Residents at Parkside Homes were treated to a “Cooking Challenge” with staff members bringing in a favorite recipe using this month’s secret ingredient—peanut butter.
Eight entries, ranging from peanut butter candy and Snicker bar cookies to peanut butter drumstick dessert, cheese cake and twists, were judged.
Rob Scott, dining services coordinator, and Vida Bartel, life enrichment director, said the first event was in December.
Anyone on the staff can volunteer to bring in an item and the judging is done by three residents and one guest judge, Bartel said.
“We created it as a way for residents and staff to interact,” Scott said added.
A “secret ingredient” is selected each month, he said, and participating staff members are required to bring in the recipe as proof the ingredient was used.
Secret ingredients have included onions, chocolate, garlic, cream cheese and this month, peanut butter, Bartel said.
“The most entries we have had so far was 12 and that was with chocolate,” she said.
Judges this month included residents Laura Bishop, Linda Jantz and Rufus Lohrenz. Lanna Wagner, daughter of Gretchen Wagner, facility administrator, was a guest judge.
“The entries are judged on what they (judges) see on the plate and then what they taste,” she said.
During the judging, and while Scott served up each entry, Bartel talked about peanut butter trivia with about 15 other residents in the audience.
Some trivia facts Bartel research included Jimmy Carter and Thomas Jefferson being the two presidents who were also peanut farmers and how one acre of ground can grow enough peanuts to make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
The winner of this month’s cooking challenge was Penni Funk, with her entry of peanut butter candy.
Following the judging, everyone was given samples of items entered and the winning recipe.