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Making their own meeting treats

By Staff | Nov 16, 2012

PAT SACKVILLE shows how the demonstration on proper measuring techniques was set up for a recent meeting of the Kitchen Krew 4-H Club.

By CLAYTON RYE

“mailto:crye@wctatel.com”>crye@wctatel.com

HAMPTON – Pat Sackville is a lifelong resident of this central Wright County community, who said, “I’ve been here forever.”

Her past jobs have been mayor for two years, Chamber of Commerce director for 12 years, and hosting a radio show in Hampton for seven years.

It was the adult cooking class that she conducted for seven years that probably prepared her for her newest duty as 4-H leader for the Kitchen Krew, a club dedicated to cooking.

FLAX OATMEAL chocolate chip cookies sit ready for baking.

The club is in its second year and was inspired by Sackville’s 12-year-old granddaughter Emma Sackville, who enjoys cooking. Emma’s mother is Michelle Sackville, who is the Extension coordinator for Franklin County.

Michelle Sackville said she enjoys being in the kitchen. Pat Sackville said she likes to cook while her daughter-in-law is the baker.

Starting a 4-H club devoted to cooking was not a problem as Franklin County, Pat Sackville said. 4-H members can join existing clubs dedicated to subjects including shooting and woodworking.

The Kitchen Krew 4-H Club meets monthly at the Methodist church in Hampton and has both boys and girls as members with approximately 10 members forming the core of the club.

It is designed for members in grades four through eight with most members in the fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grades, Sackville said.

MEMBERS OF THE Kitchen Krew 4-H cook club include, from left, front row—Ashlyn Hanson, Elle Latham, Anika Miller and Mary Windsor; back row—Katura Sauke, Meg Christianson, Emma Sackville and Jenna White.

One change Sackville made that differed from her adult cooking classes was that when the members arrive after school, they are “always hungry,” She said. 4-H members will cook first for something to eat and then have a meeting.

Sackville said Kitchen Krew has two goals – to be comfortable in the kitchen and cooking; and to have fun.

“It’s a life skill these kids are learning,” Sackville said.

Demonstrations are held during the monthly meetings on the subjects of cooking techniques or tools.

Recent demonstrations were presented on knife skills, measuring methods and separating and cooking eggs. This month’s meeting was on graters, peelers and choppers.

Kitchen Krew participated at the Iowa State Fair with three teams of three members. There were two junior teams of 9- and 10-year-olds, and an intermediate team of 11- and 12-year-olds.

The competition was called Cook This. Competing teams had to perform three tasks including:

  • Identify tools, herbs and spices.
  • Perform a presentation. Kitchen Krew’s intermediates spoke on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s My Plate nutritional program.
  • Cook a recipe. The junior group made quesadillas and the intermediates made pasta with marinara sauce.

The intermediate group also had to make a dessert at the state fair using Iowa-grown cherries.

“We learned a lot,” Sackville said. “We actually did pretty good.” The club received an 80 to 85 percent rating.

Kitchen Krew baked 250 cupcakes using a recipe for wedding cake cupcakes for the recent Franklin County 4-H awards night. Each member made three dozen cupcakes at home and then they met at the Methodist church basement to frost them.

Sackville said she “always love to cook.”

She learned cooking from her mother, who said to “Try everything once;” and her grandmother who said, “You don’t need fancy food, just lots of it.”

Wedding cake cupcakes

1 18.25-ounce box white cake mix

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups water

2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

4 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add remaining ingredients and beat with hand mixer for 2 minutes or until well blended.

Use an ice cream scoop to fill cupcake tins; fill about 3/4 full.

Bake about 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Makes 36 cupcakes

Creamy Reuben soup

1 cup sauerkraut, well drained (wring with your hands and a towel)

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/4 cup celery, chopped

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/4 cup flour

3 tablespoons water

4 teaspoons beef flavored bouillon or 4 beef bouillon cubes

1/2 pound corned beef, shredded

3 cups half and half

1 12-ounce package Swiss cheese, shredded

6 to 8 slices rye or pumpernickel bread, toasted and cut into quarters

In a large saucepan, cook onion and celery in butter until tender.

Stir in flour until smooth.

Gradually stir in water and bouillon and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 5 minutes.

Add corned beef, kraut, half and half, and 1 cup cheese.

Cook 30 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring frequently.

Ladle into 8 ovenproof bowls. Top each with toasted bread and 1/2 cup cheese. Broil until cheese melts.

Asparagus pasta salad

1 small shallot or 1/2 large shallot, finely chopped

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound asparagus, thin spears

2 endive, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 pound bow tie pasta, cooked to al dente and cooled

1/2 cup frozen green peas

1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat shallot and oil in microwave safe covered dish for 30 seconds or in a small pan on the stovetop over medium low heat for 5 minutes. Allow oil to cool back to room temperature.

Hold a spear of asparagus at each end and snap it.

The spear breaks where the tender tops meet the tough bottoms.

Line the broken spear up with the bundle of cleaned asparagus. Cut the spears using the guideline of the snapped spear.

Par boil the asparagus tops in 1-inch simmering water covered for 3 to 5 minutes. Cool under cold running water and drain.

Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces on an angle and add to a bowl. Combine chopped, cooked asparagus with shredded endive, red bell pepper, cooked pasta, green peas and chopped parsley.

The peas will defrost as salad is tossed. Pour vinegar into a small bowl and whisk in cooled shallot oil. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Season salad with salt and pepper to taste and toss again.

Oatmeal flax chocolate chip cookies

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup quick cooking oats

1/4 cup flaxseed, finely ground in a spice grinder or pre-ground

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, oats, flaxseed, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.

Beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture and beat until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

Let cookies cool 3 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

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