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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: November 18, 2020

Happy Hunting!!!

Clans are gathering for the high holy days of gun deer season in Wisconsin, and with absolutely no evidence, am predicting that coronavirus concerns won't be causing hunters to wear masks in the woods, but the cold might. Also am betting that not many hunters will give up their time at Deer Camp for fear of contracting the virus, but it is rumored that a few may use that argument to convince wives to stay home.

Hunters hoping for tracking snow are likely to be disappointed. There's no snowfall predicted except for possibly a scattering on Sunday.

On the other hand in our corner of TIMESland we don't need to see tracks to know the deer are there. We see them all the time, either busy eating the fields or jumping out in front of cars on highways and byways. Drive carefully. Deer definitely do not look before they leap!

Nights have been below freezing for the past week or so, and we even had some snow that lasted on the ground for over a day. Hard to believe that the temperatures that have been causing us to shiver and hurry back into the house will feel like balmy Spring days in a few months.

LAND OF MILK AND HONEY

Whatever critics of America may say, we who were fortunate enough to be born in this great land have a great deal to be thankful for. Food is plentiful and comparatively cheap.

We may not always be able to afford everything we want, but we almost all have access to everything we need to stay warm, well fed and healthy.

Thank You, God, for bringing the pilgrims to these shores, and allowing them to sow the seeds that grew into this great nation!

ON THE SOAP BOX THANKSGIVING PLANS

Some of us have allowed ourselves and our families to be deprived this year of festivities celebrating Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Halloween. Now they're threatening to take away Thanksgiving and Christmas as well.

Why won't the tyrannical "Mama Dearest" type governors give people credit with having enough sense to think for themselves?

If I am afraid of coronavirus, I don't have to go to the family Thanksgiving dinner. The family would miss me, but they would understand. Probably they'd even bring over a plate of turkey and trimmings for me to enjoy with some heavy dashes of loneliness.

No thanks. I don't care for the flavor of that! If I want to take the risk, if I want to live until I die instead of the other way around, no government authority has a right to stop me.

Hugging our families, swapping family legends, sharing love around the table are every bit as important as the food that's served on it.

Realize that some folks do get very seriously and painfully ill from Covid-19, but in our family, the two grown-up grandchildren who tested positive for Covid-19 have recovered and will be long out of quarantine before Thanksgiving. Other members of their families who were exposed (not me) either didn't get it or didn't know they had it.

Incidentally, symptoms were identical in the two who had it - headaches and slight fever for a day, and total loss of taste and smell for three days. Both were able to go on with regular chores, and the one who had to stay off work for two weeks chopped firewood and got a buck with his bow, so it wasn't wasted time.

Those of us who choose to go to church should be able to enjoy our Constitutional rights to worship as we choose. Tyrants of the Communist/Socialist persuasion always try to do away with religion and individuality as firmly and swiftly as they can, and by whatever means thy can. That's been the case at least since the Communist Revolution in Russia back in 1917. They seem to believe if we stop turning to God for help we'll turn to them instead. And maybe they're right.

Bet God is pretty insulted right now at the way so many of us are willing to turn our backs on Him and let our souls get desperately ill in the interest of keeping our bodies healthy!

Stay at home orders, masking orders, distancing orders, even seat belt and no smoking laws, are all designed to get us accustomed to simply shutting up and doing as we're told. Government may have a right to tell us if we don't heed the health advice of the "experts" they hire, then they will not provide us with taxpayer supported medical care. Insurance companies have a right to order seat belts and air bags if they are to cover the medical costs. Same may go for masks and distancing. But Big Government does not have a right to tell us what to do if we're willing to take the risk and go it alone. That's what freedom is!

We've all seen how well Communism worked out in Russia, but we never seem to learn. Results of the recent election seem to show that far too many have bought into the notion that Government can and should take care of us and give us everything we need.

Has half of this country forgotten that Government cannot give anyone anything that it has not taken first from someone else? Or is it that they just don't care, as long as they get what they consider their fair share of the handouts?

STILL ON THE SOAP BOX - KEEP COUNTING

Ballots from the Nov. 3 Presidential and Congressional election are still being counted and verified in some parts of this country.

Having seen news footage of outrageous treatment of official poll watchers in some places where votes were being counted, am happy that results are being questioned, having talked to people who have first-hand knowledge of ballots cast in the names of people who did not vote, including some who were dead, have great doubts about the legality of many of the votes counted in this election.

Thoroughly agree that all legal votes must be counted. Also am deeply convinced that illegally cast ballots, including those cast by ineligible electors and those that arrived after the deadline should not be included, and am glad that legal challenges have been filed. Maybe after the investigations are completed and the legal questions are answered we will all be able to again have faith in the treasured American tradition of free and fair elections.

The mainstream news media and many of the Internet giants thought dictators have been harshly criticizing President Donald Trump and other Republicans for refusing to accept the election results so far. The numbers are very close, and no one should be accepting anything until all the questions are cleared up.

Those who are making sure that the legal questions do get answered should be thanked, not condemned.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton both strongly advised Presidential Candidate Joe Biden to not concede too soon, no matter how the vote counts were going. Did they know something we don't know? If not, that same advice should apply to candidates on the other side of the political aisle, including President Trump.

Again, Thank you, President Trump and others who are taking the steps needed to restore faith in free and representative government in this nation!

GROWIN' THINGS

On a more pleasant note, there are still some things we can do right about now to make our yards more beautiful come Spring. We can clean and oil our gardening implements and tuck them safely away for the winter, in a place where they can easily be found when they're needed again.

We can wait until the ground gets thoroughly frozen before we mulch our perennials. And we can mulch early blooming perennials like daffodils, tulips and iris with easily removable materials like pine boughs so they can be uncovered as soon as the snow goes away.

DEER HUNTING

It's sort of reassuring to have a cell phone along when you're hunting in the deep woods, but it's probably best to leave it turned off unless you need it.

And confer with others in your hunting party about cell phone rules. Heard about a fellow at a remote Yooper hunting camp who got in a bit of trouble with his buddies. Or rather, he got them in a bit of trouble.

They had all left their wives at home, and were having a great time batching it. Then one night Ole got lonesome and called his honey. Problem was, he didn't know that the other guys had told their wives that they couldn't be reached at hunting camp because there was no phone service in that corner of the woods.

Busted!

Another hunter friend says he thinks smart phones save more deer lives than PETA ever did. Says while he was in his tree stand scrolling through photos of bucks other hunters had killed he looked up to watch what would have almost certainly have been his sure shot buck stroll out of range. He says what's even more ironic is that he was on an Apple phone, and the whitetail had fled into a nearby apple orchard.

That reminds me of problems our family has with DNR rules against deer baiting. Those deer simply like eating together. They all share a meal in the neighbor's soybean field, and then come to our apple orchard for dessert.

We put chicken feed out in a fenced-in chicken yard and the deer broke in to get it. Didn't help when we put up "No Deer Allowed" signs. Can't they read?

Then there was this story which reminds me of a nephew who scattered candy rocks in his back yard at Easter and ate them in front of his kids. Told them they were Easter Bunny droppings.

Seems that two young brothers, both pretty much novices in the forest, had gone hunting together.

Every time the younger brother would point out "deer sign," the older, wiser brother would scathingly reply, "You can't eat deer sign!"

So next time the younger brother sneaked along some chocolate-covered raisins and spread them on the ground while pretending he had found another pile of deer sign.

Only this time, when big brother said, "Can't eat deer sign," little brother said, "Can too," and did. Not sure how that one ended.

COOKIN' TIME

Deer hunting guests and the entire Thanksgiving season calls for good, hearty food that can stand waiting. Here a few, plus a special dessert that's rich enough to replace supper if you've had a hearty noon or afternoon feast.

HUNGARIAN GOULASH

You can serve this over mashed potatoes, boiled rice or buttered noodles. To make really good buttered noodles, cook them according to package directions and drain them. Put as much butter as you want in a frying pan and add a generous amount of chopped fresh parsley. When the parsley starts to frizzle add the noodles and stir. Pepper them a it and stir again. Turn off heat and they're ready.

2 pounds boneless beef, cut into 2" pieces

Cooking spray

1 cup water

2 strips thick bacon, chopped

3 onions, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons paprika

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 or 2 green peppers, coarsely chopped

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (optional)

buttered noodles

Lightly spray a large frying pan with cooking spray and in it brown the beef for perhaps 15 minutes, stirring several times to brown all sides. Add the cup of water and scrape to loosen all the brown pan drippings. Add the bacon and cook until it starts to brown. Then add the onions and let hem brown. Stir in the paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir in the green pepper and let that brown just a bit. Add more water if needed to keep it from burning and continue cooking or about two hours or until meat is soft. You could also transfer to a slow cooker and let it go on low for six hours or so, or on high for two to three hours. Serve over buttered noodles.

SAUERKRAUT GOULASH

Pork is relatively cheap right now, and this sauerkraut is far more than relatively good. Recipe supposedly serves six, but if they're hungry hunters, better count on either serving this to only four, or doubling the recipe.

1 1/2 pounds lean pork, cut in 2" cubes

2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons paprika

2 tablespoons butter, shortening or bacon grease (lard is

authentic)

1/4 cup chopped onions

1 cup water

1 can sauerkraut (2 1/2 pounds)

2 cups boiling water

1 1/2 cups sour cream

Coat meat in mixture of flour, paprika and salt. Melt fat, add meat and onions and brown meat on all sides. Add half a cup of water. Cover and simmer one hour. Add sauerkraut and the other half cup of water. Simmer for about another 30 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and heat again, but do not let it boil. Serve over baked or mashed potatoes.

MAPLE SYRUP CAKE

For Thanksgiving we like to enjoy home-grown, native American foods as much as we can. Maple syrup is one of them, and the original Founding Fathers might actually have enjoyed a dessert very similar to this cross between a cake and a pudding. For the prettiest results, use darker colored maple syrup if you can get it. Vanilla or coffee flavored ice cream is very good with this. So is salted caramel. Am certain the Pilgrims did not have ice cream, but guess we don't need to be totally traditional. Makes six to eight servings. Original name of this dessert, enjoyed by early Quebec residents, was "Pouding Chomeur," which translates to "Unemployed Person's Pudding." It's definitely better than that name implies.

1 cup maple syrup

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon table salt, divided

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2/3 cup milk

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Whipped cream or ice cream for serving, optional

Adjust oven rack to six inches from the top of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat Maple Syrup, cream and half a teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until simmering, about five minutes. Off the heat, whisk the hot mixture to combine, and then transfer it to a heatproof 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Let that sit while you whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and remaining half teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla in a second bowl until combined and then whisk that into the flour mixture until combined. Whisk in the melted butter until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the batter to an 8" square baking dish set in a rimmed baking sheet and use a spatula to spread it into an even layer. Pour the still hot syrup mixture over corners of the baking dish so it flows over the top of the cake batter, and drizzle some on top. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake layer comes out clean. The cake will be on top and the syrup will underneath it. Scoop out servings with a serving spoon or flat spatula without slots in it, making sure to get some sauce with each serving. Serve as is, or top with whipped cream or ice cream.

Thought for the week: This is a repeat, but maybe we should keep repeating this prayer until we know it by heart: "Lord, please keep this nation in Your protection. Save us from the violence that has been threatening for the past year. Deliver us from the hatreds that have turned children against parents, brothers against sisters, and neighbors against neighbors. We have fallen into evil ways, and do not deserve Your protection, but if our nation fails, there is nowhere left to go. Please give us the courage to stand by our moral values, and to protect our freedoms, especially the freedom to worship You and speak up for You against Your enemies. Amen."

(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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