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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: May 6, 2020

Happy Mother's Day!

Welcome to springtime in Wisconsin! The beautiful weather we enjoyed last weekend won't bless TIMESLand on Mother's Day, which is on Sunday, May 10. Lawns, fields and forests are turning Wisconsin's special shades of green, flowers like forsythia, daffodils and violet are in bloom, and trees are starting to bud.

However, woke to frost on the car Wednesday morning and the predictions are pretty much the same for the next week or so - cool days, partly cloudy, with highs in the 40s and 50s, and nights at or below freezing. On the bright side, for the first time in many moons there is no rain expected in the near future. Maybe water levels will continue going down, floods will quit flooding, basements will quit filling and more fields will dry out enough for planting.

REMEMBER MOTHER

With the "Safer at Home" restrictions in place, Mother's Day this year might be a bit sad and lonely for moms with grown children. If you feel obligated not to visit, at least call, perhaps do a video chat, and send a card or gift. If she likes gardening or house plants, a flowering plant or shrub might be nice instead of a bouquet or corsage, which no one would get to see right now any way.

MORE STAY AT HOME MOMS?

Wonder if more moms will become stay at home moms after trying it out for a while during the coronavirus shutdowns.

Or will they all be happy to get back to work with at least some of their hair left?

Just kidding.

Know how all of us moms like to brag about our kids, and how once a mother, we're always a mother, even when our kids have become grandparents themselves?

That is a fact. Heard from a Mom once who claimed she really did have the perfect son. Didn't smoke, didn't drink, always stayed where he was told, and always looked adorable. Turned out she was telling the truth. He was six months old.

Fellow down the street says women planned the sequence of Mother's Day and Father's Day. Put Mother's Day on the calendar first so the kids would spend all their money on her before his turn came.

CONDOLENCES TO WAUSAUKEE

Sending condolences to Lyla Radtke, the Radtke family, the Village of Wausaukee and the entire Wausaukee area. With the recent death of Village President Hilbert "Slug" Radtke you have lost a great community leader.

Radtke was blessed with a piquant sense of humor that led to dubbing the family's rustic bar on Hwy. 180 near the Menominee River in the Town of Wausaukee as "Bear Point Yacht Club." Going there was a pleasure for many.

Radtke was extremely active in promoting the area as head of the Marinette County Snowmobile Alliance and president of the Bear Point Sno Cruisers Club, and promoted many community events, while being an extremely conscientious and involved village president.

He will be sorely missed by many. It was a privilege to have known you, Slug.

FULL FLOWER MOON

The Full Flower Moon, last "super moon" of 2020, will appear in the night sky at its peak on the night of Thursday, May 7, and will continue to be big and bright for a couple of nights after.

The May full moon is known as the Flower Moon not because of any physical features but because of the season, when flowers come in bloom, at least in places with kinder temperatures here in Northeast Wisconsin. This will be the fourth and last supermoon of 2020 " all of them occurring between February and May:

According to information supplied by NASA, the Maine Farmer's Almanac first published "Indian" names for the full moons in the 1930s.

According to this almanac, as the full Moon in May and the second full moon of spring, the Algonquin tribes of what is now the northeastern United States called this the Flower Moon, for the flowers that are abundant this time of year. Other names include the Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon.

This full Moon corresponds to Vesak, also known as Buddha Purnima, a holiday observed by Buddhists across Asia. Sometimes informally called "Buddha's Birthday," it commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha. The actual date of Vesak varies depending upon the calendar in use in the particular country or region, but this year for most areas it falls on or near the day of this full Moon.

WHY A SUPER MOON?

A supermoon occurs when the moon's orbit is closest (perigee) to Earth at the same time it is full. The Moon orbits Earth in an ellipse, an oval that brings it closer to and farther from Earth as it goes around. The farthest point in this ellipse is called the apogee and is about 253,000 miles from Earth on average. Its closest point is the perigee, which is an average distance of about 226,000 miles from Earth.

When a full moon appears at perigee it is slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon"and that's where we get the term "supermoon". At its perigree the moon looks 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than it does at its apogee.

SKY WATCHERS

Dedicated sky watchers might also get to see a string of newly launched communications satellites making their way like a train across the night sky, and see a meteor or two streak across the horizon despite the bright full moon.

WHY NOT WRITE?

If you're among those forced to stay at home for now, and if you've always harbored a secret desire to be writer, why not give it a try?

Among other possible sites, check out "https://blog.reedsy.com/writing-contests" for a list of writing contests open to writers and wanna-be writers that offer cash prizes. Be careful though - many of the contests have entry fees

STALKING THE WILD MUSHROOM

Springtime in northern Wisconsin brings a chance to find the marvelously edible morel mushrooms, which are also quite elusive. They generally grow near dead ash trees, but can be found elsewhere on the forest floor. Generally they show up first on south-facing slopes, and can be found from early to late May. The morel season might be late this year, because they prefer nights above freezing, and that's not happening right now.

Also in late May and June, look for Aspen Oyster mushrooms, which look sort of like oyster shells and grow on standing dead Aspen trees.

Those are two of the many types of edible wild mushrooms to be found in the TIMESLand area, and are quite safe since they are not similar to poisonous mushrooms. However, do be careful if you choose to pick other types of wild mushrooms, because a few are poisonous and you DO NOT want to eat them. Can't bring samples to a UWEX expert right now, but you can check the web for things to watch out for if you choose to take up the sport of stalking wild mushrooms.

My Grandma Boivin, a daughter of the Krzewina family, was a marvelous mushroom hunter who managed to pick enough button mushrooms every year to can a half gallon as Christmas gifts for the family's dozen grown children. The mushrooms she picked turned black when cooked, but she said if they were all safe to eat an onion cooked with them would stay white, and each of her jars of mushrooms contained a white piece of onion.

HONOR THY MOTHER

I thank God often for the wonderful mother He provided for our family. As a child I was required to help with family chores, and often rebelled, though none of her children would have ever dared refuse.

Looking back, I understand that by making us help do the hoeing, picking, raking, dish washing, laundry hanging, potato peeling and floor scrubbing, she was making us feel like valuable, contributing members of the family.

To this day, I don't know if that was her reason, or if she really needed the help. I suspect she needed the help, but while teaching us to help she was teaching a lot more than any of us could have learned in home economics classes.

Thanks, Mom, for making me do chores, take care of children, and for teaching me to cook and clean.

P.S. Apologies, Mom. The cooking part I learned pretty well, and the things you need to do to clean I also understand clearly. Carrying these chores out to your standards is another story. Hope you aren't watching too closely from up there in Heaven.

COOKIN' TIME

With time at home, some of us have time to experiment with new homemade treats. This Spinach Pasta is very worth the time and trouble. Actually, once you learn how, it isn't much time or trouble at all.

SPINACH PASTA

1/2 pound fresh spinach (stems removed)

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 extra large eggs

Wash and dry the spinach, and place it into a food processor. Pulse until it is well chopped. Place spinach in a strainer over a bowl and let drain 30 minutes. Return the spinach to the food processor. Add the flour to the blender and pulse. Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl, and then add a little at a time to the flour mixture, pulsing briefly between additions. Once the dough has come together into pellet sized pieces, turn out on well floured table or counter top and knead by hand until smooth. To finish the job without special equipment, like my grandma used to do, divide dough into about four pieces, and roll one piece at a time out as thinly and as evenly as you can with a rolling pin. Dust on more flour as needed. When you have it uniformly rolled out, dust with more flour, roll up the sheet of dough into a long, thin pinwheel and cut into slices as wide as you want your noodles, maybe 1/3 of an inch. Repeat with other dough pieces. Put on a big pot of water to boil (about four quarts). Add 1 tablespoon salt.

Sort of shake the excess flour off each pile of noodles before you add it to the pot. Stir, then add another handful until the noodles are all in the pot. Boil about 10 minutes, or until done as you like them. Drain, but save two cups of the cooking water to use in your sauce.

To roll pasta with a pasta machine:

Break off a fist sized piece of the dough and flatten into a disc. Flour well, then pass it through the widest openings of your pasta machine. Remove, fold into thirds and repeat. Do this 4 or 5 times, dusting with flour between each time. Now start to decrease the thickness by turning down one notch each time. Put the dough through each setting twice until you have reached your desired thickness. You can make ravioli with this dough also, for which you should roll it to the thinnest or second thinnest setting.

TAGLIATELLE WITH PROSCIUTTO AND PEAS

You can make this with any flat noodle that isn't too wide, and it's particularly good with the Spinach Noodles above. If you don't want to pay for prosciutto, use lightly diced pieces of lightly fried meaty bacon instead, or thin slices of fully cooked ham. Not authentic, but good anyway.

6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 shallot, minced

salt and papper

1 cup heavy cream

1 pound tagliatelle

1-1/2 cups frozen petite peas, thawed

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)

1 ounce Gruyere cheese, grated (1/2 cup)

Minced fresh parsley, for garnish

Slice 5 ounces prosciutto crosswise into 1/2 inch wide strips; set aside. Mince remaining ounce prosciutto. (If you're substituting bacon for the proscuito mince all of it and fry it lightly and set aside.) Melt butter in 10 inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallot and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in cream and minced prosciutto (or bacon) and bring to simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cream mixture is reduced to one cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 2 cups cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to pot. To the pot add one cup of the reserved cooking water, the cream mixture, prosciutto strips, peas, Parmesan, Gruyere, and one teaspoon pepper. Gently toss until pasta is well coated. Adjust consistency with remaining reserved cooking water if needed. Transfer pasta to serving bowl and serve immediately, with additional parmesan and minced parsley as garnish.

BUTTERMILK PORK CHOPS WITH

LEMON CAPER SAUCE


Soaking pork chops in buttermilk breaks down the meat fibers and makes it extra moist and flavorful. The caper sauce makes them worthy of a special Sunday supper. Serve with your choice of vegetables, preferably green ones. If you don't want to spring for capers, substitute sliced green olives with pimento.

4 1-inch thick center-cut bone-in pork chops

2 cups buttermilk

salt and black pepper to taste

vegetable oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup ready-to-use chicken broth

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons dry white wine

2 tablespoons drained capers (or sliced green olives with

pimento)

Put the pork chops in a baking dish or a sealable plastic bag. Pour in buttermilk so that the chops are completely covered. Season with salt and pepper. Cover or seal and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat over to 425 degrees. Remove chops from buttermilk and pat dry. Discard buttermilk. In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over high heat. Working in batches as necessary, cook pork until golden on both sides, adding more oil as needed between batches. Transfer chops to a baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until just a hint of pink remains inside. Don't over cook or they will dry out. much depends on thickness of the chops. Let rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in the same skillet you used to cook the pork (leave any fat or browned bits in there), melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking for 3 minutes. Stir in thyme, stock, lemon juice and wine; bring to a boil. Add capers, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with pork chops. Serves four.

FROZEN CARAMEL-APPLE CRUNCH CAKE

Apple pie with ice cream? Why not!

1 box (8.94 oz) crunchy granola bars, crushed into coarse

crumbs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 cups softened vanilla or cinnamon ice cream

3/4 can apple pie filling (chop up the apple pieces)

1/4 cup caramel sauce

Whipped cream and additional caramel sauce for serving.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the granola bars in a food processor and process to a coarse crumb consistency. In a large mixing bowl, add the granola bar crumbs, flour, brown sugar and melted butter and stir to mix together. Spread the mixture out onto a pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool completely. Spread half of the crumb mixture onto the bottom of an 8x8 inch baking dish. Reserve the other half of the crumbs. In a large mixing bowl stir together the softened ice cream, apple pie filling and caramel sauce. Pour this mixture over the crumbs in the 8x8 inch baking dish and sprinkle remaining crumbs over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and freeze for at least 3 hours. Longer, like overnight, is quite okay. Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream and caramel sauce.

The Country Cousin

Thought for the week:
Many times in the Bible God instructs to honor our Father and Mother. Proverbs 31:25-28 praises an excellent mother: "Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness."

(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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