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Corey Graff keeps busy but still finds time to cook

Corey Graff isn’t your typical high school sophomore. Although he is busy at Selby Area School with typical high school activities, he is also a recent 4-H Betty Crocker Cookbook Award winner.
The son of John and Leslee Graff of Selby, Corey has two brothers, Connor and Carson; and a sister Cambryn and will also have a new sister, very soon. The family also has a Shiba Inu named Sunny.
Corey and his brothers are active in 4-H and were recently recognized for their achievements this year at the annual event in Selby. Both his mom and dad were also recognized for their leadership in 4-H.
Corey said he enjoys 4-H, especially getting together and showing his projects for the year.
“I have gotten to meet a lot of new people and have made lots of new friends,” he said. “Camps are always fun in the summer too.”
But Corey stays busy all year, being very active in school activities.
“Football is my favorite sport. You can hit as hard as you want without a penalty or foul. It’s a very physical game,” he said. “I also play basketball and throw shot put and discus for track.”
He also participates in Future Farmers of America, is a member of Family, Careers and Community Leaders of America, and 4-H, and is a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.
But it is not just these activities that keep Corey busy. He is also an avid hunter.
“I really like to go hunting, especially this time of year,” he said. “Our family makes our own sausage with deer and pork. The deer is what we’ve hunted and the pigs were some that we’ve raised and shown in 4-H.”
On top of that, he likes working with his hands in woodworking and welding.
But he also likes cooking. He learned to bake and cook from his mom and Vivian Perman taught him how to bake bread and rolls.
Corey said meatloaf and cheesy hashbrowns are his favorite meal.
“The meatloaf is made with home grown beef, tomato juice, oatmeal and brown sugar with the sauerkraut layered in between two layers of meat,” he explained. “The hash browns are extra cheesy, with sour cream, cream of chicken soup, and onion, with cornflakes on top.”
He said he has made many mistakes in the kitchen, but even the flops tasted good but not 4-H show worthy.
“I remember learning how to make blueberry muffins. I tossed everything in a bowl and turned up the mixer. I had a mess everywhere and couldn’t find a bite of blueberry anywhere in my blue muffins,” he laughed.
Just like in most families, there a few specialties that are the favorites.
“Brownies are always a hit around our house. They disappear the fastest,” said Corey. “At Christmastime, we make a candy bar cookie and spritz cookies (recipes below) that everybody loves.”
The Graff family likes to hang out on Sundays and watch NFL football, he said.
“Or we take a trip to Bismarck and go out and eat,” he said.  “We also like to play cards and board games, especially when my aunt and uncle come home for the holidays.”

Corey Graff’s Recipes

Peanut Butter Fudge
2 c. sugar
1 c. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Boil together until it hits soft ball consistency, then remove from heat and add 1 c. peanut butter and pour into a 9-inch by 9-inch buttered pan.

Spritz Cookies
1 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
2 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tsp.  almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla.
Food coloring of your choice
Refrigerate for 15 minutes, then take out a cookie press. Press out on cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 6 to 9 minutes. Let stand on pan for two minutes before placing on newspaper to cool.

Candy Bar Cookies
3/4 c. butter
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. evaporated milk
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. flour
Cream butter and powdered sugar, add vanilla, evaporated milk and salt. Mix well and blend in flour. Chill dough for 20 minutes for easier rolling. Roll dough in powdered sugar to about 1/4 inch thickness. Use cookie cutouts. Bake at 325 degrees for 12 to16 minutes.
First layer of frosting
1/2 bag caramels
1/4 c. evaporated milk
1/4 c. butter
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. walnuts.
Heat caramels and evaporated milk until melted. Remove from heat, add butter and sifted powdered sugar. Beat with hand mixer and then add nuts. Spread on cookies.
Second layer of frosting
6 ounces chocolate chips
1/3 c. evaporated milk
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sifted powdered sugar
Melt chips and milk over low heat, add butter, vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix well. Spread thin layer over caramel.

Venison and Baked Potatoes
Cook 1 pound of thick cut bacon in electric fry pan. Remove and layer in bottom of casserole dish. Venison should be cut into 1 inch thick steaks, then seasoned with Lowry Salt and peppered. Dip both sides in flour and fry in bacon grease. Once browned on both sides, remove from pan and put on top of bacon.
Cover and cook on 325 for one hour, serve with baked potatoes with sour cream.

Meatloaf
1 and a half pounds of 95 percent lean ground beef
1 c. tomato juice
3/4 c. oatmeal
1 egg
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and pepper
1/2 c. brown sugar
Mix together and place half in bottom of 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Layer 1 bag or jar of drained sauerkraut and then add remaining beef. Add thin layer of ketchup over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, may need to drain excess liquid from sauerkraut.

Hash Brown Casserole
Mix together
2 pounds packaged hash browns
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. salt and pepper
1/2 c. chopped onions
1 large can of cream of chicken soup
12 oz. sour cream
2 c. grated cheese
Topping
Mix 2 c.  crushed cornflakes, 1/4 c. butter, and 1/4 tsp. of paprika together and add to top of hash browns before baking.
Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees.