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Extension Office to host 4-H cooking class

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

Classes are full for the fifth installment of a 4-H class designed to teach local children how to cook for themselves.

The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Office in McDonough will host a one-day cooking course Monday for 4-H participants, in the 5th-through-12th grades.

The class will be held from 9 a.m., to 3 p.m., inside the agency's offices at 97 Lake Dow Road.

Tracy Brown, a 4-H program assistant for the Extension office, said the annual program focuses on basic elements of cooking.

"We will be talking about healthy lifestyles, healthy eating, and foods that are easy to prepare," said Brown. "We try to keep it small, for the hands-on experience. Eighty percent of [the kids] have never cooked in the kitchen."

The class participants, she added, will also be taught the elements of kitchen safety.

Chef Amelia Haralson will instruct the children during the program, for the fifth straight year. Scheduled activities, she said, include a backyard fish fry.

Haralson said she enjoys teaching the class, and the input she has from her students each year. Students who take the class, she said, typically cook at home the very first evening after they complete the course.

"I have a ball with it," she said. "The children stay so interactive with me, that I've had most of them for the last five years. They usually send me e-mails to let me know how their dinner turned out, and to let me know what they would like to learn the next year."

The UGA Cooperative Extension Office in McDonough will announce its 2011 summer courses in April. For more information about the Extension Office, call (770) 288-8421.