4-H members bake up holiday goodies
Johanna Hicks | Hopkins County Extension Agent / Family and Consumer Sciences

Dec. 10, 2006 - This is the time of year when ovens are busily turning out home-baked goodies ... pies, cakes, cookies, brownies, candy, breads ... yumm! Ingredients such as cream cheese, baking chocolate, pie fillings, nuts, dried fruit, baking chips, and powdered sugar are abundant in grocery stores. Even those who don't normally bake from scratch are tempted to try simple recipes.

4-H leader, Linda Tanton and her husband, Gene, recently opened their home for a 4-H holiday baking day. Nineteen 4-H'ers and leaders gathered in Linda's spacious kitchen to bake up an assortment of Christmas goodies. The youth worked in teams of two or three to peruse a bounty of cookie and dessert cookbooks. Each group selected at least two recipes to prepare. For many of the youth, this was the first time to actually prepare something from scratch. 

Through this hands-on activity, 4-H'ers learned how to measure both liquid and dry ingredients, sanitation and food safety practices, baking techniques and "trade secrets", and, of course, how to follow instructions. One group learned the hard way that you must follow the instructions on the recipe, instead of dumping all the ingredients in a bowl and trying to blend them. I won't mention any names, but the three girls involved know what a disaster the first batch turned out to be!

By the end of the day, 4-H'ers had completed a chocolate cake, a star cookie Christmas tree cake, no-bake cookies, peanut butter cookies, sugar cookies, cookies with surprises in the middle, and other cookies of all shapes and sizes. Mrs. Tanton provided containers so the youth could take home a sample of everything baked that day. 

Mrs. Tanton was presented with a thank-you card signed by all the youth and leaders, as well as a gift of appreciation for all her time, effort, and expenses.

If you would like to have more information about the 4-H program in Hopkins County, contact our office at 903-885-3443 or come by 228 Hinnant St. close to the downtown square in Sulphur Springs. We currently have 6 4-H clubs in the county, with a membership of 164 youth. We welcome youth in grade 3 through age 18. 4-H offers projects in photography, foods and nutrition, leadership, animals, horticulture, clothing and textiles, recreation, shooting sports, and many others, as well as camps and county-wide activities. 4-H is the power of YOUth!

Upcoming Events

  • Thursday, Dec. 14 — North Hopkins TEEA Club meeting, home of Audrey Greenway, 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 16 — County 4-H Food Show, Civic Center, 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 16 — County-wide 4-H Christmas Party, 7 p.m., Civic Center

Closing Thought

Give God what's right — not what's left.

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