Summer of masks and peach pie


Fran DeWine



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It’s mid July, summer is half gone, and all of us want to get back to normal with our families.

But as much as we want to, it’s not the time. The pandemic is still very much with us, and we know that we have to be extra vigilant right now if we don’t want to see in Ohio what we are seeing in Florida and Texas. We really want to have our children go back to school and have life normal again. But I think if this is going to happen anytime soon, we need to be extra vigilant now.

I listen to Mike as he has teleconferences every day on the phone. With doctors. With health care professionals. With our mayors and legislators. With the other governors and the White House. We know a lot more about the virus today than we did in March. We know it is extremely contagious, travels through the air from a cough or sneeze, or just breathing or singing. And we know some of the people who spread it have no symptoms, so they don’t even know they have it. We know our young adults usually survive it, but many pass it on to other people in their households.

At this point we still don’t have a vaccine, although we have better treatments today than we did three months ago. So we have to rely on prevention. And the best preventions are still washing our hands and surfaces, social distancing, and wearing masks when in public places. This week the head of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that every person wear a mask when in public places. Thursday at Mike’s news conference, Dr. Andrew Thomas said that a mask not only protects the wearer, but it protects everyone the wearer comes in contact with. It is the reason that a surgeon always wears a mask while performing surgery. And locally, Dr. Kevin Sharrett, who is Greene County coroner, medical director for Greene County Public Health, and a family medicine doctor at rural clinics in Cedarville and Jamestown, said that if 80 percent of people wore the masks in public we could decrease infections dramatically. In my opinion, it is the courteous, kind thing to do. I think we all want to take actions to protect each other.

If we wear these masks in public, continue to social distance, and stay away from large gatherings, we can still have some normalcy — a new normal. This is what I think all of us strive for. Food and how we handle it with friends is a big part of making us feel normal. We have to figure out how we enjoy food and fun and being together safely.

This weekend is my sister Cindy’s birthday. My mother and siblings always go out to eat together to celebrate our birthdays. But right now we know we have to be a lot more careful. Cindy loves peach pie, and my son Brian brought me a beautiful box of peaches. I make two kinds of peach pie: a fresh one where the peaches are not cooked, and a thickening is made using cornstarch and peach jello, and topped with whipped cream; and my traditional one — a two-crust baked pie. Cindy has opted for the baked pie, which is a little less sweet.

So I’m making her the pie, and a jar of peach preserves, too. Then we are taking a nice walk together. It is a really good way to talk, and social distance in the sunshine at the same time. We really all want to be together next year to go out to lunch for her birthday!

Fresh Peach Pie

Pastry for 9-inch 2-crust pie — either your own or pre-made (I use half Crisco, half lard in mine)

5-6 cups sliced peaches

2 teaspoons lemon juice

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup flour

2 Tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare pastry. Mix sliced peaches with lemon juice. Stir together flour and sugar and mix with peaches. Pour into flour-lined pie pan. Put little pieces of butter on top. Dampen edges and cover with top crust. Seal and flute, and put slit in top to allow steam to escape. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn down to 300 degrees. You might need to put strips of foil around edges to keep from browning too much. Bake about 40 minutes, until juice begins to bubble through slits in crust and pie is slightly brown.

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Fran DeWine

Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, Yellow Springs native and guest columnist.

Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, Yellow Springs native and guest columnist.