4-H'ers take crack at prize-winning omeletsForget singing in the rain.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Forget singing in the rain.
On Saturday morning, Goodhue County 4-H members got the chance to chop, dice, whisk, sauté and flip in the rain.
Well, the downpour might actually have been more of a nuisance than an asset. But the students didn’t let the damp weather get in the way of their healthful omelet cook-off.
“We thought it would be great to promote the farmers market,” 4-H adult volunteer Brenda Carlstrom said.
The event was part of the University of Minnesota Extension’s healthy living program, which encourages 4-H groups to promote and teach healthy living skills.
On Saturday, the 4-H members split up into three teams, each headed by a local “celebrity.” Goodhue County Sheriff Scott McNurlin helped team B, Assistant Goodhue County Attorney Erin Kuester headed team C and Sen. John Howe lead team A.
Then the teams shopped the market, coming up with healthful recipes using the ingredients they found at the farmers’ booths.
“We tried to use as many local things,” Carlstrom said.
The teams were provided things like milk, eggs, butter and cheese, but the rest of the fixings were up to them. And the students had no reservations about stuffing their omelets with some more unusual ingredients.
McNurlin’s teammates bought tomato basil seasoning and sausage to flavor their egg dish. They also grabbed apples to serve as a garnish.
Howe’s group left out the meat entirely, opting for squash, potatoes, apples and onions for their omelet stuffing.
Kuester’s team used jalapenos, green onion, fajita seasoning and cilantro to make a southwestern dish.
Then came the hard part.
“Some have never made an omelet before,” Calstrom said of the 4-H’ers.
Team C’s Aly Dietz could count herself as one of those omelet newbies before Saturday’s competition.
“It’s not what I expected,” she said while cooking. “It’s very fun.”
Team B seemed to have a bit more omelet experience on their resumes. Valerie Gehn said she had practiced making the egg dish at home before the competition. And teammate Matt Knudson said he has been making omelets “for a while.”
Regardless of their experience, each group managed to get their egg creations folded and onto plates by the end of the competition. Then, it was up to judges.
Market vendors Dean Bystrom and Shua Vang, along with Red Wing Farmers Market Association President John Anderes, judged the three omelet creations on things like presentation, flavor and creativity.
“I was surprised that they all served up tasty omelets and every one of them were flipped perfectly,” Anderes said, adding that watching the students work their spatulas to turn the eggs made him “a little nervous.”
In the end, only one team could take home the top egg prize. The winner?
After a lengthy drumroll, Kuester’s team — with their spicy and mild versions of their southwestern recipe — claimed the prize.
Howe’s and McNurlin’s teams shared a second-place finish.