Country CousinIssue Date: December 30, 2021
Happy New Year!
Christmas is over, and along with the rest of the world, we here in TIMESLand are about to celebrate the end of 2021 and the coming of a brand new year. Let's hope it's a good one! Wouldn't take much for it to be better than the year that's coming to a close!
It's also time for us to make New Year's resolutions to make ourselves better than we were in the past. Do you have some brand new ones planned out, or, like me, are you going to just shake out the dusty and ragged old resolutions you didn't use from last year and the year before?
We surely had a White Christmas, and it's still falling. Frosty and his friends must be ecstatically happy over all their new material for new little snowmen everywhere!
Snow is a major beauty of winter in TIMESLand, and we've had plenty of it. Do wish it would quit falling on roads, and focus on woodlands, fields and forests instead. Must admit though, that some days, vision of the sparkling wonderland around us makes all the shoveling and scraping worthwhile.
Epiphany, which our family called "Little Christmas" or the Feast of the Three Wise Men, is officially on Thursday, Jan. 6. It celebrates three major events in the earthly life of Christ - adoration of the Christ Child by the Magi, His baptism of Christ, and his public recognition at the wedding feast at Cana.
In some families, extra candles may be placed around the manger scene, and images of the shepherds at the crib are replaced with the three Magi and their gifts.
In my father's very French family, Christmas was a solemn observance reserved for attending Midnight Mass and otherwise honoring Jesus, while Little Christmas was the major family celebration when everyone gathered at the family homestead in Walsh to celebrate together. Dad and his family came from Middle Inlet in their horse-drawn sleigh before his Dad bought their first truck. The house was large, but not large enough for everyone, so even though it was winter, the boys slept in the hay loft above the barn!
BEAUTY OF THE THE NATIVITY
Little sister forwarded a lovely photo recently posted by Mike Kaufman on the Historical Marinette and Menominee Counties web site. The picture shows "The Nativity," a gorgeous stained glass window in the old St. John's Catholic Church, at 904 11th Ave. in Menominee, which has been the Heritage Museum since 1976. The beautiful building is on the national Register of Historic Places, and rightly so!
Try these snowman riddles on the little ones, or the not-so-little ones. See answers after today's Cookin' Time.
1: What do you call a snowman in the summer?
2: What do you get if cross a snowman and a shark?
3: What does Frosty's wife put on her face at night?
4: What is a snowman's favorite snack?
5: Where does a snowman keep his money?
ON THE SOAP BOX
WHAT WILL 2022 BRING?
There's no way of knowing what 2022 will bring, but let's hope that one of Nostradamus' predictions does not come true. According to an article on Yahoo.com that was printed from USA Today, Nostradamus, who tried to predict the future in verse some 450 years ago, prophesied that in 2022 "a great fire will fall from the sky." Some soothsayers have interpreted that to mean an asteroid shower will destroy Earth.
STILL ON THE SOAP BOX
GUN RIGHTS RESOLUTION
Was sorely disappointed in the 15 supervisors on Marinette County Board who voted to not accept a resolution intended to inform state and federal legislators that the people of Marinette County want to specifically protect our Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. They instead approved a motion made by Supervisor Stan Gruszynski, and seconded by Clancy Whiting, to send the issue back to the Administrative Committee for revisions to emphasize the importance of the entire Constitution and support all of Constitutional amendments. They didn't even have the courage to vote for or against the resolution on its own merits, which would have been a public expression of their opinions in regard to gun control.
The slim majority vote aimed at watering down the intent of the resolution came despite the Administrative Committee's unanimous vote recommending its adoption, and prior expressions of support from Sheriff Jerry Sauve, State Representatives Jeff Mursau and Elijah Behnke, State Senator Mary Felzkowski and 2,500 signers of petitions in favor of it.
Thanks to Supervisors Roger Allen, Penny Chaikowski, Ginger Deschane, Tricia Grebin, Paul Gustafson, Robert Holley, Shirley Kaufman, George Kloppenburg, Don Pazynski, Rick Polzin, Connie Seefeldt, Gail Wanek and County Board Chair John Guarisco for voting the courage of their convictions to express support for the resolution.
Do agree with Supervisor Gruszynski that each of the Ten Amendments in the Bill of Rights drawn up by our nation's Founding Fathers is important. Maybe in future, the Administrative Committee could consider separate resolutions supporting them, particularly the right to peaceful assembly (regardless of Covid-19 restrictions), freedom of religion, freedom of speech, individual rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that would include deciding for ourselves what we do and do not have injected into our own bodies, and protection of election integrity, which would include precautions against voting by non-citizens and other forms of election fraud!
Do not agree with him that all of the amendments approved in later years are equally important. Several of them, in fact, should probably be eliminated or replaced, but that is a subject for another day.
As to gun control, despite the false claims that taking guns away from the general public will make everyone safer - take a look at Switzerland. There, every household is required to have a weapon and someone trained to use it. Switzerland has the lowest crime rate of any nation on this planet. think there's a connection???
Remember the old billboards: "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." And then take note that the highest rates of shooting deaths are in cities where law abiding citizens obey laws against having guns, while the criminals naturally do not!
Feasting time is almost done for this year, so take advantage right now to enjoy some great treats. Then start eating healthy again once the holidays are over.
NEW YEAR'S SHRIMP LINGUINI
My favorite daughter-in-law says it was a tradition that you had to eat some sort of seafood on New Year's Eve to guarantee that you would get swimmingly through the new year. This is a wonderful way to follow that tradition.
1 package (16 ounces) linguine
4 cups half-and-half cream
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 jars (12 ounces each) marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup prepared pesto
1 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds uncooked shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
Small fresh basil leaves, optional
Cook linguine according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat cream just to simmering. Stir in Parmesan cheese, artichokes, pesto and pepper. Cook and stir over low heat until thickened, 6-8 minutes. Add shrimp; cook until shrimp turn pink, 5-7 minutes. Drain linguine; serve with sauce. If desired, top with basil leaves and additional Parmesan cheese.
WILD RICE SOUP
The recipe for this fantastically delicious soup was kindly shared (in 2019) by Middle Inlet Town Clerk/Treasurer Virginia (Ginny) Hines, and was printed here then, but it's worth repeating. Goes wonderfully with ham sandwiches, if you have any left after the holidays, or with any kind of sandwiches for that matter. If you have some on hand, I see no reason you couldn't substitute leftover cooked turkey for the chicken.
5 bacon slices, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup carrot, thinly sliced or shredded
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
8 ounces sliced or chopped cremini or other mushrooms, optional
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cooked and shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup precooked wild rice
4 cups packed chopped kale
1 cup half and half, or 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
Cook the wild rice according to package directions if you have a package. (I suspect canned wild rice would also work.) Cook the bacon and set aside, leaving about a tablespoon of drippings in the pan. Add carrots,celery and onion to the drippings and sauté until the onions are clear. Add thyme, mushrooms and garlic and sauté for another five minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for eight minutes or until veggies are tender. Add stock, the cup of water and melted butter. Add kale, salt, pepper, chicken and wild rice. Cook for three to five minutes. In a separate bowl whisk together flour and either the half and half or the heavy cream and yogurt . Stir this mixture into the soup and cook two minutes or until thickened. Serve with cooked bacon bits as garnish.
TIRAMISU POKE CAKE
This delicious poke cake dessert is for adults only. It's too good to share with the kids anyway! Actually, the amount of liqueur in one serving of this cake wouldn't hurt anyone's kids, but it is there, and not cooked, so the alcohol is intact. Imagine a white cake soaked with a sweet mixture of Kahlua, cocoa powder and espresso powder and then topped with a coffee-flavored sweet drizzle and then a cream cheese frosting. Takes a bit of effort, but well worth it, and this outrageous New Year's dessert can be made up to two days in advance of serving.
1 (16.25 ounce) package moist white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup coffee-flavored liqueur (such as Kahlua)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup white sugar
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
3 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur (such as Kahlua)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, or to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. Mix cake mix, water, eggs, and oil together in a bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed until batter is smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour batter into the prepared dish. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 29 to 34 minutes. Cool cake for at least 30 minutes. Whisk sweetened condensed milk, 1/3 cup coffee-flavored liqueur, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, espresso powder, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt together in a bowl until drizzle is smooth.
Poke holes into cake using the large end of a chopstick or a similar tool. Pour poke drizzle over entire cake, smoothing with a spatula and ensuring the drizzle goes into the holes. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Beat egg yolks and white sugar together in a bowl using an electric mixer until very light yellow and stiff. Add cream cheese, 3 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; mix well.
Beat heavy whipping cream in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form; gently fold into egg yolk mixture until topping is just mixed. Pour topping over cooled cake, smoothing well. Dust with 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder. Cover and refrigerate.
Riddle Answers: 1. A puddle. 2. Frost bite. 3. Cold cream! 4. A: Ice Krispy treats. 5: In a snow bank.
PRIME RIB SOUP
Always buy a prime rib with the bones in because it makes the roast better tasting and the ribs are a bonus not to be missed. No prime rib? Bones from any other cut of roast beef will do, provided there are enough of them.
4 beef ribs, trimmed from a cooked prime rib roast
2 cups beef stock
1 potato, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Place the ribs in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the meat is falling from the bones, about 2 hours. Remove the ribs and allow to cool. Trim the meat from the ribs and cut into bite sized pieces; refrigerate. Continue simmering the broth until reduced to 1 cup; refrigerate until the fat congeals to the top. Skim and discard the congealed fat. Pour the broth into a saucepan along with the meat trimmings, beef stock, potato, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chives to serve. This is great for breakfast with fried eggs, or when it's browned most to your liking, make holes in the hash, break an egg into each, then cover and cook slowly until the eggs are done to your liking. If you have no leftover cooked potatoes, use about three cups frozen diced hash browns, thawed, or dice two medium potatoes and put them in a saucepan. Cover with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until they are just tender when pierced with a fork. They will finish cooking in the skillet. Or use 3 to 4 cups frozen diced hash browns, thawed.
3 tablespoons butter
2 medium potatoes, peeled, cooked and diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup finely diced cooked ham
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crumbled thyme
1 tablespoon crumbled or minced parsley
Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. When the butter has melted and stopped foaming, add the onion and bell pepper and cook until the onion turns translucent.Then add the diced potatoes and ham; mix well. Cook the hash until well browned, stirring and turning frequently. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, and add the dried crumbled thyme.
Replace the chopped onions with sliced green onions, especially you have some left from the veggie tray.
If you like it hot, spice the hash up with some Cajun or Creole seasoning instead of the salt and thyme.
Thought for the week: Christmas is over for this year, but the Christmas message continues through the ages. Let us make our lives better by keeping it in our hearts. George W. Truett once said, "Christ was born in the first century, yet he belongs to all centuries. He was born a Jew, yet He belongs to all races. He was born in Bethlehem, yet He belongs to all countries."
(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 715-927-5034 or by e-mail at email@example.com.)
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