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4-H Food Fare

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Food unites individuals from a specific region or culture and it is an important part of many peoples’ identities. To celebrate this, 4-H puts on an annual event titled, 4-H Food Fare. It’s an opportunity for 4-H’ers to research food, culture, and recipes of a particular topic. Let’s visit a few stations to see what the 4-H’ers learned through their research for the topic, states.

Lucky Clover 4-H Club: Idaho

Many people associate Idaho with potatoes but Lucky Clover 4-H’ers learned that not all russet potatoes are Idaho Potatoes. The designation of “Idaho Potato” can only be made for potatoes harvested in Idaho. In addition to being challenged to prepare foods, 4-H’ers prepare a hands-on activity related to their theme. The 4-H’ers encourage you to use potatoes for a fun art activity.


Try This Activity at Home: Potato Stamp

  1. Cut a large potato in half.
  2. Press a cookie cutter into the center of the flat surface.
  3. Carefully slice the potato away from the outer edges of the cookie cutter. **Adult help should be provided*
  4. Once the potato is dry, apply paint and create your work of art.

Oxford Hustlers: Georgia

When I think of cornbread, I think of quick bread to slather with butter and honey. Oxford Hustlers introduced me to Georgia Cornbread, a dessert dish with a deceiving name, filled with pecans, and more similar to a brownie than a cornbread.


Georgia Cornbread


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. salt

2 ¼ tsp. baking powder

1 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs, beaten

1 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups pecans, chopped very fine

1 cup packed brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Add flour mixture and pecans and stir until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow cake to cool completely. Cut into squares.


Country Hearts: California

4-H’ers from the Country Hearts 4-H Club showcased fresh citrus at their station to celebrate California’s history as one of the top citrus producers in the country. In addition, they shared a recipe for California’s beloved burger joint: In-N-Out and huge smiles to welcome families to their booth.



In-N-Out Burger Sauce


1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons ketchup


 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar


Combine all ingredients until well blended. Serve chilled.


Stanley Buccaneers: Hawaii

The tropical island of Hawaii is a popular destination for many travelers. Stanley Buccaneers highlighted an automatic favorite: Luau Punch.


Luau Punch


1 (6 ounces) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

1 (46 fluid ounce) can pineapple juice

2 liters lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage


In an empty gallon milk jug or pitcher, pour pineapple juice and orange juice concentrate.  Shake to mix and pour in the lemon-lime soda. You may need to let the fizz settle and then return to pouring. This will fill up the gallon.  Freeze overnight. Let the punch start to thaw 2 hours before serving. Serve slushy.

Master Food Volunteers: Kansas

Master Food Volunteers shared their culinary knowledge by hosting a table and offering demonstrations for the 4-H’ers. One dish that they highlighted was the bierock, an Eastern European pastry pocket sandwich with a savory filling, popularized in Kansas.



10 to 11 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1 package (1/4-ounce) active dry yeast

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2-1/2 cups water

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup butter, cubed

2 large eggs


2 pounds ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground white pepper

2 pounds shredded cabbage, cooked and drained


For the dough, in a large bowl, combine 4 cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well and set aside. In a saucepan, heat water, milk and butter just until butter melts. Remove from heat and cool to 120°-130°. Combine with flour mixture; add eggs. Using an electric mixer, blend at low speed until moistened then beat at medium speed for 3 minutes. By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on a floured surface about 10 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; let rise again until almost doubled. Meanwhile, for the filling, brown beef with onion, salt and pepper; drain. Mix together with cabbage; set aside. Divide the dough into fourths. Roll each piece into a 15x10-in. rectangle. Cut into 5-inch squares. Spoon 1/3 to 1/2 cup filling onto each square. Bring the four corners up over the filling; pinch together to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Place on greased baking sheets bakes at 375° for 30 minutes or until brown.


Other 4-H Clubs and States not highlighted in this article:  

  • Sharon 4-H Club – Illinois
  • Blue River Wranglers 4-H Club – Louisiana
  • Prairie Star – New York
  • Frontier Family – Washington D.C.
  • Great Plains - Wisconsin