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Could it be a ‘Crazy 8’ year for weather in 2008?

Could it be a ‘Crazy 8’ year for weather in 2008?
Could it be a ‘Crazy 8’ year for weather in 2008? | “The 2008 Old Farmer’s Almanac,” “The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids, Volume 2”, Peanut Butter Sheet Cake
Helpful tips, funny facts and the weather — all in one book.
“The 2008 Old Farmer’s Almanac,” North America’s oldest continuously published periodical, is out in stores now, along with its companion book for children, “The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids, Volume 2.”
The books offer helpful information, such as weather predictions and recipes, as well as trivia information.
In the “Deep South” where Tennessee is located, temperatures in November are expected to be around 57, two degrees above average, but are expected to fall five degrees below average in December when temperatures are predicted near 42 degrees. Below average precipitation is expected, with snow being forecast in the northern section of the deep south from Dec. 1-8 and 18-21. In the new year, average tempertures are predicted to be 45 in January, 40 in February, 61 in March, 66 in April, 71 in May, 79 in June, 81 in July, 82 in August, 75 in September and 68 in October.
According to the Almanac, wild weather events have occurred in years ending in “8,” setting up for a “Crazy 8” year if history repeats itself. In 1747-48, the United States had one of its whitest winters in the northeast. Some parts of eastern New England had 25-30 snowstorms with depths of four to five inches.
In January 1888, snow and high-wind conditions caused one of the deadliest-ever storms in the prairie states from the Dakotas through the Great Plains. In 1898, hailstones weighing up to 11 ounces fell in Chicago. Chicago was hit with 22 days of snow in January 1918 and in June that year snow fell in Allentown, Pa.
A hurricane hit Long Island, N.Y., in 1938, killing more than 600 people, while floods devastated the Pacific Northwest in 1948, leaving the area above flood level for 51 days. On June 24, 1978, El Paso, Texas, had temperatures of 111 degrees in the shade and in 1988 a strong high-pressure system caused summer temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, breaking many long-standing records. In 1998, several icing events completely froze much of northern New England and northern New York.
Want to trip up your family, friends and co-workers with some “not-so-easy” questions? Ask them how long the Hundred Years War lasted. I bet they won’t guess the answer is 116. I also bet they won’t know that genuine Panama hats are made in Ecuador or that Russia celebrates the October Revolution in November.
A very locally familiar way of making omelets is included in the book as well. The Messenger’s Cook of the Week John Jackson of South Fulton offered to local readers his way of making omelets in Ziplock™ bags. The same tip is printed in the Almanac and comes from a reader in Oregon.
In 2007, Phyllis Klasasen of British Columbia won the peanut butter recipe contest for her Thai Chicken With Linguini, but I’d rather share the second place recipe Peanut Butter Sheet Cake from Martha Sparkman of Poplar Bluff, Mo.
Peanut Butter Sheet Cake
Cake:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
Icing:
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon margarine
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, sugar and salt; set aside. In a saucepan, bring the oil, margarine, peanut butter and a cup of water almost to a boil (do not boil). Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. Mix well. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 15-inch by 11-inch by 1-inch pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
For the icing: Combine the evaporated milk, sugar and margarine in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the peanut butter and marshmallows, stirring until melted. Stir in the vanilla. Pour the icing over the warm cake and spread to cover.
Mayonnaise can be used instead of oil and eggs to make cakes moist, but “The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids, Volume 2,” offers unusual uses for the kitchen staple. It can be used to get road tar off a bike or skateboard, crayon marks off wooden furniture, a tight ring off a finger, stickers from where they’re stuck and gum from hair.
This and that: CONNECT, West Tennessee’s largest Christian youth gathering, will be at the Obion County Fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday. Gates will open at 3 p.m. on Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday. There is no admission charge.
Donna Ryder can be contacted at dryder@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger on 9.21.07

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