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

Issue Date: August 9, 2018

Vote on Tuesday...

Summer is absolutely speeding by. In just four weeks Labor Day weekend will have come and gone and kids will be back in school for the start of another season of formal learning. Let's hope part of their summer was spent doing some individual learning about themselves, their families, the great outdoors and the wonderful plants, birds and beasts that share our great planet!

STILL SUMMER FUN TIME

Summer may soon be singing its Swan Song, but there's still a lot of fun in the weeks ahead. There are music and movies in the parks events in several communities: water ski shows by Crivitz Ski Cats on Lake Noquebay and Twin Bridge Ski Team at Boat Landing Three Park on High Falls Flowage; farm and flea markets all over, plus rummage sales, activities at the libraries, and more. Check the bulletin boards and calendars.

The big Annual Silver Cliff Fire and Rescue Auxiliary Picnic at the Silver Cliff Memorial Picnic Grounds at the intersection of County C and what once was (and still should be) Parkway Road North in downtown Silver Cliff kicks off with a parade on Saturday, Aug. 11 at 10 a.m. and includes all kinds of food, fun, music, games for kids and adults, booyah, raffles, refreshments, and lots of fun until 5 p.m., when they will be drawing for the prizes.

By the way, it's worth driving to Silver Cliff just to get a taste of their booyah. The folks up there are really, really good cooks!

As a suggestion, enjoy the picnic as long as you want, and then drive north on Parkway - which is now County I, to enjoy the beauties of McClintock and Goodman Parks. If you've never seen their waterfalls, cabins and rock formations, you'll wonder why you waited so long! Even the road to get there is beautiful, if it's not too dusty and you know in advance you will not be traveling fast.

Word of advice - if you're a trout fisherman, bring a pole and some bait! Hip boots optional, but don't forget to bring a creel. Early morning is probably best, but fish in that fast moving stretch of the Peshtigo River are pretty hungry most of the time.

VOTE ON TUESDAY

Wisconsin voters are invited to go to the polls on Tuesday, Aug. 14, to select the person who will be their party's candidate for Governor, United States Senate, Wisconsin State Representatives, and more.

In Marinette and Oconto counties, those who vote in the primary will also most likely be selecting the person who will serve as County Sheriff for the next four years, since there are no candidates for these offices on the Democrat Party ticket in either county. In Marinette County they will also in effect be electing a Clerk of Circuit Court, for the same reason.

Folks - do not pass up this invitation unless you just don't care!

On the other hand - if you do plan to vote, either study the issues and the candidates first, or seek advice from someone you trust to do that for you before you go to the polls.

If you don't do that, please stay home!

P.S.: If you can't remember the names your knowledgeable friend recommends but you still want to vote, get a sample ballot (it's in today's paper) and have your knowledgeable friend mark the best choices for you.

STILL SUMMER FUN TIME

DOG DAYS


We are now in a part of summer we used to call Dog Days, which in fact are named for the Dog Star, Sirius, which is visible with the rising sun at this time of year and has nothing to do with real dogs.

Ancients associated this sky picture with the hot days that coincided with it. Sirius is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Greater Dog).

For a few summers when we were kids back in the 1950s, the polio epidemic was in full force. Inoculations against that dreaded disease had not yet been developed. Parents for whatever reason were being warned not to let their kids go swimming during Dog Days, probably because it was better for them to not gather in one place. Mom wasn't quite sure about the reasons. She thought maybe the beaches weren't clean because too many people let their dogs go swimming at that time of year, and that's why several weeks in August were called Dog Days.

Recall one year when our family came home to Marinette from a two week vacation on a hot, hot summer evening. While we were gone we hadn't been in touch with anyone in Marinette. Cell phones hadn't been invented yet.

Mom and Dad decided letting the whole family relax by jumping in the lake was a good idea, so we went to our favorite swimming place, Pine Beach, which at that time was a city park on the Bay with a marvelous sand beach, clean, firm sandy bottom and water just deep enough for kids to swim in but not over our heads until we got past the sand bar, which was a long, long way out. That park was complete with playground equipment and picnic tables and was not part of UW-Marinette as it is today.

The water was warm as bath water. We were the only ones on the beach, and wondered why.

Found out after we got home. News announcer on the radio said the Marinette beaches were closed because there had been a major break at the sewage treatment plant in Menominee and the nastiness that leaked out was flowing downstream, right toward the beaches that we loved.

Since it was dark when we were swimming, none of us ever knew for sure what we had been swimming with - or in - that night. But we imagined all kinds of things. We all took baths with lots of soap and scrubbing before we went to bed!

GOSPEL JAM

The monthly Gospel at the Town of Stephenson Town Hall on County X west of Crivitz at Twin Bridge will be held on Friday, Aug. 10, instead of the usual third Friday of the month to avoid a conflict with the Voices of Peace Gospel Fest in Hilbert on Friday, Aug. 17.

Organizers of the Gospel Jam promise another evening filled with faith, fun, friends, and food from 7 to 9 p.m. Everyone is invited to bring an instrument to play, a song to sing, or just a desire to listen to some good Gospel music. Refreshments are provided, and there's no charge.

WEST NILE VIRUS

Reported last week that at least one dead bird infected with West Nile Virus has been found in Marinette County. Included some tips on how to minimize opportunities for mosquitos to bite, but face it, for anyone in the northwoods, chances of a bite or two are almost certain.

So how great is the risk?

First, only a small percentage of mosquitoes carry the virus.

Second, the majority (better than 80 percent) of folks who are infected with West Nile Virus do not even get sick. Those who do usually just have mild symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle ache, rash, and fatigue. Less than 1percent of people infected with the virus get seriously ill with symptoms that include high fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, mental confusion, tremors, confusion, paralysis, and coma. Older adults and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of developing central nervous system illness, and yes, sometimes that can be fatal.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has monitored the spread of West Nile virus since 2001 among wild birds, horses, mosquitoes, and people. During 2002, the state documented its first human infections and 52 cases were reported that year.

During 2017, 48 cases of West Nile virus infection were reported among Wisconsin residents. West Nile virus infections in humans have been reported from June through October; however, most reported becoming ill with West Nile virus in August and September.

Marinette County Health Officer Mollie Bonjean said surveillance for West Nile virus will continue until the end of the mosquito season. Anyone who finds a sick or dead crow, blue jay, or raven is asked to call the Dead Bird Reporting Hotline at 1-800-433-1610 so it can be tested.

VEGGIES FOR RECIPES

Most of us deal with recipes that call for perhaps four cups of sliced raw cucumbers, but we have no idea how many cucumbers we need to buy, pick or peel to get that. Here's a chart that might help. Of course, those cukes (and other things) come in lots of different sizes, but we're talking here about average size veggies, and rough yields. You still need to measure when you're done chopping, slicing, shredding or grating.

Asparagus: 1 pound equals 3 cups chopped

Green or Wax Beans: 1 pound equals 4 cups chopped

Beets: 1 pound, about 5 medium beets, equals 2 to 2/1/2 cups chopped

Broccoli: 1/2 pound equals 6 cups of florets

Cabbage: 1 pound equals 4 cups shredded

Carrots: 1 pound equals 3 1/2 cups sliced, 3 cups grated

Celery: 1 pound equals 4 cups chopped

Cucumbers: 1 pound, 2 medium, equals 4 cups sliced

Eggplant: 1 pound equals 4 cups chopped, 6 cups raw cubed, or 3 cups cooked, cubed

Garlic: 1 clove equals about a teaspoon, chopped

Leeks: 1 pound equals 4 cups chopped or 2 cups cooked

Mushrooms: 1 pound equals 5 to 6 cups sliced raw or 2 cups cooked. By the way, little sister in law says to get the best flavored cooked mushrooms, freeze them for at least a little while before you cook them.

Onions: 1 pound equals 4 cups sliced raw, 2 cups cooked

Peas: 1 pound whole equals a cup to a cup and a half shelled

Potatoes: 1 pound, about 3 medium, equals two cups mashed

Pumpkin: 1 pound equals 4 cups chopped, 2 cups cooked and drained

Rutabaga: 1 pound equals 4 cups chopped, or 2 cups cooked and mashed

Spinach (and most greens): 1 pound equals 3/4 to 1 cup cooked

Summer Squash: 1 pound equals 4 cups grated, 2 cups salted and drained, even less when cooked

Winter Squash: 2 pounds equals 2 1/2 cups cooked and pureed

Sweet Potatoes: 1 pound equals 4 cups grated, 1 cup cooked and mashed

Swiss Chard: 1 pound equals 5 to 6 cups packed leaves, a cup to a cup and a half when cooked

Tomatoes: 1 pound, 3 or 4 medium tomatoes, makes 1 1/2 cups seeded pulp

Turnips: 1 pound equals 4 cups chopped, or 2 cups cooked and mashed

COOKIN' TIME

It's still camping and cook out time, and its also the right season for enjoying the bounty of our gardens. Here are a few special recipes you may have never tried, and are almost certain to enjoy.

BROCCOLI SOUP

Panera Bread Bowl Style

Fresh broccoli is ready now for your dining pleasure.This soup is also excellent served simply as a soup out of a regular bowl with crusty bread to go with it, but makes for a hearty meal on its own when served in a bread bowl, Panera style. Smaller, sturdy breads such as large hard rolls are a good choice for bead bowls. To keep this soup, or any cheese sauce from turning gritty, allow soup to cool slightly before you add cheese, and then stir the cheese in a little at a time until it melts.

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups fresh broccoli florets (about 8 ounces)

1 large carrot, finely chopped

3 cups chicken stock

2 cups half-and-half cream

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup water or additional chicken stock

2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

6 small round bread loaves (about 8 ounces each) In a 6-quart stockpot, heat butter over medium heat; sauté onion and garlic until tender, six to eight minutes. Stir in broccoli, chopped carrot, stock, cream and seasonings; bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Mix cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into soup. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook and stir until thickened, one to two minutes. Turn off heat. Remove bay leaves. Stir in cheese gradually until melted. If using bread bowls, cut a slice off the top of each bread loaf; hollow out bottoms, leaving quarter-inch thick shells. (Save the removed bread for another use, perhaps crumbs for breading something else, or maybe bread pudding.) Fill bread shells with soup just before serving.

BROWN BEAR BISCUITS

Kids love making these campfire treats, whether they're in the back yard or on a camping trip. No work for Mom, nothing to clean up except the kids themselves. Even keeps them busy for about 10 minutes while they toast their individual Brown Bears over the campfire. They also can be toasted over the grill, but that's not nearly as much fun.

1/4 cup ground cinnamon

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 (10 ounce) can refrigerated biscuit dough

Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl. Pour melted butter into another bowl. Separate biscuits and form each piece of dough into a rope 4 to 5 inches long. Wrap the dough pieces around sticks. Hold sticks over campfire and slowly turn until the biscuit dough is browned and set, 8 to 10 minutes. Dip biscuits into melted butter and then into cinnamon sugar. Eat biscuits from sticks.

BANANA BOATS

Cooked bananas are not as crazy as they sound. To go really overboard on these, top the cooked stuffed banana with one scoop each of vanilla and chocolate ice cream and a spoon of sliced strawberries or strawberry preserves. You have to eat these with a spoon in any case.

2 bananas

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup miniature marshmallows

Slit each banana lengthwise through the peel, making sure not to cut all the way through to the other side. Spread it open a bit and stuff with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap each banana in aluminum foil and cook over a fire, on the barbecue, or in a 300 degree oven for 5 minutes, or until chocolate is melted.



Thought for the week: Life is often not easy. We've all faced times when we need to roll with the punches and just keep going. As Vince Lombardi once said (or maybe more than once): "It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up." Paulo Coelho expressed the same thought, different way: "You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it." So did David Brinkley, but he advised building on those adversities: "A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." So have at it, keep trying, keep the faith, and when life throws you a curve, throw it back!

(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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