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Dash of Class: Co-workers get cooking for charity

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Food column by Nora Sweat

By Nora Sweat

After last week’s column on Warm Blessings, I have another wonderful community outreach done by some of the employees at Fort Knox National Co. Fort Knox National Co. is an electronic bill payment company specializing in payroll deductions for both military and civilians.

Beyond their daily work, employees at Fort Knox National Co. in Elizabethtown have harnessed their culinary skills and found a way to raise money for Hardin County’s Angel Tree program.

They started out a couple years ago with an Iron Chef competition. Four employees made different versions of chili and employees voted for their favorites. They crowned Rick Boswell their first Iron Chef. Their chili entries were: Chef Rose “The Mad Hatter” Halberg; Chef Jason “Fire is not Enough” Goodman, who produced an oldie, but goodie batch of chili that caused the fire alarms to go off; Chef Sharon “Wilcat” Johnson, who relied on her Go Big Blue Spirit; and Chef Rick “If It’s Not Moving I Put It In There” Boswell relied on traditional Texas chili. His recipe is in today’s column.

Just before Christmas of 2012, they tried something new — using food they prepared to raise money for the Angel Tree. Several employees brought in about 10 pies, each cut into bite-size pieces so each employee could sample them. Then, they voted on the best dessert. The winner was a pecan pie, with two chocolate pies tying for second. They raised more than $200 for the Angel Tree. Recipes appear in this column.

After reading my column on soup several weeks back, they had a soup cook-off. For the competition, there was potato soup, vegetable soup, white chili, broccoli soup and chicken tortilla soup. Rita Orr won the votes for her potato soup. Rose Halberg, a former student of mine, made the broccoli soup and her family even enjoyed some the night before and raved how good it was. They had fun with this, and by taking a donation per bowl of soup, they raised more than $60 for the Angel Tree project.

”We have a lot of fun doing our cooking. Here at Fort Knox National Co., we love to cook and we love to eat,” employee Sharon Johnson said.

They are eager to have another competition and raise more money for the Angel Tree project.

If you and fellow employees at your work site would be interested, pick a favorite charity and have cook-offs similar to what Fort Knox National is doing for the Angel Tree project. I would love to hear about other projects. It would put your cooking skills to test and make a valuable contribution to our community.

Nora Sweat, author of “Mama and Me” is a native of HardinCounty and a retired home economics/ family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.

Ashley’s chocolate pie

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pre-cooked pie crust
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Separate eggs, put egg whites to the side. Mix yolks with milk in a double boiler. Mix cocoa, 1 cup sugar and flour and combine with yolks, milk and butter. Stir over heat until mixture thickens. Pour into pre-baked pie crust. Beat egg whites, and add 1/3 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Add to top of pie and bake at 350 degrees until browned on top.

Source: Ashley Clark

Winning pecan pie

  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup dark corn syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 cup pecans (halves or pieces)
  • 9 inch unbaked pie shell

Mix above ingredients and pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes.

Source: Carolyn Guyton

Dawn’s chocolate pie

  • 2 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 9 inch pie crust
  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ cup sugar

In a saucepan, whisk together sugar, cocoa and flour. Blend in evaporated milk and vanilla. Beat egg yolks and stir into other ingredients. Add the butter. Heat, stirring constantly just until butter is melted. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until pie is not wobbly when shaken. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add ¼ cup sugar and beat constantly until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue on pie. Return pie to oven and bake until meringue is golden brown.

Source: Dawn Durham

Rick’s Texas chili

  • 2 pounds hamburger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 can Chili Magic
  • 1 can Red Kidney Beans, rinsed, and drained
  • 2 cans Bush’s Chili Hot Beans (medium)
  • 1 can chili-style diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chili-style tomato sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

In a Dutch oven, brown hamburger, adding salt and pepper just before completely browned. Remove hamburger and set aside. In the Dutch oven, sauté onions in fat from hamburger until translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Return hamburger to Dutch oven; add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 3-4 hours. Add water as needed to get the consistency you like.

Source: Rick Boswell