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.

2009.02.18 From Cobb salad to injera

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

My sister, Diane, was surprised that I didn’t write about my unusual meal last week. She’s right, it wasn’t the typical fare.

The press association’s closing banquet at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is always a rather fancy affair. More forks than you know what to do with. Too many glasses of water to know which is yours. Too many ways to look foolish.

I thought it was odd this year that we weren’t asked to choose between fish or beef or between chicken and pork. There wasn’t any choice at all. Just a meal ticket.

Generally you walk in, find an empty seat and perhaps begin with one of several interesting choices of rolls in the basket. This year there was only one species of roll. It was good, but odd that there was no choice.

Generally, you move on to a salad before the dishes are cleared for the main course. Well, this time the salad was the main course. And the dishes weren’t cleared by a massive swarm of dining room staff members in order to bring in the amazing dessert. The cheesecake slices were already in place before the meal began.

I’m not complaining about the lack of the usual fare, although I might suggest that I wasn’t served a $30 salad. About that salad.…

The Cobb Salad was allegedly invented at Hollywood’s Brown Derby restaurant late one night. Wikipedia lists the main ingredients as iceberg lettuce, tomato, bacon, chicken breast, hard-boiled egg, avocado and roquefort cheese.

Iceberg lettuce? Yes, that’s what it was. Avocado? I wish there would have been some avocado. As salads go, I can’t rate the Cobb very highly.

Wikipedia adds this note: “The Cobb salad has been criticized by the Doctors Hospital for being unhealthy when compared to other salads.”

So I guess this was a year to cut back on expenses for the press association. We could have saved a lot of cash by ditching the Amway Grand and instead having dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. I think that would have pleased the Doctors Hospital staff.

Actually, Ethiopian food is what my sister expected me to write about. The Cobb salad left us a little hungry so we stopped in East Lansing and I called Diane for a restaurant recommendation.

Actually, I asked for my niece, Janelle, who wasn’t home. My brother-in-law, Dick, answered the phone and I knew better than to ask him for a suggestion. Any place that doesn’t serve vegetables would be fine with Dick.

Diane had three recommendations, including Altu’s Ethiopian Cuisine. Colleen has eaten at the Blue Nile in Ann Arbor but I hadn’t yet tried Ethiopian. Unlike the Blue Nile where guests sit on the floor, Altu provides chairs.

Each “table” is a stand resembling a woven bird bath, but taller. The basin of the table is covered with a woven, inverted bowl that’s removed when the food arrives.

I ordered what was formerly called the Saturday Special and is now known as Garlic Lentils. Colleen took the better option: a combo dish with samples of four meals. Lentils, ground peas, white beans with potatoes, and a different lentil mix.

If you’re not familiar with Ethiopian eating, you might be surprised when the large plate arrives and you discover that everything is placed on a large piece of round bread. Around the edges are rolls of the same, spongy bread, which also serves as the utensil. Break off a piece of the bread and use it to grab some lentils. Eventually, the bread on the bottom is eaten, too.

You’ve gotta love that bread to enjoy the meal, and I didn’t love that bread.

The bread is called injera. It’s like a sourdough pancake but without the good taste. That’s my opinion. Colleen liked it just fine. The fermentation process leaves a slightly sour or tangy taste.

We never spoke with owner Altu Tadesse, but her assistant served us well. He took our order, served the food and spent the remainder of our time there on his cell phone talking about the recent Super Bowl game.

That alone made Altu’s a special place. No questions about how I liked the meal. No filling of the water glass after every sip. We ate in peace, just the way I like it.

Give Altu’s a try. You might like the bread and the white beans with potatoes are excellent. And if you’re odd like me, you’ll love the lack of service.

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