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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 8, 2019

Shirley Prudhomme

Quit wasting time!

Must be monsoon season. Seems like every afternoon sometime between 3 and 4 p.m. the rains either blow in, or at least threaten to. Other than that, and aside from the storm on Saturday, we've had some pretty wonderful Summer weather this week. A bit hot, perhaps, but that makes a dip in a clean cool lake, river or pool even more inviting.

One thing about the rain is that there's been little or no need to spend time and energy watering lawns and gardens. The Man Upstairs has been taking care of that for us, and everything seems to be growing like crazy.

CATCHING SUCKERS

Fishermen are not the only ones who try to catch suckers. With ability to buy hunting and fishing licenses on-line comes the danger that sportsmen will become the suckers who get caught.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently published a warning urging the public to beware of on-line hunting and fishing license scams. They are aware of at least two websites that appear to offer hunting and fishing licenses, but in fact are fishing themselves for your money and your credit card information. They do not issue licenses. In return for the fee you pay them, they will send you information on how to apply for a license. Meanwhile they will have your credit information that they may put to another misuse themselves or sell it to some else who will.

To assure getting the hunting or fishing license you pay for without putting your credit information at risk, if you want to buy your license on-line, there is only one official site - "Go Wild". You can get there by just typing Go Wild into the search engine, or type in GoWild.wi.gov. You'll find lots of other good information there too.

You can also buy your licenses directly from the DNR at a DNR service center (such as the one in Peshtigo) or from one of its licensed agents, which use the Go Wild port of sale terminal. These generally are a local sporting good store, large discount store or local bait, tackle shop, and convenience stores.

If you think you have already been scammed by one of the illegal sites, you can file a complaint with the Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCAP) at (800) 422-7128 or by e-mail to DATACPHotline@wi.gov.

QUIT WASTING TIME!

Summer is the time when no one needs to feel guilty about feeling lazy, for taking the time to smell the daisies, for chasing a kite through the sky, for dangling feet in a handy brook.

But Summer is simply hurtling by, gaining speed as the days pass. The sun sets a little earlier and rises later each day. In three weeks, Summer will be mostly gone, so take time to enjoy it now, while it's still here.

John Lubbock must have been a very smart man, because he once said: "Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."

He was absolutely right, and in fact not taking time to do some of that is the real waste of time!

ON THE SOAP BOX

YELLOW JOURNALISM

When a news publication prints an opinion piece disguised as an unbiased news report, or within a news report includes prejudicial statements as fact, without attributing them as a quote from anyone, that's called Yellow Journalism. We've been subjected to a lot of it in recent years, and The Huffington Post is among the experts.

A case in point:

Several news sources have stated that U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar complains that she and other Muslim politicians are constantly being asked to condemn groups and issues that her non-Muslim colleagues are not asked to answer for, and says she's tired of it.

One of the stories: "Speaking on the opening panel at the Muslim Collective for Equitable Democracy conference on Tuesday, July 22, the congresswoman took a question from Ani Zonneveld, founder of the Los Angeles-based group Muslims for Progressive Values. Zonneveld asked if Omar and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) would come out and condemn female genital mutilation.

"Omar immediately called the question "appalling.'"

Story doesn't mention that she apparently never did say if she would or would not condemn the practice, nor does it point out that the mutilation is a practice of some Muslim groups, but no Christian groups.

Shifts instead to another attack on Trump: "Omar's comments came just an hour after Trump made his latest Twitter attack against Omar and three other freshmen congresswomen, calling the Minnesota lawmaker "an America hating anti-Semite." It does not quote comments Omar had made, very much in public, that led to her being called an anti-Semite.

In its pretext at honest journalism the article went on to mention that Trump was scheduled to speak the same day at the Turning Point USA summit" "a nationwide conservative organization of student Republicans riddled with bigotry and white supremacy just a few miles away in D.C.," and then for no apparent reason except prejudice added, "Earlier Tuesday at the summit, Eric Thomas Bolling, a former Fox News host who was fired after a sexual harassment probe, bashed Omar. "A Somali refugee coming over here and becoming a member of Congress, to complain about the system, that's just hypocrisy to me," Bolling told the crowd.

Note the story only said there was a probe into the claim against Bolling. Didn't bother to say what they found. That's pretty much a usual Liberal style. Tell half the truth and hope people read it as the whole story.

Fact is, Bolling is back working for Fox News, and his stated reason for leaving when he did was the critical illness of his son. Reports are that Bolling subsequently sued the publication for defamation of character, and so far no decision has been made on that suit.

So much for honest journalism. Almost makes me ashamed to be a member of the species!

CHRISTMAS IS COMING

Summer is speeding by, and before we know it, Christmas will be here again. Take time now to make some Cherry bounce, and you'll have part of your gift list taken care of. You can use the fresh cherries now, while they're in season, or the frozen ones, but you still need to make it now, or at least soon. Takes at least 3 months to cure.

Cherry Bounce is a homemade cordial or liqueur, made with your choice of vodka, bourbon, rum, brandy or whiskey as the main liquor. Easy to make, easy to drink, and bottles of this put up now make wonderful Christmas gifts come December!

Recipes date back at least to the days of George Washington, and can be as simple as cherries, sugar and liquor, or can get a lot more complicated.

Martha Washington's diary included a recipe for making a large batch of Cherry Bounce using 20 pounds of cherries, cognac, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and crushed cherry stones.

To make smaller amounts very simply, but still very delicious, collect some attractive quart jars with lids that can be sealed. Regular canning jars will do. Pit the cherries if you want, to, or leave the seeds in. Your call. If you leave the seeds in, and then serve the cherries to guests, be sure your guests know the pits are there, and then provide small dishes or saucers to hold the discarded pits. If you pit the cherries, you can add some of the cherries to Christmas fruitcake as well. Or you can put the pits into the jars along with the pitted cherries for more flavor, and then strain them out before serving.

To easily pit sour cherries for whatever purpose, you need an empty soda or beer bottle or can with the tab removed and a heavy-duty plastic straw. Wash cherries, and then put them, one at a time, stem side up, over the opening in the bottle or can. Push the straw through. Pit will drop into the container, and you put the cherry into the jar or dish.

The small sour black cherries with big seeds can also be used for cherry bounce. Have never tried it before, but this year will make a jar of raspberry bounce with wild raspberries and see how it turns out come Christmas.

To make the simple Cherry Bounce, wash, sterilize and throughly rinse your jars. Fill each jar loosely with cherries, add a cup of sugar and then fill the jar with your choice of vodka, whiskey, brandy or vodka. Put on the lid and close it tightly. Give it a good shake, and shake again until the sugar dissolves. Put on shelf, and shake several times more between now and Christmas. If you're really anxious, go ahead and open a jar for Thanksgiving. Should be good by then.

Some say if you've pitted the cherries, put the pits into the jars first and then add the cherries for more flavor. Just be sure no pits get in when you're using the cherries for other things.

There's also a suggestion to get double duty out of your cherries. Strain the Cherry Bounce into a beverage decanter for Christmas, but keep the cherries themselves in the jar. Pour white wine over them, close the lid tightly, and let the contents ferment until Easter. Then drink the wine and eat the cherries.

For a fancier Spiced Cherry Bounce, use 6 to 8 quarts of whole cherries (sweet or sour), 1 cup sugar, juice of one lemon, 1 quart (or more) whiskey, vodka, bourbon or brandy, 6 whole cloves, 6 cinnamon sticks, and one teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg.

Wash, stem and pit the cherries. Save the pits. Mix the cherries with sugar and lemon juice in a stainless steel saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Let cool completely. Put the spices and pits into the bottom of a gallon-size glass jar, or divide evenly between several jars. Then add the cooked cherries and pour on enough liquor to cover. Put the lid on tightly, and store in a cool dark place for three to six months before serving. Strain the resulting liqueur into a fancy decanter for serving as a beverage, and use the infused cherries for fruitcake, garnishes, or just plain eating.

With any of the Cherry Bounce recipes, the cherries themselves have the same impact as an alcoholic beverage, and should not be served to kids.

COOKIN' TIME

Gardens are pouring forth their bounty. Raspberries and blueberries are pretty much done except on north facing hillsides, but the season was great while it lasted, and now blackberries are coming into their own. Time for apple harvesting isn't far off, if it isn't already here for the varieties you have.

HONEY OF A FRUIT SALAD

Slightly zesty, totally delicious!

Honey and spice dressing (recipe follows)

8 cups fresh spinach or garden greens, torn up

1 cup pineapple chunks

1 cup banana slices

2 cups sliced or quartered strawberries

1 cup peeled, diced peaches

1 cup diced cantaloupe

1 cup blueberries

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

Put everything into a large salad bowl and mix. Add desired amount of dressing and mix again.

HONEY SPICE DRESSING

Don't let the chili powder discourage you from trying this. It's really good! On the other hand, go ahead and omit the chili powder if you want. It's your flavor loss, but the dressing will still be good.

1 medium papaya

3 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons salad oil

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt

Peel the papaya, cut it in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Coarsely chop the papaya and measure 1 1/2 cups. Put that into food processor blender along with everything else and process until smooth. Cover and chill in fridge for at least half an hour and up to three days before using.

SUMMER FAJITAS

2 1/2 pounds beef flank steaks

Juice of 1 lime

12 ounces beer

1 cup bottled Italian dressing

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Teriyaki baste and glaze

12 flour tortillas, warmed

1 large tomato, chopped

1 large green pepper, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

Refried beans, optional

Picante sauce or tomato salsa, optional

Sour cream, optional

Guacamole, optional

Combine lime juice, beer, pepper and Italian dressing in a gallon-size zipper type plastic bag. Squish to mix. Add steak, seal bag and squish to be sure every part of the steak gets in contact with the sauce. Marinate in fridge for at least two hours, or overnight is fine. Turn over at least once. Just before serving time, prepare the fresh vegetables, light the grill, and drain the meat. When the coals are good and hot grill the meat, turning once, until done to your liking, probably five minutes per side. Transfer to cutting board and brush both sides with teriyaki glaze. Heat the tortilla shells by placing them briefly directly on the grill. Slice the steak very thinly across the grain, on the diagonal. Place steak slices on heated tortilla shells, add the vegetables, and roll up to serve. Serve with the sauces, sour cream and beans as desired. Spanish rice on the plate makes this a very complete meal.

THOUSAND ISLAND SLAW

2 cups finely shredded cabbage (green or red)

1 cup zucchini cut into thin bite-size strips

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion, red or yellow

1/3 cup bottled Thousand Island salad dressing

Toss everything together in a bowl. Chill for two to 24 hours, and stir again before serving. Serve on its own as a salad, or as a topping on the beef and zucchini burgers in the recipe below.

BEEF AND ZUCCHINI BURGERS

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup finely chopped zucchini

1 cup finely chopped onion (1 large)

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil leaves (or 1 1/2 teaspoon dried)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 pounds good ground beef

Thousand Island Slaw

4 large pita bread rounds, halved crosswise and warmed

Put oil into large frying pan over medium heat, and in it simmer the zucchini and onion about five minutes or until tender. Cool a bit. In large bowl mix the egg, zucchini mixture, Parmesan cheese, basil, salt and pepper and then add the meat and mix thoroughly. Shape into eight patties and cook on medium heat grill until done, maybe a total of 14 minutes.

Thought for the week: With all the terrible news about mass shootings again this week, there's another big call to make guns illegal. Guess maybe they're right. If we make owning a gun illegal, no one will ever get shot again. Of course it will work"Isn't that how we stopped everyone from doing drugs?

(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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