2019 Newsletter 14- I’ve Pollen and I Can’t Get Up!

2019 Newsletter 14- I’ve Pollen and I Can’t Get Up!

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You might start wondering about my driving skills, but I promise these will be the last two stories about white knuckle experiences this year.
In 2016, Carol and I headed out to visit our daughter, Jennifer, in the Seattle area. We had been on the road for 25 hours at this point as we pulled out of Spokane on I-90. It began to snow. This area is practically desert and it is not supposed to snow. In fact, it snowed so bad we had to pull off and stay the night in a hotel!
Our previous mountain driving experience had nothing on this snow storm, as the only way we were going to get over to Seattle was to re-route south and back track west along the Columbia River. It was slow going for a bit, yet we did finally arrive with an extra 500 miles on the odometer and more white knuckles.
The final story of the white knuckle series is truly a miracle. Back when I was President of the Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin, Carol and I were headed to a meeting at Caan’s near Sheboygan. It was around 5 PM on a Thursday night as I headed north on I-43 by Milwaukee. I was in the inside lane of traffic going about 55 mph. For some reason that I never did find out, traffic drastically slowed in front of me.
As I applied my brakes, they locked up, throwing the car into a spin. I lost control as the car slid across all lanes of traffic and finally came to a stop right next to the concrete barrier. It was so close that Carol could have reached out and touched the concrete! The amazing part was that there was no accident. 
We were now facing the opposite way and could see the other vehicles had all stopped. I let out the breath I was holding and put the car back in gear. I swung back in front of all the lanes of traffic again, and we continued on our way. Our knuckles were white the rest of the week after that experience!
Such escapes are routinely associated to guardian angels. I remain ever grateful that my guardian angel takes such good care of us. God certainly had his hand in that event – I have no other explanation.
Signing off until next week,  
Garden Center Spotlight
Floral Feature
Sat/Sun, April 13 &14
What do you call a flower that runs on electricity?
A power plant
Why do potatoes make good detectives?
They keep their eyes peeled
Coucous with Mint and Feta
If you are not familiar, pearl couscous is actually a small, lightly toasted pasta. It’s quick-cooking and makes a refreshing change of pace in cold pasta salads like this one. The pearls of couscous nestle into every forkful, but it’s not overly chewy and allows the other ingredients to shine.
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1 medium English cucumber, peeled and finely diced (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh spearmint or pineapple mint leaves; additional sprigs for garnish
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more as needed
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup small-diced feta cheese
  1. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts well-salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium heat, toast the couscous, stirring frequently, until golden-brown, about 7 minutes.
  2. Cook the couscous in the boiling water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water until cool. Pour the couscous into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the cucumber and mint.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the oil, lemon juice and zest, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Stir in the feta. Add the feta mixture to the couscous, season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and mix well. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the mint sprigs.


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