Country CousinIssue Date: June 7, 2018
Drink up ... It's Dairy Month...
Wisconsin weather is up to its usual tricks. Some of the nights late last week were so warm you couldn't sleep for listening to the corn grow, not to mention the unaccustomed heat, and mosquitoes so tiny that they came right in through the window screens.
After we sweltered in temperatures that soared into the 90s on Friday and Saturday, the furnace kicked in on Sunday night. Jackets have been needed most of the time since then, even with the sun shining. More like a normal Wisconsin Spring, the one we never had. Grass and gardens are growing. Lots of beautiful sunshine, though, along with just enough rain, and those are good things.
Spring does seem to be making up for lost time. Despite a late start, corn in one of the fields near us is nearly knee high already. Farmers used to say if it was knee high by the Fourth of July the crop would be good.
Graduations are pretty much over for the year, and a new crop of graduates is preparing to leave its mark on the world. Best of luck to all the graduates. Don't let go of your dreams, but don't forget - you will have to work for them, sometime for less pay than you'd like. Most of us aren't lucky enough to start at the top!
JUNE DAIRY MONTH
June Dairy Month is here, and with it come dairy breakfasts, which are always events more than worth going to, for the wonderful all-you-can-eat food and dairy treats, and the chance to enjoy some great entertainment and visit with wonderful people.
The Oconto County June Dairy Breakfast is slated for Sunday, June 10 at Sunrise Dairy, 9101 State Hwy. 32, Suring.The day starts with a Sunrise church service at 7 a.m. Breakfast of all you can eat scrambled eggs with cheese and ham, pancakes, sausages, yogurt, apple slices, cheese, milk, orange juice, ice cream sundaes, coffee and water is served from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is $8 for adults, $4 for children four through 10, and children under four eat free.
Entertainment includes Pedal Pulls, Live Music, Petting Zoo, Face Painting, Antique Engine Demonstrations, TA-DA Strolling Entertainment and much more!
Advance tickets can be purchased at Peshtigo National Bank: Coleman, Gillett and Oconto Falls branches; N.E.W. Credit Union: Oconto, Oconto Falls and Suring branches; Lena Fast Stop and Suring Dollar Value Store.
The Marinette County June Dairy Breakfast is a few weeks off, on Sunday, June 24 on the Carlson Family Farm, N3615 Carlson Lane, Peshtigo. Serving wonderful all you can eat foods from 7:30 a.m. to noon. Adult tickets are $7, Children 6-10, $4.00. Children 5 and under eat free. There are no advance tickets.
Lots of things going on during the weekend of Friday, June 8 through Sunday, June 10.
Copperfest in Oconto starts Friday and runs through Sunday, June 10.
Porterfield Country Music Festival starts Saturday, June 14, and runs through Sunday, June 17, which we mustn't forget is Father's Day.
Want to try fishing Michigan lakes and streams? On Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June10, enjoy Michigan's Free Fishing Weekend, No license fees required for any species, on any inland or Great Lakes waters. All other fishing regulations apply, so check out the rules first.
The annual Kids Fishing Derby sponsored by M&M Great Lakes Sports Fishermen takes place at the Menominee Marina from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Up for an early morning adventure? Go on a guided bird hike through the Harmony Hardwoods at the Harmony Arboretum Demonstration Gardens from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 9. Learn about our native forest bird species. Field guides and some binoculars will be available. Dress for the weather, cancelled if inclement weather.
BENEFIT GOLF SCRAMBLE
Also on Saturday, June 9 is the Benefit Golf Scramble sponsored by St. Mary's Court #1765 Catholic Order of Foresters at De Smidt's Golf Course, Crivitz. Currently looking for golfers, donations, sponsors of holes and bunkers. Want more info? Contact Joe Fendryk at 715-789-2430. Proceeds will benefit the Amberg/Wausaukee/Crivitz conference of St. Vincent de Paul.
Want to learn more about Bigfoot?
The Marinette/Menominee area is hosting a Bigfoot Convention from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 9 at the Pullman Center Whistle Stop located at N2190 US Hwy. 41, Menominee. Doors open at 9 am. Admission is $10.
The event features two well known speakers, Linda Godfrey speaking on bipedal cryptids and Charlie Raymond, founder of the Kentucky Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO), speaking on the latest research. For more information or if you have any questions, call 906-863-1135.
According to the Animal Planet website, the BFRO, founded in 1995, is a virtual community of scientists, journalists and specialists from diverse backgrounds. Researchers who compose the BFRO are engaged in projects, including field and laboratory investigations, designed to address various aspects of the Bigfoot phenomenon.
The BFRO organizes and reports observations and directs expeditions to places where observations have occurred. Through this process, BFRO members steadily improve the size and scope of their collective expertise about what they suspect are Sasquatches living in North America.
The organization essentially seeks to resolve the mystery surrounding the Bigfoot phenomenon, to derive conclusive documentation of the species' existence.
They say the large apes are spotted mostly in forested regions with abundant protein sources, deer in particular. According to the BFRO website, the bigfoot/sasquatch species consistently maintains low population levels even where the protein sources could support dramatically larger numbers of them. Consequently they have never become an ongoing nuisance to human communities, or to livestock.
BORN IN A BARN?
Saw this on a June Dairy Month website. Author is not given, but feel it's such a wonderful comment on farm life that it's worth repeating:
"People say,'You act like you were born in a barn' like it's a bad thing. I was raised in a barn, and that's where I learned the most important lessons in life.
"I watched life begin and end in a barn. I discovered hard work builds character and killed no one. I learned respect, love and compassion. I realized sometimes optimism is the only way to keep going. I found sometimes you have to let go even when it breaks our heart.
"I dreamed and learned to never give up on those dreams. I failed and kept trying until I succeeded. I gained confidence in myself and my abilities. I understand you have to stand or what you believe in.
"The next time someone says you act like you were raised in a barn, thank them. I can't think of a better compliment!"
Someone wrote this on a Facebook page, and it's got me thinking. Put five Subway footlongs together, end to end, and measure them. Some of us are only as tall as five Subway sandwiches!
SINS OF OMISSION
Must apologize to anyone who couldn't make the Wisconsin Rhubarb Cheesecake recipe published here a few weeks ago because it didn't include the amount of rhubarb to use. Didn't realize the omission until a reader who identified herself only as Jean was kind enough to send a message pointing it out. Jean says she lives in Erin Township near Holy Hill but has had a cabin on the river for 60 years. Says she reads our Peshtigo Times each week to keep up with the news. She had some kind words for this column despite the recent error, and said she made rhubarb relish recipe published awhile ago and found it yummy. Thanks for the kind words, Jean. Hope you enjoy the cheesecake at least as much as the relish. It's perfect for June Dairy Month. Contains cream cheese and sour cream, and you serve it with whipped cream. Enjoy yours with a glass of milk and you've pretty much got the whole dairy thing covered!
The entire recipe is reprinted below.
Keep enjoying asparagus and rhubarb while they're available. The season is all too short. Strawberries should be ripening soon, and they're another great treat worth waiting for. The ones we buy year round at the supermarket are pretty, but they don't hold a candle, flavor and texture wise, to the locally grown and vine ripened ones, especially the ones grown without excess artificial fertilizer. Most of us love to grill out whenever the weather allows, so cook, eat and enjoy!
GRILLED CHOPS AND SWEET POTATO FRIES
Serve this for a fine Father's Day treat, or have it tomorrow night! It's easy enough and fast enough to enjoy any time. Sweet potatoes are rapidly gaining popularity. They're not just for Thanksgiving any more! They're available year round, like regular potatoes, and even more nutritious. Since this is June Dairy Month, better serve the grilled sweets with a nice slathering of butter. Takes away the low fat feature, but is absolutely delicious.
4 bone-in pork chops, 1 inch thick
3 large sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup walnuts
1 small clove garlic
1 small jalapeño, cut
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 tablespoon capers
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Start by making the Chop Sauce. You can even do this a day ahead. In food processor finely chop the walnuts, garlic, jalapeño, mint leaves, capers and salt. Pulse in 1/3 cup olive oil and the tablespoon each of honey and lemon juice. Set aside.
About 20 minutes before eating time, heat the grill to medium. Cut the sweet potatoes into 1-inch wedges and toss with the tablespoon olive oil and quarter teaspoon each salt and pepper. Brush each chop with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on medium, covered, about 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until the pork is just cooked through and the potatoes are tender. Serve with the Chop Sauce, and butter for the grilled sweet potato fries. Goes very well with the Roasted Parmesan Asparagus recipe that follows.
ROASTED PARMESAN ASPARAGUS
1/2 pound fresh asparagus spears
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 cloves minced garlic
2 to 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, olive oil or olive oil cooking spray
Cook on the grill or in the oven. To cook in the oven, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray with cooking oil or pour in about half of the olive oil. Set aside while you rinse the asparagus and trim off woody end pieces. Spread out in a thin layer on top of the prepared cookie sheet. Spray the asparagus lightly with a coat of olive oil cooking spray, or drizzle on the rest of the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, and parmesan cheese. Use your hands to mix the asparagus with all of the ingredients, then lay out into an even layer again. Spray with one more light coat of olive oil, if using. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness of the asparagus and how done you want it. Remove from oven and serve immediately. To do it on the grill, follow the above directions, but instead of putting it in the oven, tear off a large piece of foil, spray with cooking spray or spread heavily with softened butter, and spread the seasoned asparagus on this in a single layer. Spray with cooking spray or drizzle on some more melted butter. Cover with another large piece of foil and crimp edges together well, all the way around, double folding to keep everything inside when you turn it including all the juices. Grill about seven minutes on one side, turn the whole packet over, and grill another seven minutes on the other side.
WISCONSIN RHUBARB CHEESECAKE
Apologies everyone. Ran this recipe a few weeks ago, but did not include the amount of rhubarb, so am reprinting the whole thing. Thanks to the gracious reader who pointed this out, but had some kind words to say about the column anyway.
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced fresh rhubarb, or frozen, thawed
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
8 1 - ounce square white baking chocolate with cocoa butter
2 cups finely crushed graham crackers (about 20 squares)
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 8 - ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 16 - ounce carton dairy sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream (optional)
White baking chocolate curls (optional)
Mint leaves (optional)
In a medium saucepan, combine rhubarb, 1/3 cup sugar and orange juice. Bring just to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes or until rhubarb is tender, stirring occasionally; set aside. I a heavy small saucepan, melt white chocolate baking squares over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool. For crust: In a medium bowl, combine graham crackers and butter. Press crumb mixture onto the bottom and about 1-1/2 inches up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Wrap outside of the springform pan securely with heavy foil. Set aside. For filling: In a very large bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and salt with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Gradually beat in melted white chocolate until combined. Pour half of the filling into crust-lined pan. Spoon 1 cup of the rhubarb sauce over the filling, spreading evenly. Top with remaining filling. Spoon remaining rhubarb sauce over filling. Using the back of a spoon, gently swirl the rhubarb mixture into the filling. Place springform pan in a large roasting pan. (Make sure there is at least 1 inch between springform pan and edges of roasting pan.) Place roasting pan on oven rack. Carefully pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until edge of cheesecake is firm and center appears nearly set when lightly shaken. Check water level every 30 minutes, adding more water if needed. Carefully remove cheesecake pan from water bath; transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Remove foil. Loosen cheesecake from sides of pan by carefully running a knife around the edge of the pan. Cool cheesecake for 30 minutes more. Remove sides of pan and cool completely. Cover cheesecake with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours before serving. If you like, just before serving, pipe rosettes of whipped cream on the top of the cheesecake and garnish with white baking bar curls and mint. Cut into wedges. You can make and bake this up to two days ahead. Just cook the cake after it's baked, cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.
RHUBARB UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
This is so easy and delicious you'll think it's magic. And it sort of is. Recipe was contributed by Nancy Tussler to a Stephenson National Bank and Trust employees' cookbook printed in the very late 1970s or early 1980s.
1 package yellow cake mix
3 cups rhubarb, sliced
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup whipping cream, unwhipped
Clean and slice the rhubarb. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions and pour batter into a greased and floured 9X13 pan. Mix the rhubarb and sugar and pour over the batter. Sprinkle on some cinnamon if you like. Pour the unwhipped cream over the top of everything and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes, and then turn upside down on a serving platter with enough of an edge to keep the juices in if there are any. Serve with more whipped cream, or ice cream if you like, but it's great all by itself too. Refrigerate leftovers. Tastes really good cold anyway.
Thought for the week: Want a happy life? Consider the day wasted if you do not do something to make someone else happy, preferably someone who is never expected to return the favor. Like jam, you can't spread happiness around without getting some on yourself.
(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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