Teens accept Manheim Library’s Chopped Challenge

By on August 29, 2018

Kalyssa McAdams works with an avocado during Manheim Community Library’s Chopped Challenge. (Photos by Rochelle Shenk)

What entrée would you make using beef jerky and cheese stick, Spam, an avocado, canned apples, tomato juice, unsweetened applesauce and a Cup O’Noodles? And what dessert would you make using marshmallow fluff, oyster crackers, a packet of hot cocoa mix and mini-York Peppermint Patties?

Those were the challenges faced by teens during the Manheim Community Library’s Chopped Challenge on Aug. 14.

The library took a page out of Food Network’s book with this event for children ages 12 and up. Part of the library’s summer reading program, it was held in the fellowship hall at Salem United Methodist Church.

“This is the first summer we’ve done ‘hopped Challenge, and it’s been our most popular teen program,” said Colleen Gergely, youth librarian. “I’ve been impressed with what they come up with.”

Four teams ranging from one to four teens competed in the event. Some of the competitors participated in the library’s first Chopped Challenge on June 14.

Bryn Trovinger looks at the ingredients in her bag.

“I like to cook and have been cooking for three years,” said Naomi Atticks.

For Kalyssa McAdams, it was a chance to explore other areas of cooking.

“I mostly bake, but I’m starting to do other things,” she said.

Teams had an hour to create a main course and a dessert using items in their baskets. They selected a set of baskets — one basket for the main course and one for the dessert — containing ingredients. The teens could also use ingredients such as spices and chicken bouillon from a “pantry.”

“I went to the store to purchase the ingredients and had the best time shopping,” Gergely told the competitors as she was explaining the rules. “I can’t wait to see what you come up with.”

While the competitors were busy cooking in the kitchen, family members and friends were there to support their efforts. When Gergely called time, teams presented their dishes to the judges: Connie Kelly, the library’s circulation desk manager; Kelly Lauver, Manheim Chamber administrative coordinator; and George Schwartz, a volunteer from the audience.

Kelly served as a judge for the June 14 Chopped Challenge and said being a judge was not an easy task.

After sampling all the items, the judge’s tally was close. However, the four member team of Josh and Emma Greineder and Grace and Naomi Atticks was declared the winner by one point. McAdams, Bryn Trovinger and Lucas Morrison were solo competitors.

“The library does an amazing job organizing programs for all ages. The Teen Chopped Challenge was tremendous,” Lauver said. “The kids are amazing; they created some really unique recipes using the most unusual ingredients.”

The library will host an End of Summer party at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23 to celebrate the end of the summer reading program. For more information visit manheimlibrary.org or visit the library’s Facebook page.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

Naomi Atticks pours ingredients into a bowl.

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