4-H cooks up a quarantine challenge

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Livingston County PhotographOne of the 16 teams that participated in the Livingston County 4-H program’s “Cooking Away Quarantine Challenge,” a virtual cooking competition.

The Livingston County 4-H Program organized a virtual cooking challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic with 16 youth participating.

Each week, participants were given a list of ingredients and asked to create a recipe using items selected from that list. Weekly recipe themes included crepes, beverages, appetizers, main dishes and sides, and desserts.

Specific cooking skills were also meant to be demonstrated through video or used in the making of the recipe. Some of the skills highlighted during the competition included measuring wet/dry ingredients; safe use of knives, peelers, graters and appliances; cutting fat into flour; and setting the table correctly.

The “Cooking Away Quarantine Challenge” culminated in a themed dinner party for family members complete with a menu and table decorations.

“Nestled within the challenge was the opportunity to practice public speaking each week,” 4-H Educator Renee Hopkins said. “Teams submitted entries via video using Flipgrid. Set up, organization of thought, and speaking to a camera were all practiced with each challenge posting. Feedback was given with a combination of video replies and written text.”

As the weeks went by, video submissions began looking more like cooking shows. While some participants created theme songs to open/close their video entries, others included reactions from their family members as they tasted each recipe or posters highlighting the skills being taught that week.

Many participants are even planning to use their recipes, posters, videos and table settings as fair entries in the Livingston County 4-H Program’s upcoming virtual fair.

Volunteers who helped create the six-week challenge, prepare instructional videos, and/or provide feedback to participants were Ron Niedermaier, Gardner Low, Tim Hayes and teen leaders McKenzie Low, Alyssa Healy and Molly Milliken.

A cookbook with photos and recipes will be created and shared with 4-H families.

For more information about Cornell Cooperative Extension of Livingston County or the Livingston County 4-H Program, visit www.ccelivingstoncounty.org or call (585) 991-5420 or (585) 335-1752.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1