Saturday, Jun 23, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Dan Neman


For the love of old refrigerators



First, a refrigerator is something you have to keep your food cool and fresh.

After awhile, a refrigerator is something you have because you have always had it and it still works well, more or less, except for that thing about the defrosting and that problem with the Freon, but you don’t absolutely have to fix it now and a new one would cost too much.

Some years later, the refrigerator is something you have because, although it is outdated, it is outdated in a cool, retro-hip way.

After that, well, it’s just freakish.

Which brings us to Michael Tersigni and Bette Wilson, both from Toledo. Both were, until recently, proud owners of refrigerators that dated all the way back to 1939. Both were regional winners in the Ohio’s Oldest Fridge Contest, sponsored by FirstEnergy. Each received $250 (plus the $50 incentive available to anyone who gets older and inefficient appliances picked up to be recycled).

Both also had their trusty old energy-guzzlers taken away to be recycled, which is kind of sad to those of us who are not paying their electricity bills.

The actual title of Ohio’s Oldest Fridge, incidentally, was split between two winners; one from Upper Arlington and one from Middleburg Heights. Both of them had refrigerators dating to 1930.

Fruit of the vine

If the folks in this part of the world are defined by anything, it is their fondness for mixing food with charity. Event after event brings together the generally well-heeled with a promise of eating well while doing good.

Mobile Meals of Toledo offers a slightly different take on that idea on Nov. 2: drinking well while doing good.

The 26th annual wine gala, which is black-tie optional, will begin with a wine tasting (at 6 p.m.), followed by a dinner with wine (at 7:30 p.m.), and then have an auction of fine wines (at 8:30 p.m.).

The cost is $150, with $100 of that being tax deductible. If you want to spend more, you can drop $175 for a patron-level ticket, of which $125 is tax-deductible. The dinner will be a choice of beef, salmon, or pumpkin ravioli entrees.

Reservations must be made by Oct. 16 at 419-255-7806. The event will be held in the Great Hall of the Stranahan Theatre.

Farm biz

Farmers who want to get the most out of their farms might want to think about attending a two-part workshop series about specialty crops that will be held Nov. 2-5 at the Shisler Conference Center in Wooster, Ohio. The workshops are organized by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association and by Countryside Conservancy.

The first session, Nov. 2-3, will discuss planting and growing techniques that work on large-scale sustainable farms. Organic Produce Farmer Linda Halley, the former co-owner of Harmony Valley Farms in Viroqua, Wisc., will talk about everything from efficiently growing transplants and weed control to how to keep the produce fresh to how to meet the demands of distributors and customers.

The second session, on Nov. 4-5, will have Chris Blanchard talk about building and managing a farm business. Blanchard, the owner of Rock Spring Farm in Decorah, Iowa, will discus the details of running an established farm as a business, everything from equipment and employees to financing and bookkeeping.

The cost is $150 for one session or $250 for both, and breakfast and lunch will be provided. Registration is required by Oct. 21, although all available seats may be filled by then.

To register, go to or call 330-657-2542, ext. 224, for more information.

Bake-off finalist

You did it! Yes, you.

Two weeks ago in this space, we mentioned that Anne Johnson was one of the semifinalists for the Pillsbury Bake-Off. Ms. Johnson, now of Vincent, Ohio, but originally from Sylvania, was competing in the Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts category with her recipe for PB&J Mini Walnut Muffins.

The public (which is to say you — yes, you) was invited to vote for their favorite semifinalist recipes. Ms. Johnson’s muffins (peanut-butter cookie dough, flour, eggs, buttermilk, walnuts, and strawberry jam and more walnuts on top) were voted to be one of the 33 finalists in the category. That means she will be heading to Las Vegas to compete both in her category — it’s one of three — and potentially for the grand prize of $1 million.

Kid food

Can children improve their lives by eating better?

Retired dietitian Kris Johnson will hold a class about how to improve children’s learning, behavior, and health through good nutrition — at least as defined by the Weston A. Price Foundation, which promotes the consumption of whole foods and animal fats.

The class, which is sponsored by the foundation, will be held Oct. 22 from 6-8 p.m. in the Fellowship Chapel of the Grace Lutheran Church, 4441 Monroe St. As always, the class is free, although donations will be accepted. Usually, these classes also involve healthy snacks.

To register, call 419-320-2309.

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