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Country Cousin

Issue Date: January 31, 2019

Cold, Cold, COLD!!!

The cold weather is supposed to break by the end of this week, but for now, stay indoors if you can, and if you can't, bundle up and be safe. It's been so cold out there that exposed body parts could get frostbite in five to ten minutes!

And that's in the TIMESland area, where temperatures have been a downright balmy minus 20 below or so, with wind chills to 45 below. Daytime highs did manage to get slightly above zero around here, so be happy!

Folks in other places have had it worse. According to weather.com, wind chills Wednesday morning, Jan. 30, plunged into the 50s below zero as far south as central Illinois, northwest Indiana, including much of Chicagoland and the Milwaukee metro area.

Wind chills in the 60s below zero were recorded in parts of Minnesota, North Dakota, even as far south as northeast Iowa, where Charles City registered that bone-chilling value just before midnight Tuesday night. A minus 66 degree wind chill was recorded just north of Ponsford, Minnesota, Tuesday evening.

Governors in Wisconsin and Michigan have both declared states of emergency due to the extreme cold.

Most schools and many businesses and government offices in Wisconsin are closed, so the kids are mostly happy. Some of their parents, not so much.

COLD ALERT

Must congratulate Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith for looking out for the well being of the men and women of his department, as well as that often neglected and unprotected segment of the population - the criminals.

Early on Tuesday, Jan. 29 he issued an official notice of severe weather criminal activity alert.

It read:

"Faced with the record breaking cold weather that is fast approaching, the Green Bay Police Department is taking the unprecedented step of canceling all criminal activities in the City of Green Bay until further notice."

Smith was quoted as saying, "With the wind chill warnings, we simply cannot have any criminals putting themselves in harm's way at those temperatures. If we didn't speak out against this, it is simply not fair to the criminals, and I am not willing to risk it." 

"Forbidden until further official notice are all criminal activities including retail thefts, automobile thefts (including the stealing of cars with the keys inside), and all manner of violent crime. With the ban on all criminal activities, crooks, criminals and miscreants of all kinds are hereby put on notice that failure to comply will result in citations, arrests, or even jail time. This official ban on illegal activities will continue until the official criminal activity ban is rescinded formally by the Police Department. Please monitor our Facebook site for any updates. 

"We care about everyone in our community, including those that choose to break the law," said Smith. "Avoiding crime and criminal activities are especially important during periods of inclement weather. Also, during all other times." 

"Temperatures and wind chills are expected to be at least 35 below zero, which can freeze skin and cause frostbite in just a few minutes."

Must also salute the Green Bay Press Gazette for going along with the gag and considering the effect this declaration would have on neighboring communities.

They sort of brought other law enforcement agencies into the story, perhaps by interviews, perhaps not. But there was concern expressed: "Without a similar ban in surrounding communities, many area police agencies were expected to beef up patrol to accommodate the almost certain influx of criminals hoping to get around the Green Bay ban." they then added: "Smith says the city's ban will remain in effect until further notice."

What a great idea! Simply order a moratorium on crime! What a wonderful idea! Why did no one ever think of this before??? It'll work at least as well as outlawing guns. Simply put a ban on crime, and criminals will all stay home and keep out of trouble!

P.S. Want to buy a bridge in Brooklyn, or perhaps some oceanfront property in Arizona? Heard there's some for sale!

FIRE AND ICE

Sympathy goes out this morning to members of the Gocht family for the loss of their 100-year-old landmark Crivitz Lumber Company, which was totally destroyed by fire last night.

And salutations go out to the firefighters from all over Marinette County and beyond who braved the cold to fight that fire and save the rest of downtown Crivitz from going up in flames.

Their efforts were hampered by temperatures that froze equipment as well as fingers, but they got the job done.

TOO COLD?

Friends and family in Florida say folks down there are complaining about the cold too. One said he looks out the door of his beachfront condo and can really tell the difference between the natives and the snowbirds. The natives are the folks walking along the beach bundled up in winter gear - fur hoods and all - when temperatures drop to 40 and 50 degrees. That's above zero folks - almost 100 degrees warmer than here when you consider wind chill!

FROSTBITE?

At the temperatures we've had exposed skin can start getting frostbite in as little to ten minutes. Hypothermia is also a danger. There's a difference.

" Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers, and toes.

" Signs: Numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin, firm or waxy skin

" Actions: Go to a warm room. Soak in warm water. Use body heat to warm. Do not massage or use a heating pad.

" Hypothermia is an unusually low body temperature. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency.

" Signs: Shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, or drowsiness

" Actions: Go to a warm room. Warm the center of the body first"chest, neck, head, and groin. Keep dry and wrapped up in warm blankets, including the head and neck.

THINK VALENTINES

Winter winds are howling, but Valentine's Day is just two weeks off. Now's the time to think of doing something special for your honey, especially if it has to be done or ordered in advance.

One of the best Valentine's Day gifts I ever received was a simple bouquet from my hubby. He had bought me flowers before, but never before or since did he plan ahead and bring the special silver vase he had as a souvenir from Germany to the florist to be filled with flowers especially for me! It wasn't the flowers that were special, but knowing that it wasn't a last minute thing and he had actually put some thought into his gift of love.

GROUNDHOG DAY

The legendary groundhog is supposed to come out of winter slumbers for a bit on Saturday, Feb. 2. Of course, we all know the story is that if the sun is shining and he sees his shadow he'll go back into hiding and we'll have another six weeks of winter. If not, Spring is allegedly just around the corner. That has never turned out to be true, at least around here, but nonetheless it's fun to be happy that the Groundhog Day forecast is for clouds, but the rain expected to come from those clouds sounds like no fun at all, especially when it will fall on roads that have been chilled by minus 20 degree temps. On the other hand, the 35 degree temperatures predicted sound like a great treat after what we've just been through!

WINTER FUN

Bitter cold puts the brakes on a lot of winter fun, but temperatures are supposed to moderate by the weekend, so if snow doesn't prevent them from happening we can enjoy some special winter events.

Among them are the annual candlelight hike at Copper Culture State Park in Oconto on Saturday, Feb. 2 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Refreshments and a warming campfire will be available at the park pavilion. Registration is not required and admission to the park is free but donations are always appreciated. Although the trail is lit by candles, a flashlight is recommended. The event is sponsored by the Oconto County Historical Society, the City of Oconto, and the Wisconsin DNR. For more information call 920-834-5733 or 920-834-7706. The cross country ski/hike event at Gov.Thompson State Park west of Crivitz will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16.

The now-traditional Athelstane Outhouse Races are scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2, which is also Groundhog Day. Time to start building your racing outhouse if you plan to enter. It's a fund raiser for Athelstane Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad. Contact the folks at Firelane Bar and Grill for more information and watch for ads.

St. Mary's Church of Crivitz is holding its annual Valentine Dance on February 16, from 6 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.

These are by no means the only fun coming up. Watch for ads and check the bulletin boards wherever you are in TIMESland.

ON THE SOAP BOX

MARGARINE IS NOT BUTTER!


As a lifelong resident of Wisconsin (America's Dairy State) and the descendant of dairy farmers, am offended that some of our area grocers are allowing signs that say "Imperial Butter," when the product offered for sale behind them is in fact Imperial Margarine. There is a bit of whey in it, but definitely the product is not butter. Those signs need to come down, never to be seen again!

COOKIN TIME

Super Bowl Sunday is coming up. The Packers aren't playing this year, but it's still good to enjoy snacks and adult brews while taking in the game. One good thing - if you don't care who wins or loses you won't be disappointed, unless the game turns out to be poorly played.

BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP

A tangy, creamy dip with the flavor of Buffalo-style chicken wings. Serve it hot from the crock pot with crackers and celery sticks.

2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup Ranch dressing

3/4 cup pepper sauce, like Frank's Red Hot

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Celery, cleaned and cut into 4 inch sticks

Snack crackers, perhaps chicken flavored

Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on Low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and crackers.

PIZZA ROLLS

A combination of garlic bread and meatball sliders, with the flavor of a garlicky pizza. Makes 18 snack servings. You could serve heated pizza sauce on the side for dipping, but you don't have to.

1 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 yellow onion, diced

5 cloves garlic, minced, divided

1 pound ground beef

2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley, plus more for

garnish

1 large egg

1/4 cup plain bread crumbs

1 cup shredded Fontina, Provolone or Mozzarella

cheese, divided

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

3 tablespoons butter

18 dinner rolls

2 cups spicy tomato sauce

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Meatballs: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and 2 cloves garlic; cook and stir until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Place beef in a large bowl. Add onion-garlic mixture, parsley, egg, bread crumbs, and 1 large handful of fontina cheese, reserving the rest for topping. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Mix by hand until just combined. Scoop meat mixture into 24 mini muffin cups; meatballs need not be perfectly round. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the centers, about 12 minutes. Leave oven on. Let meatballs cool briefly while you make the garlic butter.

Garlic butter: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining minced garlic once butter starts to bubble; stir and immediately turn remove from heat. Stir well and set aside.

Garlic Bread: Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil; coat foil with remaining olive oil. Transfer rolls, still attached to each other, to the baking sheet. Cut a hole in the top of each roll, about 2/3 of the way down. Brush garlic butter over the insides and outsides of the rolls. Bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Pour about 1 tablespoon tomato sauce into each hole. Stuff meatballs into the holes. Top each roll with a spoonful of tomato sauce and remaining shredded cheese. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted, perhaps 12 to 15 minutes. Garnish with more parsley. Let rolls sit for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up; transfer to a serving platter. Serve with the heated pizza sauce for dipping if you like.

FILLED FRENCH PANCAKES

This is a great Valentine's Day breakfast treat, or even a great dessert or special evening snack. Serve with thawed sliced sweetened strawberries to make these even better.

Batter:

3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 cups milk

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Filling:

1 pound container creamed cottage cheese

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup heavy cream

salt

nutmeg

Mix batter ingredients together. Fry thin pancakes quickly in butter. Makes 10-12 pancakes. Mash cottage cheese with fork and mix with the remaining filling ingredients, reserving some cream for topping. Fill each pancake across the diameter, fold together to place into a 9" by 13" pan greased with butter. Pour cream over and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Thought for the week: One month ago, we all were given a brand new year to fill with wonderful things - things done right, to enjoy thinking about afterward, and things things done wrong, to learn from. Don't cling to the safe side. As Neil Gaiman once said, "I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something." Neil Gaiman

(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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