Southern Cultural Heritage Center hosts ‘Cook with Books’

Published 8:06 pm Friday, June 30, 2017

Camp never tasted so good.

This week, the Southern Cultural Heritage Center hosted a “Cook with Books” camp for children.

“Every day we read a different children’s book,” instructor for the camp Margie Heltzel said, and then we made recipes that paired with the story.

On Tuesday, “Dragons Love Tacos” was the book that was read, and afterward, the children prepared tacos, homemade tortilla chips, sombrero cookies and cactus juice.

Heltzel started offering children’s cooking camps at the SCHF last year.

“Some people had posted on Facebook that they wanted a cooking camp for children,” Heltzel said, and the SCHF was willing to host them.

Helping Heltzel out during the camp were assistants Sara Pratt and Laura Kidder.

Pratt, who is a student at St. Aloysius, helped entertain the children when it was others’ turn to make their sombrero cookies and tacos.

Kidder’s job was to man the SCHC kitchen, and on Tuesday she was browning the meat for that would be used for the tacos.

“Some things have to be done in the kitchen,” Kidder said, because everything cannot be done in the room where the cooking camp takes place.

Camper Morgan Tzotzolas said her favorite thing about the cooking camp was making the “jello thing.”

On Monday, Hetlzel said the book the children listened was entitled the “Rainbow Fish” and afterwards they made Rainbow Fish Crunch, Sea Snails and Rainbow Friendship Fruit Salad.

“It was real cool,” Tzotzolas said.

“We broke up vanilla wafers, gooey fish, and we used Jell-O mix. We put the Jell-O mix on top of the vanilla wafers, and then we put gooey fish, and then we froze it, and it turned into Jell-O, and then we put whatever we wanted on it. We could put sprinkles or whipped cream, and then afterward we put a gooey fish on top of it,” Tzotzolas said.

The “Cook with Books” camp was offered for children ages five to eight.

Hetzel said she would also be offering a “Food from Around the World,” cooking camp July 17 through 21 at the SCHC.

The registration fee for each class is $125 per child and includes all supplies as well as lots of tasty treats. Space is limited and reservations are required. For more information or to register, call 601-631-2997 or email

Homemade Tortilla Chips

1 Package of corn tortillas

Cooking spray

Sea salt or seasoning of choice

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each tortilla into six wedges. Spread the tortilla wedges out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Lightly spray the wedges with the cooking spray and sprinkle salt or seasoning over the tortilla wedges. Bake the tortilla wedges for about 12 to 15 minutes or until they are just beginning to color on the edges.  Remove from the oven and let cool. Sprinkle with more salt or seasoning if needed. Serve with salsa or guacamole.
Sombrero Cookies

Sugar cookies

Vanilla icing

Rainbow nonpareils

Sugar coated gumdrops

Pipe a circle of frosting around the perimeter of the cookie. Completely cover the icing with sprinkles, shaking off any extra sprinkles. Pipe a dollop of icing in the center of the cookie and add one gumdrop on top. You just made an edible sombrero!
Cactus Juice

1 Gallon Hawaiian punch — Green Berry Rush

1 2-liter Pineapple Fanta

Combine the Hawaiian Punch and Pineapple Fanta in a pitcher. Serve chilled or over ice.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

email author More by Terri Cowart