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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 19, 2020

Come to the Fair!

Autumn is coming on fast. Have you noticed how quickly night is falling in these final days of August; how days are warm, but the evenings are turning cool, and how some of the trees are beginning to change colors?

Even goldenrod is coming to the end of its peak season!

By this time next week the annual Marinette County Fair will be getting into full swing in Wausaukee from Thursday, Aug. 27 through Sunday, Aug. 30. Farmer's markets all over TIMESland are offering incredible arrays of fruits and vegetables. Flea markets are almost done for the year.

In another week, school will be starting for kids lucky enough to be going there. Unlike years past, after their months of exclusion from their classrooms, most of the kids I've talked to are eager to be back in school. Maybe it isn't so much for the chance to learn as it is for the chance to see their old friends again, but they just can't wait. Let's hope the powers that be don't decree that it isn't going to happen!

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

Wrote some time ago about a great-grandma and great-great aunt who lived in Rochester, NY and worked with the Underground Railroad there to help smuggle escaped slaves into Canada. That bit of information drew a very nice response from Delores Dulak Konrad of Peshtigo, who noted that her great, great uncle served in the Union forces during the Civil War in the Wisconsin Calvary. 

  She said the Wisconsin Historical Society is collecting stories about Wisconsin's role in the Underground Railroad, but has found that there is very little information available.

Delores said she had recently discovered that one of her "millennial" offspring thought the Underground Railroad was some sort of secret subway system.

"The farther we move away from eye witness accounts of history, the more historical facts are changed or lost," she commented.

Couldn't agree more. History too often is no longer taught in schools, so we need to go back to the old ways of handing it down from generation to generation. Make a point of passing on whatever you know about your own family so you children and grandchildren can pass it along to their children. If you don't, most of that information will be lost forever.

We need to be careful to resist efforts to change history, because it's changed we've lost the opportunity to learn from it.

GOLF BALL DIMPLES

Sometimes facts aren't really facts at all. A case in point is the golf ball. Recently learned the term golf ball is actually misleading because they technically aren't round.

If you've ever seen one up close, you'll notice that the outside of golf balls are filled with dozens of little dimples. This wasn't always the case, but over time, savvy golfers noticed that older balls with bumps and nicks would travel further. These imperfections create turbulence in the air surrounding the ball, which helps to reduce drag.

Eventually, golf balls were designed with dimples as a way to manufacture this turbulence so that balls get more lift and reach greater distances. Unfortunately, if your game is putt-putt, the dimples on a golf ball aren't going to do much to help you. But they are a big reason why professional players these days can hit the ball so much further than players of past generations.

RIDGES ON COINS

There's a reported coin shortage in progress, and it's not due to lack of precious metals, because coins today no longer have much intrinsic worth. Back in the day, coins really were made of copper, silver, nickel and even gold. That's not so today, but at least we can still spend them.

However, back when coins started being minted they were stamped in different weights to reflect the true metallic value of the coin. To stop people from shaving the edges of the coins and melting them into new coins, minters put ridges on coins made of precious metals so that it would be easy to tell if the edges had been shaved off.

It's not really an issue today, but we still have edges on our quarters and dimes, but not on our pennies and nickels.

GONE, GONE, GONE

While building a new home the construction crew digs up a lamp with a genie in it. The genie grants each worker one wish. The first asks to go to Las Vegas and "POOF" he disappears. The next asks to go to the Bahamas, the next to Hawaii, the next to Paris... on and on until the only one left at the job site is the supervisor, who also happens to own the company. The genie asks what he'd like and he says, "I want them all back here tomorrow morning."

ON THE SOAP BOX CHOICE: FREEDOM VS SLAVERY?

We're heading fast into November and the presidential election that may be the most important for the future direction of this nation than any since the Civil War. Let us all pray that the people safeguarding our votes don't sell us out. If they do, this will be a Socialist nation before the next decade is out.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected nearly four years ago, entrenched members of the political establishment and their equally entrenched henchmen have been trying desperately to get him out of office.

Of course the bottom-dwellers were terrified of his promise to drain the swamp - and they still are. They are willing to destroy America and enslave the American people to make themselves great - or at least powerful!

Donald Trump had promised to drain the swamp and expose the evil that lies at the bottom. That swamp and the muck at its depths is where the most evil of the politicians make their ill-gotten fortunes. They weren't willing to give it up. Still aren't.

Despite all the attacks, President Trump has been trying to keep his campaign promises, something that seems to be an unforgivable offense for national politicians in America these days.

Among other things, he's been trying to drain that swamp, despite illegal and unfair attacks by the mainstream media, most Democrats, and even some members of his own party. That swamp is hard to drain. The alligators fight back!

Somehow, it isn't news when Vice President Joe Biden (now officially the Democrat Party nominee for President this fall) threatens to withhold United States from Ukraine if they don't halt an investigation into Burisma, the corrupt corporation that employed his unqualified son at a ridiculously high salary, but it is an impeachable offense when President Donald Trump asks Ukraine officials to look into allegations of corruption before they are given aid that comes from American taxpayers.

What? Our President shouldn't ask if the money we hand over is being put to good use?

Despite all that, President Trump has kept his campaign promise to improve the American economy, to Make America Great Again. He was having marvelous success until the Covid-19 pandemic was declared, and to the Democrats' dismay, that success seemed to continue, at least through the month of June, despite the widespread shutdowns of entire segments of the economy.

When Americans are given a free hand to use their energy, talents and ingenuity, when they're allowed to play a fair game on a more nearly level world trade playing field, wonderful things happen.

As President, Trump negotiated trade deals that began to level that playing field. America was making unprecedented economic strides, and the ones who benefitted most were the working class folks at the low end of the pay scale. When there are more jobs than potential employees, wages go up. That's how it works in a free society.

Now we have folks refusing to go back to work because of the artificially high unemployment rates, thanks to the $600 per week Federal subsidy. Who wouldn't want to stay home? They make more on unemployment than most of us earn working 40 hours a week. That simply is unfair to everyone, including those who will eventually find themselves either hungry or enslaved by Socialism because they refused to work when they could.

That said, despite the COVID blows, the economy has been booming for lots of folks, in great part because manufacturing jobs are being brought back to this country from China and other parts of the world, thanks to some of the new trade deals.

In the month of June this nation saw almost 5 million jobs added to the economy, shattering all expectations, and the largest monthly jobs gain in the history of our country. This helped the stock market to do extremely well.

In June there were 2.1 million leisure and hospitality jobs; 740,000 retail jobs; 568,000 education and healthcare jobs, and 357,000 service jobs added - all historic numbers - plus 356,000 manufacturing jobs.

Perhaps even more important in terms of equalizing opportunity and wealth, workers in this country with a high school education or less made the biggest strides of all. Unemployment in that group dropped  a full 3.3 percentage points - the largest drop since we started keeping unemployment records.

President Trump said all this incredibly good economic news was the result of historic action his administration had taken working with partners in Congress to rescue the U.S. economy from the horrible pandemic that originated in China and came here.

Whether or not you like President Trump as a person - as a TV personality - ask yourself: Are you really willing to give up all this? Are you willing to sell out all the heroes that made our nation great by sending us in the direction of eventual slavery for all under a Socialist/Communist regime?

RIDDLE

What do you call an arrogant criminal going down the stairs? If you can't figure it out, see answer after Cookin' Time.

COOKIN' TIME

Harvest season is in full swing. The wonderful Chicken of the Woods mushrooms abound in some chosen places. We're having beautiful days, but nights are growing cool enough that we don't need to be overly concerned about heating up the kitchen. Cook, eat and be merry.

PARMESAN ZUCCHINI STICKS

Usually when we have zucchini in our gardens at all we have too much zucchini. There are even tales of abandoning bags of zucchini in random unlocked cars. That's a shame, because it's wonderful in so many different ways. The recipes below are two of them. They work with yellow summer squash too. These easy Parmesan Zucchini sticks are so good you may need to tell the kids they can't have seconds!

4 medium to small zucchini

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 garlic powder

Salt and black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

Wash zucchini, cut off blossom and stem ends and cut into quarters. Set a cooling rack on a cooking tray and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. In a small bowl combine Parmesan, thyme, oregano, basil, and garlic powder, with salt and pepper to taste. Toss zucchini sticks with olive oil and roll them in the parmesan mixture. Place them on the prepared baking rack, and if you want, drizzle with more olive oil and then sprinkle on whatever of the Parmesan mixture is left. Place in oven and bake until tender, about 15 minutes. Then broil for to or three minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Sprinkle on chopped parsley and serve immediately. Sounds strange, but these are good dipped in shrimp sauce.

ZUCCHINI PINEAPPLE

Use this as you would any crushed or pineapple, including mixed with cottage cheese, or in Pistachio Fluff. This is an easy way to save a few pennies from the food budget and preserve your garden's bounty. If you don't want to can it, let the mixture cool and put into containers for the freezer.

18 cups chopped or ground zucchini

1/2 cup lemon juice

3 cusp sugar

46-ounce can pineapple juice

No need to peel the zucchini, Just wash it, and trim off the ends. Then chop somewhat coarsely in the food processor. Bring juices and sugar to a boil in large kettle. Add the chopped zucchini and simmer for 20 minutes. Ladle into 12 hot, sterilized pint jars and seal with sterilized lids. To be extra safe, put jars into water bath or steam bath and process for 10 minutes before letting them cool. Use in any way that you would use regular canned crushed pineapple.

BERRY GOOD CREAM PIE

1 cup boiling water

1 package (3 ounces) lemon gelatin

3/4 cup cold water

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

1 carton (12 ounces) whipped topping, divided

3/4 cup pistachios, chopped

One 10-inch graham cracker crust (about 9 ounces)

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered

1 cup fresh blueberries

Sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

Additional chopped pistachios

In a large bowl, add boiling water to gelatin; stir 2 minutes to completely dissolve. Stir in cold water, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Refrigerate, covered, until almost firm, 1-1/2-2 hours. Fold 2 cups whipped topping into gelatin. Beat until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Fold in pistachios. Transfer to crust. Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours. To serve, spread 1-1/2 cups whipped topping over gelatin mixture. Toss berries with remaining lemon juice; spoon over pie. Sprinkle with coconut and, if desired, additional pistachios. Serve with remaining whipped topping.

APPLE BRANDY PECAN CAKE

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 cups unsweetened applesauce

2 tablespoons apple brandy

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 medium tart apples, peeled cored and chopped,

about 3 cups

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Hot caramel ice cream topping, optional

Ice Cream or whipped cream optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13x9 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in applesauce and brandy. In another bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg; gradually add to butter mixture. Fold in apples and pecans. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40-50 minutes. Cool completely. If desired, top with caramel topping and ice cream or whipped cream.

RIDDLE ANSWER

A condescending con descending.

Thought for the week: Lord, help us get through this pandemic. Help us regain our proper priorities. Help us to quit worrying so much about our physical health and give a bit more thought to our spiritual health. In short, Lord, help us be thankful to You for all You have given us, to trust in Your goodness, and to put Your bounty to good use for everyone. Amen.

Country Cousin

(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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