Country Cousin - Of Bikes, Brats and Boats...
The frost is definitely on the pumpkin! On recent mornings, that frost has not only been on those pumpkins, but on pretty much everything else, too, and quite heavily at that. In other words, beautiful Fall is almost gone, and Old Man Winter is fast approaching.
TRICK OR TREAT
Most communities this year have designated the late afternoon hours of Monday, Oct. 31 for Halloween Trick or Treating. Check the hours where you live, and if you don't want to miss out on the fun, buy some treats and leave the porch lights on.
Don't think people are worse today than they used to be, but times sure have changed.
When we were kids, we wouldn't have dreamed of going out Trick or Treating before darkness fell. That was the fun - to be out when we normally weren't allowed.
And of course, everyone knows that ghosts, witches, and other sundry ghouls do not come out before the sun goes down. Nevertheless, these days they're only allowed on the streets when it's still daylight, so I guess they'll have to live with it.
Recall one Halloween we all dressed up for a long night on the prowl. Had to take the little siblings along for the early part of the evening. Little brother got tired so we took him home. Then Mom couldn't find him, and thought he had gone out again with us. When we gave up for the night and came home without him she really panicked. We helped with the hunt.
When no one could find him we all panicked.
Finally called the police.
They found him. Sound asleep. For whatever reason, he was sleeping under the bed instead of in it!
ADULT HALLOWEEN FUN
If you're planning an adult Halloween party, here's an idea you might like. Find a huge pumpkin, hollow it out, and carve holes in it large enough to accommodate beer bottles or liqueurs, but not too close to the bottom. Fill the holes with the proper bottles, then fill the remainder of the pumpkin with ice. Instant ice chest, in keeping with the season.
Congratulations are in order for Marinette Marine!
In recent balloting by members of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) built by Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette was chosen from among more than 300 nominees as one of the top three "Coolest Things Made In Wisconsin."
Top vote getter in the Coolest Things contest was the new Milwaukee-Eight engine which powers the popular Harley Davidson Motorcycles made in Milwaukee, followed by the LCS made at Marinette Marine and then brats made by Johnsonville Sausage, LLC of Sheboygan Falls.
"This was a classic Wisconsin battle of bikes, brats and boats," declared WMC President and CEO Kurt R. Bauer.
The contest was sponsored by Johnson Financial Group and run by WMC. Over 30,000 votes were cast in September, and each of the 300 nominees received at least one vote.
Want to have some miniature Halloween fun? Besides carving pumpkins, you can carve apples. Saw this on thecountrycook.net., and she saw it on Pinterest, so word is getting out. Assemble some apples in various colors, shapes and sizes, melon ballers, pumpkin carving tools, spread a table full of newspapers gather the clan - or friends - and have at it.
Select nice, big colorful apples. Use a paring knife or apple corer to get the core out, and then use a melon baller or small spoon to get most everything gone except for the peel and a thin shell to keep it sturdy. Save the carved away innards for apple pancakes or some other apple treats.
Use the hollowed out shells for nifty little apple Jack-O-Lanterns (app-a-lanterns) with a little birthday candle or tiny tea light inside, or perhaps make mini serving dishes for fruit salad or apple sauce.
Carve to make a face or whatever, just as you would if the apple was a pumpkin.
When you're done, douse your creations with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Or let them dry and you end up with a shrunken head, although probably not in time for Halloween.
Actually, apples make great shrunken heads. There may even be time to get them done before haunting day. Not sure. Just peel the apples, but leave the cores in. Then carve out whatever kind of scary face that comes to mind. Stick the apple on a wooden skewer and stand it up to dry. The apple will eventually turn brown and leathery, with very much the look of a small shrunken head if you've carved in the eyes, nose and mouth
ALL SAINTS DAY
We're all into celebrating Halloween these days, but few of us remember that All Hallows Eve was originally simply the precourser for All Saints Day, on Nov. 1, the day we are supposed to honor all the saints who have died and gone to Heaven.
At least we should take time to send our favorite saints a word of thanks for the good lives they led, and ask God to make us more like them.
Most of us in America have heard of the Salem witch hunts, but the Puritans didn't have a corner on the market for witches. In fact, even today there are incidents of aged women being killed as witches in parts of India and Africa.
In the southern part of Holland is the infamous town of Oudewater, where some of the world's strangest witch trials were held in the late 1500's. The accused women were weighed on scales in the Heksenwaag (Witches' Weigh House) to determine whether or not they were in fact witches. It was widely believed at the time that witches had no souls and therefore weighed nothing, which is why they could fly on brooms through the air effortlessly. If you visit this town today you can be weighed and receive a certificate (if you weigh enough) that states you are not a witch!
ON THE BROOMSTICK
The significance of a witches broomstick seems to be a fusion of several ideas.
There is an old plant fertility ritual where the women who plant the crops and vegetables jump over the broomstick to urge the plants to grow tall and strong.
Linked to jumping over the broomstick is the idea that handfasting couples in the days when visiting clergy were few and far between, would jump over the broomstick as part of a betrothal ceremony. Hence the phrase "living over the broomstick', meaning living together but not married.
Witches are supernatural beings who need to fly, thus the broomstick becomes the perfect vehicle for traveling to and from the afterlife.
Allied to this mystic idea is the use of the broomstick for a witch's spells and other mischief.
Witches broomsticks could also be used for leaping over streams and other rural obstacles.
Am told that while witches traditionally ride broomsticks, their male equivalent, warlocks, ride pitchforks.
Am also told that the ideal raw material for fashioning broomsticks is witch-hazel. Witches prefer besom brooms, which have a circular arrangement of bristles. Modern brooms with their flat alignment of bristles may be good for sweeping leaves and floors, but they are no good for riding. Don't handle well. Just ask any witch.
ON THE SOAP BOX
CAN'T STAY HOME!
In less than two weeks - On Tuesday, Nov. 8 - our nation''s direction will be settled for the next four years, possibly forever. If the victor is Hillary Clinton we will be heading even more swiftly toward Socialism, a direction that our founding fathers never envisioned, and a direction that most of us do not want.
If we go too far down that slippery slope we may never be able to reverse directions and get back to the greatness that America is capable of!
America was built by people who cherished their religion, independence, self reliance and hard work, not those who wanted to rely on government handouts and the big brother rules that go with them.
During her campaign, including in the final Presidential debate, Candidate Clinton openly expressed support for an activist Supreme Court that will interpret the Constitution in ways that support the Socialist agenda. She has made public comments that Americans may have to relinquish some of our most cherished religious convictions. The next president will likely get to appoint four justices to lifetime positions on the highest court in the land.
Worried about Hillary?
Consider her infamous "what difference does it make now?" comment in regard to the deaths she and President Obama knowingly allowed to happen at the embassy in Benghazi and then lied about it.
Consider the e-mail debacle with security breaches she either didn't comprehend or didn't care about.
Hiring demonstrators to create disturbances at Trump rallies.
Evidence of deals with foreign governments that benefitted the Clinton Foundation while she was Secretary of State.
With all that, and a whole lot more against her, how could any sane person possibly vote for Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States?
You may or may not like Donald Trump, but anyone who fails to vote for him is in fact voting for Hillary Clinton.
Sadly, if this nation elects her, we may get exactly what her supporters deserve!
Staying home is not an option!
Speaking of cold weather, frost, and the swift approach of winter, some folks are sort of rushing the season.
The City of Marinette Parks and Recreation Department has opened the Civic Center Indoor Ice Rink for the season from now through March 19. Daily admission is $2.50 for students and $4 for adults. Skates are available for rent, and skate sharpening is available. Weekdays the rink opens at 8 a.m. and runs to 3:34 p.m., but it's open Wednesday evenings and there are special hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
More information is available by calling the Recreation Department at 715-732-5222.
Check on season prices and beginner lessons, and on renting the facility for birthday parties.
Sounds cool! No pun intended!
APPLE PIE BREAD
Any nice tart/sweet apple is good for this, perhaps Roma, Gala or good old MacIntosh.
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temp.
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 1/4 cup finely chopped apples (about 2 small apples)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle on a dusting of flour. In a bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large bowl use electric mixer to beat sugar and butter until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract until fully combined. Finally, stir in flour and baking powder and milk. Mix just until combined. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Cover batter with half the diced apples. Press the apples down slightly into the batter. Sprinkle the apples with half the cinnamon sugar mixture, then pour on remaining batter. Top with remaining diced apples, again pushing the apples into the batter. Sprinkle remaining sugar cinnamon mixture on top. Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.
SPICY PUMPKIN DIP
Serve with gingersnap cookies and apple and pear wedges cut for dipping. Toss the fruit wedges with a little lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. This isn't ghoulish or gory at all, but all visiting goblins will love it anyway.
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
Blend cream cheese and confectioners sugar until smooth in a food processor. Remove cover, add pumpkin and spices. Chill 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Overnight is okay. Serve with Gingersnap cookies or fresh fruits cut into wedges.
EYE OF NEWT
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1/4 to 1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
Pinch celery salt
Salt and pepper to taste, if needed
Green, blue and red food coloring
Sliced pitted black olives, drained
Green olives with pimiento, sliced
Place all of the eggs into a large pot so they can rest on the bottom in a single layer. Fill with just enough cold water to cover the eggs. Add the vinegar. Bring to a boil, then cover, remove from the heat and let stand for about 15 minutes. Rinse under cold water or add some ice to the water and let the eggs cool completely. Peel and slice in half lengthwise. Remove yolks from the eggs and place them in a bowl. Mix in the relish, mayonnaise, celery salt, mustard, and food coloring,enough to make a ghastly yellowish green. Spoon this filling into the egg whites and place them on a serving tray. Round the top of the filling using a spoon. Place an olive slice on each yolk to create the center of the eye. Dab a tiny bit of mayonnaise in the center of the black olive as a finishing touch. Or be sure the sliced pimiento stays in the stuffed green olives.
Using a toothpick, make "bloodshot" effect by zig zagging either red food coloring or paprika lines on the eggs.
Add the vodka for adults if you wish. Keep it out for the kids. for a really spooky effect, if you can find some dry ice wrap a piece securely in cheese cloth (so nobody accidentally drinks it) and drop it into the punch bowl. Makes a mist rise over the brew. Also, for added effect, make more than one hand, and fill some with water to which food coloring has been added.
1 envelope unsweetened grape soft drink mix
1 envelope unsweetened orange soft drink mix
2 cups white sugar
3 quarts cold water
1 large bottle ginger ale
vodka to taste (optional)
Fill ice cube trays and into each cube insert a gummi worm before freezing. Wash the rubber glove, then slip a cherry into the tip of each finger of the rubber glove, then fill the remainder of the glove with water Close it securely with a rubber band and freeze that. At party time, get out the punch bowl, and in it stir together the drink mixes, sugar and water until solids are dissolved. Just before serving, pop in the gummy worm ice cubes. Dip the frozen hand briefly in warm water, and peel off the glove. Float the prepared hand in the punch bowl for a ghastly effect. Add the chilled ginger ale just before serving. Have spare supplies on hand so if you run out of punch you can mix up a new batch in a flash.
Happy Halloween from the Country Cousin
Thought for the week: To stay young (and happy) look on the bright side, and keep the mouth corners right side up. Keep having fun. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. As Michael Pritchard said, "You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing." Works lots better than anti-wrinkle cream!
(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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