We're two sisters who are craft book publishers and found ourselves in the midst of an avocado grove. We bought this house where we planned to conduct our publishing business and in the deal got 4 acres of avocado trees thrown in. Now we're not only publishers but ranchers as well! This blog is all about avocados and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Girl Scout Cooking Badge

After I posted the retro cookbooks and featured the "Girl Scouts of the USA Beginner Cookbook", I started thinking back about when I was a Girl Scout. Did I get the cooking badge? I couldn't remember. So as luck would have it, I went to my bookcase and there was my original Girl Scout Handbook. Here it is:

I looked in the section where the badge requirements are listed in the back of the book and there was the Cook's Badge section. And look, I've circled and checked the activities that I had to do to get the badge.

So I must have gotten the badge. Looks like I did the 10 things you're supposed to do. I still have my sash with the badges somewhere in my house, but after a thorough search I couldn't find it anywhere. But here's what a sash looked like back then (I found this one on google images), mine was similar but I sure didn't have this many badges. You can see the "cook" badge - it's the one 7th row down, on the left.

We had to do some pretty easy things to get this badge, like cook eggs in three different ways. Wonder what I did - maybe scrambled, hard boiled and soft boiled. I doubt if I attempted an omelet or a souffle!

This one puzzles me, "Make cocoa with three kinds of milk and decide which kind you prefer." Back then did we have 3 kinds of milk? I only remember one. Now we have non fat, skim, low fat, 2%, soy,  lactose free, goat's milk. What could I have used to make cocoa? - regular milk, buttermilk (yuk) and chocolate milk (yum).

For the cook-out dish I vaguely remember doing something en papillote - maybe fish and vegetables. Of course we would have called it something else - like fish and vegetables cooked in paper, or something descriptive like that.  In those times "en papillote" would have sounded like something from another planet.

I wish I still had a copy of the cooking quiz or game I was supposed to make up. I don't remember what that could have been. Maybe a takeoff on Monopoly. When you pass go, you get a free meal. When you land in jail, you get bread and water. All the little buildings would be restaurants - fast food places to five star restaurants. The game pieces would be a rolling pin, whisk, spoon, cook book, etc.

I also wish I still had my uniform. But that was given away long ago. The one from our era looked like this:

I was trying to remember the girl scout song that we used to sing at every meeting.  Thanks to You tube and these two lovely ladies I can harken back to those days. I didn't remember that there was a second verse. Hmmm. Maybe we didn't used to sing that one.


I don't think getting the cook's badge led me to a lifetime interest in gourmet cooking. I didn't even get interested in cooking until just lately and I think that was because of the Food Network and Alton Brown, not because of learning how to make three kinds of eggs!

I'd like to dedicate this post to Mrs. Brewster, our girl scout leader. Judy, her daughter was in our troop and she and I ran into each other at a Fallbrook High School open house. Our two kids were in the same class. Judy and I were in the same class at Ganesha High School in Pomona. Somehow we both ended up in Fallbrook. Small world. Anyway, her mother was our leader and she lives in a nearby town. She's in her 90s now but according to Judy, she's still alert and still a girl scout at heart.


  1. that's what i never understand about the idea of Sashes&Badges.They are\were not really intended to be worn-through-life.Wereas,as you say,Mrs Brewsters "badge" was her Heart!

  2. A delightful post. I love the fact that you skipped #13 on the badge list, at that age and waited until later in life when you would get PAID for doing it. Your version of "eatopoly" would be fun to play. El Bulli could be the best property!. I can see it all now.

    Mrs. Brewster sounds like a jewel.

    Please write more about your girl scout days.

  3. Barbara and Nancy, I too have fond memories of my Girl Scout days. My mother was the leader and everyone wanted to be in Mrs. Smith's troop because we always went camping at fun places in Indiana. We used to make a dish called Brownie stew which was a one pound coffee can (with the metal strip and key), line it with tin foil, put in a hamberger pattie, and some vegetables, close the lid and place it on hot coals until you could hear it sizzle then open and eat. Yum, yum.

    Esther from Fallbrook

  4. Hi Tony,
    Yes, any girl scout leader would have had to have a lot of heart. Mrs. Brewster certainly did and still does.
    Hi Helen,
    Love the name "eatopoly" and El Bulli could certainly take the place of Park Place!
    Hi Esther,
    We'll have to get together for lunch again and discuss girl scout recipes.