Fran’s Favorites: Christening Gowns and Crisp Cherry
It’s been a busy and busy week at the Governor’s Residence, but it’s so good to get back to a normal life.
On Tuesday we hosted a picnic in the backyard for the Cabinet Secretaries, District Representatives and Mike’s staff. There was a lot of joy to see each other in person! Last night I hosted a group of women from the JoAnn Davidson Institute and sent them all home with some of my new Fran DeWine / Dolly Parton cookbooks (and a sample of Buckeye Brownie and Hello Dolly Bar) so that ‘They can help me grow the program in Ohio and reach more kids to enroll in the great Imagination Library books program. The weather was just beautiful for these events, and the grounds are spectacular!
Today I’m going to Shawnee State Park to open another Storybook Trail. These have been very successful – kids love them and want to come back again and again. It is good to combine reading with the outdoors and enjoying nature.
Between all these events, I finish my little sewing projects. I make baptism dresses for the baptisms of my grandchildren. This time I am doing two for the next baptisms of Calvin and Meg. Although I don’t do a lot of tailoring these days, I love doing these heirloom dresses. I use old lace from grandmothers and great-grandmothers, including pieces of old handkerchiefs. I like to put mom’s wedding dresses in small pieces. Calvin’s dress was the one I had made for his mother, updated with a square neck made from his great-grandmother Mama’s handkerchief and lace that Anna found on her travels. I made Meg’s dress with a piece of eyelet that I left after making Becky’s first communion dress many years ago and finished the stocking with lace that Alice and I had chosen together in London. I embroider the baby’s initials and date on the back of each dress. Each dress is a little different and has its own story.
Of course, every family reunion should also involve food. So we are going to grill and taste good summer dishes.
The cherries keep coming! Since I made cherry pie last weekend, I think this weekend I’m going to make cherry crisp. I can’t think of anything better than a crunch of crispy cherries, hot right out of the oven, topped with a bowl of vanilla ice cream!
1 cup of flour
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup flaked almonds (optional)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup honey
1 stick of cold butter, diced
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
6 cups pitted sour cherries
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
For the crisp:
Combine flour, oatmeal, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the honey. Add the pieces of cold butter and cut with a fork or a pastry blender. Refrigerate.
For the filling:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Stir in the cherries and lemon juice. Butter a glass casserole or a cast iron skillet (10 ”). Pour in the cherry mixture. Sprinkle with crispy mixture in an even layer. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, originally from Yellow Springs and a guest columnist.