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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Country Cousin

Clans Are Gathering...

We have been treated to another week of fine Fall weather, and the spectacle of an awesome "super moon" with fine clear skies to show it off. Was impressed not only with how bright it was, but also with how long it stayed high in the sky.

Now there's snow predicted for Friday and Saturday, the opening weekend of Deer Season, which should make the hunters very happy, provided the precipitation comes down as snow, not sleet.

Clans are gathering for Deer Season. Thanksgiving will be here in less than a week.

TREE STANDS

Speaking of deer hunting, friend told me the other night that with the forecast of rain or snow for Saturday, he's glad he put a roof on his tree stand. That brought up talk of dedicated hunters who have made their tree stands into tree houses, complete with television set, heaters, even a bunk.

And that brought back memories of back when hunting from elevated stands was not allowed at all. Hunters could find a tree stump or a rock outcropping to hunt from, but were not allowed to climb into trees, with or without a stand.

Hunters in those days depended on tracks in the snow to see where the deer had been and where they were going.

In our family the young boys got to go along hunting as "dogs," to run through the woods scaring deer into moving so the older, more experienced members of the party could shoot them.

Couldn't become a hunter until you earned your stripes, so to speak.

There were never any complaints about this rule. The boys were always eager to be out in the predawn cold with the men, even if weapons were not permitted to them.

By the way, that was a "dad" rule, not a law imposed by authorities who think they know better.

Now I'm told a 10-year-old can carry a gun provided he or she completed hunter's safety classes and is with a responsible adult.

Some kids are old enough at that age and some are not. Parents are the best judges of when they're ready.

CHRISTMAS IS COMING

Christmas preparations are underway. Lights are going up and festivities are being planned all over TIMESland. Folks are already decking the halls and tacking up the Holly. Christmas is only five weeks away. Incredible, isn't it?

Heard a youngster last year singing an old Christmas carol with a new twist. It went like this: "Slick the walls with bowls of jelly! Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!" Oh my! Do not let that child help decorate!

Coleman will again have its multitude of decorated trees in the community park on Business 141 lit for Friday evening, Nov. 18, to be enjoyed by all the hunters coming north for Deer Season.

Crivitz will celebrate Christmas in the Village on Saturday, Nov. 26 with Santa Claus, sleigh rides, and much more.

The big City of Marinette Christmas Parade is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3.

Peshtigo's traditional tree lighting ceremony and caroling in Triangle Park will be on Saturday, Dec. 3 and kids can enjoy visits with Santa in the Municipal Building during the Holiday Open House being shared with the library on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

GIVING THANKS

Thanksgiving is all but here. Hope yours is a happy one, spent with family and friends, and that it leaves you filled with good food and fond memories. If you know of a friend, acquaintance, relative or neighbor who may be spending the holiday alone and lonely, please do consider extending an invitation. They may say yes, they may say no, but you can feel good about it. If you aren't able to extend hospitality, perhaps a donation to the local food pantry? Share the bounty!

There once was a tradition in some circles of setting an extra spot at the dinner table in case an unexpected visitor came to the door. Legends of the hungry stranger turning out to be Jesus Himself or an Angel in disguise run through more than a few cultures. What a wonderful thought. Who knows? It could happen to you. Or to me. Let's be ready to extend the hand of brotherhood whenever and wherever the opportunity arises.

DEER SEASON CRAZIES

Every native of rural Marinette County over the age of 10 or so is by necessity well acquainted with the seasonal frenzy known as "Deer Season". With the season of the hunt comes a time when otherwise normal folks - especially men - go slightly crazy.

Most hunters are fine, responsible people, well aware that when you aim a loaded gun you'd better know what you're shooting at. And why. But there are always a few exceptions. So don't go walking in or even near the woods unless you're wearing blaze orange, and be sure your little ones do the same. Keep dogs and cats close to home, indoors if possible, otherwise on a leash.

Years ago our two beautiful 8-month old shepherd/husky pups broke out of their pen on Thanksgiving morning to investigate hunters too near our property. They were just doing what they felt was their job - protecting their family. They got shot for their pains - one in the jaw, the other just above the tail bone. One had to be destroyed immediately, the other died of his wounds later. A stray shot went right through the wall of a camper trailer occupied by one of our visiting relatives.

In a local pub that night I overheard two hunters - from the big city or they wouldn't think that way - talking about how dogs don't belong in the woods and boasting that whenever they see one they shoot it!

Steered our group away from that conversation and said nothing to friend hubby, who luckily had not heard what I heard. Didn't want another murder that day.

ON THE SOAP BOX

MOB RULE???


Shame, shame, shame on the un-American idiots out rioting because they do not like the results of the Nov. 8 elections.

That's uneducated Third World behavior, totally out of place in a nation that pretends to be a Democracy governed by law.

Did you see riots when President Barrack Obama won his first term, or when he was returned to office for a second one?

Trust me, many of us were just as upset by the results of those elections as those on the other side are by the outcome of this one.

Our system apparently still does work, and that's a good thing.

Demonstrations are okay, but uncivilized looting, burning and killing are not! The rioters should be arrested and severely punished.

Many of them are portrayed as high school and college students, and perhaps they are. If so, we had better stop subsidizing their educations or fire their teachers, because they certainly are not educated in American traditions of Democratic government. Decisions here traditionally have been made in the voting booths, not by mob rule and fighting on the streets.

Many of the rioters admit they did not even vote. Say the system doesn't work. They're like spoiled kids in a candy shop without money. Break the display counters when they don't get their own way.

It's terrifying that some of these uncivilized, unprincipled brats are being groomed to become the future leaders of America.

They don't like the system because they lost this time. What do they propose instead?

The candidates they support should be ashamed of themselves for not coming out loud and clear with pleas for people who admire them to quit blackening their names. Tolerating that behavior puts them in the same low-life category!

On the same subject, San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick got a lot of headlines early this season for his political views, first sitting through the National Anthem and then kneeling for it. The kneeling was perhaps a good move, particularly if he took advantage of the opportunity to pray while he was down there.

But then he admitted to not voting in last Tuesday's election.

He was quoted: "I think it would hypocritical for me to vote. I said from the beginning I was against oppression, I was against the system of oppression. I'm not going to show support for that system. To me, the oppressor isn't going to let you vote your way out of your oppression."

Is he saying what he seems to be saying? The system doesn't work, voting doesn't work? What "system" does he prefer?

If many share his views, the riots are symptoms of a widespread disease that this nation has very narrowly escaped.

Thank God for that!

COOKIN' TIME

Deer Season and Thanksgiving week generally call for a lot of cooking and eating here in the northwoods. whether they're going off by themselves to a hunting camp, packing a lunch or coming home for three (or four) squares a day, hunters are a hungry bunch.

BACON BARS

This very delicious biscuit is not for the cholesterol or calorie conscious, but they sure are good! Absolutely wonderful served with cream of broccoli soup, or actually cream of anything soup. Also grand as a most unusual base for Eggs Benedict.

6 slices bacon

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 1/4 cups packaged biscuit mix

3 tablespoons bacon drippings

1/2 cup cold milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Fry the bacon slowly until it gets nice and crisp. Drain and let it cool. Save the drippings. When the bacon is cool enough to handle crumble it coarsely and add it and the cheese to the biscuit mix. Add the cooled bacon drippings and toss with a fork to mix through. (If your bacon didn't produce 3 tablespoons, don't worry about it. Whatever you have is enough, or make up the difference with melted butter or salad oil.) Stir in the milk. If the dough seems to stiff add a little more, but don't stir too much. Turn out on a floured board and knead a little bit, then roll out to a 10"X6" rectangle. Cut into six 10-inch strips, each an inch wide. Cut each strip into thirds. You should end up with 18 bars. Place them an inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. (If using them for Eggs Benedict, cut into traditional round biscuit shape instead.)

MOCK HOLLANDAISE SAUCE

Great drizzled over broccoli, or use over poached eggs for Eggs Benedict.

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Mix everything in a small saucepan and put over low heat not quite to the boiling point.

EGGS BENEDICT

Can be made ahead except for poaching the eggs. Perfect to impress the guys if you're a non-cook assigned to kitchen duty at deer camp. Generally a serving requires two eggs and two biscuit rounds, but use your own judgment.

1 recipe Bacon Bars, cut into circles instead of squares

1 recipe Mock Hollandaise Sauce

1 egg per serving

Either make the Mock Hollandaise or put it on to heat if it's already made. Split the biscuit rounds and put them on to toast. Heat water to boiling in a somewhat heavy pan or skillet, enough to more than cover the eggs. Add a bit of salt and a teaspoon vinegar for every two cups of water. Once the water is boiling hard slip in eggs , one at a time. Don't quite let the water boil hard again, but when it almost does, cover the pan and turn off the heat. Butter the toasted biscuit rounds. After about five minutes, check the eggs to see if the whites are solid. If so, they're done. The yolks should still be very soft. If the whites are still clear and runny instead of white and solid, turn the heat on again until the water starts to simmer, the turn off again. Once the eggs are done as you like put one or two biscuit rounds on a plate, top each with an egg and spoon on the heated Hollandaise.

IOWA STYLE PUMPKIN CAKE

Don't know of any diet this would work for except a "See Food" diet. Needs to stand overnight (at least 12 hours) to rest up from baking before it goes to the table. But it's worth it! This is a very rich dessert and should be taken seriously. Good as a Thanksgiving encore treat, or any time during he winter season.

1 large can pumpkin

1 can evaporated milk

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1 box yellow cake mix, dry

1 cup pecans, chopped

1 1/4 cups butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves in a large bowl and blend thoroughly. Pour the blended mixture into a greased 9X13 pan. Top with the dry cake mix, then the pecans. Finally drizzle with the melted butter and bake for 50-60 minutes until done. Let the cake stand overnight. Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped topping, or all by itself.

APPLE BRAN MUFFINS

Here's a healthy treat to make up for the previous sinfully rich concoctions. These are good and good for you, even if you're on a slightly low carb diet because the bran doesn't really count. Makes a dozen.

1 1/2 cups All-Bran cereal

1 1/4 cups low fat milk

1/3 cup canola oil

1 large egg

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar (or equivalent sugar-free sweetener)

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 apple, peeled, cored and diced

A couple handfuls of raisins

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the All Bran, milk, oil and egg. Let this sit while you spray a dozen muffin cups with cooking spray or put in paper liners. In a separate bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat the cereal/milk mixture with an electric mixer. Then, using a fork, stir the dry ingredients into the batter, and then stir in the apple, raisins and cinnamon. Pour into the prepared muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

APPLE CINNAMON COOKIE BARS

With Browned Butter Frosting

For the cookies:

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

5 cups flour

1 Thompson salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups diced peeled apples

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13X8-inch baking pan and set aside. Using mixer, combine butter and sugar on medium and beat until creamy. Add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping bowl as needed. In a separate bowl mix flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. With beater on low mix this into the butter/egg mixture until fully incorporated. Stir in apples with a fork. Spread in bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

1 cup butter

1 16-ounce package powdered sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cook butter in a small saucepan over medium heat,, stirring constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes or until it begins turning a golden brown color. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or until it begins to solidify. Using mixer, beat butter until it gets smooth and creamy. Carefully add powdered sugar alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the powdered sugar. When it reaches a spreadable consistency add the vanilla and spread evenly over the cooled cookie bars.

Thought for the week: Before you eat that special Turkey Day dinner, ask yourself: Who do atheists thank on Thanksgiving?

Country Cousin

(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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