I have never watched the football draft, but I did Thursday night.
I was super excited about the first pick — Joe Burrow for the Bengals. It was exciting because Joe is such a great quarterback. But I’m also excited because Joe is an “Ohio boy” and he has a real heart for “his people.” In Joe’s Heisman speech in December, he talked about southeast Ohio and their high poverty rate.
“There is so many people there that don’t have a lot and I’m here for all those kids in Athens and Athens County that go home to not a lot of food on the table, hungry after school. You guys can be here too,” he said.
The money Joe raised, about half a million dollars, is going to the food banks in southeast Ohio. It will really make a difference.
Locally our food banks are doing a great job. Last week at the Nutter Center, 4,500 people (nearly 1,381 households) picked up food. The following day, The Foodbank distributed food to 744 households at their Armor Place building in Dayton, and they will hold a drive-thru pantry on Monday and Wednesday.
In Greene County, the Xenia Area Fish Food Pantry is currently open two days a week for a drive-thru on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and soon they’ll move to their new, bigger facility on Cincinnati Avenue. The Fairborn Fish Food Pantry is also working hard to feed local families.
Each community throughout the state is working so hard to provide food for their residents. In Cincinnati, a group called La Soupe is doing a wonderful job. They have always “rescued” food. Now they have many chefs that are donating their time, using closed restaurants to do the cooking, turning that food into meals, and getting those meals to the people who need them the most.
During this time we all have to work to get this pandemic crisis under control so we can open our economy back up. Mike is working tirelessly to make this happen as safely as possible, and as quickly as possible. We all have to do our part. As I watched the football draft, I sewed a bunch of cloth masks to give away, because I know protecting ourselves with masks will be an important part of our protection as we open our economy back up. They will help us protect ourselves and others when we go out into public. We still have to do our physical distancing. And we trust our food pantries will help feed our families in need. We want to make sure there is always food, especially for children.
At many of the food banks, the boxes of food that families receive contain lots of great items — milk, bread, eggs, onions, some fruit, pasta, and a lot of canned goods. Sometimes it is hard to decide what to do with the canned goods, and how to stretch it for more people. So I’m including two recipes for those pantry items.
The first is for black bean soup. This recipe makes a delicious soup with great flavor, and you can add bacon or sausage if you have it, but it’s a good source of protein even without it. The second recipe for peach cobbler helps stretch a can of peaches to a good dessert for a family. It can be used with other fruit, too, like cherries. It calls for 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar, but I usually bring the syrup or juice from the peaches to a boil, adding more sugar and water to make 1 cup.
Black Bean Soup
In a soup pot combine:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Saute about 3 minutes. Add:
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
Cook for 1 minute. Add:
3 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
Cook for 2 minutes. Add:
2 1/2 cups cold water
Bring to a boil. Gently simmer 30 minutes. Put half of soup in blender on high for 5 seconds. Return to soup pot. Serve with cilantro, sour cream and cheese if desired. You can also add a can of Rotel tomatoes to this recipe for a little heat.
Judy’s Peach Cobbler
Mix and put in bottom of square pan:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pour over cake:
2 cups peaches (can use canned cherries or other fruit)
1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
Bake at 350 degrees until cake comes up through fruit.
Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, Yellow Springs native and guest columnist.