Ohio - The Buckeye State
Other Nickname: Birthplace of Aviation
Suggested Nickname: The Rustbelt State
Two Truths and a Lie
The Ohio river starts as a spring high up on the glaciated Allegheny plateau in the state's northeast corner. If the water flowed north, it would reach Lake Erie in fifty short miles, instead, it flows south then west for 981 miles until it joins the Mississippi River in Cairo, Illinois. The river is navigable and played a huge role in Ohio’s economic development.
In 1958, Robert Heft, a high schooler in Napoleon, Ohio cut up his parents' 48-star flag and sewed a new version with 50 stars for a history project. His teacher must have had little hope of Alaska and Hawaii joining the union and gave him a B-. Bod felt that was unfair so he asked his congressman to take the 50-star design to Washington D.C. In 1960, Dwight D. Eisenhower personally called Bob and invited him to a ceremony adopting his flag design on July 4. His teacher changed the B- to an A.
Blennerhassett Island, south of Mariette, Ohio, was the operational center of Aaron Burr’s mission to separate the lands west of the Appalachians from the original colonies and make himself “king of the west.” His plan was widely broadcasted, woefully underfunded, and had no hope of success, but Burr persisted until arrested for treason. All buildings on the island were burned to the ground and the residents who aided Burr were banished.
The Recipe - Homemade Buckeyes
Buckeye trees have distinctive seeds. They are large and round with smooth deep brown skin except for a tan circle on top. They really do resemble deer’s eyes. The seeds contain bitter compounds making them toxic to humans unless carefully prepared. Native Americans learned how to leech the tannins out so they could access the protein and nutrients contained within. White people prefer to eat chocolate-covered peanut butter fudge in the shape of a buckeye instead. Peanut butter and chocolate are a winning combo, so I decided to go that route.
I took my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe. My husband loves these, he claims they taste just like the inside of a Reese’s. I wanted to minimize spread and have the cookies look as round as possible so I let the dough sit in the fridge for 48 hours to fully hydrate the flour. I also froze the cookies while the oven preheated - a little spreading took place, but I was still pleased with them.
Once the cookies were baked and cooled, I dipped them into a bowl of melted chocolate. It was tricky to dip them just right and achieve the buckeye look. Once I got low on chocolate, it was impossible. Had I been on BakeOff, my lack of uniformity would have been marked upon. Luckily for this blog, I just needed three really pretty ones to photograph.
Want to experience Ohio for yourself? Then Teresa recommends ...
My aunt and uncle keep inviting me out to go sailing on Lake Erie with them, and I really need to go. I’ve never made it east of Chicago on I-80, but one of these days I’ll get there. Until then, I will get some tea and cuddle up with a good book. Toni Morrison’s work rocked me to my core, both “Beloved” and “The Bluest Eye”. For something more academic and less gut-wrenching, try “The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West” by David McCullough.
Time for the whole truth
The Ohio River officially begins at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers in Pittsburgh, PA.
(By the way, you can click on any of the 2 truths and a lie statements to visit the source of the trivia)