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Everybody loves to eat! This project helps you learn to do it well. In this project you can do fun experiments, prepare recipes, and go on fact-finding missions. You’ll have fun learning about food ingredients, food characteristics, nutrition and food safety. Make meals and snacks, create beautiful pastries and baked goods, and learn the art and science of cooking. There are four differenet cooking projects, four different food science projects and more!

State Fair Exhibit Rules

Each county may submit 1 entry in EACH of the following classes 50200, 50201, 50202, 50203, 50204, 50205, 50206, 50207, 50208, 50209, 50210.

50200    4-H Cooking 101

Using the recipes included in the project manual, prepare an exhibit of 3 cereal marshmallow bars; OR ¼ of 8” square or round coffeecake; OR 3 cookies. No icing should be on any products. Include the recipe and a menu for one meal including the food item. The recipe and menu may be written or typed on a note card or on a piece of paper. Bars, coffeecake, or cookies should be displayed on a disposable plate placed in a zip-sealing plastic bag.

50201    4-H Cooking 201

Using the recipes included in the project manual (NO variations from the core recipes), prepare an exhibit of 3 cheese muffins; OR 3 scones; OR 1 loaf (9” x 5”) of basic nut bread. Include the recipe and a menu for one meal including the food item. The recipe and menu may be written or typed on a note card or on a piece of paper. Bread, muffins, or scones should be displayed on a disposable plate placed in a zip-sealing plastic bag.

50202    4-H Cooking 301

Using the recipes included in the project manual, prepare an exhibit of 3 dinner rolls; OR loaf of yeast bread; OR 1 tea ring; OR 3 sweet rolls; OR one layer of a Rich White Cake or Rich Chocolate Cake, top side up (without frosting). If icing is used on the tea ring or sweet rolls, the recipe for the icing must also come from the book. The yeast bread/roll dough may be prepared in a bread making machine; however prepared mixes are not permitted. Include the recipe and a menu for a special occasion meal that includes the food item exhibited. The recipe and menu may be written or typed on a note card or piece of paper. Display exhibit on a disposable plate or pie tin and place in a zip-sealing plastic bag.

50203    4-H Cooking 401

Using the recipes included in the project manual, prepare an exhibit of ¼ of a 15” x 10” loaf of focaccia bread (do not include dipping oil); OR one baked pie shell – traditional, oil, or whole wheat (no graham cracker); OR ¼ Golden Sponge Cake, top side up, without frosting; OR ½ loaf German Rye Bread. Include the recipe and a menu for a special occasion meal that includes the food item exhibit. The recipe and menu may be written or typed on a note card or piece of paper. Display exhibit on a disposable plate and place in a zip-sealing plastic bag.

50204    Food Science 1

Prepare a display, digital presentation, or poster on one of the food science experiments from the manual that you completed. Share 1) the food science question you investigated; 2) process used to conduct the experiment; 3) results and observations; 4) what you learned; and 5) how you have applied this information. You must furnish any equipment you need for the exhibit. Internet service is not provided. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation. Electronic equipment will only be used during your judging time and will not remain on display during the exhibit period.

50205    Food Science 2

Prepare a display, digital presentation, or poster on one of the food science experiments from the manual that you completed. Share 1) the food science question you investigated; 2) process used to conduct the experiment; 3) results and observations; 4) what you learned; and 5) how you have applied this information. You must furnish any equipment you need for the exhibit. Internet service is not provided. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation. Electronic equipment will only be used during your judging time and will not remain on display during the exhibit period.

50206    Food Science 3

Prepare a display, digital presentation, or poster on one of the food science experiments from the manual that you completed. Share 1) the food science question you investigated; 2) process used to conduct the experiment; 3) results and observations; 4) what you learned; and 5) how you have applied this information. You must furnish any equipment you need for the exhibit. Internet service is not provided. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation. Electronic equipment will only be used during your judging time and will not remain on display during the exhibit period.

50207    Food Science 4

Prepare a display, digital presentation, or poster on one of the food science experiments from the manual that you completed. Share 1) the food science question you investigated; 2) process used to conduct the experiment; 3) results and observations; 4) what you learned; and 5) how you have applied this information. You must furnish any equipment you need for the exhibit. Internet service is not provided. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation. Electronic equipment will only be used during your judging time and will not remain on display during the exhibit period.

50208    Food Preservation

Prepare an exhibit using ONE of the following food preservation methods: canning; freezing; drying; pickles/relishes; jams, jellies and preserves OR a combination of these (see Preservation Combination option below), excluding Freezing. No freezer jam exhibits will be allowed for Freezing; Jams, Jellies, and Preserves; or for the Preservation Combination options.

  • Canning – The exhibit should include two different canned foods in appropriate jars for the products. Food may be fruit, vegetable, or tomato product (i.e. salsa, juice, etc.).
  • Freezing – Prepare a nutrition display that illustrates a freezing principle. There is NOT a food exhibit option for this preservation method.
  • Drying – Exhibit two (2) different dried foods packed in plastic food storage bags. Choose from fruit, vegetable, fruit leather or meat jerky.
  • Pickles and Relishes – Exhibit two pint jars of different recipes of pickles (no refrigerator pickles) and/or relishes.
  • Jams, Jellies, and Preserves – Exhibit half-pint jars of two different jams, jellies, and/or preserves.
  • Preservation Combination – Exhibit two different preserved food products, excluding Freezing, in appropriate jars/packaging (drying). For example, exhibit 1 jar of tomatoes (Canning) and 1 half-pint of jelly (Jams, Jellies, and Preserves).

All preserved products should be prepared and processed according to the current USDA/Extension information. USDA information on preserving food, including recipes, can be found at: www.homefoodpreservation.com. Note that exhibits will not be judged on taste.

All food exhibits must be labeled with: 1) The name of the food; 2) The date preserved; 3) Appropriate method(s) of food preservation (For canned projects: boiling water bath or pressure canner; For drying projects: Specify equipment used (food dehydrator, oven, etc.))

Examples:

  • Strawberry jam, boiling water bath. July 13, 2014.
  • Green beans, pressure canner. July 13, 2014.
  • Beef jerky, food dehydrator and oven. July 13, 2014.

All food exhibits must be accompanied with the recipe(s) – typed or written, with the source of the recipe(s) listed.. Required Recipes and Sources for Food Preservation Exhibits – all food preservation recipes be from an approved source. Those sources are:

  • PUT IT UP! Food Preservation for Youth manuals
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • National Center for Home Food Preservation
  • Ball Canning
  • Kerr Canning

Canning Equipment Requirements: All canned products must be canned in clear, standard jars in good condition (no chips or cracks). Jars must be sealed using two-piece canning lids (flat lid and band). Must use a new, unused flat lid. Bands must not be rusty or severely worn.

50209    Foods Clover Challenge

Open to 15- to 18-year-olds enrolled in the Foods Clover Challenge Project who have completed 4-H Cooking 101, 201, 301 and 401.

Exhibits in this category should go “above and beyond” what the 4-H project books cover and should represent an accumulation of years of project study. The exhibit may include, but isn’t limited to, original works, objects, demonstrations, digital presentations, programs, websites, games, apps, performances, or posters which you have made. Choose whatever method best shows what you’ve learned. You must furnish any equipment you need for your exhibit. Internet service will not be provided for the exhibit. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation, which will remain on display during the exhibition. Electronic equipment will only be used during your personal judging time and will not remain on display during the entire exhibit period. The completed Illinois 4-H Clover Challenge Agreement must be presented with the exhibit.

50210    Foods Nutrition Ready4Life Challenge

Open to 11- to 18-year-olds enrolled in any Foods project

Exhibits in this category must include the following: a) a physical representation of the career or business product such as a model, prototype or display/portfolio that includes images of accomplished work; b) verbal or written explanations that demonstrate knowledge of the related career or business fields, potential careers, and the appropriate requirements for achievement in those fields. The judging criteria for this class values thoroughness of career and/or business exploration and pursuit above the workmanship of the physical specimen on display.