Country CousinIssue Date: May 18, 2022
Summer made a brief visit to TIMESLand over the weekend, but apparently has decided to step aside and let Spring have its way for a while. Temperatures in the mid-80s have given way to chillier days and nights, at least for a bit. Sure do hope that summer isn't gone for the year, though.
Never really thought about it before, but Spring is the time for transplanting seedlings of young plants from the hot house or window sill planters to the garden. It is also the time for graduations - when the carefully nurtured seedlings of young humans are transplanted from the "nursery" of home and early school years into the garden of life where they hopefully will grow into independent, productive, healthy, helpful and happy adults.
Congratulations and best wishes to all the upcoming young graduates and their families. You, with the help of the Good Lord, are what makes this old World keep turning.
LAW ENFORCEMENT APPRECIATION
National Law Enforcement Appreciation Week in America has just ended, but thanking the men and women who regularly risk their lives to keep the rest of us safe doesn't need to end.
Sworn police officers have gone through a terrible two years, with liberals demanding that police departments be "defunded," and officers being constantly at risk of being sued for actions taken while doing their jobs.
We are seeing the terrible results of this lack of respect in the sky-high crime rates of recent months in the larger cities, for example, in Milwaukee, where crimes, violent and otherwise, have reportedly more than doubled from last year.
"Back the Blue" needs to be more than a slogan. It needs to mark renewed respect for the men and women we depend on to protect us, our homes and our properties when we are threatened by circumstances, or by bad people who have no respect for anyone or anything.
Thank you, officers, for staying on the job, and for being there to respond when we need you!
Areas in parts of TIMESLand, particularly in Oconto County, were hard hit by flooding over the past weekend. The waters are receding now, but another heavy rain could easily add to the problems, and extend the flood areas.
Even in areas where there is no flooding, high groundwater can cause problems, and the National Weather Service has issued some advice on how to deal with them.
First, the advise listening to your NOAA Weather Radio or other news source to stay informed about the latest watches and warnings.
They caution to never let children play around high water, storm drains, or viaducts, and to not attempt to walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall.
Never drive through a flooded roadway. You don't know what is under that water.
The warning says six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling. A foot of water will float many vehicles. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including sport utility vehicles (SUV's) and pick-up trucks.
If you're camping, or if water has flooded portions of your home or cottage, throw away any food that has come in contact with flood waters. Some canned foods may be salvageable, but if the cans are dented or damaged, throw them away.
If water is of questionable purity, boil or add bleach, and distill drinking water before using. Wells inundated by flood waters should be pumped out and the water tested for purity before drinking. If in doubt, they advise calling your local public health authority.
Flooded basements should be pumped out gradually - about one-third of the water per day - to avoid structural damage. If the water is pumped completely in a short period of time, pressure from water-saturated soil on the outside could cause basement walls to collapse.
Septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems can also be damaged by flood waters, and should be checked as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are health hazards.
Standing water anywhere is a breeding ground for microorganisms, which can become airborne and be inhaled. Even when flooding is due to rain water, the growth of microorganisms can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. For these health reasons, and to lessen structural damage, all standing water should be removed as quickly as possible. Sometimes that could mean digging a little drainage canal to a nearby ditch or stream.
The Weather Service also advises removing all wet materials within 24 to 48 hours. They note that it can be difficult to throw away items in a home, particularly those with sentimental value, but say keeping certain items that were soaked by water may be unhealthy.
In general, materials that are wet and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried within 24-48 hours should be discarded, as they can remain a source of microbial growth. For information on mold prevention and cleanup, visit the Environmental Protection Agency website.
They do not mention, but it is true, that sunshine is a great purifier, and fabric items in particular can benefit from being put out in the sun to dry.
The NOA site also advises using care when using cleaners and disinfectants, but does recommend using them. They note that the cleanup process involves thorough washing and disinfecting of walls, floors, closets, shelves, and basically all contents of the house. FEMA also suggests the use of disinfectants and sanitizers on the duct work for the heating and air conditioning system if it has been flooded. Disinfectants and sanitizers contain toxic substances so be careful about mixing them together. Check labels for cautions. Mixing certain types of products - for example chlorine bleach and ammonia - can produce toxic fumes and result in injury and even death.
On a personal note, once added bleach to a strong solution with dishwashing detergent that contained ammonia. Realized what was causing the smell and got outside into fresh air before any bad reaction occurred, but tasted that mixture in the back of my throat for days afterward.
Generally in TIMESLand the last killing frost comes on about June 1. Everything seems to be running a bit late this year, so if you have seedlings started indoors, that might be a good place to leave them for another two weeks or so, unless they've already outgrown their containers.
If you do decide to move them outdoors, be prepared to cover them if necessary.
Also, if you have enough time and energy, hardening the seedlings for about a week before setting them out in the garden is good. To harden, move the containers outside during the day, but into a spot where they are protected from noon-time sun, and bring them in again if the night will be chilly.
PLANTING BY THE MOON
Lots of old time gardeners swear that planting should be done in accord with the phases of the moon, and who can argue with success? According to the Old Farmers Almanac, old-time farmers swear that planting by the moon results in larger, tastier harvests.
Here's how it works:
Annual flowers and vegetables that bear crops above ground should be planted during the light, or waxing, of the Moon. In other words, plant from the day the Moon is new until the day it is full.
Flowering bulbs, biennial and perennial flowers, and vegetables that bear crops below ground, like potatoes, should be planted during the dark, or waning, of the Moon. In other words, plant from the day after the Moon is full until the day before it is new again.
Saturday, May 24 was not only a full moon night, but those of us fortunate enough to be in an area without cloud cover were able to witness a full lunar eclipse that peaked at about 11:11 p.m. From our yard, clouds were present part of the time, but when they parted the crescent of that eclipsed red full moon was awesome!
HELP HAIR GROWTH
If your hair needs help, consider giving it a rosemary bath. Unique compounds in the herb rosemary are said to be powerful hair growth boosters that increase circulation to the scalp, which delivers blood and oxygen to hair follicles, and anti-oxidants in the her plump strands to make them look fuller even faster.
To mix up your own rosemary hair growth treatment, first boil a quart of distilled water and throw in a handful of dried rosemary leaves. Cover the container and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for five or so hours. Once cooled, the mixture can be strained and then diluted in either water or shampoo. You might want to do both. Add some to your shampoo, and then use the rosemary water, diluted with some regular tap water, as a final rinse after you're done shampooing.
Experts advise testing a swab near your hairline for possible allergies 24 hours before using it on your entire scalp.
It's cool enough right now to bake up some goodies for the hot days ahead, and for the visitors who surely will be coming to help enjoy our beautiful Northwoods summer. This freezes and re-heats well, so you can eat some now and freeze some for another day.
DOOR COUNTY BAGEL BAKE
4 Everything or Plain bagels (cut into bite-size pieces)
3/4 cup tomatoes, chopped (can be canned)
1 pound cooked bacon (chopped)
9 large eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar & Mozzarella)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into bite-size pieces
Optional garnish of scallions and Everything Bagel seasoning (See recipe below)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease a 9x13-inch baking pan or casserole dish. Layer the bagel pieces on the bottom. Whisk together the eggs, cheese, tomato, bacon, milk, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Pour over bagels. Top evenly with pieces of cream cheese and sprinkle with additional Everything Bagel seasoning, if you're using it. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set and edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before topping with scallions (if using). Cover leftover casserole tightly and refrigerate.
EVERYTHING BAGEL SEASONING
Brush bagels with melted butter or beaten egg whites, then sprinkle on this mix before heating in oven or toaster oven. Great also on avocado toast, or on split warm buttered bagels. To make mixing super easy, just use a glass jar with about two inches more space than the mixture will need, add the ingredients, put on the cover and give it several good shakes. You're done, and the cover is even already on.
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons onion flakes (not onion powder)
2 teaspoons garlic flakes or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt, flaked salt or coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 teaspoons sesame seeds (Black or White, or 1 teaspoon of each
Just mix the ingredients, then store in an airtight container or sealed jar in a cool, dry place. You could even store in a glass spice jar with large holes in the cover for easy sprinkling. Lasts for up to 6 months if stored properly.
ENGLISH PORK PIE
This is a wonderful dish to take on a picnic or make multiples as your contribution to a family gathering. Each pie serves 8 to 10 people as long as there is other food to go with it.
2 1/2 pounds boneless lean pork shoulder
1 small onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 hard cooked eggs, sliced
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Meat Pie Pastry:
1 1/4 cups water
2/3 cup lard
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Cut the meat into half-inch cubes. Put in a pan with the onion, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down, cover the pan, and let it simmer for about an hour, or until the meat is very tender. While the meat cooks, boil the two eggs. Once the meat is done, strain it, saving the broth. Discard the onion. It was just there for flavor. Keep out 1/4 cup of the broth and put the rest in the fridge to chill. You can return it to the saucepan it cooked in if you like. You"ll be boiling it again later any way. Let the meat cool slightly. (These things should be done in advance, but bring the meat back to slightly warm before you assemble the pie.)
To make the pastry, place the water, lard and salt in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and boil until the lard is melted. Reduce heat to medium. Add the 4 cups of flour all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and continue to stir until the dough is cool enough to handle. Turn the dough out onto a floured board or tabletop and knead until smooth. Cover with a clean cloth and let the dough rest in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
When you"re ready to assemble the pie turn the oven to 325 degrees. Peel the eggs. Have an 8 or 9 inch pie plate ready. Peel the fat from the top of the chilled broth and put the both on to boil. Boil rapidly until it is reduced to 1 1/4 cups. Divide the batch of pastry roughly in half and roll out one half to fit the bottom of the pie pan with some overhang. It should be about a quarter of an inch thick. Roll out the other half of the pastry. Fill the pastry shell with the warm pork and pour over it the quarter-cup of reserved broth. Slice the eggs evenly over the top of the pork. Cut a few decorative slits in the top crust and moisten the rim of the bottom crust. Put on the top crust and seal by pressing with the tines of a fork. Cut off any excess pastry. Mix the egg yolk and milk and brush all over the top pastry crust. If you don"t have a pastry brush use a crumpled piece of plastic wrap. Bake 1 1/2 hours until the pastry is nicely brown. Remove from oven and through the slits in the top crust pour the condensed broth, using a funnel or basting syringe. Chill thoroughly before serving. The broth inside the pie will jell, so serving out of hand is an option, but a plate and fork are better.
EASY RHUBARB CAKE
1/2 Cup butter
1 1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Cup buttermilk or sour cream
2 Cups flour
1 Teaspoon soda, dissolved in the buttermilk
2 cups rhubarb, finely chopped
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix everything for the cake together except the rhubarb and then stir in the rhubarb. Pour into a greased and floured 9X13 pan. Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over the cake. Bake for about 45 minutes.
1 pound asparagus
1 bottle Italian dressing
Clean asparagus, selecting nice slightly skinny spears. Cut off all the tough part. (To test, if your thumbnail easily pierces the stalk it's tender enough.) Blanch asparagus one of two ways: Heat a couple quarts of water to boiling in a kettle large enough to accommodate the asparagus spears sideways. When it's boiling hard add the asparagus and return to boil. Shut off and let sit 2 to 3 minutes. It should be bright green and still somewhat crunchy. Drain and run cold water over it to cool slightly. Or put enough water in the bottom of a large frying pan to cover to a depth of about a quarter inch. Lay in the asparagus spears, keeping them flat, cover and bring quickly to a boil. Boil 2 to 3 minutes or until done as above. Drain and cool just slightly. Put into a plastic dish with tight fitting cover and pour on the salad dressing. Shake it gently to distribute the dressing. You can even put the asparagus into a wide mouth fruit jar and pour on dressing to cover, or put it into a plastic zip lock bag. Refrigerate and let sit for several hours or as long as 4 days. The pretty green spears can be fished out like dill pickles or arranged on a glass dish for a fancier presentation. Always makes a big hit at parties, pot lucks and picnics.
The Country Cousin
Thought for the week: Thank You Lord, for giving us this lovely world, and for filling it with mostly good people. And please, Lord, help us protect it, and ourselves, from people who seek to destroy everything we love about it. 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 715-927-5034 or by e-mail at email@example.com.)
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