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

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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2010.08.11 Breakfast with the Ants

Written by David Green.


Are you familiar with the popular children’s food known as Ants on a Log? It’s a good way to get a kid to eat some vegetable with a little fruit thrown in (raisins) along with a healthy dose of protein (peanut butter). The log is a stick of celery.

That’s as close as I’ve come to eating ants—until a few days ago.

There’s a word for the practice of eating insects as food source: entomophagy. You might have a different word, but it’s nothing unusual in many cultures. In some parts of the world, you can find food vendors with stalls full of a variety of six-legged creatures.

Acutally, we all eat a lot of small insects and insect parts every day without even knowing it. The USDA even has charts of what’s permissible:

Canned sweet corn: 2 or more 3 mm or longer larvae, cast skins, larval or cast skin 24 pounds. Wheat flour: Average of 150 or more insect fragments per 100 grams. Peanut butter, beer, cinnamon, etc. It’s no big deal. Insects are so numerous, it’s hard to avoid contact.

It’s ants that are of interest to me at the moment. I came across this recipe for chocolate covered ants. I don’t intend to try it, but I love the sense of humor behind it:


Yield: 6 servings

1,742 large Ants, (if they are small, use 2,044)

3 c  Melted chocolate

Catch ants at a picnic site and keep them in a glass jar to which you have added a teaspoon of sugar to keep them happy. (Unhappy ants are liable to go sour before processing.)  At home, pick up each ant with tweezers and remove entrails with a small, very sharp knife edge. This will take about 400 hours. If you are in a hurry, eliminate this step; you’ll never know the difference.

Dip each ant into melted chocolate and place to drain on waxed paper. If any of them are still able to crawl off the paper, let them go—be a good sport!

I also located some information on eating ants in the wild as a means of survival. The hint comes from Survivor Man:

1. Find an ant hill, old rotting log, or other place swarming with ants. You will need very many.

2. Lick the entire length of a stick very well. If you don’t have enough saliva, you may want to use some water. If you are really desperate, you may use some of your own urine.

3. Move the dirt away for the ant hill. Slowly insert your stick into the ground and pull out quickly.

4. Close your eyes and slide the stick through your mouth. Eat quickly, you don't want those little suckers biting you real badly.

5. Do this repeatedly, until you feel yourself satisfied. Remember, this takes guts, but some day you may come to enjoy ants as a little treat!

I wonder if Survivor Man has reached that stage of eating enlightenment.

In an exchange with readers, Survivor Man cautioned against eating red ants without first sautéing. He said any ant might bite your tongue. It stings a little at first, he added, but you get used to it.

I wrote recently about the tiny, tiny ants we’ve had. I bought a little bottle of Terro  poison and at first the ants lined up like it was a feeding trough. Then they started ignoring it, as though the word got out: Don’t touch that stuff. Tasty but lethal.

That was a couple of weeks ago, at least, and at first it didn’t seem to be effective, but I haven’t seen any of those little critters around recently. Maybe  chemical warfare did eliminate the nest but not before they pulled a good one on me.

I was eating corn chips from a bag a while back and learned this lesson: Do not eat from a bag. Give yourself a serving. At one point I looked into the bag and saw them happily at work. They’re very fond of corn chips.

I believe that was the day I went to Johnson’s Hardware for the Terro. It was a day or two later that I opened a new package of Bob’s Red Mill Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal. I removed a scoop for breakfast and tightly closed it up.

The next morning I opened it again and the tiny ants were also having breakfast. I wasn’t about to throw a new bag away. Into the freezer it went.

In their frozen state the little things don’t even show up, and besides, the USDA standards allow for 10 in a bowl of cereal. It doesn’t even sting if you don’t think about it.

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