Country Cousin 6/22/22Issue Date: June 23, 2022
Summer is here!!!
Summer officially arrived on Tuesday, June 21, and she certainly made sure we all noticed. She sent temperatures soaring into the high 90s on Monday to let everyone know she was coming, and brought more heat with her on Tuesday. Wednesday morning, though, the first full day of summer, dawned as about as beautiful a day as you can get in Wisconsin or anywhere else.
UPDATE INSURANCE COVERAGE
The tornadoes and high winds that wreaked havoc in much of TIMESLand on Wednesday, June 15 brought some rude awakenings to lots of folks.
Roofs were torn off and smashed, windows were shattered, and trees were downed everywhere.
In the Town of Silver Cliff all nine municipal buildings were damaged, some of them destroyed. Replacement in today's world of inflation is estimated at $3 to $5 million. Sadly the town's insurance coverage falls far short of that, because the policies were bought before the disastrous inflation we're suffering under today had happened.
Bet lots of homeowners with property damage can't quite believe it when they find out what repairs will cost.
Inflation is hitting hard on almost everything we need to buy, but building material prices are really shooting the moon. If your home gets damaged by fire, flood or tornado, repairs are likely to cost at least two or three times what they would have a year or two ago.
Good idea for all of us to update our property insurance coverage to cover the losses that could bring disaster to the family's finances.
As the late, great President Ronald Reagan once said, "Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hit man." It robs our savings of their buying power.
JUNE DAIRY BREAKFAST
Marinette County Breakfast on the Farm is coming up on Sunday, June 26, on the Finger Family Farm at 8831 Old 41 Road. The farm has an Oconto address but really is located in Marinette County. The day on the farm starts with a 7 a.m. church service on site. The all you can eat and more breakfast will be served from 7:30 a.m. to noon. Start early with breakfast so you might have room for dessert before the event ends at noon. They will be serving pancakes with real maple syrup, eggs, sausages, cheese curds, applesauce, milk, juice, coffee, juice, ice cream sundaes!
Aside from breakfast, there will also be a petting zoo, Moo-Mania comedy show, face painting, balloons, kids bouncy play area, viewing of barns and cattle, wagon rides, walking trail, and music!
The event will take place rain or shine. If anyone goes away hungry, or finds time to get bored while on the farm, it's their own fault!
Summer is the time to sit quietly alone outside sometimes, watching the butterflies, giving thanks to God, and soaking up the sunshine.
If you chase butterflies, you probably will not catch one, but when you are still, one may very likely land on you. It seems to help if you smile and think happy thoughts while you're sitting there. Maybe butterflies can feel the sweetness.
Speaking of lovely things that flutter about, the fireflies have been fantastic for the past week or so. Always saw them in fields, but never before were they dancing about in the forest as they were last week, looking for all the world as though every star in the heavens had dome down to play hide and seek in the trees.
As most of us know from our childhood, fireflies can be caught and displayed in jars like a make-believe flashlight. Just be sure there are holes in the lid, and only keep them for an hour or less. Let them go before their little lights go out. You want to enjoy them, not kill them.
RECIPE FOR MARRIAGE
June is the traditional month for wedding bells, so it seems appropriate to offer this recipe for a happy marriage, as written over a decade ago by Mary Gressick, formerly of TIMESland, but later of Green Bay. She agreed to share, and her recipe is worth repeating. She wrote:
"Start with large amounts of prayer.
"Mix in kindness, gentleness and a generous supply of understanding. (Set aside).
Mix separately old grudges, selfishness, anger and pride.
"Beat thoroughly until smoothed.
"Now add to first ingredients. Also fold in heaps of good humor and good memories.
"Let settle to allow any sour substance to float to the top. Then skim off carefully, making sure none is mixed back in. (Discard).
"To the remainder, add communication as needed. Will rise with warmth. You may want to sprinkle some sweetness on top.
"Garnish with smiles, hugs and kisses. You'll be delighted with the beautiful LOVE that turns out.
"P.S. Do not use any artificial ingredients, or this recipe might spoil."
Heard about a long-wed couple who were discussing their wishes should one go before the other. Hubby said he would not oppose her getting married again, but he didn't want the new hubby wearing his clothes.
Wife said not to worry. They'd be too small for him anyway.
ON THE SOAP BOX
The push to let children decide their own gender at an age when they are too young to decide what color of socks to wear is downright terrifying.
As Bill Maher said, "If kids knew what they wanted to be at age eight, the world would be filled with cowboys and princesses. I wanted to be a pirate. Thank God nobody took me seriously and scheduled me for eye removal and peg leg surgery."
I personally wanted to be a cowboy when I was eight. Guess a cowgirl would have been okay too. Really didn't think much about that. Just wanted to ride horses, chase bad guys, ride in a wagon train and sing around campfires at night.
Wanted to be a sailor on the bounding main when I was four. Wanted to be a princess when I was ten, and wanted to be a foreign correspondent by the time I was 12. Tried to sign up to work on a merchant trip to South America when I was 14. They'd have taken me, too, but Dad wouldn't let me go. Couldn't figure out why. At the time, I thought it was a great opportunity for adventure.
Provide safety nets, put off life shattering decisions, and let kids be kids. Let them play with the possibilities in their heads, but keep them at least a little innocent and in line with the real world. Just wrapping apple slices in a banana peel does not turn them into bananas, even if it might make them taste a little like bananas. If you wrap the apple core in a banana peel, and then plant it, it still will not grow up into a banana.
Many of us spend a lot of money on toys for our kids and grandkids when we could provide them with some wholesome old-time fun almost for free if we have a yard with a tree that has a sturdy limb at least seven inches in diameter and strong enough to support a tire swing.
Beg a used tire from an auto dealer or tire repair store. They probably will be glad to contribute, considering that they have to pay to get rid of them otherwise. If you don't have a cooperative store, try your community recycling center. (You want just the rubber tire, no inner tube or wheel rim.) Get someone to drill or punch a few holes in the tire to let out water that will otherwise collect in it. Scrub the tire down inside and out with a solution of one part bleach to three parts water.
Measure the distance from the limb to the ground far enough from the tree to allow room for swinging - preferably about eight feet from the trunk. (That's where the branch should be at least seven inches in diameter.) Add eight feet for loops and knots. Buy that length of sturdy nylon or Dacron rope at least 5/8 inch thick. That will probably cost 50 cents a foot.
If you're afraid to climb the tree or a ladder, recruit someone who isn't. Wrap the rope twice around the branch and tie it with a double knot. Wrap the other end of the rope around the tire at least twice and test to be sure it's just far enough from the ground to allow your little swinger to climb on safely. If it isn't, adjust. Tie a double knot to keep the rope in place at the top of the tire. Tug hard to be sure the knots are secure before treating yourself to a trial swing. Made this way, the swing can support up to 300 pounds, so if a couple of little ones decide to swing together, no problem!
From past experience - keep large sticks, baseball bats and similar weapons far from the tire swing lest some enterprising youngster should decide to use it to propel the swing with a friend or sibling aboard.
KEEP THE FLIES AWAY
Keep flies away from your picnic by wiping the table with undiluted white vinegar or laying some citrus peels on the tablecloth, preferably coarsely grated ones for the sake of appearance. Looking at dried up old fruit peels might drive the people away as well as the flies.
Strawberries are ripe, and rhubarb is still producing. Great combination for jam, or for breakfast or a number of desserts. It's also June Dairy Month, and new recipes using Wisconsin's finest products are always welcome.
CREAMY WISCONSIN SOUP
This recipe came to us years ago from Mr. G's Supper Club in Door County. It's a marvelous testament to the deliciousness real Wisconsin dairy products can bring to the table. The beer doesn't hurt, either, and the vegetables are good for you, so enjoy.
1 tablespoon and 1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup carrots, chopped
1 1/2 cups small broccoli florets
1 cup chicken broth, boiling
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups milk
3 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces cooked Polish sausage, cubed
1 1/2 cups Wisconsin cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup beer
In medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add onions, carrots and broccoli. Sauté over medium to high heat for 5 minutes. Do not let it burn. Add chicken broth. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 8 minutes. In large saucepan melt the quarter cup of butter over medium to high heat. Stir in flour, dry mustard and pepper. Add milk all at once, stirring until it boils and thickens. Cook and stir an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Cut cream cheese into cubes and stir in until smooth. Stir in the vegetable mixture, sausage, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, and the beer. Heat to serving temperatures and until the cheese melts. Top each serving with remaining cheddar cheese.
This wonderful topping converts even hamburger steaks into gourmet fare. Most of us will probably never taste truffles, but we can enjoy this.
CREAMY MUSHROOM BUTTER
1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup (2 ounces) Shitaki mushrooms, finely chopped
3/4 cup (2 ounces) Crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tablespoon shallots, finely chopped (or substitute 1 small clove chopped garlic and 1 scant tablespoon finely chopped onion)
2 tablespoons Marsala wine (or substitute lemon juice)
1/2 cup Butter, softened
The original recipe calls for a teaspoon white truffle oil, which I'm sure is delicious, but have no idea where to find or how much it costs. It's really good this way, too. In large skillet heat whipping cream to boiling point. Add mushrooms and shallots. Cook over high heat , stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until the liquid has boiled away or been absorbed by the mushrooms. Scrape the mushroom mixture to the side of the pan. Add wine or lemon juice and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, then mix the mushroom mixture back in. Set aside to cool. In food processor mix the cooled mushroom mixture into the half cup butter until well blended. Transfer to parchment paper or a sheet of plastic wrap. Shape into an 8" log and chill until firm.
Grill 8 steaks or hamburger steaks until done as you like them. Transfer to heated individual serving plates and top each with a 1" slice of the mushroom butter.
You should make this at least the night before. Mix 2 cups sliced rhubarb with 3/4 cup granulated sugar and a dash of salt in a stainless steel or enamel kettle. Let sit 15 minutes or more and then simmer until the rhubarb is falling-apart tender. Let cool. Taste, and add more sugar if necessary. Meanwhile, clean and slice two cups of strawberries. Add them to the cooled rhubarb sauce and let sit another quarter hour or so and taste again. Add more sugar if necessary. Great on its own, over pound or angel food cake, or the Berry Blitz Pancakes below
BERRY BLINTZ PANCAKES
These pancakes have the sour cream and cottage cheese right in the batter, so each 2-pancake serving packs a good 14 grams of protein and only 23 grams of carbs unless you add syrup or the sweetened fruit. Hardly any fat either if you use low or no fat sour cream and cottage cheese and egg substitute instead of real eggs and serve without butter. But then who would want to eat them?
Anyway, here's the recipe for the original full fat version. It makes 12 pancakes. If that's too many for one meal, cook the pancakes anyway, and then keep in the fridge and heat in frying pan or microwave until they're needed. (I like to re-heat them in melted butter.)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 cup (8 ounces) small curd cottage cheese
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Stewed fruit, applesauce, strawberry, blueberry or maple syrup for serving
In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt . When these are well mixed stir in the sour cream, cottage cheese and eggs, and mix just until combined. Heat griddle or fry pan until a drop of water on it dances, grease lightly and then spoon on a quarter cup of batter for each pancake. Cook until the edges are set and the center starts to change texture, and then flip to the other side. What has become the top side should be golden brown. Cook until the second side is also golden brown. Serve with a dab of real butter, plus the fruit topping or syrup.
STRAWBARB FREEEZER JAM
1 1/2 cups cooked sliced rhubarb
2 1/2 cups cleaned mashed strawberries
3 cups sugar
1 box Sure-Jell low sugar fruit pectin
1 cup water
First wash and cut up enough rhubarb stalks to make the cup and a half of cooked rhubarb and place in a large sauce pan. Add enough water to make sure that it doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan. Cook rhubarb until soft and set aside to cool. Wash berries, remove stems and wash again. Mash with a potato masher or the strawberries and rhubarb. The exact amounts may vary a bit, but they need to total exactly four cups. (If you have prepared too much of one or the other, stir in as much extra sugar as needed and eat as a sauce later.) Meanwhile, back to the jam. Stir the fruit pectin into the sugar and then stir in the cup of water. Bring this mixture to a boil on medium-high heat. Make sure to stir constantly. After it starts boiling, continue boiling and stirring for one minute and then remove from heat. Quickly stir in the strawberry and rhubarb mixture and continue stirring for one minute or until thoroughly mixed. Pour or spoon into prepared containers. Make sure to leave a half inch of inch space at the top for expansion during freezing. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours, or until set. It will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks, or in the freezer for a year.
The Country Cousin
Thought for the Week: Thank You Lord, for the beauties You have given us. Thank You for the love we feel, going out and coming in. Some have said love makes the world go round, and they are right, You know. You are Love, and You do indeed make the world go round. Thanks again. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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