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Getting To Know Ohio

 

 

For decades I have noticed that many of my out of state friends have a lot of misconceptions about the state I live in, Ohio.

So today I  am going to show case the lovely state of Ohio.

Ohio comes from an Iroquoian word meaning “great river.”

Very Brief History and The Northwest Ordinance

After initially being colonized by the French the Ohio territory was ceded to the British after the French-Indian War. The British ceded the territory to the newly formed United States at the end of the American Revolution. The newly formed government incorporated the area into the Northwest Territory, as set out by Thomas Jefferson.

The key document in Ohio history is the Northwest Odinance, which opened up vast land areas to the new country and accelerated the new country’s expansion westward.

After the Declaration of Independence, the Northwest Ordinance is the most important piece of legislation passed by the early U.S. government.

Two of its key provisions were:

1. It established that the U.S.government would be the sovereign government and would expand west by the admission of new states to the Union, not by the expansion of current states.

2. The document also prohibited slavery in the new territory establishing the Ohio River as the boundary between free and slave states.

Some Facts About Ohio

Ohio became a state in 1803 becoming the 17th state in the Union.

Just three states have given the United States half of all her Presidents. Ohio is one of those three states. Ohio was the birthplace of seven of our Presidents, coming in behind Virginia with eight.

Those presidents were:  Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield,  Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding. (Moreover, Ohio can lay claim to an eighth as William Henry Harrison, while born in Virginia, resided in Ohio.)

Ohio is still critical in Presidential politics. There is an old saying, “As Ohio goes, so goes the nation.” Very few candidates win the White House if they don’t win Ohio.

Ohio Climate

Nowhere are there more misconceptions about Ohio than with its climate. Many people think all of Ohio is in the Snow Belt.  This is a huge misconception. Only a small part of the state is in the Snow Belt.

Most of Ohio

The truth is most of Ohio lies in the humid continental zone.  Ohio has a generally temperate climate.

The extreme southern border and the extreme northern border of the state are, however, a bit different.

South

From Wikipedia:

……the extreme southern counties ofOhio’s Bluegrass region are located on the northern periphery of the humid subtropical climate and Upland South region of the United States.

This part of Southern Ohio is roughly along the Ohio River.

North

Parts of  Northern Ohio are in the snow belt. Again from Wikipedia:

Severe lake effect snowstorms are also not uncommon on the southeast shore of Lake Erie, which is located in an area designated as the Snow Belt.

This is roughly the Cleveland/Lake Erie area.

Average Snow Fall

You can see how the three areas of the state are different by looking at average snowfall numbers.

Cleveland has an average annual snowfall of 56.3 inches, while Columbus receives 28 inches, and Cincinnati 24 inches.

OhioTrivia

The Ohio state  flag is called a burgee.

 

 

 

Ohio is known as the Buckeye state because supposedly many Buckeye trees grow here. A Buckeye is an inedible nut that grows on the tree.

 

The state flower is a scarlet carnation.  

The state bird is the  cardinal.

The state insect is the ladybug.

The state gemstone is flint.

The state animal is the white-tailed deer.

The state wildflower is the large white trillium.

There are 20 state forests, more than 183,000 acres.

There are 74 state parks, more 204,000 acres.

Eagles are alive and well in the state, as are many falcons. Columbus, Ohio boasts a pair of Peregrine falcons nesting on the Rhodes Tower in downtown Columbus most every summer.

In 2010 the population of Ohio was 11,536,504.

Some Famous Ohioians:

Sherwood Anderson

Neil Armstrong

Elizabeth Blackwell

Ty Cobb

Doris Day’

Phyllis Diller

Hugh Downs

Paul Lawrence Dunbar

Thomas Edison

Stephen Foster

John Glenn

Clark Gable

Bob Hope

Jack Nicholas

Jessie Owens

Roy Rogers

Tecumseh

Cy Young

 Now you are an Honorary Ohioian!!!
Featured Recipe       
Baked Eggs with Bacon & Chives in Tomato Cups

I love tomatoes. I love eggs. And I like the two together.

I like the British tradition of having broiled tomatoes for breakfast. That was where I first learned I love the taste of egg yolk and warm tomatoes.

So it will come as no surprise I love this recipe. I first had it when I lived inCalifornia. A friend served this dish at a brunch.

First of all it tastes wonderful. Second it is an elegant looking dish; especially those times when the tomato cups do not crack in the baking process. Which is very seldom for me.

My friend just made the baked eggs with the two cheeses. It was my idea to add all the other stuff. I was going for a loaded potato look for this tomato dish.

It is reasonably easy to make, but worth any extra time it might take to make them for both their taste and elegant look.

The red of the tomato and the green chive combo would be perfectly lovely for your Christmas breakfast or brunch. Doesn’t it look so festive in the picture below?

Before I get to the what’s and the how’s, a word on ingredients.

I am using Swiss shredded cheese because I have some left over in the fridge I need to use up. My friend’s recipe used shredded white cheddar. Use any shredded cheese you like.

I used chives because I love their slight onion taste. But use any you need to use up or your favorite.

Play around with the recipe and make it your own.

This recipe is a bit more expensive than what I normally run, but it is worth it. This is also a full breakfast.

This is what you will need for 2 people:

4 bacon strips

2 large tomatoes

2 large eggs

2-4 tablespoons of butter

½ cup shredded cheese of your choice

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons snipped chives (or other herb of your choice)

Bread for toast

Salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the 4 slices of bacon in half and cook until crisp over medium heat. Save the bacon grease when the bacon is finished crisping for another use another day.

Wash the tomatoes and slice off the tops of each tomato. Cut around the inside perimeter of each tomato and scoop out the seeds.

NOTE: I use a grapefruit knife.

NOTE: Save the flesh of the tomato for another use, such as in salsa or add to store bought or homemade tomato sauce for pasta later in the week.

Salt the insides of the tomatoes to taste and place them in an ovenproof baking dish. I try to use as small a dish as possible so the tomatoes do not flop over.

Place 1 tablespoon of butter in the tomato cup.  Then add half of the shredded cheese  on top of the butter in each tomato cup. Using your fingers, press the cheese down a bit so the egg will fit on top.

Place an egg on top of each tomato, trying as best as you can to keep all the whites inside the tomato. Place the tomato tops in the baking dish too.

Bake the eggs for 10 minutes.

While the eggs are baking snip the chives. Cut on the diagonal for a prettier cut. Best and easiest way to snip is to use a kitchen scissor.

After ten minutes, remove the eggs from the oven. The eggs will not be done yet. They will only have just begun to set. You can see a little bit of white around the edges of the eggs if you look closely at the first picture below. Now divide the Parmesan cheese and place half on each egg.

Bake for another 7-10 minutes, or until the eggs are set to your desired consistency; about 7-8 minutes for runny yolks and about 9-10 for a bit more firm yolks. I baked mine 10 minutes. Remember, individual ovens vary so these times are approximate.

When the bacon is crisp drain it on paper towels. Using your fingers crumble  half of the strips into tiny pieces. Reserve the other half.

When done to your liking remove the eggs from the oven and let sit for about 2 minutes.

NOTE: The trick to this recipe is to have the tomatoes stay whole or cup like. I seldom have that occur as you can tell from the picture below. The tomatoes spilt during the cooking. It does not affect the taste. I don’t worry about it. I am just grateful I have food to eat.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and garnish with the bacon and fresh chives. Look how pretty the red and green look together. Looks Christmas festive!

Serve with the remaining bacon and use the remaining butter on toast strips both of which you can dip into the egg yolk. Oh Yum!!

Bon appétit!!!

Cost

4 bacon strips                        $0.72

2 large tomatoes                    $2.31

2 large eggs                          $0.22

2-4 tbspns butter                   $0.40

½ cup shredded cheese         $1.68

¼ cup grated Parmesan         $1.02

2 tbspns snipped chives          $0.49

Bread for toast                       $0.45

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost =$7.29
Cost per person =$3.65

Quote of the Day

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

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