PENINSULA KITCHEN: 4-H members offer easy-to-make recipes

IT’S THE END of summer, the grass is dry, and the Clallam County Fair wrapped up last Sunday.

Next thing you know the kids will be back in school.

I had the honor this year of being the judge for the 4-H cooking class at the Clallam County Fair.

In addition to showing their animals and archery posters, and participating in a talent show and archery, some kids signed up to demonstrate the making of their favorite after-school snacks.

I was lucky enough to be on hand to witness their skills and sample their results while they did the cleanup.

Here are two classic recipes. Both are delicious, reliable and easy for your 12-year-old to make on their own.

Kyrie Bergen opted for the no-nuts version of Oatmeal raisin cookies, and made them using coconut oil instead of butter.

It was a great substitution.

The cookies were perfect.

Another simple snack or breakfast that anyone with a blender can make in a quick minute was the fruit smoothie Norah Schmidt made.

Norah, who could probably make a smoothie in her sleep, explained that you can combine any type of fruit (fresh or frozen) but be sure to remove the skin.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, adapted from

1 cup unsalted butter or softened shortening

1 cup brown sugar, packed

¾ granulated sugar

2 large beaten eggs (Kyrie had duck eggs for this)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1½ cups all purpose flour

¾ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1½ cups raisins

½ cup chopped nuts (optional)

3 cups rolled oats

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two larke cookie sheets.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add the brown sugar and white sugar, beat about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract.

Mix flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture. Stir in the raisins and nuts. Stir in the oats.

Spoon out the dough by large tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie.

Bake until the edges of the cookies turn golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Note that the cookies will seem underdone. That’s okay, they will firm up as they cool.

Cool one minute on cookie sheets. Then carefully remove them, using a metal spatula, to a wire rack. Cool completely. They will be quite soft until completely cooked. Store tightly covered.

Fruit Smoothie

For one 12-ounce glass, place the following in a blender:

1 ripe, medium-sized banana

4 large strawberries (feel free to substitute an equivalent amount of other fruits (fresh or frozen depending on what’s in season)

½ cup chilled orange juice

1/3 cup yogurt (Norah used vanilla yogurt but feel free to use any flavor you like)

Blend the ingredients until smooth and free of chunks, pour into a glass and enjoy.


Betsy Wharton is a Port Angeles Farmers Market vendor, Washington State University Extension food preservation information assistant and a registered nurse at First Step Family Support Center. More about her pickling enterprise can be found at www.Clallam

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