Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Antique 4-H'er -- Demonstrations and Refreshments

The best parts of any 4-H meeting were the demonstrations, recreation and refreshments -- the 3 final orders of business each month. Recreation could be a wild relay or a quiet pencil game. Refreshments were always better at some houses than others; some moms put on quite a spread -- sloppy joes, chips, pop in bottles -- and others settled for popcorn and kool-aid. But I loved demonstration time most of all. Some kids went all out; my pal, Jill, did an awesome demonstration on giving yourself a manicure. 35 years later, I still think of her every time I file my nails toward the center of each finger. I loved preparing a demonstration; in fact, the summer before my senior year in high school, I won the State Dog demonstration, and got to take a trip to Washington, DC. (But, no big purple rosette ribbon. Do you believe that?)

One of my early years in 4-H, I demonstrated chocolate waffle cookies when the meeting was at our house. I think mom found the recipe in the Farm Journal or Watt Highlights; they were unique and delicious -- perfect demonstration and refreshment material!

I dug out the recipe a few years ago, and made the cookies for "T" week in kindergarten (I must really love these -- it's the 3rd time I've posted about them!) With a dollop of green icing, the cookies sort of resemble turtles. So in true 4-H spirit, I thought I would share the recipe (and also so I don't have to look too far when I need it next year!)

Chocolate Turtle Waffle Cookies

2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
a pinch of salt
4 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat waffle iron. Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa and salt. Stir in eggs, butter and vanilla until well blended. Drop batter by small spoonfuls onto the four sections of the waffle iron; close and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove carefully (I use 2 wooden skewers) and allow to cool on wire rack. Frost with butter icing, a la the 1961 Betty Crocker cookbook ( 1/3 cup soft butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, 3 Tablespoons milk and 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, plus a little green food coloring.) These are really good plain, or with a little powdered sugar sprinkled on them-- like little corrugated brownies!
Next week's treats, the return of the purple pancake. OR, maybe pumpkin pancakes!

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