EATON — The Preble County Fair’s 4-H Cook-Off and Mystery Mixer were held at the Toney Building on Tuesday, Aug. 1. While the two events are different in rules, they are of a similar nature, allowing kids the opportunity to show off their cooking skills and possibly even auction off their fair-made goods.
The Cook-Off was held first on Tuesday. According to Busy Bees Advisor and member of the Cook-Off/Mystery Mixer Adult Committee Sharon Lipps, the Cook-Off is when the kids are given the recipe before the event. They are given the opportunity to practice making their dish and perfect their technique.
For the Cook-Off, the kids all make the same thing, but are allowed some variety. For example, one of the classes had to make a berry pie, but they got to choose the types of berries they wanted to use.
The Mystery Mixer took place in the afternoon. Unlike the Cook-Off, Lipps said, the participants have no idea what they are making before the day of the event. They are given a list of ingredients and equipment to bring, but that is as much information as they are given. Lipps added that they are typically told to bring more ingredients and equipment then they will actually use.
During the event, when the participant’s name is called, they are then given the recipe. They then start cooking.
“The Cook-Off is for 4-H members only — it’s a cooking project basically,” Lipps said. “But for the Mystery Mixer, not all of those kids are in 4-H for cooking, they do animal projects or other projects. Both are pretty popular. We average 30-50 participants a year. It varies, because some scratch due to animal show conflicts. We’ve done this for years and kids love it.”
However, one similarity between the two events is that the first and second place winners, of both events, are given the opportunity to auction off their products.
Lipps said they get to make it fresh and auction it off before the Style Review on Thursday.
While they already have a steady turn out for the events, Lipps said she would love to see more participation. She said, “I want to encourage more kids to try it. It’s a lot of fun.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH
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