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Cooking leads to Chuck’s Chuckwagon

By Staff | Aug 28, 2015



SPIRIT LAKE – Nick “Chuck” Resch feels at home around the kitchen.

The 15-year-old sophomore from Spirit Lake High School said he decided last year he could use his kitchen skills to help him earn money.

He approached the Dickinson County Fair Board to ask if he could set up a food and concessions stand during the fair’s run.

They agreed, and Resch went on his first official food shopping spree, not knowing anything about how much to get.

WHILE GRILLING temperature plays a role in making burgers taste their best, Nick Resch said being there while meat cooks on the grill is probably the most important so as to avoid grill fire flare-ups.

“I ran out of inventory on the first day last year,” he said. “I had to keep sending my parents to the grocery store to get more things.”

He was successful enough to try it again this year, only this time he moved up to a mobile food stand that offered him the option of making other menu items, like shaved ice.

And he put a name on his stand – Chuck’s Chuckwagon.

“We looked at trailers online and my dad bought one,” Resch said. “I have to pay him back, but it was a Christmas present to me.

“The present part was his permission to start, and I was really surprised.”

Farm News photos by Karen Schwaller NICK RESCH said he enjoys cooking so much he opened a mobile lunch wagon which he took to the Dickinson County Fair this past year. It all began from the enjoyment he gets out of cooking. Here, he watches a few burgers on the grill.

The Resches bought the wagon empty and added what they needed to make it a lunch wagon, including counters, cupboards and refrigeration – all machines needed to make food stand lunch items and electricity.

He had to have it inspected and get a license to sell food – experiences that are new to a teenager.

Chuck’s Chuckwagon features simple items such as taco in a bag, shaved ice, pizza and popcorn, nachos and supreme nachos.

Running the lunch wagon was a challenge, since Resch is also a 4-H’er with livestock exhibits to show.

Resch had to prepare the food and get the stand ready for his uncle and mother to help run while he was showing goats, sheep and calves.

Farm News photo by Karen Schwaller ASHLYN NITZSCHKE, 11, of Lake Park, purchases a shaved ice treat from Nick Resch. Resch opened his mobile lunch wagon this year and tested it out at the Dickinson County Fair. He said he was humbled by the support he received, not only from individuals, but from 4-H clubs overall and from the fair board.

After the shows, he showered and came back to the food stand for the rest of the day.

“I had good sales this year,” Resch said. “I surpassed last year’s sales, but I wouldn’t have done that without the help of the 4-H clubs and FFA groups that supported what I was doing.

“And a lot of people would walk off without taking their change, and would tell me to keep it. That actually kind of bothered (my conscience).”

He said it also helped him financially that the fair board didn’t charge him for electricity.

He found that amazing, since he said it takes two boxes to run the wagon – one for cooling and one for running the equipment.

When he’s home, Resch’s favorite foods to make are cinnamon rolls, fudges of different varieties and grilling a variety of meat and burgers.

“I entered the Clay County Fair cinnamon roll contest and got in the top 10 twice,” he said with a smile. “I also entered with some of my fudge, and I beat Harold Magg (from Spirit Lake) with two plates of it.

“He taught me how to make fudge. I even had some ladies at that fair ask me if I was the kid who beat Harold Magg.”

Resch is a member of the Spirit Lakers 4-H Club and lives on a farm near Spirit Lake.

At home he helps with sheep and cattle chores and mows the lawn. He’s also a tackle on the Spirit Lake High School football team.

He is the son of Mike and Julie Resch of Spirit Lake.

Pecan caramel rolls

Yield: 1 dozen.

1 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast

3/4 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)

3/4 cup warm milk (110 to 115 degrees)

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons canola oil

2 teaspoons salt

3 3/4 to 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour


1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 cups packed brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 sticks butter

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, oil, salt and 1 1/4 cups flour.

Beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into an 18-by-12-inch rectangle.

Spread 1/4 cup softened butter to within one-half inch of edges. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over butter.

Roll jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal.

Cut into 12 slices.

Combine brown sugar, 2 sticks butter and whipping cream; mix and add Karo syrup; pour into a greased 13-by-9-inch baking pan.

Sprinkle with pecans. Place rolls cut side down over pecans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until well browned.

Cool for 1 minute before inverting onto a serving platter.

Nutritional Facts 1 roll equals 405 calories, 19g fat (6g saturated fat), 26mg cholesterol, 450mg sodium, 55g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 6g protein.

Modified from Taste Of Home submitted by Judy Powell from Star, Idaho.

Peanut clusters

1 1/4 pounds white almond bark

1 6-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 6-ounce package milk chocolate chips

3 12-ounce packages salted Spanish peanuts

Melt the almond bark and chocolate chips in a double boiler. Add the peanuts.

Mix thoroughly and drop the desired size by spoon onto wax paper.

Let them set up in a cool place.

Apple crisp


6 apples peeled and diced (some sour, some not sour)

3/4 cup to 1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix the above ingredients.

Spray 9-by-13-inch cake pan with non-stick coating and place mixture in pan.


1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cup flour

Place crumble topping on top of the apple mixture and bake for 45 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees.

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