Many say that Elkhart County 4-H Fair is the second largest in the country.
Its cooks may come out on top though.
And there's a new cookbook showcasing the winning recipes from the 2013 fair.
A variety of cooks, but many of them members of Elkhart County Extension Homemaker clubs, compete in a number of contests. Mary Ann Lienhart-Cross, along with staff and volunteers, have built an amazing program at our fair to promote the art of making and doing things to make a household and house more of a home.
The recipes are beloved by readers of the Elkhart Truth. When we print them in the newspaper, our readers tell us they clip them and save them.
We decided to print the recipes not just in the newspaper and on elkharttruth.com, but to gather them up in a cookbook with some great photos. Ryan Dorgan, who has since left us to take a job in Casper, Wyo., shot most of the pictures.
Natasha Tucker is a gifted designer who put together the cookbook, but she really created it so that a cook can use it on an iPad or other tablet, or as a book.
We're excited to offer the book for both Apple and Android devices. You can buy it in the Apple's iTunes, from Amazon or from the Google Play store for $4.99.
The book is spiral bound and available for $14.99. You can purchase it at our Elkhart office, 421 S. Second St., Elkhart. If you want us to mail you one, we'll tack on $3.
We're giving a portion of the proceeds from the book to the Elkhart County Extension programs.
Did you or someone you love win a ribbon cooking for or at the fair? You'll want this book. And even if you didn't win, you'll want this book. There are some great recipes. And it'd be a great holiday gift. I plan to get one for my mother, but don't tell her.
Here's one of the recipes, with a few photos, from the book. Enjoy.
Senior Citizens’ Cookie Special ContestFirst Place - BarsMaraschino Cherry BarsJeane Raska, Elkhart
Crust2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
Frosting2 Tbs butter, softened
2½ cups powdered sugar
3 to 4 Tbs reserved cherry juice
3 to 4 Tbs flaked coconut
Filling2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
⅓ cup flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla
1 (10 oz.) jar maraschino cherries, drained & chopped (reserve juice)
½ cup walnuts
Heat oven to 350°. In large bowl combine crust ingredients, blend until crumbly. Press mixture into ungreased 13x9-inch pan. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly brown. In small bowl, combine all filling ingredients; mix well. Pour over crust. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Cool. In small bowl, combine all frosting ingredients except coconut. Beat until light and fluffy. Spread frosting over cooled bars, sprinkle with coconut.