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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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Published: Monday, 8/11/2014 - Updated: 2 months ago

COMMENTARY

H2O, in the know

Water crisis offered a learning experience

BY MARY BILYEU
BLADE FOOD EDITOR

Thankfully, last week‘‍s “do not drink, do not boil, do not use” water crisis didn’‍t last very long. Even if we continue in a new era of conserving the clean water that we‘‍ve previously taken for granted. It still offered a learning experience in some very meaningful and even some rather humorous ways. Here is just a sampling of my random observations.

Bottled Frappuccinos have that “new car” smell ... really, I’‍m not kidding. And in all honesty, they don’‍t taste much better: too sweet even for someone who puts both sugar and flavored Coffee-Mate (what a friend once called “liquid candy”) into her coffee every morning. They‘‍re also sorely -- truly, because of the ensuing headache -- lacking caffeine. I will now use my last bottle of the stuff as coffee creamer, since it doesn’‍t qualify as coffee even in an emergency.

Someone on Facebook noted that restaurants being closed was the worst part of the situation, because Toledo is an eating-out town and this person was feeling inconvenienced by not being able to eat out when unable to cook with water. To that, I say: “Suck it up, Buttercup” and eat sandwiches on paper plates. Because the worst part of having the restaurants closed was actually the enormous financial loss to owners, to kitchen staff, and to servers. Certainly, the biggest inconvenience and stress was not to customers. Please continue to show these establishments a little extra love, even after last week‘‍s Eat Out Toledo campaign of support, to help them now that they’‍re open again. And leave a generous tip.

When you’‍re at the grocery store buying the aforementioned pseudo-coffee drinks, or some juice to supplement the limited water supply, resist the urge to visit the cookie aisle. Because if you happen to visit the cookie aisle, you might find the Reese’‍s mini Oreos and end up eating 97% of the box by yourself. It doesn‘‍t matter whether they really qualify as Oreos or not, a topic that’‍s already been addressed here with regard to all the newfangled flavors. (Most don‘‍t pass muster.) These cookies taste a bit like the Girl Scouts‘‍ Peanut Butter Patties, a.k.a.: Tagalongs, and they’‍re so small that they‘‍re easy to eat by the handful. I would hang my head in shame over how many I ate, but I’‍d rather just go buy another box of cookies.

I drove past a church on the first day of the situation, and noticed bridesmaids getting out of antique cars. These women looked beautiful in shades of purple, carrying gorgeous bouquets. The wedding ceremony would not require water, but I‘‍m certain that the caterer was in a panic with regard to the reception. I hope the celebration went beautifully, and that the bridal couple was able to laugh at any mishaps or inconveniences. This is what a life together will be about, after all: cooperation, compromise, accommodation, and getting through the tough times together while also celebrating the joys. And the happy couple will have a great story to tell their grandchildren some day.

I don’‍t often have much good to say about Wal-Mart. Frankly, truth be told, I never have anything good to say about Wal-Mart. But that has now changed. When I checked with Mobile Meals, hoping its clients would be able to receive bottles of water along with their food deliveries, Associate Executive Director Carolyn Fox told me that Wal-Mart had donated six pallets of water to the organization.So thank you, Wal-Mart, for helping to take care of those who are so vulnerable that they depend upon Mobile Meals and its volunteers to provide them with food. These people would not have been able to stand in line or travel to get their own drinkable water.

Thank you, too, to those who worked through that weekend helping people in need, who coordinated water deliveries to shelters, who bought paper goods for soup kitchens, and who made sure that others were taken care of somehow, some way. As Mayor Collins said, “Here’‍s to you, Toledo.”

Contact Mary Bilyeu at 
mbilyeu@theblade.com
 or 419-724-6155 or on Twitter @foodfloozie.



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