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Mason County students learned about creating their own ice cream/dessert parlor during a culinary camp at the high school recently.

Shannon Roberts, who teaches Family and Consumer Science at Mason County High School, held the culinary camp for three days this week. The camp was open to fifth- through eighth-grade students.

During the week, students had various lessons, but on the third day, they were able to tie prohibition into the mix.

“They had to create an ice cream shop design with a dessert to go with it,” Roberts said. “We got this idea from Tandy Nash at the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center. She had provided me with a box of curriculum that went along with our prom this year, which was prohibition.”

Roberts said the students talked about how during prohibition, bars that shut down turned into ice cream parlors to support their families.

“The kids learned that alcohol was banned and in order for those bar owners to support their families, they turned to ice cream. And it turned into a multi-million dollar business. So, the girls got to become their own shop owners.”

There were five groups, each with their own shop.

The shops included The Royal Parlor that featured several items, including vanilla and marshmallow milkshakes, a strawberry dessert, a cookie with grapes and marshmallows covered in chocolate. There was also the Hawaii Ice Cream Shop that featured sugar cookies and a pineapple/peach milkshake.

Another shop called The Sweet Spot featured a red velvet cake with chocolate-covered strawberries and strawberry milkshakes. The Color Cafe featured a mint-flavored milkshake and ice cream cones with a special treat inside.

The Chocolate Shack featured brownie milkshakes and brownies with strawberries.

Cadence Garrison, a fifth-grader at MCMS, was part of The Sweet Spot.

“We’re doing a bake war, so we’re making cakes and milkshakes,” she said. “Our group did a strawberry cake, but in the middle is red velvet. On the outside is a dark chocolate ganache with chocolate-covered strawberries.”

Garrison said the most difficult part of the day was making sure the cake turned out OK.

“The most difficult part was the cake, because you had to make sure it was cold enough that the icing didn’t melt,” she said. “You also needed to make sure you don’t burn the chocolate part of it. We named it The Sweet Spot because it just has a lot of sweets in it.”

Ellen Clarke, a fifth-grader, was part of The Color Cafe.

“We did an ice cream cone with a special surprise in the middle. On top is chocolate ice cream. We wanted to put strawberries on top, but they didn’t stay.”

Clarke said the most difficult part of the day was getting everything together.

“The hardest part was probably making sure everything was together without the ice cream melting,” she said. “And we chose our name because of all the colors we incorporated. The special surprise inside is colorful and so is the milkshake we made. I’m happy with what we did.”

At the end of the day, the students were judged on their shops.

Each shop won in a category, including:

The categories were:

— Best classic: The Chocolate Shack.

— Best taste: The Color Cafe.

— Best presentation: The Royal Parlor.

— Most difficult: The Sweet Spot.

— Best Creativity: The Hawaii Ice Cream Shop.

During the week, the students also learned how to make international foods. On Tuesday, they had a Mexican theme and on Wednesday, it was an Italian theme.

“They learned how to make their own pizza, we did a Tik Tok version of a trendy tortilla, they also made Italian cookies, guacamole.”

Roberts said one of the fun things about the week was that the students tried things they had never tried before.

“When they made the pizza, a lot of them wanted to do just a cheese pizza,” she said. “I made them step out of their comfort zone. We had 9- and 10-year-olds who had never had anything other than cheese pizza eating a chicken, bacon, Alfredo pizza, buffalo chicken pizza. One group made tortilla, taco pizzas. It was out of this world.”

Roberts said it was an intense, but fun week for everyone involved.

“This year, I have all girls. It has been an amazing three days. We’ve had a lot of fun. It was an amazing week. They’ve been so excited,” she said. “I’ve loved seeing their excitement for learning.”

The camp was a project through the Family Resource and Youth Services Center at Mason County with the supplies for the ice cream wars donated by the KYGMC.

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