It’s been a pretty incredible week watching beautiful spring with the redbuds and dogwood in full bloom one day, then covered with more than three inches of snow the next morning. I took lots of photos of the flowering trees at the Governor’s Residence on Tuesday, and then of the snow-covered blooming apple trees at my own home on Wednesday.
But as I write this, spring is returning and I am ready!
Mike and I saw lots of Ohioans getting vaccinated again this week. About 40 percent of the population is vaccinated now and lots of vaccination slots are available so it’s a good time to schedule your shots. We saw lots of innovative ways to get people signed up for shots in Youngstown yesterday. It’s so great to see what every county is doing. Everyone just wants to get back to normal, and this is how we do it!
We also went to Pike County late yesterday to talk to the Rhoden family after one of the defendants in the murder case changed his plea to guilty. Mike worked with the family for more than three years on this horrible case where the eight family members were murdered. There seemed to be a feeling of relief and gratitude among the family now that they were really finding out what happened.
As we left Pike County we passed the public library, and I remembered being there several years ago, talking to the children’s librarians. They were really doing incredible things with the children — not only reading to the kids and getting them interested in books but also making sure they have food, and little things like having parties to make the children really feel special at Christmas. With many libraries not entirely open yet, I just worry about the kids.
I participated in a statewide Zoom webinar for children’s librarians this morning to thank all the libraries for helping us sign up children for the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library. Many counties shared how they model Imagination Library books for a lot of the programs the libraries already do, like story time and outdoor book trails. Many are going to use them for their summer reading programs. I love the idea of having graduations for kids who have turned five and received their last book from the Imagination Library. In Shelby County they receive a book bag for graduation. They will have the graduation ceremony in the park this summer to kick off their summer reading program.
The Rocky River Public Library has a cooking club for kids, and several months ago they asked me to do a cooking video for them. I did a short video on making Becky’s Microwave Brownies, and I sent them some of my little cookbooks. As a thank you, the kids made me a darling cookbook of their favorite recipes, which I treasure. The recipes are hand-printed and illustrated by the kids! I love it so much and the recipes are so good that I want to share a couple with you.
Soak 4 torn bread slices in 1/2 cup water for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add 2 eggs and mix well with a fork.
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (or 2 teaspoons dried parsley)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
dash of pepper
With wet hands, form into small balls.
Broil in oven until brown.
Add to sauce.
Simmer loosely covered for 30 minutes.
1 cup regular rolled oats
1 cup flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup non-fat dried milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter
Combine dry ingredients.
Combine wet ingredients.
Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until blended.
Cook on hot griddle until top bubbles and flip (about 3 minutes).
Add toppings, like chocolate chips, whipped cream, sprinkles or maple syrup. Freeze leftovers.
Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, Yellow Springs native and guest columnist.