FORT DODGE – The Iowa State Fair is well known for a lot, but most importantly the food.
Food that can be purchased on a stick, and just about every kind of cuisine is available.
But some of the most important food at the state fair isn’t always recognized by the thousands of fair-goers – the item prepared by youth for competition.
One particular 4-H’er that will be entering a food project at the 2013 Iowa State Fair is Madison Bodholdt, of Fort Dodge.
Bodholdt, 17, a soon-to-be senior at Fort Dodge Senior High is the daughter of Sid and Kim Bodholdt. Her apple pie was awarded a purple ribbon during the Webster County Fair last month, advancing her on to the Iowa State Fair.
A member of the Nifty Newark 4-H Club, Bodholdt has been active in 4-H since her fourth grade year, and in addition to exhibiting a food project, she has also been a regular with showing rabbits and photography exhibits.
In her earlier 4-H career, Bodholdt said she would enter a lot more exhibits at her county fair, but playing softball, she has narrowed it down to her rabbits, photography and entering her apple pie.
Bodholdt said she enjoys baking more than cooking and preparing a meal, and will bake when she has the time to dedicate to the kitchen. Her apple pie that will be judged at the Iowa State Fair is a family favorite, she said.
Bodholdt said it was through a 4-H program she attended where she first learned to bake a pie and soon found a recipe that was a lot like the pies baked by her grandmother, Pam Wolff, and has been making that recipe ever since.
“Everyone liked it, so I keep making it,” said Bodholdt.
She will bake pies for family gatherings, such as Thanksgiving time.
Her mother and grandmothers, have been instrumental in teach in Madison Bodholdt how to bake a pie. Through a lot of trial and error, she has discovered what works best for her.
Some advice she gives is to always line the edges of the pie crust with foil for a half hour or so while the pie is baking. This, Bodholdt said, will help to keep the edges from browning too much and becoming too crispy.
Bodholdt said she always measures her ingredients for the filling, but will add what needs to be for taste. She also likes to add extra apples to her filling.
“I fill it up as much as I want. It keeps the crust from falling in and looks better,” she said.
Mixing ingredients in order and quickly is also important when baking a pie, Bodholdt said, as well as rolling dough as little as possible to prevent drying the crust.
This is Bodholdt’s first trip to the Iowa State Fair with a pie. The judges’ comments from the county fair, she said, was that her “filling wasn’t runny and it stood and set up pretty well and that sometimes the lard used in the pie crust can make it too flaky and hers was just right.”
A food project isn’t always about the food, Bodholdt said. It’s also about the documentation.
Bodholdt took the time and detailed much about her apple pie, which, she said, also pleased the judges.
“I was surprised and excited about it,” Bodholdt said of getting chosen to advance to the Iowa State Fair.
“Everyone says it’s good,” she said. “I guess this is the proof. I’m proud of it.”
Bodholdt said she also enjoys baking blueberry streusel muffins that she will take as a treat to her fellow teammates on cold winter mornings for hitting practice and one of her favorite snacks to prepare is fruit salsa.
Although apple is the only flavor of pie she makes so far, she is interested in other fruit and styles of pies and she is also interested in trying her grandmother Bodholdt’s homemade bread.
“I have made it with her before, but never on my own and I would really like to try to make that,” said Bodholdt.
6-7 apples, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Dash of salt
2 cups flour
1 cup lard
1/2 cup of water
Combine filling ingredients and place into crust. Line edges of crust with tinfoil for half hour, remove tinfoil and continue to bake the pie for an additional half of an hour at 350 degrees or until done.
Blueberry streusel muffins
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup softened butter
1 egg beaten
2 1/3 cup flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter or margarine.
Combine ingredients and pour into muffin tins. Sprinkle with streusel and bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.
Apple berry salsa
2 Granny Smith apples
1 pint strawberries, chopped
2 kiwi, peeled and chopped
1 small orange
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple jelly
Chop apples with food chopper. Place chopped apples, strawberries and kiwi into medium sized bowl.
Zest orange to measure one teaspoon and juice orange to measure two tablespoons.
Add zest, juice, brown sugar and jelly to fruit and mix gently.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with cinnamon-sugar tortilla chips.
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