Sampson Independent

‘Freezer to crock-pot’ on menu

Inside the kitchen at Sampson County Cooperative Extension, local residents will have a chance to make nutritious meals to enjoy later from the freezer.

Sampson County’s Cooperative Extension Center is hosting “Freeze Now, Eat Later!,” a workshop to teach participants how to make meals and enjoy them later from the crock-pot. It’s scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, inside the center’s kitchen, 55 Agriculture Place, Clinton.

The workshop allows people to make five freezer meals in one hour. Each freezer bag consist of four to six servings of food, which produces at least 20 meals to take home. Meals are intended for the crock-pot, but can also be grilled or baked. Instruction will be provided for making peppered steak, chicken tinga tostadas, Carolina pork sandwiches, Dijon chicken, and teriyaki pork chops.

Sydney Johnson, an extension agent for the Family and Consumer Sciences program, is leading the session. She said the workshop comes with a lot of benefits when it comes to health and convenience.

“There is a growing body of evidence that says when we eat, we’re likely to eat more calories than we need,” Johnson said.

She said that means larger portion sizes and fewer fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and fiber. It also comes with a higher cost.

“Extension encourages community members to eat more meals at home throughout the week, saving your eating out experiences for special occasions,” Johnson said. “When speaking with community members on eating more meals at home, a common response is lack of time.”

Each meal is associated with the MyPlate guidelines, which was established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Johnson and officials said preparing meals at home limits sodium, sugar, and fat.

Freeze Now, Eat Later! was made possible through a partnership from the United Way of Sampson County. The cost is $10 and produce, staple items and a meal sample will be provided. Participants must bring their own meats and inform extension officials about special dietary needs. Payments are due Tuesday, July 31, to reserve a spot. Checks should be made payable to “County of Sampson.” Cash will also be accepted.

For more information or to sign-up, contact officials at 910-592-7161.

Iron Chef coming soon

Sampson County 4-H is preparing for its Iron Chef Contest, scheduled for Monday, Aug. 6 and Thursday, Aug. 9.

The contest is for youths 5 to 18 years old and allows them to show their cooking skills and prepare their favorite dis during a food show. Participants will be quizzed on how they made their meals, setting a dinner table, safety and preparation. Their general knowledge of the MyPlate guidelines will also be tested.

Participants will attend a food safety training on Thursday, Aug. 9. There is no cost and the deadline to register is Friday, Aug.2.

For more information or to sign-up, contact Elizabeth Merrill, 4-H Program Assistant, at 910-592-7161 or 919-738-7516. Merrill may be reached by email at

Deanna Weaver mixes a salad together during a workshop series hosted by Sampson County Cooperative Extension. Weaver mixes a salad together during a workshop series hosted by Sampson County Cooperative Extension.
Extension workshop set for Aug. 2

By Chase Jordan

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.