It’s buckeye week at Perrysburg High

PERRYSBURG – It takes a stalwart heart, indeed, to walk into Jennifer Kregel’s classroom at Perrysburg
High School any day this week.
Stalwart, that is, if one is a Michigan fan.
On the other hand, if a student bleeds Red and Grey, the room is likely to generate very warm, fuzzy
feelings.
That’s because family and consumer sciences teacher Jennifer Kregel is the most loyal Ohio State
University fan around and the days leading up to this weekend’s Big Game are all about unabashed
boosterism.
She’s even become famous for working the Buckeyes into the curriculum.
"Every year we do a Buckeye Lab with my cooking classes."
By the end of the day Tuesday her 142 students had produced a total of 2,422 buckeye candies, the famous
peanut butter balls dipped into melted chocolate.
"The Buckeye Lab," as she calls the much-anticipated project, "is just fun and a way for
me to support my alma mater, and the kids love it! I am the most popular teacher in the building for the
day the kids finish them."
That’s because the students are allowed to take home the fruits of their labors and even students not
currently in her classes know that if they play their cards right they can score a buckeye or two from a
friend.
"We play the Ohio State fight song all week, and if you’re a Michigan fan you just have to live with
it!" she says frankly.
The football rivalry theme permeates the school, in fact.
"On Friday the building will be decorated in red and gray, and blue and yellow.
"The rest of the week I ask OSU trivia questions in class, like when was the first ‘script Ohio’
done" by a marching band?
It’s a trick question.
"The very first time it was actually done was by Michigan" at a 1930s-era game, says Kregel.
"They used to play their rival’s song at the game" as a sportsmanlike gesture.

Ohio State
buckeyes

½ c. butter (1 stick)

1 ½ c. peanut butter

1 lb. powdered sugar

1 t. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together.

Make into small balls (about size of a quarter) and freeze on wax paper.

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

¼ c. or less shaved paraffin wax

Melt both items in a double boiler until smooth.

With a toothpick dip ball in the chocolate, covering all but the top of the peanut butter ball (to look
like a buckeye).

Place on wax paper until chocolate hardens.

(Makes about 45 buckeyes)

GO BUCKS!

Kregel guesses "maybe only about 30 percent" of her students are Michigan fans this year –
"that will admit it to me! They’ll say, ‘Do we get the Buckeyes if we’re Michigan fans?’"
Making buckeyes is pretty simple. Kregel says the biggest challenge is that the candies can become too
dry.
She and her students discovered that the brand of powdered sugar used makes a difference.
"We use Domino powdered sugar, but other sugar brands have more cornstarch."
To compensate, when making the recipe she says to use one pound (four cups) if it’s Domino brand, but
"any other brand we’ve found it to be 31â„2 cups."
Either way, the buckeyes taste the same, it’s just that the consistency is different.
One big change from the recipe as printed here is that her classes do not use paraffin.
"My students get a little freaked out at the idea of wax in it, so we just do without, and it works
fine."
She’s also not picky about what kind or brand of chocolate is used. Chocolate chips are fine, but she has
also melted down Hershey’s chocolate bars and added that to the chips "and they all seem to work
because they all hold shape and form. They just need to stick to the peanut butter."
Because the Cook’s Corner already featured a recipe for buckeyes in 2005, Kregel is adding a bonus recipe
that is also a favorite of her students.
"When I asked for another recipe two of my boys jumped up and said ‘the quesco dip’!"
"It’s also good for a football party or a tailgate."
Teachers before her used the recipe; "it’s very popular here."
The fondue is also very quick and easy to produce. "I would say 20 minutes. Chopping the vegetables
takes the longest."
Kregel, who joined the Penta Vocational School staff in 2006, knows all about cooking for tailgates as
she is the wife of the school’s head football coach, Matt Kregel.
Bowling Green State University fans will remember him as playing football at BGSU in the late 1980s. The
former Jennifer Limes, a Wood County native, met Kregel while she was an OSU undergrad and joined
friends attending the UT-BG football game during a Thanksgiving weekend visit home.
The two dated long-distance for a year, then she graduated and the rest is history."
"Football’s a huge part of our life" Kregel confirmed, with their daughters, ages 4, 8 and 10,
already faithful Buckeyes.
Chili con quesco fondue
1 onion, chopped fine
1 green pepper, chopped fine
2T. margarine
1 T chili powder
1 tomato, cut into small pieces
16 oz. (1 lb.) Velveeta cheese – cut into cubes
½ c margarine
1 bag corn chips/tortilla chips
Yields 8 servings
In an electric fondue pot, set on medium to medium high heat, melt the SMALLER amount of margarine and
saute’ the green pepper and onion until the green pepper is soft. (test by sticking a fork into one of
the green pepper pieces)
Add the chili powder and tomato and cook until all the juice from the tomato has cooked away and you have
a soft/moist – not watery – paste.
Lower the heat on the fondue pot and add the cheese and the LARGER amount of margarine.
Melt the cheese and margarine, stirring frequently.
The mixture will burn easily be careful!
Unplug your fondue pot, disconnect the heating element from the pot and carefully carry the pot to the
center of your table.
Serve with a big bowl full of corn chips/tortilla chips.