Issue Date: February 6, 2020
Did he see that shadow?
It has been reported that Puxatawney Phil over in Pennsylvania did not see his shadow on Sunday, Feb. 2, which was Groundhog Day there, just as it was here in TIMESland.
The difference is that here, if Phil's groundhog cousins popped out of their winter slumbers early in the day, they almost certainly saw their shadows and went back to sleep for another six weeks.
If they slept in, they may or may not have seen shadows, since the sun came and went regularly. Regardless of Groundhog predictions, we all pretty much know that we here in TiMESland will almost certainly have six more weeks of winter.
That said, national weather service predicts some pretty fine weather for the first 10 days of February, considering that it is February. Won't be quite as nice as Sunday and Monday, with highs in the 40s, but won't be in single digits or below, and we're getting a break from snow and rain. No precipitation predicted until sometime next week, and then only flurries.
Time to celebrate!
Wausaukee Recreation Association's Winter Fun Fest on McCall Lake on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. will include door prizes, a chili dump, hot dogs and beverages. Wausaukee Fire Department will do a cold water rescue demonstration at approximately 10 a.m. All proceeds to benefit the youth sports programs.
The High Falls Fish-O-Rama winterfest and snowmobile radar run is to be held on High Falls Flowage 12 miles west of Crivitz on Saturday, Feb. 8. There will be cash prizes for the longest fish in each species. Foods and beverages will be served in a heated tent, and trophies will be awarded in each class. Anyone wanting more information may call Popp's Resort at 715-757-3511.
Also on Saturday, Feb. 8, weapons enthusiasts can enjoy the gun and knife show sponsored by Menominee Woods and Streams Sportsman's Club at the Pullman House, 4 miles north of Menominee on Hwy. 141, with items to buy, sell and trade, and food available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Vendor tables are available for $25. Admission is $5 at the door, with kids under 12 admitted free with an adult. More info? Call Scott at 715-293-7727.
Plan now for the annual Candlelight ski and hike event at Gov. Thompson State Park on Paust Lane west of Crivitz from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15. Skiers can take an easy 1-mile loop candlelit trail groomed for both classic (diagonal striding) and skate skiing as it weaves through the woods. Non-skiers can hike a separate 1-mile candlelit trail with scenic views over Woods Lake. For more information, call Park Manager Maggie Kailhofer at 715-757-3979. She says the park and trails will be lit by over 800 candle luminaries and accented with original ice sculptures. Hikers, snowshoers and pets are not allowed on the ski trail, but are welcome on the hiking trail. Warming fires and hot chocolate will be available for everyone in the Woods Lake Shelter. A vehicle admission park sticker is required and can be purchased at the park office the day of the event.
Every Saturday from now through April is board game day at the Stephenson Public Library in Marinette. Using a library card or Photo ID, anyone can come in from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to borrow a board game or puzzle at the front desk, and then stay all day or just an hour or so to enjoy it.
SCAMS AND MORE SCAMS
Most of us are plagued regularly by scam calls or at least sales calls pushing something we don't want to buy, like more insurance. Am ashamed to say that Yours Truly lost nearly $200 thanks to responding to an on-line offer for a free face cream trial. Just had to pay a $4.95 shipping charge.
Failed to read the fine print in the literature that came with the cream, and don't always pay close attention to the bank statements. Turned out that the first jar did cost that $4.95. However, they immediately sent a follow up order, with a $95 charge, followed about two weeks later with a "serum" that scammed $84.95 from the checking account.
Luckily, my bank has an effective fraud alert system. When the next set of recurring charges came through they contacted me. I told them to refuse to pay. To do that, I had to cancel that debit card and set up a new one, which left me without a card for about 10 days. That was a learning experience. Called the face cream company to offer to return the unused product and request a refund. Was told I should have read the fine print.
By the way, I thought the fraud alert call was a scam, and following the rules declined to respond to questions about me or my account. However, I did follow though with a direct call to my bank, and learned the alert was genuine. I was advised to put their fraud alert number in my contact list so if they call again I'll know it's them. It's well worth taking a few minutes to contact your bank to see if they have a fraud alert call service, and if so, what number they would use to call you.
The Marinette County Aging and Disability Center says one of the most recurring schemes they investigate involves scammers who claim you have a huge lottery win, but to collect you must provide a payment in the form of cash, money order, bank information or a gift card. If you need to send money, you didn't win!!!
A few years ago a relative sold a collector's item to an on-line purchaser, and thought they were safe when they deposited the payment check before shipping it. Turned out the "purchaser" didn't really care about the item they purchased, they wanted the information they got when their check was cashed. And then the check turned out to be a fraud as well, since the "bank" it was drawn on was a fake set up for the purpose of collecting information for their fraudulent purposes.
The ADRC warns to review your financial statements regularly, be aware of surroundings when using an ATM, keep your identification and bank information confidential, and check occasionally with your bank or financial institution to be sure the information they have for you is current and accurate. Do not sign any contract until you have verified the company and call-back information. My sister says she won't use "pay at the pump" to buy gasoline any more. She did that, and their account was hacked. She was told credit thieves put mini cameras up where they can read the cards and pin numbers.
By the way, those smart phones really are smart. More than once, I've visited a business place, didn't even use my phone, and then shortly after leaving, received an inquiry as to how satisfactory my visit to that business had been. I've had people tell me they met a group for lunch, and let's say they discussed high blood pressure. Shortly after returning to their own vehicles, all of them started getting text messages advertising high blood pressure medications.
Privacy? Apparently it doesn't exist if your cell phone is spying on you!
Here's another warning. Be careful what you put in your dishwasher. Those things can get hungry!
Had a cute little "alabaster" cherub plaque hanging on my wall for years. One recent day, I decided it looked maybe more than a bit grungy so tucked it into a vacant spot in the dishwasher.
Was dismayed when the load was washed and dried to find that all the glassware and stainless was horribly cloudy. Ran it through another rinse, with vinegar. That helped, but still had to polish that dulling film from some items with an old-fashioned dish towel.
Couldn't figure out the problem until I completely emptied the dishwasher and found there was nothing in the spot where I had tucked the angel.
The plaster angel had completely dissolved, and left a goodly amount of its remains on the other contents of that dishwasher load.
To save a little hand washing, I had caused my little angel to flow away down the drain, and created a great deal of extra work for myself.
Years ago a friend told me she had put some pieces from her family's very precious old lead crystal glassware collection in her dishwasher, and it ate them.
Ever read the nutrient contents on a soup can label? Some varieties have so little of good for you things that you wonder how they got away with using the slogan, "Soup is good food!" for so many years.
Scientists have proven that something in chicken soup really is good for you, especially for dealing with symptoms of the common cold. Don't know if that's true of the commercially canned varieties, but do know it's true of the home made versions, especially if they start out with bone broth.
Making good soup really isn't difficult. You can make a big batch of bone broth almost as easily as a small one, so make a bunch at one time and can or freeze it for future use. Costs almost nothing. I like to puree the vegetables sometimes and keep them with the broth for added fiber and nutrients. Have created an almost instant high protein version of egg drop soup by adding a package of ramen noodle soup mix to a pint of unseasoned bone broth, and then when it boils, stirring in a slightly beaten egg. Cost? About a quarter for two servings!
CHICKEN BONE BROTH
Variations of this broth recipe are given for instant pot, slow cooker and the good old fashioned soup kettle, thanks to information on natashaskitchen.com. She says the Instant Pot broth tasted best, but for now I don't have one, so I can't say. You can use the same basic recipes to make pork or beef bone broth, but perhaps cook them a bit longer.
2 1/2 pounds (or so) of chicken bones, roasted
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 large ribs of celery, with leaves, coarsely cut
2 medium carrots, peeled and halved
2 smashed garlic cloves
1 teaspoon turmeric (my addition)
1 bay leaf, optional, but nice
Water ( For stock pot: 16 cups, 6 quart Slow Cooker: 12 cups, Instant Pot: 10 to 11 cups.)
You can skip the roasting part and just use raw bones, but roasting improves the flavor. If you're using the bones from an already cooked bird, they do not need to be roasted first. Either way, save the skin and fat from the birds and add that to the cooking kettle too. You're going to strain it and peel the fat off the top later anyway. (Incidentally, you can use the resulting clarified fat to make pastry for a chicken pot pie, the way my grandma did.) If you aren't going to puree the vegetables, don't peel the yellow onion. Just wash it, chop it up a bit and toss in the kettle, skin and all. Adds a nice golden color.
To roast the raw bones, spray a cooking sheet with cooking spray, put the bones on it, and roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Transfer bones and any pan juices from the baking sheet to to your pot. Use part of the soup water to rinse the pan and add that to the cooking pot along with the other ingredients, including the skin and fat, cooked or raw. Continue according to directions for the cooking method you choose. The bones are done enough when you can break a leg bone in half with your hands. That means the gelatin from the bones is now in the broth. It will gel nicely when it's cold and turn back into liquid when you heat it up. When done, strain through a fine mesh sieve into a second pot. Drain thoroughly to get out as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Cool strained stock to room temperature as quickly as possible, then put into smaller containers and refrigerate, covered, for three to five days. Fat will rise to the top. Remove it before using the broth. You can put prepared de-fatted broth into freezer safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months. Be sure to leave space in freezer containers for expansion. Use as a base for any recipe you're making that calls for chicken broth. (Back in the day I would have gotten out the pressure canner and canned the broth rather than freezing it, but these days I'm taking the easier route.)
Instant Pot: Place roasted bones and accumulated pan juices into a 6-quart instant pot. Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon turmeric and 1 teaspoon salt. Add 10-11 cups water or until you reach the 2/3 max fill line in the pot. Select soup/broth and set the time to 2 hours (120 minutes). When cooking is complete, wait 30 minutes for it to naturally depressurize then release pressure. Use an oven mitt for safety in case the valve sputters.
Slow Cooker: This is the easiest method. Put skin and bones in the slow cooker. Add 12 cups of warm water and 1 tablespoon cider vinegar. Cook on low heat for 6 hours or more. Even 10 hours is fine. Then add the salt, turmeric, onion, celery, carrots , smashed garlic cloves and bay leaf and continue cooking on low simmer for another 9 hours or more, until all the veggies are soft.
Stovetop method: This is the old fashioned way, and best if you have a really big kettle and are making a double batch. Put skin and bones into into an 8-quart (or larger) soup kettle. The water should be cold. Add salt and vinegar. Bring to a simmer over high heat, and then simmer on low for six hours or more before adding everything else and simmering another nine hours. There should be at least a total of 19 hours simmering, but longer is okay. You can keep it simmering slowly when you go to bed at night provided you add water first, or without removing the cover, turn it of when you go to bed and bring it quickly back to a simmer when you turn it on again in the morning.
OLD FASHIONED PIGS IN A BLANKET
This new version of an old favorite calls for slow cooker cooking, which is a great way to do them. Or do it the original old-fashioned way by baking in a Dutch oven. Recipe makes a dozen "pigs". You can prepare everything, including the "pigs" the night before, and then put on to cook in the morning, so you get home to a nice hot evening meal. Sounds like a bit much with rice in the recipe, but we like this with baked potatoes and green beans. With all that, who needs dessert?
1 nice big, green head of cabbage
1/2 pound nice meaty bacon, diced
1 egg, beaten
1 cup water, broth or tomato sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 cup uncooked rice
Sauce - double this if you like:
15 ounce can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
1 can tomato soup
Cut about a quarter inch off the bottom of the head of cabbage, wash it, and put the entire head in a pot of boiling water. After about two minutes, peel off the leaves that are soft enough to come off without tearing, return head to the pot, and keep doing this until you have removed a dozen nice big leaves, untorn. As an alternative, cut off that bottom part of the cabbage and core the head. Run it under water, to get water between the leaves. Put in a plastic cooking bag upside down, twist the top then put on a plate in the microwave and nuke it for about 5 minutes. If you have no cooking bag, put the whole head into a large heat proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap and then nuke it for about 5 minutes. Either way, the cabbage will be very, very hot. Without opening the bag or bowl, let it sit for about half an hour. Then peel off the 12 large outer leaves for stuffing, and cut the remainder of the head into slices.
For the filling, in a large bowl, beat the egg and then whisk in the quarter cup of tomato sauce or water, chopped onion, garlic powder, black pepper, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Work in the ground beef, ground pork and raw rice. Use about one third cup of filling for each cabbage leaf. Wrap the cabbage around the filling, and put seam down on work surface.
To assemble, mix the tomato sauce, tomato soup, paprika and Worcestershire sauce. Put the sliced cabbage in the bottom of the slow cooker and scatter the bacon on top of it. Set the cabbage rolls on this layer, seam side down. You'll probably need two layers, and if so, you could put half the chopped cabbage and bacon on one layer, one layer of stuffed cabbage rolls, and then the rest of the sliced cabbage and diced bacon. Mix the sauce again and pour it over the rolls. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours on on high for 4 to 5 hours. If you choose to use the oven instead, bake at 325 degrees for two hours or until rice is done. We like it with another few slices of bacon on top.
Thought for the week: Christmas is over, and Valentine's Day isn't here yet, but every day, each and every one of us gets a fresh, brand new gift. As a philosopher once said, "Isn't it wonderful to wake up in the morning and realize that God has given you another day to live?" Thank you, God, for the new day, every day, and for family and friends to share it with.
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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