If I had to choose one event out of the 4-H year that I like to report about most, it would easily be the San Saba County 4-H Food Show. For the past three years as reporter I have never experienced a “normal” morning the day of the food show.
This morning, at 6:23 a.m. exactly, I leaped out of bed and ran over to the clock to gasp, “Shoot! I’m going to miss the bus!” Only a few minutes afterwards had I realized it was Sunday morning, not Monday morning. With relief I walked languidly over to my bed to return to my former occupation, sleep. Only sleep didn’t return easily. The jolt of sudden energy was strong enough to get my brain reeling through the things that needed to get accomplished today. The main thing on my mind was studying for my dual credit American Government Mid-Term Exam, which I’ve been stressing over for the past week, and the Food Show. “How am I going to have enough time to feel prepared for the test when I have to go the Food Show and afterwards write an article for the paper?” I pondered groggily. “Wait a minute! A Food Show! That means they have food! Okay, maybe I could use a study break.”
Prior to the competition the 4-H’ers spent a day learning about the basics in food and nutrition at the 4-H Food Fun Day. The theme this year was lunch. 4-H’ers learned various recipe ideas to make and take as a lunch as well as snacks and sides to compliment. The 4-H’ers were also taught the importance of daily exercise and engaged in Frisbee games to get in some physical activity.
After getting exposed to various foods, the 4-H’ers were able to narrow down a recipe to make for the County Food Show. The different categories of food are: Main Dish, Breads and Cereals, Nutritious Snacks and Desserts, and Fruits and Vegetables. At competition the 4-H’ers are interviewed by the judges and are asked to serve them. Questions become more complex as the age division goes up. Food is judged by appearance only and the winner is determined by the results of the interview and the presentation of the dish. Some sample questions the 4-H’ers may be asked are: “How did you prepare your dish?” or “What food safety practice did you learn?” and “What nutritional value is in your dish?”
This year’s participants and winners are as follows:
MAIN DISH: Overall Winner Junior- Jacey Gossett with her Peppy Peppers; Overall Winner Intermediate- Marissa Coffman with her Tater Topped Casserole; First Alternate and Best Beef Dish Intermediate- Mykah McKinnerney; Second Alternate Intermediate- Riana Bass with her Hamburger Casserole.
FRUITS & VEGETABLES: Overall Winner Junior- Kristen Harrell with her Broccoli and Rice dish.
BREADS & CEREALS: Overall Winner Intermediate- Breann Hellner with her Great Garlic Bread.
NUTRITIOUS SNACKS & DESSERTS: Clover Kid- Hannah Valdez with her Brickle Drop Cookies; Overall Winner Junior- Jacey Gossett with her Tuxedo Brownie Hugs Cookies; First Alternate Junior- Jarren Goins with his Cherry Stir and Cook Cake; Overall Winner Intermediate- Elizabeth Bryant with her Layered Taco Dip; First Alternate and Showmanship Winner Intermediate- Melanie Hedley with her Shrimp Crostini Appetizer; and Second Alternate Intermediate- Emily Esquivel with her Chocolate Pizza Clover.
All participants received a mixing bowl, whisk, and measuring scoop. Overall Winners were awarded with a choice of a pizza pan with pizza mix or a muffin tray with muffin mix. The Best Beef Dish Winner was awarded twenty-five dollars form the Women’s Cattle Association. The Best in Show, which is based on the dish’s presentation, was awarded a decorative serving dish.
“All good things must come to an end,” they say and it was time for the 4-H’ers to go their separate ways. As we headed home, I began to ponder what recipe I would make myself for dinner after being inspired by the 4-H’ers. It had been another great year for the food show participants in their foods and nutrition projects. It will be exciting to see how they do at the next competition, District 4-H Food Show in Abilene on November 24. Good Luck 4-H’ers!