Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Think Christmas — but just briefly


A table is set with candles, dates and other sweets during the Hancock Historical Museum's Christmas Victorian dinner.

The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
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Here we come a-wassailing, among the leaves so green…

Wait. It’s only October. Christmas is more than two months away. There aren’t even any commercials on TV yet that begin "’Tis the season."

Don’t you hate those?

Anyway, we’re getting our Yule on extra-early for a reason: The 18th Annual Victorian Christmas Dinner, which benefits the Hancock Historical Museum in Findlay, will be held Dec. 9 and 10. That’s still pretty far away too, but if you want to make reservations for it and get a 15 percent discount you’ll have to act before Nov. 5.

The dinners are High Victorian all the way, complete with a coachman, a butler, a housekeeper, and upstairs and downstairs maids throughout the evening. The five-course dinner will feature chicken with a wild rice and chestnut stuffing and will end with a dessert of a cherry Christmas salad. Wassail and appetizers will also be served to guests while they tour the just-post-Victorian 1903 Colonial Revival home in which the dinner will be served, and very Victorian sugarplums will be offered, along with other era-appropriate cheeses, nuts, and fruits.

The wassail, appetizers, and tours begin at 6:30 p.m., with dinner starting at 7 p.m. It will all be held at a house at 916 South Main St. in Findlay. The cost is $85 before Nov. 5, $100 after Nov. 5 (the cost to museum members is $75 before Nov. 5 and $90 afterward). For reservations, call 419-423-4433.

Confucius says

The heartwarming story came complete with a quote from Confucius.

Ioan and Jocelyn M.N. Marinescu recently took two guests out to dinner at the Tandoor restaurant. New to Toledo, the guests both teach Chinese language courses in Toledo schools — the program is sponsored by the University of Toledo’s Confucian Institute. The guests were so delighted by the restaurant that they took pictures of the interior.

When the time came to pay, the waitress explained that their bill had already been paid. Some people at another table surmised they were all teachers and, as a gesture to the profession, paid for their meal.

Shocked, one of the guests said, "we thought this only happened in movies."

But as it turns out, it has happened to the Marinescus more than once. Some years ago, they were at a sushi restaurant in Tokyo. A Japanese man they were chatting with there also paid their bill before he left.

All of which led Jocelyn Marinescu to quote Confucius. It is the first line of the classic The Analects: "Having studied, to then repeatedly apply what you have learned — is this not a source of pleasure? To have friends come from distant quarters—is this not a source of enjoyment?"

Food Day

In the spirit of Earth Day, the Center for Science in the Public Interest — the people who said that movie popcorn is bad for you — is calling tomorrow Food Day, a day set aside for thinking about what we eat and how we should eat better.

In particular, the group is promoting six principles for the day: Reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods; support sustainable farms and limit subsidies to big agribusiness; expand access to food and alleviate hunger; protect the environment and animals by reforming factory farms; promote health by curbing junk-food marketing to kids, and support fair conditions for food and farm workers.

Actually, most of those are more about politics than food.

Locally, the day is being celebrated with a food drive at the University of Toledo to support the Feed Your Neighbor program. In addition, pamphlets and other material will be available at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library’s Main Library (325 Michigan St.) and Sanger Branch (3030 West Central Ave.).

Jumping the gun by a day, the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Monroe will celebrate Food Day from 1-4 p.m. today with demonstrations of canning food, tilling, and composting, activities for kids, and information about nutrition, bees, bats, butterflies, native plants, and fruit trees. A non-perishable food item is requested to help feed the hungry.

According to local coordinator Jeanette Eckert, "what we’re fighting for is sustainable, humane, healthy, accessible, and safe food." She added that the organizers are hoping to make Food Day an annual event.

Items for Morsels may be submitted up to two weeks before an event to

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