Hail to the Chef
September 2013 Issue
September 2013 Digest
Kid chefs at the White House, aviator Jerrie Mock, activist Maggie Kuhn and historic War of 1812 memorabilia.
Veggie barley salad and cauliflower-crust mini pizzas don’t exactly sound like White House fare, but 12-year-old Anisha Patel and 53 other kids from throughout the United States and its territories recently dug into those dishes and others at a luncheon hosted by first lady Michelle Obama.
The exclusive invitation was top prize in a nationwide contest co-sponsored by Epicurious — a web site about food and cooking — and the first lady’s “Let’s Move!” initiative that challenged youngsters to devise a creative and healthy lunch recipe. Anisha’s Kickin’, Colorful, Bell Peppers stuffed with Quinoa won her Ohio’s seat at the table, and on July 9 she and her mother, Pratiksha, flew to Washington, D.C., for the second annual Kids’ State Dinner. Along with dining on some of the winning recipes, winners got their photos taken with the first lady and even got to shake President Obama’s hand.
The Patels, who live in the Columbus suburb of Blacklick, learned about the contest a week before last spring’s submission deadline. “I told her, ‘OK, you come up with an idea, and I’ll help you put it together,’ ” Pratiksha says, adding that they submitted the recipe about six hours before the close of the competition.
Anisha researched last year’s winning recipes before creating her vegetarian dish. “Some people stuffed things,” she says. “So I thought I would stuff a bell pepper with quinoa, vegetables and beans to get us some protein.”
Helping cook family dinners at home inspired her choice of ingredients. “My mom uses a lot of quinoa in her cooking,” she says. “I help by cutting vegetables mostly.”
And when it comes to Anisha’s healthy snack suggestion for other kids her age, we’re sure the first lady would approve. “I like air-pop popcorn, because there’s no oil,” she says, “just plain popcorn with nothing on it.” — Jim Vickers
To check out Anisha Patel’s recipe and those from the 53 other winners, visit recipechallenge.epicurious.com.
Amelia Earhart was a legendary flyer, but Ohioan Jerrie Mock has earned her rightful place in aviation history, too: On an April morning in 1964, she touched down at Port Columbus Airport after a 29-day journey that made her the first woman to fly solo around the world.
It was a triumph that was a lifetime in the making.
“I took my first plane ride when I was 7,” the 87-year-old recalls. “I decided I wanted to see the world.”
Mock doggedly followed that dream. In 1958, after marrying and having three children, the Bexley resident trained for a pilot’s license. She also spent countless hours pouring over global charts and arranging for permission to fly internationally.
Finally, on March 19, 1964, Mock took off in the Cessna 180 her husband, Russell Mock, bought for her.
The flight was arduous: stormy winds buffeted the plane as she flew over the Atlantic Ocean.
“I realized the plane wasn’t staying up like it was supposed to,” remembers Mock. “So I stuck my flashlight out the window [to see what the trouble was].” After discovering that ice had formed on the wings, she quickly asked for and received permission to ascend to a higher altitude.
As the golden anniversary of her achievement nears, plans to pay homage are under way. On Sept. 14, a bronze statue of the aviator will be unveiled at The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology in her hometown of Newark. Mock’s 1970 autobiography Three-Eight Charlie
, has also been re-released. The title comes from her plane’s tail number: N1538C.
Mock — awarded the FAA Gold Medal for Exceptional Service by President Lyndon Johnson — takes her celebrity in stride.
“I didn’t really do anything,” she laughs. “But I had a great time.” — Danielle Lanning
For more information, visit 38charlie.com.
Maggie Kuhn was hopping mad. Since 1948, she’d been a guiding force at the United Presbyterian Church, creating health-care programs for the indigent and denouncing the segregation that permeated all facets of society.
But in August 1970, as her 65th birthday approached, the senior executive was informed — albeit oh-so-politely — that she had to retire.
“My work was my whole life,” Kuhn wrote in her 1991 autobiography, No Stone Unturned
. “I came to believe that something was fundamentally wrong with a system that had no use for people like us.”
Not one to keep silent, Kuhn shared her concerns with friends and fellow retirees around the country. Calling themselves the Gray Panthers, the colorful activist and her comrades began rallying en masse to fight age discrimination. Over the years, their perspective broadened to include stands on social justice issues affecting everyone.
Kuhn, who grew up in Cleveland and graduated with honors from the College for Women at Case Western Reserve University, died in 1995 at age 89. But her legacy endures: Numbering 10,000 strong in 22 chapters nationwide, the Gray Panthers continue their quest to right wrongs.
So, when it came time for AARP to compile an inaugural list citing 10 Champions of Aging, Kuhn’s name was a natural for inclusion.
“Maggie was a firebrand,” recalls Bill Hogan, a features editor with AARP Online and lead researcher for the project. He describes Kuhn’s confrontational protest tactics, which included a 1971 rally in which she and 1,000 Gray Panthers circled the White House to demand access to a presidential conference on aging. Police stormed the group and knocked Kuhn to the ground. Undaunted, the advocate rose to her feet and continued rallying.
“Every movement needs someone on the cutting edge who can take it further,” Hogan reflects. “Maggie looked around, saw how older Americans were being mistreated and vowed to change it by grabbing the public’s attention and holding it.
“No one did it like she did,” the editor adds. “Maggie broke the mold.” — Linda Feagler
For more information about AARP’s 10 Champions of Aging, visit the aarp.org blog.
On Sept. 10, 2013, Ohioans will celebrate a pivotal moment in the War of 1812, a conflict that resulted in what many consider America’s second independence from the British Empire. The bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie will be marked with a number of events commemorating the actions of one of the greatest heroes of American military history: Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, who famously and tenaciously fought back the British Navy on his crippled ship, the USS Lawrence. So brave and patriotic were Perry’s actions that he and the battle became icons of American freedom.
Companies from Staffordshire, England, to New York emblazoned their wares with scenes from the battle and Perry’s famous battle flag message “Don’t give up the ship!” Today, items relating to Perry (including anything with his signature coiffure) and the War of 1812 command intense interest from collectors of Americana.
While opportunities to learn more about the conflict abound, a notable exhibit at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, “The War of 1812 on the Ohio Frontier,” includes hundreds of objects that illustrate our state’s importance to the war. The exhibit runs through Oct. 7.
“Ohio Finds” features fascinating objects brought to the attention of Amelia and Jeff Jeffers, co-owners of Garth’s Auctioneers & Appraisers, an international firm outside Columbus.