Country CousinIssue Date: September 30, 2020
Pray for rain in California.
While California still suffers from drought and horrendous fires, we here in TIMESland are soaked with the Autumn rains. The drizzles are supposed to stop soon, but cloudy skies and downright chilly temperatures are predicted for at least a week, with the highest temperature at 63 degrees, and night time temperatures into the mid 30s. Probably will be frosts in some areas. Hope not. With the bad times that may be coming, we need to keep those gardens producing as long as possible.
The weather may be bad, but there is still fun to be had, some of it indoors.
Those who love weapons and shooting sports will be pleased to know that the Knife and Gun Shows are back at Crivitz, but not in the Crivitz Village Hall. The Crivitz American Legion and VFW are holding a Knife and Gun Show from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3 at a brand new location - the Peshtigo River Center at W7842 Airport Road - just south of the Peshtigo River just east of Hwy. 141 south of Crivitz. There will be guns and knives to look at and to buy, plus coffee, soft drinks, doughnuts, hamburgers, hot dogs and brats.
Horses and Harvests
There's going to be fun again at the Fairgrounds in Wausaukee on Saturday, Oct. 10. Due to coronavirus the Wausaukee Business Association had decided not to hold it's traditional Harvest Fest this year, but Marinette County Fair Board stepped up to fill the void with a craft and vendor event on the fairgrounds rather than in downtown Wausaukee.
There was already a horse show, called an Open Jackpot Speed Show, scheduled to start at 11 a.m. on Oct. 10.
Seemed logical to give folks another good reason to be at the Fairgrounds, so when the downtown Harvest Fest was cancelled, the Fair Board scheduled their Craft and Vendor Harvest Fest to be held on the fairgrounds, rain or shine, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 10, with gates open at 7 a.m. for vendor setup. There's free parking, and food will be available on the grounds.
Events at the horse show are to include "poles, jackpot poles, home run, barrels, jackpot barrels, speed barrels and plug." People who know about horses and horse shows probably know what all those terms mean. Maybe I'll find out next Saturday.
Have been amazed that ever since the start of the coronavirus pandemic the health care experts have stopped giving advice on how to stay healthy in general, which used to always include instructions to eat right and get plenty of rest, fresh air and exercise.
Now, they seem to only think about ways to hide from the virus instead of making our bodies strong enough to fight it off if we do get exposed.
At first, as everyone knows, the experts were saying we all had to stay home, indoors and isolated. Not a word about fresh air. Not a word about plenty of sleep. Not a word about vitamins, minerals and other supplements to boost our immune systems.
Then they seemed to admit maybe we should get some fresh air, but certainly it should be filtered through a mask.
Now they have progressed to where we maybe don't need to be wearing a mask unless we are around other people. Somehow they've even managed to come up with precise numbers on the odds of getting sick if we do wear masks versus if we do not. Not sure how they did that, but surely they must have used scientific study methods. After all, they are experts.
Ah, yes. The experts of Christopher Columbus' Day were absolutely certain the world was flat. They even put that poor man in prison for refusing to believe them.
Whether the book-trained experts want to admit it or not, there are people in this world who get excellent knowledge from years of life experiences, often handed down from generation to generation.
As the nuns taught us in High School, anything that has been considered good for us for generations probably is, in one way or another. Folks who followed old time health advice that worked stayed healthy long enough to pass their knowledge - and their genes - on to the next generation. The ones who did not often died, so neither their genes nor the health tips that didn't work for them were passed along.
Anyway, recently was reading a book on old-time Amish health secrets. Came across the recipe for a tonic that the book said would prevent getting colds, coughs and flu. Sounds like something we should be taking right now, since coronavirus - or Covid-19 - is said to be a type of flu and a beefed-up version of the virus that causes the common cold, and generally produces cold-like symptoms, including coughs and more.
The Amish book says each night we should mix one teaspoon of finely chopped raw garlic with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and one half cup of warm water and drink it before going to bed.
Don't know if taking that tonic each night really would prevent getting sick, but bet all that garlic helps keep people "socially" distanced and make those not wearing a mask wish they were!
Speaking of masks, Gov. Tony Evers has issued a new mandate ordering masks in public until Nov. 21.
I personally have a really hard time with masks. Breathing in my own exhaust does evil things to my sinuses, and aggravates my allergies and chronic asthmatic bronchitis. (Hat that since birth, by the way.) If I wear a mask too long one day I pay for it with headaches and nasal and chest congestion the next, especially at this time of year when seasonal allergies already are causing major problems.
Nevertheless, there are times I and others who get bad side effects from the masks are forced to wear them.
A newsletter from the famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. says this about masks: "while they provide crucial help in reducing the risk of Covid-19 virus transmission, they can also cause skin irritation at areas of friction: the ridge of your nose, behind your ears, and along your jawline. This is especially true for people with acne or conditions such as eczema, rosacea or psoriasis."
The article advises that people with those conditions or other issues may prevent problems by:
1) Finding a mask that fits well - tight enough not to slip off, but not so tight that it leaves marks or bruises the skin;
2) Cleaning and moisturizing your skin before and after masking. Before putting the mask on, wash your hands and then wash and dry your face and hands. Do not put on makeup or foundation, at least in the area that will be beneath the mask, as they may contain chemicals that will cause breakouts. Do rub a thin layer of moisturizer, lotion or cream, on your face. The article says most people only need to do this once a day, but some may benefit by repeating once during the day.
3) After removing your mask for the day, wash your hands and face thoroughly with cleanser and water and apply a moisturizing lotion or cream to your face and neck.
4) Wash cloth masks at least once a day to disinfect. They say this can be done either manually or in a washing machine, but hand washing is generally easier on the mask.
The article says nothing about drying the mask in a clothes dryer, but that probably is a bad idea. Heat and elastic often do not play well together, so just let the mask air dry.
DAY OF PRAYER
Was gratified to see the thousands gathered in Washington DC for the National Day of Prayer and Return to Faith on Saturday, Sept. 26, and particularly gratified to see that hooligan demonstrators were not allowed to disrupt and destroy it. Maybe prayers will change the ways of the hard hearted in this land.
In case you didn't hear it, here is President Donald Trump's speech at the event:
"On this inaugural National Day of Prayer and Return, the First Lady and I join millions of Christians here in the United States and around the world in prayer, as we turn our hearts to our Lord and Savior.
"Our great Nation was founded by men and women of deep and abiding faith - a faith that has stood the test of time. Four hundred years ago, early American settlers trusted their lives to His providence and braved a voyage to a New World. From the pilgrims who sought His protection aboard the Mayflower to the countless believers who today bow their heads to ask for His guidance during these unprecedented times, our country continues to turn to the Lord. Following in our ancestors' footsteps we continue the "firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence" that provides us enduring strength and reassurance in our times of need.
"The trials and tribulations the American people have faced over the past several months have been great. Yet, as we have seen time and again, the resolve of our citizenry - fortified by our faith in God - has guided us through these hardships and helped to unite us as one Nation under God.
"As we continue to combat the challenges ahead of us, we must remember the sage words of President George Washington during his first Presidential Address: "propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained." As a country and a people, let us renew our commitment to these abiding and timeless principles.
"Today, I am pleased to join my voice to yours in thanking God for blessing this nation with great power and responsibility. With reverence, humility, and thanksgiving, we beg for His continued guidance and protection."
Amen to that.
Apples are at their most abundant right about now, so you can add them to the dinner table at almost no cost. In ancient Greece, tossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage. Catching it meant she accepted. Toss at your own risk!
Enjoy this brats and kraut treat on a plate with German-style mustard for dipping and your favorite style potatoes or spaetzle on the side, or on toasted buns heaped with some of the kraut/apple mixture, diced raw onions and maybe your choice of catsup and/or German-style mustard.
4 pounds regular flavor bratwurst
3 bottles (12 ounces each) German-style beer or 4 and 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 jar (32 ounces) sauerkraut
4 medium Granny Smith apples (about 1-1/4 pounds), cut into wedges
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds, optional
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
On grill or in large non-stick skillet brown bratwurst nicely on all sides. Do this in batches if necessary. Put the browned brats into a 7-quart kettle or slow cooker and add remaining ingredients. Cook, covered, on low, for six to eight hours or until a thermometer inserted in sausage reads at least 160 degrees.
CORNY TOMATO SLAB PIE
Makes good use of end of the season corn and tomatoes. Even though it goes against my frugal nature, peeling and de-seeding the tomatoes is crucial unless you want to end up with a soggy mess. Be sure to take the extra time for this step, and to let the tomatoes drain on a stack of paper towels for a while to remove even more liquid from them before you proceed with the recipe. If you don't have scallions, use about a tablespoon of onion and a small garlic clove, finely minced, instead.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup mayonnaise (not salad dressing or Miracle Whip)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 3/4 pounds beefsteak tomatoes
1 1/2 cups corn (from about 3 ears)
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
1 tablespoon sliced scallions
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar
Salt and pepper
Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, then blend in cold butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal. Add milk, stirring just until the mixture forms a dough. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the fridge for about an hour. No need to work with tired dough. While dough is resting, cut an "X" in the bottom of each tomato and blanch in a large pot of boiling water for 10 seconds. Immediately plunge into an ice bath to cool. Peel tomatoes, then slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick and gently remove all seeds and juices. Put the tomato slices on a sheet tray lined with paper towels to drain juices even further. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough on a well-floured surface into a large rectangle to fit in a half sheet tray. Transfer the dough to the parchment-lined tray by wrapping it around your rolling pin and laying it down gently in the pan. Shape an edge to the crust. Whisk together the mayonnaise and lemon juice. Arrange the tomatoes on the crust crust and sprinkle with the corn. Pour the lemon mayonnaise mixture over the filling. Top with the basil, scallions and cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake pie until the crust edge is golden and filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This salsa reaches its peak flavor at least one week after it is canned (and it keeps getting better). This is a mild version, not spicy at all, but you can easily make it medium or hot by adding more jalapeño peppers, and hotter still if you include some or all of the hot pepper seeds. For medium salsa, double the jalapeños. For hot salsa, triple the jalapeños and leave the membrane and seeds. Makes seven pints. You'll need regular canning lids and rings for this, and a regular canning jar lifter or water bath kettle with a lift-out rack makes the job a whole lot easier.
12 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
5 large onions, chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 cup white vinegar
2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/2 Tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot, mix all ingredients except cilantro. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for an hour or until thick. Add cilantro when cooking is complete. Using a stick blender, pulse throughout salsa until desired texture is achieved. Or pulse in batches in a food processor. Pour into sterilized jars, leaving an inch of head space. Wipe jar rims, and top with lids. Hand-tighten the lids, being careful not to tighten too much, so they seal properly. Line the bottom of a very large stock pot with a rack so the jars will not touch the bottom. Fill with hot water so when the jars are added the water is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring to a boil and then carefully put the jars into the kettle. Add more hot water if you need to get that inch over the top of the jars. Place a lid on the kettle, turn heat down just enough so it keeps simmering, and process jars for 10 minutes. Remove jars from water and place on a rack or folded towel to cool. In a couple of hours, check to see that the lids are sealed by pressing on each one, it should not move. Let cool completely, tighten the lids, and store in pantry for up to 18 months. If any of your jars did not seal, just process them again. Or if one jar didn't seal, just put it in the fridge and wait a week before you open it to enjoy.
The Country Cousin
Thought for the week: Lord, I was not among those who gathered to honor You at the National Day of Prayer, but I do hope You were pleased with those who were. Maybe that was a start. You have much reason to be angered with this nation, but we still dare to ask for Your blessing and Your protection. You know that fires are raging in California. Hope others all across this land will join in praying that You will send some rain to that ravaged countryside and end the suffering of the people who live there. Lord, please, let there be rain - .not enough to cause landslides and flooding, just enough to put out the fires, quench the thirsty soil and start the miracle of rebirth on those blackened hillsides. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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