profit from their ideas, ant the toils and talents that brought those ideas to reality.

Please, please, teach history as it really was, so we can learn from it and build on it. If we refuse to do that, all the suffering of the downtrodden folks who came before it was for naught!

HOW MANY "SHOE" WORDS?

Ran some fun questions in this column a couple of weeks ago, with answers at the end. A very nice caller pointed out that answers were not provided for the final challenge, which was: "Name six or more things beginning with the letter "S" that you can wear on your feet." He and his wife had come up with six correct answers. Some possibilities are: shoes, socks, stockings, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skates, skis, snow shoes. There are probably more, but guess who can't think of them right now. Also neglected to write down the caller's name.

SMART ADDITIONS

Making light, fluffy, creamy scrambled eggs is the ultimate dream of most breakfast cooks. To achieve that consistency, most cooks add a bit of milk or cream to their egg mixture to keep things moist and rich. Try adding a tablespoon of real mayonnaise instead. Bet you'll be amazed at the professional quality results. It's got to be real mayo, however, and not the low fat kind.

Grilling fish? That can be a real challenge, unless you wrap it in foil. Try this instead. Before you throwing your fish on the grill, fillet or whole fish, brush it with a bit of mayonnaise. The mayonnaise will prevent your fish from sticking to the grill. A thin coating will hardly change the flavor of your fish, but it will promote even browning for a fish fillet any chef would be proud to serve.

ADD CHEESE TO THAT BURGER

A very simple way to add cheese to your burger and make it even better is to make it inside out. Add a slice of cheese directly in the center of your meatball before you flatten it out into a patty for grilling, so the cheese ends up in the middle with burger all around. The cheese will melt in the center, with no runoff melting onto the grill or into the pan. You'll find that your burger has never been so delicious!

To keep burgers juicy, tuck a thin ice cube into the center of each burger and form the patty around it. Then season and toss onto the grill. Cook the patties as you normally would. The ice will melt into the meet while it's cooking, letting the outside get nicely browned while the inside stays nice and juicy.

LOVELY LEMONS

Lots of summer desserts, marinades and salad dressings call for fresh lemon juice. So does making real fresh lemonade, but that's a lot of work. To get more juice from each lemon with less effort, toss it into the microwave for seven to ten seconds. Once the timer goes off, roll the lemon back and forth across the counter underneath your palm, applying a little bit of pressure. Then cut it and juice it as you normally would. You should get much more juice with significantly less effort. Don't forget to grate the yellow part of the lemon peel on a fine grater and mix it with some salt before letting it dry. You can add that along with some fresh parsley when recipes call for lemongrass.

COOKIN' TIME

Had a telephone visit the other day with Ann Wardecke, the White Potato Lake "cousin" who provided me with the fish soup recipe printed last week. It was she who inherited it from her frugal and talented grandmother who managed to feed a large family well on a limited budget.

ASPARAGUS SALAD

Here's a refreshing treat that makes good use of some locally grown goodies that are available right now. well, maybe locally grown green beans aren't quite ready yet, but it won't be long, and you can buy them fresh at the supermarket at a reasonable price now.

For the salad:

1 pound fresh asparagus, rimmed and cut into 2" pieces

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into

1-1/2" pieces

8 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, drained

1/3 cup roasted red peppers, cut into strips

1 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes

1/2 small purple or red onion, thinly sliced

For the dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon sugar or low carb sweetener

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling drop in the green beans and cook for about four minutes. Add asparagus pieces and cook for another two to three minutes. Drain and lace into a prepared ice bath. Once chilled, drain the vegetables and pat them dry on paper towels. While the veggies dry mix all the dressing ingredients. Use a food processor or blender if you want a smooth dressing.

In a large bowl combine green beans and asparagus and pour the dressing over them. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or better still, over night. About two hours before serving add the artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, onion slices an tomatoes. Toss to mix well. cover snd refrigerate again for about an hour and a half, then take out and let sit for about another half hour so it reaches room temperature before everyone digs in. If there are leftovers, you can safely save them for tomorrow provided you don't let it sit out too long.

BACON BUNDLED ASPARAGUS

Who doesn't love bacon? It adds its own smokey flavor to asparagus in this easy recipe. Plan to have these when you're baking something else, or cook on a covered grill.

1 pound thick asparagus, stalks trimmed

4 slices bacon, not thick cut

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, or heat the grill to quite hot. Divide the asparagus stalks into 4 bundles. Tightly wrap one slice of bacon around each bundle. Try to get nearly all the asparagus covered. In a small bowl mix together the butter, garlic powder, brown sugar and pepper. Arrange the asparagus bundles on a baking sheet and drizzle the butter mixture over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bacon is crispy. You could also cook these on a baking sheet in a covered outdoor grill. Then if the bacon doesn't get crisp enough for you, finish it right on the grid, but be careful not to set the bacon on fire.

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB COFFEE CAKE

Don't let the long instructions scare you. It probably won't take you as long to prepare the cake as it does to read the directions.

Filling:

3 cups sliced rhubarb, (1 inch pieces) fresh or frozen

2 pints fresh strawberries, mashed

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

Cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter or margarine, cut in small pieces

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

1/4 cup butter or margarine

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

First make the topping by melting butter in a small saucepan over low heat, then with the heat off stir in flour and sugar until crumbles form. Set aside while you do the rest. For the filling combine rhubarb, strawberries and lemon juice In a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, then combine sugar and cornstarch and stir into the strawberry rhubarb mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside to cool while you make the cake itself. To do that, in a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, eggs and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients. Spread half of the batter evenly into a greased 9x13x2-inch baking dish. Carefully spread filling over the batter. Drop remaining batter evenly over filling with a tablespoon. Then sprinkle the crumbly first mixture over all. Lay foil on lower rack to catch any juicy fruit spillovers. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, or until cake is done. Cool cake in pan on rack. Cut rhubarb coffee cake into squares or strips to serve

FROZEN BANANA SPLIT BARS

Here's a summery tasting treat that doesn't require summer fruits. Enjoy what you want now, and keep the rest frozen for future use, or for after we can enjoy surprise drop-in guests again.

2 cups confectioners sugar

1 cup evaporated milk

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup butter, divided

24 Oreo cookies, crushed

3 to 4 medium firm bananas, cut into 1/2 inch slices

2 quarts vanilla ice cream, softened, divided

1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained

1 jar (10 ounces) maraschino cherries, drained and halved

3/4 cup chopped pecans

Whipped topping or real sweetened whipped cream for serving

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, milk, chocolate chips and 1/2 cup butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for eight minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. Meanwhile, use the food processor to turn the cookies into crumbs. Melt the remaining butter and toss with the cookie crumbs. Press into a greased 13x9 inch pan. Freeze for at least 15 minutes. Arrange banana slices over crust; spread with 1 quart ice cream. Top with 1 cup chocolate sauce. Freeze for 1 hour. Refrigerate remaining chocolate sauce. Spread the remaining quart of ice cream over the dessert; top with pineapple, cherries and pecans. Cover and freeze at least overnight. Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Reheat the chocolate sauce to warm, not really hot. Cut dessert into squares; if desired, serve with whipped topping and chocolate sauce.

Thought for the week: Dad, Father's Day was Sunday, and was thinking of you. Hope up there in Heaven you're trout fishing, dancing with Mom, or maybe sitting around a dinner table somewhere, swapping stories with old family friends or relatives. Playing a harp just wouldn't be your style! You built a lifetime of memories for me that I will always hold dear in my heart. Be seeing you again one of these days. Until then - lots of love from your oldest daughter.

(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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