true method will forever be part
of my memories, meal prep time
is often scarce in our farm household,
and we had to fi nd a more
convenient way to cook.
The slow-cooker has been a saving
grace for us and has become a staple
in our kitchen. While this isn’t the
old-fashioned way, I’ve found a slow
cooked meal doesn’t fall short of the
taste of one of Grandma’s home
cooked dinners. I’m not the only
one who has realized this, however,
and an initiative in Childress, Texas
called Kids Crockin’ is teaching
kids the independence of using a
slow-cooker, and the healthy, delicious
meals they can make.
I spoke to two women, Dawn
Dockter and Minnie Lou Bradley,
who led the creation of this program.
Minnie Lou Bradley, a registered
Angus developer for 60 years
and national beef cattle leader,
saw the need in her community
and stepped up to help. She had
been contributing to a program
that fi lled hungry children’s backpacks
with food to have over the
weekend. Then she asked herself,
What are we really doing? Most of
the donated food going into the
backpacks was processed, and the
kids didn’t get to help make it. We
can do better than that, she thought,
knowing that most ranch kids
learn to cook at an early age. So
why not these young kids?
The crock-pot came to mind as a
safe and easy way for kids to learn
to cook. Before this thought could
develop into Kids Crockin’, Mrs.
Bradley fi rst contacted Miss Janet
Word, the Childress Elementary
principal, Mrs. Carol Freeman, of
the local Women’s League, and Mrs.
Dawn Dockter, the Childress County
Extension Agent. Mrs. Dockter
planned and organized a threepart
slow-cooker lesson for those
students involved in the backpack
program. Each class included a
recipe demonstration, along with
information on nutrition.
As a 4-H member, I was happy
to learn that Childress 4-H members
assisted during the classes by
preparing recipes ahead of time
and giving demonstrations. As
Mrs. Bradley said, “I believe that
gave the other youngsters confi
dence that they too could do
that.” At the end of the series, each
Tess didn’t have fl ank steak on hand, so she
cut up a lean Certifi ed Angus Beef® round
roast to use instead, and it turned out great!
For younger kids, make sure you get help from
an adult to cut up the meat and fresh veggies.
SUMMER 2018 I WORKING RANCH JUNIOR I 15