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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: November 24, 2021

Happy Turkey Day! May God bless us one and all as we prepare to give thanks for the bounty He has shown us, and for the beautiful land He allows us to live in. What a show He provides, if we but open our eyes and look. We can glory in the morning sunrise. Gaze in awe at the silvery moon.

Despite all the ugly politics of today, what a wonderful time we live in. We can bask in the effortless warmth of our living rooms, get hot water by turning a handle, listen to music whenever we want, be entertained by television whenever we have time, talk to distant loved ones instantly by pushing a few buttons, travel vast distances in a few short hours. What generation before us has ever enjoyed such luxuries? What might the most extravagant Egyptian pharaoh, the most indulged Roman Emperor, have given for such convenience?

EAT, AND SHARE

In our land, which truly is flowing in milk and honey, there is little reason for anyone to be truly hungry. Money may be hard to come by for some, but food generally is not. The truly needy can almost always find a place to eat, provided they're willing to swallow their pride. Sometimes that isn't easy to do.

If you know someone who may be alone at Thanksgiving, especially someone who may be alone without enough good food to eat, please invite them to enjoy the feast with you. Then send along some leftovers when they leave.

It would be good to start the Christmas season by attending the Living Manger Scene in Crivitz on Saturday evening, Nov. 27.



ON THE SOAP BOX

SYMPATHIES TO WAUKESHA


As we move into the happy holiday season, hearts all across the nation go out to the folks in Waukesha, where a murderous felon crashed his SUV into a holiday parade on Sunday, Nov. 21, leaving at least five people dead and 48 injured ?? including 18 children, who were rushed to Children's Wisconsin hospital in Milwaukee. Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said during a Monday afternoon news conference that he is referring to prosecutors five counts of first-degree intentional homicide and additional charges.

The driver has been identified as Darrell Brooks, a felon who has multiple pending cases in Milwaukee County ?? including a 2020 case involving two counts of second-degree recklessly endangering and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to a spokesperson for Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm. Bail was originally set at $10,000 and later reduced to $7,500, the district attorney's office said.

But due to a court scheduling conflict that would have deprived Brooks of his right to a speedy trial his bail was again reduced, this time to just $500, which he posted on Feb. 21, 2021, according to prosecutors. he apparently has been out ever since.

When are we going to stop mollycoddling these criminals and keep them behind bars where they belong?

GIVING THANKS

Have another reason to give thanks this week. The jury in Kenosha was brave enough to find Kyle Rittenhouse innocent on all counts. That young man was doing what any good citizen should have been doing - helping other good citizens protect their livelihoods from a mob of bussed-in marauders.

We saw the videos of armed thugs, smashing property, setting fires, chasing people like young Rittenhouse.

Why were none of them arrested? Maybe now, with these lessons learned, our "authorities" will quit protecting the thugs and start protecting the good folks again!

Certainly do hope so, but if you listen to the mainstream media, it sure doesn't sound like there have been any lessons learned!

BACK TO THANKSGIVING

The Cancel Culture people try to tell us the stories of the first Thanksgiving are a myth, a made-up pretty tale, but Yours Truly is not buying into that.

Our Pilgrim Fathers (and mothers) almost certainly did have the traditional celebration of harvest.

It would be impossible to believe that even a moderately devout people would not have offered some thanks after a harvest substantial enough to offer hope that the coming winter wouldn't be as repeat of the horrible first one of starvation in the New World. And I find it hard to believe that after all that starving they would celebrate by fasting, as some claim. That just would not happen!

Some historical sources claim the Pilgrims never held a Thanksgiving feast in Autumn, but they certainly had at least one after their first harvest in 1621. Some say it was in July. A first-hand account was written by Edward Winslow, one of the Plymouth Rock Colony's leaders.

Winslow is quoted: "Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

From Winslow's account, we know they had plenty of food, and it sounds like they relaxed and had a bit of fun. According to other accounts, in addition to the venison provided by the Massasoit and his friends, there was enough wild fowl to supply the village for a week. The fowl included ducks, geese, turkeys and even swans. How wonderful for people who had been starving to death a few months earlier!

Maybe those Pilgrims weren't as dour as we're led to believe. Maybe that came later. Since there were no large buildings in the colony it's reasonable to assume the feast was held outside. The exact date seems questionable, and considering the latitude, it seems likely it was earlier than November, probably sometime in October.

Some historians say the first Thanksgiving of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was observed on July 8, 1630.

How beautiful it must have been. Forests ablaze with colored leaves, Pilgrims and their Indian friends rejoicing together, in nearly untouched land, sunshine during the day and campfires at night, probably Indian TeePees all around. And two totally diverse people getting to know and appreciate one another.

How sad that in a few short years it all went bad and the two cultures spent the next several centuries at war!

UNITED STATES THANKSGIVINGS

The first Thanksgiving in the newly created United States of America was in 1777, when General George Washington and his army, as instructed by the Continental Congress, stopped in bitter weather in the open fields to mark the occasion. They were on their way to Valley Forge.

Washington's first proclamation after being inaugurated as the nation's first president in 1789 declared November 26, 1789, as a national day of "thanksgiving and prayer".

Presidential Thanksgiving proclamations were issued every year until 1818, then ceased for 45 years. They were resumed in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln.

In 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.

Is it a coincidence that special Thanksgiving proclamations all came in times of particular national stress - the first difficult years, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and finally World War II? Is there a message here?

THANKSGIVING POEM

Lois A. Wiederhoeft of Peshtigo has been kind enough to share one of her original Thanksgiving poems.

She wrote:

The pilgrims faced fears

They shed many tears

They shared a rough year,

But knew God saw them through.

Remembering to give Him thanks too.

We can still thank God.

He's always present

when we are facing fears.

We can still thank God

that He hears our prayers

as he sees us shed tears.

We can still thank God for His many blessings,

Received from Him this year.

We know he saw us through

Remember to thank Him too.

Thank you, Lois.



COOKIN' TIME

Right after Thanksgiving, some folks are worried about leftovers, but I'm more inclined to give special thanks for them. There are so many good things to do with cooked turkey that it should never be a problem. Not to mention the wonderful nibbling opportunities if there happen to be pies and other goodies lurking about after everyone goes home. Also found a couple of recipes to put your Venison to good use. we like to include a bit of venison in our Thanksgiving feast, as it truly is a gift of the land we live on.

TURKEY CRESCENT SQUARES

Serves four. The friend who passed along this recipe suggests serving them with a green salad and glazed carrots. I'd also like sour cream green beans and leftover strawberry-banana jello, or perhaps cranberry sauce as go-withs. Grand with leftover gravy poured over the top, but also perfectly good if you don't have any. Also great with a steaming bowl of potato soup or chowder, even the canned variety. Of course, you can make these with cooked chicken too when you have no cooked turkey on hand.

1 package cream cheese (3 ounces)

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon minced onion

1 tablespoon diced pimento

2 cups cubed cooked turkey

1 package crescent rolls (8 ounces)

More melted butter

3/4 cup seasoned crumbs (crushed stuffing cubes also work well)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first seven ingredients, preferably in food processor. Stir in the turkey. You can even add the turkey in the processor if you"re careful not to process too much. Separate the crescent rolls into four rectangles. Press perforations in the middle to seal them. Put 1/2 cup turkey/cheese mixture on center of each square and pull up the corners to make a packet. Dab on a little water to get the edges to stick together. Brush the finished packets with melted butter and dip in the crumbs. Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

TURKEY AND STUFFING CASSEROLE

This is such a basic and simple use of leftover turkey that we sort of tend to forget about it. If you"ve had enough turkey for the time being, make up a package of this and put in the freezer for emergency use.

2 cups diced leftover turkey

1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup

2 cups leftover stuffing

Place the turkey in a greased casserole dish. Spread the soup over the turkey, and then top the casserole with the stuffing. (If you have leftover turkey skin, lay it over the top of the stuffing to keep it more moist. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with leftover gravy if you have some, a green vegetable and fruit salad or cranberry sauce. Almost better than the original meal.

VENISON MARINADE

cup Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

lime, juiced

1 tablespoon dried minced onion

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dry mustard

teaspoon Kosher salt

teaspoon thyme

teaspoon ground black pepper

teaspoon dried, minced garlic

3 dashes hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco), or to taste

Venison steaks

Whisk Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, onion, red pepper flakes, dry mustard, salt, thyme, black pepper, garlic, and hot pepper sauce together in a bowl; pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add venison steaks, coat with the marinade, squeeze to remove excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate, or heat butter in frying pan until sizzling. Remove steaks from marinade, pat them dry with paper towel, and fry or grill until they are done to your liking. Discard remaining marinade.

INSTANT POT VENISON STEAKS WITH GRAVY

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil, plus more for coating pot

2 1/2 pounds venison, cut into about 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes/pieces

1 medium onion, chopped,

2 garlic cloves, finely minced or chopped

16 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped

2 1/4 cups beef broth or stock

/4 cup red wine (substitute with more broth if desired)

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Salt and coarse black pepper to taste

Cooked brown or white rice, buttered noodles or mashed potatoes

Hit the Sauté function on the Instant Pot and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Cook the venison in batches until brown and seared on outside (will not be done on inside). Transfer to a plate and add more oil, if necessary for remaining batches. You will get a better sear if you don't overcrowd the pot. When venison is done, add about 1/2 cup of the beef broth and deglaze the bottom of the pot by using a flat whisk to scrape up all of the brown bits. Add the venison into the pot along with the onion, garlic, mushrooms, wine, and Worcestershire sauce. Add remaining broth. Place cover on securely, making sure vent is turned to "Seal", then press the manual function and set time to 35 minutes. Use natural release. When the venison is done and after the pressure is released, remove the lid and press the sauté function again to bring to a boil. Stir together the corn starch and about 4 tablespoons of water until smooth in a measuring cup, then whisk this into the pot, stirring until mixed and thickened. Turn off sauté function. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve the venison over rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.





Thought for the week: Lord, help me give thanks for everything You have given me, and not grieve over what You have withheld. 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 shirleyprudhommechickadee@yahoo.com.


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