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Country Cousin

Global Warming?...

Global warming strikes again! Had the thermostat set at 60, and woke up Tuesday morning to find the furnace running full blast. Spring is wonderful here in the frozen northland, but it isn't always warm. The rain that blew in Monday afternoon brought a lot of cold air with it. At least there hasn't been a frost. Not yet, anyway. do recall a year when there was frost and at least a few snow flakes in the air every month of the year in the Crivitz area and north except in July.

FLAG DAY

Flag Day is Tuesday, June 14.

A quote attributed to General George Washington, says of the flag, "We take the star from Heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing liberty."

The first United States flag, allegedly planned and commissioned by Washington and sewn by Betsy Ross, flew over the rebel Army under his command in 1776.

The "Stars and Stripes", the official National symbol of the United States of America, was officially authorized by Congress on Saturday, June 14, 1777 as the fifth item of the day's agenda. The entry in the Journal of the Continental Congress 1774-1789 Vol. Vlll 1777 reads "Resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be Thirteen stripes alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."

By 1818, after more states had joined the Union, Congress passed legislation fixing the number of stripes at 13 and requiring that the number of stars equal the number of states. The last new star, bringing the total to 50, was added on July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became a state.

According to the National Flag Day Foundation, in 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, a young school teacher in the one-room Stony Hill School in Waubeka, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin placed a 10-inch 38 star flag in an inkwell and had his students write essays on what the flag meant to them. He called June 14th the flag's birthday. Stony Hill School is now a historical site.

From that day on Cigrand dedicated himself to inspire not only his students but also all Americans in the real meaning and majesty of our flag. Cigrand, born in 1866, was apparently only 19 at the time. Old records show he was paid $40 a month for his teaching job. He went on to become a dentist, but continued his quest to establish Flag Day.

By 1916 flag ceremonies and special patriotic observances on June 14 had become so prevalent that President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing Flag Day as an annual national event. In 1949 President Harry S. Truman signed legislation officially designating June 14th as Flag Day.

Flag Day is not a legal holiday, but many people in the United States honor Flag Day day by displaying the American flag at homes and public buildings, holding flag-raising ceremonies and services, and scheduling patriotic school projects.

FESTIVALS AND FARMERS MARKETS

There are festivals going on all over TIMESland , and Farmers Markets are opening everywhere. We can buy fresh produce, direct from the producer.

How delicious is that?

Watch the ads and posters and read the news pages. There's too much happening to even try to list them all here.

Don't miss out on the fun!

YOUNG TALENT

Speaking of festivals, enjoyed the Crivitz Red, White and Music festival on Saturday, June 28. Particularly enjoyed the music of The Bourbon Cowboys in the afternoon. Their music was great, but what made them really special to me was their very visible family atmosphere, a perfect performance for a family event.

Lead singer Rod Steiskal was accompanied to the show by some family members including his wife and two little boys, probably aged three and two. Mom had her hands full while Dad was on stage, strumming and singing.

Other band members, including the drummer, whose name I didn't get, had family along as well.

Little Sawyer Steiskal, the three-year-old, had his very own drumstick, which he waved vigorously as he danced to the music of his dad's band. Eventually that wasn't enough. He joined the band on stage, standing and dancing beside Dad, and occasionally popping his head out from behind, between his Dad's long legs.

Through it all, Rod Steiskal never missed a beat. He took time to affectionately pat Sawyer's head, danced with him a bit, and altogether showed that love for the little one came first with him.

After watching his buddy on stage for a while, Bryce, who appeared to be the drummer's young son, joined his Dad at the drums and sat beside him keeping time for the rest of the show. Don't know if Bryce was really drumming along, or just there, but which ever, neither of the little boys detracted one whit from the performance, and they, along with their father's responses, added a lot to the show.

FATHER'S DAY IS COMING

Don't forget - Father's Day is Sunday, June 19. Time to be thinking about what you can do to make his day special.

Special meal?

New fishing pole?

Trip to his favorite fishing hole?

Family camping trip?

Visit from his favorite child?

Memory book with photos of your favorite times with him?

Dads often don't like to show it, but their hearts are usually pretty soft, even if their hands aren't.

ON THE SOAP BOX

COLD AIR, HOT AIR


Maybe the current spell of cold air will help offset some of the hot air that's been blowing on the campaign trails this year.

Instead of looking at coal and oil as sources for the global warming some continue to believe in, perhaps they should measure the rhetoric of politicians and mainstream media

At the very least, they should follow the money. Cherchez la femme! Who stands to profit from new regulations imposed by the prophets of gloom and doom?

Who stands to benefit from allowing illegal immigrants to flood our labor markets, bring in illegal drugs, collect our welfare, and then vote in our elections? Why would anyone not want proper voter ID unless they want some rigged elections?

Who stands to benefit from refusing to control violent and illegal attacks on supporters of a politician the mainstream media doesn't like? Who is supported by non-citizens who burn American flags while waving the flag of their homeland?

Perhaps enough said. But do think about it, preferably before you cast your vote in November! Pass the word to others. It's time for the silent majority to become vocal and stand up for our flag and everything it stands for!

JUDGE NOT

Having limited finances can be particularly galling for those who once had good incomes and now need to accept help, perhaps from the food pantry.

Agree that it can be difficult for food pantry volunteers to watch people who appear prosperous come in and collect food they feel should be going to someone else.

However, there are financial qualifications, and if those have been met, it is not fair to judge without having all the facts.

Perhaps that Cadillac was purchased before the job went away and the finances dried up.

Perhaps the attractive wardrobe comes from thrift store shopping, or is made up of classic garb from better days.

Volunteers who feel a need to question those accepting free food should at least have the courtesy to take them aside and do their questioning in private.

Unfortunately, have heard a few disturbing reports that doesn't always happen, and that's as much of a crying shame as it is for someone to accept handouts who does not really need them.

COW FACTS

It's June Dairy Month, and we can't have Dairy Month without thinking about cows. Am told cows eat for about 8 hours each day, and no two cows have exactly the same spot pattern.

The oldest cow on record was called Big Bertha and lived until the age of 49 years and 9 months

But she wasn't the most famous cow. That honor would probably go to to Elsie, the Borden cow, who was featured in advertising for years and eventually acquired her own husband, a bull named Elmer, and a family.

NOT A MECHANIC

Speaking of cows, have you heard this story? Seems a city fellow was tooling down a country road when his car sputtered to a complete stop near a field filled with cows.

The driver, getting out to see what was the matter, noticed one of the cows looking at him. "I believe it's your radiator," said the cow. The man nearly jumped right out of his city slicker britches!

He ran to the nearest farmhouse and knocked on the door. "A cow just gave me advice about my car!" he shouted, waving his arms frantically back toward the field.

The farmer nonchalantly leaned out beyond the door frame to glance down the field. "The cow with two big black spots on it?" the farmer asked slowly.

"Yes! Yes! That's the one!" the excited man replied. "Oh. Well, that's Ethel," the farmer said, turning back to the man. "Don't pay any attention to her. She doesn't know a thing about cars."

COOKIN'' TIME

Summer is when we'd rather be outdoors playing than inside cooking, so it calls for easy or at least quick recipes. Unless it's cold and raining, when the aroma of good things cooking makes everyone feel better.

QUICK PORK WITH PEACHES

This light and luscious pork dish takes very little time, and is worthy of a company meal.

4 pork tenderloins, pounded to about 1/4 inch thickness

6 peaches, sliced

4 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons dijon mustard

4 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons coconut oil

In a food processor puree 4 peaches (seeds removed, skins on), honey, dijon mustard, garlic. Pound tenderloins to about 1/4 inch thickness. Rub tenderloins with some coconut oil and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a skillet over medium high heat and add tenderloins. Cook tenderloins in batches for about 3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Do not overcook or they get tough. Remove from pan. Add peach mixture to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute. Cut the remaining 2 peaches in 8 pieces, add them to the peach mixture in the skillet and stir to coat. Season with rosemary. Serve the pork tenderloins on a plate and top with the warm peach mixture and peaches. Add buttered rice, steamed broccoli, asparagus or another favorite vegetable side dish for a pretty and delicious meal in about 20 minutes.

BACON AND CRAB STUFFED WALLEYE

Want to give the catch of the day some truly gourmet treatment? This is just the ticket. If you don't have walleye, some other type of delicately flavored fish will do. Add 24 or so tender asparagus spears to the pan and drizzle with a bit of bacon grease. Let them bake right along with the fish and your green vegetable will be ready when the fish is with no extra mess at all.

4 bacon strips, halved

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 celery ribs, finely chopped

1 can (6 ounces) crab meat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed or 1 cup imitation crab meat, flaked

1/4 cup butter, cubed

4 cups crushed seasoned stuffing

1-1/2 cups boiling water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 walleye fillets (about 8 ounces each)

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp; remove to paper towels; drain. In the same skillet, sauté the onion, celery and crab in butter until vegetables are tender. Transfer to a large bowl; add the stuffing, water, salt, pepper and cayenne; toss to moisten. Place fillets in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Spoon stuffing mixture over fillets; top each with two pieces of bacon. Bake, uncovered, at 425 for 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

HOLY COW CAKE

Recipe comes from Jasey's Crazy Daisy website. Figured because of the name it should be shared now, because June is Dairy Month. This cake is chocolate, but it has three kinds of dairy products, so patriotic Wisconsinites can eat happy.

1 box Chocolate Cake Mix (your preference), baked as directed

14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

8 ounce jar of caramel topping

4 to 5 Butterfingers candy bars, crushed

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

12 ounces heavy cream, whipped

Prepare and bake cake in 9X12 pan as directed on package. Meanwhile, blend caramel and sweetened condensed milk. After removing cake from oven, use a skewer or fork to poke holes into the top of the cake. Pour caramel mixture over cake. Crush candy bars and sprinkle half of them over the warm cake. Chill. Stir cream cheese and whipped cream together until blended well. Spread over cooled cake. Sprinkle with remaining candy.

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB TORTE

Strawberry season isn't quite here, but it won't be long. Keep this luscious dessert in mind. Great Dad's Day dessert!

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

2 large egg yolks

2 cups cake flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

3 rhubarb stalks, sliced into bite size pieces

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water

1 pint fresh strawberries, cleaned and halved

Whipped cream or ice cream for serving

To make crust, stir the butter, sugar and egg yolks into a smooth consistency. Then work in the flour and cocoa powder in evenly and stir vigorously. Knead the dough. Put in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour. Just before baking time, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove dough from fridge, roll out and press into a buttered pie pan. Prick the crust with a fork over the entire surface. Bake the shell for about 15 minutes, or until the crust turns golden brown and crispy in texture. Transfer to a rack to cool. While it cools, put sliced rhubarb and sugar into a nonstick pan and cook over medium heat until the rhubarb becomes tender and begins to fall apart. In a separate container mix the corn starch and water until smooth and stir this into the rhubarb mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the strawberries and stir. Let sit for until it cools a bit and then spoon into the pre-baked crust. Serve warm or chill. Served with whipped cream or ice cream.

Thought for the week: How can we Americans dare to recite the Pledge of Allegiance by rote, and then even consider voting for candidates whose henchmen burn and desecrate the flag that symbolizes everything our nation stands for? Many of them are illegal immigrants anyway. If they don't like it here, all they need to do is go home!

How would members of a violent mob burning the flag of the United States of America not drive every honest citizen of this nation to vote for the candidate they are protesting? We must push back by supporting the candidate these traitorous demonstrators paid agitators want to stop us from listening to! We must defend our nation by showing these demonstrators (and the people who pay them) at the polls that we will not tolerate desecration of the flag that our forefathers fought and died for.

God Bless America, and Lord, please, may You long allow the Star Spangled Banner to wave!

(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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