Fran’s Favorites: Christening gowns and cherry crisp


It’s been a busy, busy week at the Governor’s Residence but it is so good to have life back to normal.

On Tuesday we had a picnic in the back yard for Mike’s cabinet secretaries, district representatives, and staff. There was a lot of joy in just seeing 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 Buckeye Brownie and Hello Dolly Bar) so they could help me grow the program in Ohio and reach more kids to sign up for the great Imagination Library book program. The weather was just beautiful for these events, and the gardens look spectacular!

Today I go to Shawnee State Park to open another Storybook Trail. These have been really successful — the kids love them and want to come back over and over. It is great to combine reading with being outdoors and enjoying nature.

Between all these events, I am finishing up my little sewing projects. I make christening gowns for my grandbabies’ baptisms. This time I’m making two of them for the upcoming baptisms of Calvin and Meg. Though I don’t do much sewing these days, I love making these heirloom gowns. I use old lace from the grandmothers and great-grandmothers, including bits from old handkerchiefs. I love to put in tiny pieces of the moms’ wedding dresses. Calvin’s gown was one I made for his mother, updated with a square collar made from his great-grandmother Mama’s handkerchief and some lace Anna found on her travels. I made Meg’s gown out of a piece of eyelet I had leftover from making Becky’s first Communion dress many years ago and finished the bottom with lace Alice and I had picked out together in London. I embroider the baby’s initials and date on the back of each gown. Every gown is a little different and has its own history.

Of course, every gathering of family must involve food too. So we are going to grill out and enjoy some good summer food.

The cherries keep coming! Since I made cherry pie last weekend, I think this weekend I will make some cherry crisp. I can’t think of anything better than some crunchy cherry crisp, hot out of the oven, topping a bowl of vanilla ice cream!

Cherry Crisp

Crisp topping:

1 cup flour

1 cup old fashioned oatmeal

1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup honey

1 stick cold butter, diced

Cherry filling:

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons corn starch

6 cups pitted sour cherries

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For the crisp:

Combine flour, oats,almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in medium mixing bowl. Stir in honey. Add the cold butter pieces and cut in with a fork or pastry blender. Refrigerate.

For the filling:

In large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Stir in the cherries and lemon juice. Butter a glass casserole or cast iron skillet (10”). Pour in cherry mixture. Sprinkle on crisp mixture in even layer. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Fran’s Favorites’s Favorites

Fran DeWine

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

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