Fran’s Favorites: End of summer recipes


Labor Day weekend was full of family time — and of course lots of good food!

Cedarville hosts CedarFest every year, honoring Senator James Kyle, born in Cedarville, who introduced the bill in the United States Senate making Labor Day a national holiday. The weekend is really a great reunion for everyone from the area, and always starts with a big pancake breakfast at the fire station.

After breakfast we hurried home to watch grandsons Justin and Brian run in a Cross Country meet on our farm, hosted by our son-in-law with six schools participating. It’s not an easy course because of the rolling hills, but it was great fun to watch all the kids run. It was a cool and beautiful day, perfect for running.

Later in the day our family gathered at Indian Lake for a cook-out wedding shower for my nephew and his fiancée. Everyone brought great food. Beside burgers and brats we had Chris’s enchiladas, Kathy’s delicious beans and Betheen’s corn salad. I loved the salad and asked her to share the recipe, which is great for the end of summer. The corn is first stir-fried to bring out its flavor. I brought what was left of the large carrot cake I made to share with the Cross Country volunteer workers.

Sunday we headed up to Rocky River to celebrate grandson Theo’s 4th birthday — complete with dinosaurs and “all things extinct or in your imagination!”

Becca carved out a watermelon to look like a monster head with big teeth, large eyes and a hollow inside, sitting on a large tray surrounded by strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and watermelon pieces. The coolest food was a large volcano made of cheese. The center of it contained another cup of reddish-colored molten cheese. It was surrounded by multi-colored corn chips and crackers and lots of dinosaurs!

On Monday we enjoyed the firemen’s breakfast again before the big CedarFest parade. My job was to watch my grandson Grady ride in the first float — the kindergarten float — Class of 2033! And Mike’s job was to take pictures of our daughter Alice and her family as she walked in the parade as a candidate for Greene County prosecutor.

Earlier in the week some friends came to our house for dinner and they brought us a beautiful mixed berry pie. I have to say most people don’t bring me pies but this was one of the most beautiful and most delicious pies that I have ever seen or tasted! The lattice top was shaped like the Ohio flag with cut out stars, pie crust strips for the white stripes and bubbly berries for red stripes. It was their daughter Sarah’s recipe, and Sarah worked for Mike while he was in the Senate. Sarah shared her recipe with me. I especially like it because the blueberries, sugar, and cornstarch were cooked together first, and then after cooling, the rest of the berries were added. This way you could control the thickness of the filling and still have a very fresh taste to the pie. You can bet I’m going to try this recipe!

Betheen’s Mexican Corn Salad


1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cumin

Mix together and set aside.


splash of oil

4 ears corn, shucked, kernels removed

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup canned black beans, drained

1 bell pepper, seeded, chopped

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup crumbled feta or Cotija cheese

Heat oil over medium/high heat in a large saute pan. Add garlic and corn. Cook about 15 minutes, flipping frequently, until corn begins to char a bit. Gently toss with lime juice and salt.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing. Serve warm or cold over tacos, as a chip dip, or by itself.

Sarah’s Mixed Berry Pie

2 pie crusts for 9” pie

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

dash of salt

1/3 cup water

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

1 cup blueberries

1 cup raspberries

1 cup halved strawberries

3/4 cup blackberries

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons butter

In a large saucepan, whisk sugar, cornstarch, salt and water until smooth. Add blueberries. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes until it has thickened. Cool a little.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Gently fold in rest of berries and lemon juice into blueberry mixture. Put bottom crust in pie pan. Add filling. Dot with butter. Cover with second crust, cutting vents in the top crust. Top crust can be strips for lattice or stars and stripes.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake 45-50 minutes more. Cover pie crust with foil if necessary to keep it from getting too brown.

Serve with Jeni’s Brambleberry Crisp ice cream!

Sarah’s Ohio Mixed Berry Pie is perfect for the end of summer.’s Ohio Mixed Berry Pie is perfect for the end of summer.

By Fran DeWine

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

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