Columns

2017.04.12 Bat Salad

By COLLEEN LEDDY

In the annals of disgusting foodstuff, there can be nothing more disgusting than what I read over the weekend. 

To accompany my Sunday dishwashing session, I was searching for a podcast on NPR…heading in the direction of Terry Gross and Fresh Air, but spotted a story, a written story, not radio, with a headline so appalling that—like a road wreck—I couldn’t help but click on it. The little photo next to the headline was of a grocery store display of containers of pre-made salads…which of course I had purchased the previous week and which we had just finished eating the night before.

The headline? “Fresh Express Recalls Batch After Dead Bat Found in Prepackaged Salad”—right out of “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane.” I’ve mentioned that horror movie before in this space. It warped me for life when crazy Jane served her paraplegic sister a big dead rat on a fancy covered serving dish. 

A couple in Florida discovered the rat while eating Organic Marketside Spring Mix pre-packaged salad greens. The product is distributed only to Walmart stores in the Southeastern region of the U.S. My first thought was, “Whew! Safe!” And then I worried about my son Ben and family in Miami.

“Good thing we don’t shop at Walmart,” Ben said when I sent him and Sarah a link to the story.

Another “Whew! Safe!” until I read another story on the subject in the Miami Herald which listed the other Southeasten states—and I remembered Rosie and family had just vacationed in Georgia for spring break. Thankfully, it was yet another “Whew! Safe!” when Rosie responded, “Gross. We brought our own lettuce with us,”

I’m hoping this is just a once-in-a-lifetime event, and although I feel really bad for the couple who endured the event, I gotta say: I’m so glad it wasn’t me or mine who encountered it.

So, let’s talk about less frightening and less disgusting matters, shall we?—How about a mini-review regarding an upcoming library program?

When I learned Le Vent du Nord, the musical group from Quebec, would be coming to Stair District Library through the generosity of the Croswell Opera House in its role as the Michigan host of the Art Midwest World Fest Partnership program, I emailed Kay Johnson (Canadian Kay as opposed to educator and coach Kay Johnson) almost immediately to see if she knew anything about them.

Kay is a college-era friend of David’s from Iowa, a real live blonde-haired blue-eyed farm girl who moved to Montreal some time after college with her then-boyfriend and never moved back. 

Kay has a beautiful singing voice and performs in choirs and is up on musical happenings. I figured she would know:

Have you heard of this band:

https://leventdunord.com/en/

They're coming to the library April 18. Same program that allowed us to host Anda Union...which, if you ever get a chance to see in person, you should.

Kay replied the next day:

 Le Vent du Nord will be in Morenci next month?! Good dancing/rapping music! Get out your penny whistle.

They’re popular in French Quebec.

They’re coming on a Tuesday night—April 18 at 7 p.m.—and I’m expecting as exciting and great a show as Anda Union. And if it’s not. Well, I’ll show you a lovely little video Rosie sent of my three-year-old granddaughter Ellie sitting in her car seat, singing a snippet of “Down to the River to Pray” while flipping through the pages of what appears to be an astronomy book. 

There’s a lot happening at the library to take my—and now, your—mind off of bats in salads. The regular book discussion meets on Monday night and the Michigan Notable Book author that the library was selected to host will be coming Thursday, April 20, at 6 p.m. It’s Alexander Weinstein, a Siena Heights University professor and an all-around interesting—and busy—guy. He’ll be taking a group of University of Michigan students to Iceland to study in May and leading writing workshops on Martha’s Vineyard in June and July. We’re lucky to grab a slice of his time to hear him do a reading, talk about his writing process, and answer lots of questions about his life and Michigan Notable Book of short stories, “Children of the New World.”

Music Moves Me, a unique program designed for children ages two to six and their families, is scheduled way too early in the morning, but it’s totally worth waking up early for even if you don’t have a two to six year old to bring. The Adrian Symphony Orchestra provides two musicians (This time it’s Dave Rains on keyboard and Margot Box on harp) and Lenawee Heart and Soul’s music and movement specialist Caryn Sieler who will enthusiastically read and act out “The Very Lazy Ladybug” by Isobel Finn, accompanied at key parts by the musicians. It’s just a half hour program starting at 9:30, but it will invigorate you for the rest of the day and make you shake your head in wonder at the magic of the arts. 

And totally take your mind off bat salad.