Country CousinIssue Date: September 30, 2021
What a glorious Autumn
we've been having!
Fields and forests are starting to glow in technicolor, but the best is still to come. The forecasters are predicting continued fine weather, with even warmer temperatures. If the sun continues to shine, this weekend or next should be be perfect for a drive through the forests of TIMESLand.
Am still reeling from the shock of America's abrupt and disastrously planned withdrawal from Afghanistan on just prior to the 20th anniversary of the Islamic terrorist attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001.
At the annual Marinette County Republican Party Corn Roast, which was held in Peshtigo on Sept. 11, 2021, County Chair Tim Pelzezek shared his own personal 9/11 story about September 11th and the memorial service for the 343 firefighters who died when the twin towers fell.
"Some of you know that I spent 27 years on the Milwaukee Fire Department," Pelzek told the group. "I vividly remember watching the fire raging in World Trade Center North Tower on TV before it was known that we had been attacked. I remember immediately calling our daughter who is a Catholic Carmelite Nun and telling her to pray for the firefighters because I knew some of them would die that day."
His story continued, "I watched in horror as the second plane hit the South Tower and watched the people jump from the raging infernos to their deaths. As each tower fell, I knew that it was virtually impossible that anyone in the buildings could have survived.
"In the final count, a total of 343 firefighters died in New York that day. Almost 3000 people in total were killed. That is not including those killed at the Pentagon or those on Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania," Pelzek went on.
"On October 9, 2002, thousands of firefighters in full dress uniform assembled in New York City for the official memorial service in Madison Square Garden. I was one of them. On that day out of thousands and thousands of firefighters standing at attention in the streets of New York City, I was one of the very few chosen to walk into Madison Square Garden as part of the honor guard, each of us carrying a large U.S. flag mounted on a flagpole. The flag I carried into Madison Square Garden represented one of the 343 firefighters who died.
"I will never forget that day. As a remembrance of my service as part of the honor guard, I was given this flag from the New York City Firefighter's Union with the date 9-11-01 inscribed on the wooden base. It is one of my most treasured possessions," Pelzek concluded.
Bear season is underway, and that reminded former Crivitz resident Louis Kuchta of a story his Dad used to tell of the time he met a bear in the woods.
Says his Dad told them he had always heard that if you came face to face with a bear you must not run, but if you mimicked its actions, it wouldn't attack. So he stared at the bear, and when the bear rubbed its stomach, Dad did also. The bear scratched its head, and so did Dad. The bear had a bowel movement (bear splat)..."Whoa!" Dad said to the bear. "I'm way ahead of you there. I did that when I first saw you."
This year the population is quite heavy, so 4,440 lucky hunters got tags to hunt the hairy giants. Season for bear hunting this year started on Sept. 15, and will end on Oct. 12.
Met a couple of lucky hunters in Spruce last weekend, and just 10 days after season opened, all four of the guys in their group had filled their tags and the lucky families will be enjoying meals that feature bear meat.
Personally, I had never tasted bear meat until I became an adult, and I find it delicious. My Dad was a dedicated hunter, but he refused to eat bear, and in fact said he would never shoot one unless it was in self defense.
Here's his bear story:
He was out trout fishing, armed only with his fly rod, when a visibly angry bear started coming at him. He too had always been told running would do no good. Bears can run 40 miles an hour, and humans cannot, especially my short-legged Dad. Having no other weapon, he swatted that bear on the nose with the tip of his fly rod, as hard as he could, considering the flexibility of a fly rod. Said it must have hurt a lot, because the huge beast plunked down on a nearby stump and cried like a baby. In fact, Dad said it sounded so much like a baby that ever afterward he could not, and would not, eat bear meat. Way too human for him!
By the way, my Mom used to have a black fur coat that looked a lot like bear fur. At least once, Dad suggested she could wear that to keep warm if she decided to go deer hunting with him. Wonder if he was serious, or if that was his way of telling her he did not want her coming along on his hunting trips?
P.S. Thanks for sharing the story, Louis. We need to keep those old tales alive!
ON THE SOAP BOX
GET THEM VETTED OR SEND THEM HOME!
Am joining Senator Tom Tiffany in a call for Federal authorities to keep a tighter rein on the Afghan refugees housed at Fort McCoy right here in Wisconsin. President Joe Biden may think he's saving money - and lives - by removing American military forces from Afghanistan. Facts are proving him wrong on both counts, and a lot of other counts as well.
Here in Wisconsin, more than 12,000 unvetted and unvaccinated Afghani "refugees" (or maybe terrorist plants???) are being housed at Fort McCoy. At least two of them will almost certainly be costing Wisconsin taxpayers a lot of money for years and years to come. And that's not counting the cases of measles that have been reported.
According to the Sept. 24 edition of the Wisconsin State Journal, an Afghan man - 20-year-old Bahrullah Noori - was charged on Sept. 22 with engaging in sexual acts with a child, in fact two children. He had allegedly been abusing two boys, ages 12 and 14, in a bathroom and housing area of the Fort McCoy military base. He will remain in the Dane County Jail as the case proceeds.
In a separate case, another man, Mohammad Haroon Imaad, 32, has been charged with assault for allegedly choking and suffocating his wife. The woman told authorities this was not the first time she was assaulted by Imaad and that he had "beat me many times in Afghanistan to the point I lost vision in both eyes." She told a soldier Imaad threatened to kill her or send her back to Afghanistan "where the Taliban could deal with her."
On Sept. 9, the woman fainted and received medical treatment. She told a soldier that Imaad had hit, choked, verbally abused and assaulted her since she arrived at Fort McCoy.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker said the Department of Homeland Security has ordered both Imaad and Noori be detained while their cases are pending, but if the department changes its position the men could have a bail hearing.
Wonder who would be footing the bail???
If one or both of these men are convicted, we taxpayers will be supporting them in prison for many years to come. One of the counts could bring life in prison. Either way, trials here in America cost a lot of money.
It would be a whole lot cheaper to just put these types of offenders on a plane back to Afghanistan and send them home, whether they want to go or not, if there's not a really good reason for them to be here.
Those people do not share our Christian values, and their ideas about Sharia Law and other offensive beliefs should not be allowed to infect our society. We're destroying ourselves pretty fast as it is.
Speaking of Fort McCoy, or Camp McCoy as I used to know it, about 20 years ago I was driving to a convention in LaCrosse after completing a full days' work back here in TIMESLand. It was a rainy, drizzly, miserable night for driving.
Got too sleepy to continue, and pulled into a remotely located weigh station to nap.
When I woke up and resumed my trip, I pointed my car in the wrong direction, and ended up entering the borders of Fort McCoy. I didn't know it, but the military police there sure did!
They stopped my car, ordered me to show identification, and demanded to know what I was doing , driving out there alone, at that time of night.
Protecting my personal freedom to not speak, I resisted telling them where I was headed, but finally got the message that I would either explain or be taken into custody for trespassing on military property. When I did explain, I got a lecture to never, ever park alone in a dark and deserted spot. Sleep instead in the well lighted parking lot of a filling station or other public place, with the doors locked, they said.
That said, wonder how the military security is dealing with the 12,000 possibly hostile individuals now being cared for by our American military personnel. Those who befriended Americans in Afghanistan deserve our care and protection. Those who did not should promptly be sent back where they came from.
STAYING ON THE SOAP BOX
Get complaints occasionally for spending too much time on the soap box, and certainly sometimes folks disagree with the opinions I proclaim while perched on top of it.
But, I don't dare get off. Did once, a few years ago. Got too involved with family and friends for a while to worry about what kinds of lunacy were going on in the rest of the world and went a couple weeks without a Soap Box section in this column.
One reader was at least a bit concerned. Asked if the old Soap Box was broken. No it wasn't, so I got back to using it, and have been on it regularly ever since.
With cooler Autumn weather, we can start enjoying home baked goodies again, soups and casseroles are good food any time, but especially fall, and pumpkins are good for a lot more than Jack O' Lanterns. Cook, eat and enjoy!
If you have a surplus of fresh tomatoes, replace the canned tomatoes in this recipe with 2 cups peeled, diced fresh tomatoes.
1-1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained, or fresh
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken, onion, peppers and seasonings; sauté until chicken is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. In a blender, pulse tomatoes and tomato paste, covered, until blended. Add to chicken mixture. Stir in broth; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until slightly thickened, 10-15 minutes. ?Drain pasta; toss with chicken mixture. Spoon half of the mixture into a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheeses. Repeat layers. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until heated through, 15-20 minutes longer.
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart half-and-half, or as needed
2 cups bar clams, drained with juice reserved
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
2 potatoes, cubed
1 can cream-style corn
1 large ear corn, kernels cut from the cob
1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water, or as needed
sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
1 fresh haddock fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Melt butter with olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat; stir in onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Whisk flour into butter mixture; whisk in half-and-half and juice from drained clams. Stir Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese into onion mixture until melted, about 2 minutes; stir in potatoes, cream-style corn, corn kernels, and cherry tomatoes. If soup is very thick, stir in water, about 1/2 cup at a time, as desired; bring soup to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with sea salt and pepper. Stir drained clams, haddock, and shrimp into soup; simmer for about five minutes, or until haddock and shrimp are fully cooked. Stir in lobster and its juice; cook just until heated through. Tip: after you cut the corn kernels from the cob, scrape the cob to get the sweet juice into the mixture as well as the kernels themselves.
PECAN FROSTED POPPYSEED COOKIES
Lola Douglas of Peshtigo shared this recipe, and the story to go with it. She felt this would be a good time for it, with pumpkin season just getting underway. She was living in Rosendale at the time, and the local Grange felt since she was a former Home Ec teacher, she would be a good judge for a baking contest. Her group picked this recipe as a winner and it was sent along to state competition, where it won a refrigerator. It was then entered in the national contest, where it won a stove. By the way, Lola says she is 93 years old, and apologized for poor handwriting inn her hand-written letter. No need to apologize. Lola's handwriting is a lot better than most kids I know!
Here's the recipe she shared:
3/4 cup margarine
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/3 cup (1 ounce) poppy seed
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. makes about 50.
1/4 cup melted margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 cup pecans (optional)
Beat everything together. The recipe says if you prefer, do not frost the cookies, but instead shake them in powdered sugar.
To make the cookies, I recommend preheating the oven to the 350 degrees while you beat together the margarine (or preferably butter), sugar, molasses, egg, pumpkin and Vanilla. Then mix together the dry ingredients and then stir them into the pumpkin mixture. Drop onto baking sheets (sprayed with cooking oil) by rounded tablespoonsful, and bake for the 10 to 12 minutes. If you choose to frost them, let the cookies cool first, but if you drop them into powdered sugar, do that while they are still hot. And if I choose to make the frosting, I would use butter, not margarine. Just a personal preference, and a strong belief - contrary to what the "authorities" used to tell us - that it is far healthier to consume a natural product like butter than a hydrogenated product like margarine.
The Country Cousin
Thought for the day: Dear God, forgive us for failing to speak up for You, for not defending this very blessed nation from the onslaught of those who seem to speak out - and act out - on behalf of a god filled with hate. You are the God of love. Your greatest commands are for us to love You, and to love one another ... to treat others as we would want to be treated. Help us to do that, and to do all things with love, even while we stand fast against those who publicly offend You. Please grant us the courage to speak out when we must, and forgive us for failing to defend You. Silence and inaction at the wrong times can be the most damaging kind of treason, whether that treason is against God or Government. Amen.
(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 email@example.com.)
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