The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

2007.09.19 Wait, I wouldn't eat that

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Over the years I’ve taken great delight in occasionally writing about odd foods. It’s stuff I’ll never eat, but I’ll gladly talk about it.

I remember telling about an interesting fish dish from the far north, far beyond the beet fields of Benzonia. Fish is wrapped in grass and buried in the mud along a river for properly fermentation.

I think it’s somewhere in South America where a plant is chewed for a while and then spit into a pot for fermentation. Pass me a bowl of that stuff.

Those are the two really odd items that come to mind. The remainder was more a matter of cultural differences. One group of people thinks that drinking cow’s milk is the most disgusting proposition they’ve encountered, but they love spiders and dried snake.

Today I read about a Cambodian specialty which the author described as “fermented mudfish sludge” known as prahok made from mudfish, rice and salt. Traditional preparation calls for stomping the mixture with bare feet.

John McPhee recently wrote in the New Yorker about his “life list” of eccentric food. McPhee doesn’t go looking for strange food, but occasionally it comes his way via his job.

When he wrote about Alaska, he ate grizzly bear shoulder. The wife of his host, who was a native of the area, gladly ate lynx and wolf, but not grizzly meat; it has terror in it.

Rattlesnake appears on McPhee’s list, but he admits that it was canned, unlike the food he ate in Georgia that was just plain dead. He wrote about a biologist who ate what she found freshly killed alongside the road, such as weasel and snapping turtle and squirrel.

McPhee writes about eating puffins from Iceland, muskrat, musk ox, porpoise, whale, sea cucumbers and lion. There’s also a section about harvesting mountain oysters and about the restaurants that serve them.

Many of the items on McPhee’s list aren’t as exotic as lion, they’re just not part of most people’s diet. They came from a camping trip he took with the famous wild food man Euell Gibbons.

Dock, burdock, chicory, chickweed, ground-cherries, groundnuts, Jerusalem artichokes, oyster mushrooms, watercress, water mint tea—this is stuff you can find around here. I’ll never forget reading Gibbons’ obituary: He died of natural causes.

My food adventures are more along the lines of questionable foods rather than exotic foods. My experience is gained not from traveling the world; it’s as close as my refrigerator. It’s a puzzling situation that’s been going on for years.

An example: There was some sliced turkey in our refrigerator recently. I hate to see food thrown away, especially when some animal gave its life for a meal, so I offered to make a sandwich.

“I wouldn’t do that,” my wife said. “It’s too old.”

I computed the days since she made the purchase and concluded that it was OK. I ate it with no ill effects. It was better than road kill.

A day later, I needed a quick meal before running off to a meeting. Colleen was still working at the library so I opened a can of tuna fish, added some mayonnaise and vinegar and made a sandwich.

Colleen arrived home shortly afterward, saw what I had concocted and let out with a gagging sound.

“Now what have I done?” I asked.

“You used the old mayonnaise.”

Impossible, I said. I just opened it. She explained that the new jar was an old jar. It was past the eat-by date and needed to be thrown away.

Then I had to ask the question I’ve asked many times before: “Why do you keep old food? Why don’t you throw it away?”

I took a bite of my sandwich. Old mayo wasn’t going to stop me. It should have been used by July 4. That’s not to so bad.

But before I took the first bite, I added some pickles. Wrong move again. Those were pickles from a jar that was opened in May and, once again, they should have been throw away.

I believe the brine will preserve them. I sat down and enjoyed my old meal, wondering why there’s so much toxic waste in our cupboards and refrigerator.

When the coroner examines my untimely death, I hope one of my readers points out the obvious. It’s not a matter of natural causes; someone is trying to bump me off.

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