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Country Cousin

Roses For Mom, Please...

Nights are still frosty, but Spring has definitely arrived in TIMESland! Every year it's a surprise to find how beautiful Springtime in Wisconsin can be. Bright new leaves bursting out on trees, turning the hillsides from grey to green. Bright green lawns and fields. Golden yellow cowslips blooming everywhere, and even dandelions are showing their little yellow heads. Trilliums are in bloom, and so is the golden forsythia.

And on many fine days this past week we've been treated to golden sunshine and bright blue skies. What a refreshing change from drizzly March and April!

Wisconsin's flag isn't green and gold, but it ought to be. At least our football team chose the right colors!

HONOR THY MOTHER

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 14. Thy father will get his turn to be honored next month. So this Sunday, do something special for Mom. If you're a kid, that might be cleaning your room. Or better yet, tell Mom to take it easy, and you take over household chores for the day. Let her see you do it. Adult or kid, it might be mowing or raking the lawn, vacuuming the carpet, polishing the furniture, scrubbing the floors. Don't do those chores on Sunday, do them the day before and let her bask in the results.

Gifts are also good. One of the best gifts, though, could be letting Mom know how much you appreciate what she has done for you over the years. That could include preparing the meals that you love, raising beautiful flowers, sitting up with you when you were sick, holding you close when you were frightened, or riding the merry go round with you at the County Fair.

Most important, let Mom know you love her!

BOTANICAL GARDEN

If Mom loves flowers and growing things, she might appreciate a trip to the Green Bay Botanical Garden. It's located at 2600 Larsen Road behind Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC), The garden opened in 1996 and features 47 bountiful acres of display gardens and natural areas.

Or promise her a trip to the Botanical Gardens on Thursday, May 18, for "TasteBud," an evening filled with culinary delights, blooming buds, a silent auction and live music. TasteBud kicks off the season as Green Bay Botanical Garden's first fundraising event from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 18.  The colorful Schneider Terrace Garden, showcasing thousands of blooming tulips and daffodils, is the focal point of the event with 15 cuisine sponsors showing off their delicious food, wine and botanical cocktails throughout the surrounding gardens. TasteBud will feature a cooking demonstration in the Garden by Dos Chiles with freshly prepared samples. Vertical herb gardens will be on display for guests to kick up their cocktails or food samplings with a fresh and flavorful experience.

 Make advance reservations by phone at 920-490-9457 or online at .

GOD MADE MOMS

Used some of these little quotes about five years ago, but they're worth repeating. If you remember them from before, please laugh again. Laughter is good for the soul.

Some questions about moms were put to a group of kindergartners. Here are some of the answers. Some are very complimentary to Moms. Others not so much.

Why did God make mothers?

She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.

Mostly to clean the house.

To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?

He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.

Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring

God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He Just used bigger parts.

What are mothers made of?

God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.

They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

What kind of little girl was your mom?

My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.

I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty

bossy.

They say she used to be nice.

Why did your mom marry your dad?

My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And Mom eats a lot.

She got too old to do anything else with him.

My grandma says Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?

Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a

goof ball.

Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.

I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms and dads?

Moms work at work and work at home. Dads just go to work at work.

Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.

Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power "cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.

Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?

Mothers don't have spare time.

She says she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?

On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of

plastic surgery.

Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your Mom, what would it be?

She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get

rid of that.

I'd make my Mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.

I would get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

AMERICAN LEGION

Picture our communities without the American Legion and its counterparts, the American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of the Legion.

There would likely be few parades, few patriotic ceremonies on Memorial Day, Veterans Day and the Fourth of July, far less impressive funeral services to honor those who fought to defend our nation, no American Legion Baseball, no Boys State or Girls State.

Care at VA hospitals would probably be worse, pay for our servicemen and support for their families would most likely be far less than it is.

Patriotism in general might dwindle without the American Legion to remind us of who we are and what our nation stands for.

In the years immediately after World War II membership in the Legion flourished. Today, with most of the World War II veterans gone, and many of the Korean War era veterans following them, membership is dwindling. In one of the more active posts in Marinette County, membership dropped from 226 last year to about 150 today, and not all of them are active.

Some Legionnaires fear that before long, unless more young servicemen become active members, the most vibrant military organization in America will soon be like the proverbial "Old Soldier" and just fade away.

Young servicemen coming home from active duty are not joining, and there are fewer of them. The Flower Child mentality of the Vietnam Era may have something to do with it. Today's busy life styles also have an impact, as there are fewer volunteers for every volunteer organization.

Here's a plea - if you are eligible to be a member of the American Legion, its Auxiliary, or Sons of the Legion - please consider joining and helping keep patriotism alive and well in America. This nation certainly needs people to build it up instead of knocking it down!

WHAT IS THE AMERICAN LEGION?

The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation's largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

Anyone can be a Legionnaire who served in the American military during what are called "wartime eras" and has an honorable discharge or is still serving can be a member.

The "wartime eras" include the Persian Gulf War/War on Terrorism, from Aug. 2, 1990 to whenever it ends; Operation Just Cause Panama, Dec. 20, 1989 to Jan. 31, 1990; Lebanon/Grenada, Aug. 24, 1982 to July 31, 1984; Vietnam War, Feb. 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975; Korean War, June 25, 1950 to Jan. 31, 1955, WW II Dec. 7, 1941 to Dec. 31, 1946, and WW I, April 6, 1917 to Nov. 11.1918. Those who were in the reserves during any of the wartime eras with at least one day of Federal active duty are also eligible to become Legionnaires.

Wives, mothers, sisters, grandmothers and female descendants of those eligible for the Legion can join the Auxiliary. Sons and grandsons are eligible for Sons of the American Legion.

LEGION PREAMBLE

Was impressed recently to hear the Preamble to the American Legion Constitution read aloud. That was at the Marinette County Annual American Legion Awards banquet held in Wausaukee last weekend.

The preamble states: "We associate ourselves together for the following purposes: To uphold and defend the Constitution of he United States of America; To maintain law and order; To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism; To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the great wars; To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation; To combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses; To make right the master of might; To promote peace and good-will on earth; To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; to consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness."

COOKIN' TIME

Mother's Day is a good time for Dad to get out the grill and have at it. Dad, if the meal you plan includes advance preparation in the kitchen, do Mom a favor and leave the kitchen in as good condition as you found it, or better. Cooking isn't the thing most of us want to get out of, it's cleaning up the messes that go with it.

WHISKEY STEAK

You need to plan ahead for this, because it needs to marinate overnight in the fridge. Makes quite a bit of sauce. When you're done marinating the meat, put the marinade in a non-reactive saucepan and boil it for 10 to 15 minutes to turn it into a sauce. Then serve it with the meat. You must boil it, though, to kill off the bad stuff. Boiling kills off any germs from the meat. It also kills off the alcohol, so no, eating the sauce or the steak won't get you sauced! To do that, you'd need to sample the whiskey straight, to be sure it's good quality you know.

2/3 cup water

1/2 cup whiskey

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup diced onion

1/3 cup teriyaki sauce

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup liquid smoke

1 teaspoon minced garlic

4 (8 ounce) rib eye steaks

Put everything except the steaks in a glass or plastic dish or a zipper gallon plastic bag. Add the steaks and turn over, squish around or do whatever to get them all in contact with the marinade. Refrigerate overnight. Preheat outdoor grill until quite hot, and lightly oil grids. Grill steaks to desired doneness, about three minutes per side for medium rare. Let steaks rest on plate for five minutes or so before cutting into them to let the juices settle.

GRILLED VEGGIE PACKETS

Makes six packets. Takes about 20 minutes to cook, once you get them on the grill. Fixed this way, kids might even eat their veggies. And there's no cleanup once the eating is done. Prepare the vegetables earlier in the day, or even the night before if you like. Just don't assemble the packets until shortly before time to pout them on the grill, because with the vinegar they shouldn't sit around in contact with foil. They need to be busy cooking.

1/2 cup salad oil or olive oil

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 medium onion, coarsely diced

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed

1/2 pound yellow wax beans, trimmed

1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch strips

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch strips

1 zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch rounds

1 summer squash, trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch rounds

In a large bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, garlic, seasoned salt and pepper. Add vegetables; toss to coat. Refrigerate until about 45 minutes before dinner time. Then preheat grill to medium. Cut 6 12-by-18-inch pieces of heavy-duty foil. Spray the centers lightly with cooking spray. Divide vegetables evenly among foil pieces, then drizzle on any remaining dressing. Make into packets by folding the long sides toward each other. There should be two turns so the juices stay in. Then crimp the edges to seal. Double fold and crimp the remaining edges, to form a sealed packet. Place the packets on the grill, seam side up. If your grill has a door, close it. If not,oh, well. You may need to cook a little longer, or turn them at least once while they cook. Normally takes about 20 minutes. Open one and test for a green bean for doneness before you take the rest off the grill. Once done, carefully open packets so you don't get steam burned, and serve.

GRILLED POTATO PACKETS

Serves four, but they're pretty hefty servings, so you could get away with serving six. Use slightly larger potatoes.

4 tablespoons butter

5 medium potatoes

1⁄4 cup chopped green onion

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon paprika

1⁄4 teaspoon pepper

3 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled

2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley

2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill

2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives or 2 tablespoons dried chives

Grease a 24 x 18 inch piece of heavy duty foil with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Do not get it all the way out to the edges, though. Scrub the potatoes but do not peel. Thinly slice them onto the center of the foil. Sprinkle on the onions, cheese, salt, paprika and pepper, and dot with remaining butter. Seal the foil into a packet, double folding each of the edges to completely enclose the potatoes. Do not make it tight. You need space for the steam to build. Grill for 30 to 40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes or so, until potatoes are tender. Open carefully and sprinkle on bacon, parsley, dill and chives before serving.

Thought or the week: If roses grow in Heaven Lord, and You know I'm sure they do, "please pick a bunch for me. Place them in my mother's arms, and tell her they're from me. Tell her that we love her and miss her, and when she turns to smile, place a kiss upon her cheek and hold her for a while. Remembering her is easy, I do it every day. But there's an ache inside my heart that will never go away.

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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